Growing Demand for Advanced Military Systems Amid Increasing Defense Budgets

After years of painfully slow development owing to high equipment costs, Electro-Optics/Infrared (EO/IR) systems have found application in militaries across the globe. These systems provide enhanced visibility and extensively used for night vision, navigation, surveillance, and targeting by the armed forces.The importance of these systems is seen to be taking quantum jumps, and the technological advancements have led to more reliable, rugged, and compact devices. These devices, in turn, find increased usage and acceptance in the present day scenario.Electro-optic/Infrared systems are critical for border surveillance and situational awareness. The recent developments have paved the way for the application of EO/IR systems in all three types of forces, i.e. air, land and naval. These systems are customized to work along with the existing equipment for a more precise output. The EO/IR systems are further categorized based on the usage namely targeting system, electronic support measure, and imaging system.It is estimated to record a growth rate of 7.25% for global military electro-optical and infrared systems market. The processed information gained by analyzing movements has always been critical in accomplishing the required mission. These systems consist of a broad category of equipment designed to support the military’s decision-making, planning, and intelligence.Electro-OpticsIt consists of devices and components that operate by analyzing the interaction of light with different materials. This system work on the electro-optical effect that relates to variance in the optical properties of different mediums. It can aid in assessing the movement and type of artillery of a battalion.InfraredThis system detects the infrared radiation. The infrared emissions are directly related to the temperature of a body, i.e. colder objects emit less energy than hotter objects. Since a human body temperature is much warmer than the surrounding temperatures, any objectionable movement in areas of less or zero visibility can be tracked by the forces.Some of the major players are Rockwell Collins, Harris Corporation, Thales, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin Corporation, L-3 Communications Corporation, and Elbit Systems Ltd.The demand for Electro-Optics/Infrared systems has seen positive growth in recent years amid increasing tensions among the largest economies of the world as per the market intelligence firm. The highest growth is predicted to be in the Asia-Pacific region due to rising dominance of China in South-Asia region. Also, India is on its way of revamping its military systems completely which will further supplement the growth of Global Military Electro-Optics / Infrared (EO-IR) Systems Market.

Posted in Systems | Tagged | Comments Off

Toolbox Essentials – Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are probably the most common tools used both for household and professional purposes. They come in a large variety of sizes from tiny jeweler’s screwdrivers up, and are designed to match the large variety of screws available.The screwdriver seems to have originated in either France or Germany in the late 15th century. The original name for this tool was screwturner or turnscrew. The earliest screwdrivers had pear-shaped wooden handles and were made for slotted screws. Screws were used in the 15th century for constructing screw-cutting lathes, for securing breastplates, backplates and helmets on medieval jousting armor. Screwdrivers developed over time as the development of screws evolved and improved.In 1908, a Canadian, P.L. Robertson, although not the first person to patent the idea of socket-head screws, was the first person to successfully commercialize them. Socket screws rapidly grew in popularity and are still a favorite of mechanics today for their resistance to wear and tear, their compatibility with hex keys, and their ability to stop a power tool when set. Unfortunately, Robertson was unwilling to relinquish his patents and as a result, ran in to difficulties when trying to market his invention to the newly booming auto industry.In the meantime, an American, Henry F. Phillips, patented his own improved invention, today known as the Phillips screw. It was a version of a deep socket with a cruciform (arranged in a cross) that quickly became, and still remains, the most popular screw in the world. A main attraction for the screw was that conventional slotted screwdrivers could be used on them.Torx, the trademark for a type of screw head characterized by a six-point star-shaped pattern, was developed in 1967 by Camcar Textron. The screwdriver used on these screws is sometimes referred to as a star screwdriver. Torx screws are commonly used on automobiles, motorcycles, bicycle brake systems, hard disk drives, computer systems and consumer electronics. Initially, they were used in applications requiring tamper-resistance, since the drive systems and screwdrivers were not readily available.There are many different types of screws, and consequently many different types of screwdrivers, available today. The slotted, Phillips and Robertson screwdrivers remain the most popular. From minor household repairs, to major construction projects, the need for a good set of screwdrivers is apparent. It would be convenient to only require one type, but the variety of metal and wood screws available deem this impossible. If a screwdriver is not the correct size and type for the screw being used, it’s very likely that the screw will be damaged in the process of tightening or loosening it.Screwdrivers may be purchased individually or in sets. Your toolbox or tool drawer should contain at least a couple of flat or slotted screwdrivers, a couple of Phillips screwdrivers, and a couple of Robertson screwdrivers, all in various sizes. A set of precision screwdrivers and perhaps a small cordless screwdriver with various bits are great tools to have on hand as well. Some screwdriver tips are magnetic, so that the screw remains attached to the screwdriver while the screwdriver is being used. This feature is particularly useful when working with small screws that are typically difficult to handle.A set of screwdrivers or a cordless screwdriver can prove to be an inexpensive but useful gift for someone starting out on their own. Both men and women can make use of these tools for a variety of tasks from simply tightening existing screws around the house, installing a ceiling fan, or for working on home renovations. Having the right tools for the job is imperative. Although it may be tempting, never use screwdrivers as improvised substitutes for pry bars, levers, hole punches, or any other purpose they are not designed for. Such use can damage the tip or bend the shaft, or injure the user if the screwdriver slips or fails. Always remember safety first!

Posted in Automobiles Motorcycles | Tagged | Comments Off

Grading Students With the Gap System and a Gradebook

Grading students is about evaluating how much each student has learnt in a course. While it is possible to debate the merits of measuring and grading student performance and how this should be done, it is an important part of a teacher’s role in a schooling system. The focus of this article is explaining one system for converting numerical results into alphabetical grades.In a typical school course the papers, assignments and exams that make up the assessable tasks, i.e. those tasks that directly contribute to each students final result and grade, are given a numerical score that is a measure of how well the task was completed. These numerical results may be converted to letter grades for each task, or are finally combined into a single total that is then converted to a grade.Different grading systemsGoing back a few decades this combining of results needed to be done by hand or with an electronic calculator. Now using a spreadsheet or gradebook program on your PC is a faster and more accurate way to do this sort of work with student results. But independently of the tool that you use to add results and assign grades, you still need to have a system, i.e. a method, to follow in deciding who gets an A or a B and so on. Generally, there are two broad approaches that you can follow. One is a norm based system and the other is criterion based.A norm based system assumes that in a group of typical students, the results will tend to follow a normal distribution. What this means is that most of the student results will tend to be grouped around some middle point with the number of students getting higher and lower scores being much less. You may have heard of the “bell shaped curve” which is what you see if you plot a chart with a set of results that follow a normal distribution. With a norm based system the grade for each student is affected by the performance of all the other students in the course.Whereas a criterion based system assumes that there is an objective measure of the content in a course, and the grade assigned to each student is based on how much of that content has been learned. With this type of system each student grade is independent of all the other students in the course and instead based on a measure of how competent the students are in the knowledge and skills that they are expected to learn.Which type of system is best? There is no right answer to that question and both systems have strengths which vary depending on the type of course and the students being graded. For example, a norm based system is harder to apply and justify if the number of students in a course is small. This is because with a small number of students the results may be less likely to follow the classic bell shaped curve. But that doesn’t mean that a norm based system should always be avoided – it all depends. The grading system that you are comfortable using may depend on your philosophy of teaching and learning. Sometimes you may not have a choice as the grading methods may be dictated by your faculty, school, or education department.The gap systemIn the remainder of this article you will be introduced to the gap system that is neither norm based nor criterion based. Like the norm based system, grades are assigned based on the relative performance of the students, but the gap system does not assume a normal distribution or a bell shaped curve if the results were plotted on a chart. The gap system can also be successfully used with a small number of students. One other advantage of the gap system is that it is simple to understand and does not require seemingly arbitrary statistical methods that can be difficult to explain.To apply the gap system all the scores for the students are sorted from top to bottom and you then examine the list looking for gaps in the results. Then based on the gaps and your judgment you can set the cut-off point for each grade. In other words, where there is a gap the cut-off mark is set in that gap. Because the minimum result needed for each grade is distinct and separated from the next group of students you do not get the situation where students who may differ by a single point get different grades.With a gradebookUsing a gradebook program to assign grades with the gap system should be straightforward and easy to apply. Using The Gradebook Program as an example, the process below assumes that you have a column that has the final student results. If you are using a different gradebook program then you will need to translate the actions done here into your program. The sample gradebook data included with The Gradebook Program includes columns with results in case you want to experiment with the gap system without having to type in results yourself.Once you have a gradebook open with results that need to be converted to grades, the first step is to have some way of examining the results so the gaps are made obvious. One way to do this, which can be done in any gradebook program, or in a spreadsheet such as MS Excel or Open Office Calc is to sort the cells in the column of results. In The Gradebook Program put the cursor in the column of results and choose the Numerically by column command in the Tools, Sort students menu. In a spreadsheet you could highlight the column and choose the Sort command, which will vary depending on the program you are using.With the sorted results you then need to start looking for gaps. Depending on your grading philosophy you may already have an idea of how many of each grade can be given. This may guide you as to where to look for gaps, or you may not have pre-determined requirements and the number of each grade will be influenced by which the gaps you think fairly discriminate between different levels of performance.While avoiding a printout to save paper is good for the environment, you may find that using the print command of your gradebook and having the results in front of you makes analyzing the results easier. Being able to draw lines and make notes as you figure out the groupings can be easier with pen and paper than scrolling up and down on screen.If you are using The Gradebook Program there is an easier way of discovering the gaps than a sorted list of results. By graphing the result distribution with the Distribution command in the Print, Graphs menu what you are looking for are gaps in the chart – which are made more obvious by the white space in the graph.Professional judgment requiredRegardless of the method you use to discover the gaps, once you have the cut-off point for each of the grades you can then use them when assigning the grades, either by hand or with your preferred grading tool. Before finishing there is one unanswered question: how does the gap system work if there are no clear gaps in the results?In that case the gap system may not be the most appropriate way of assigning the grades. If there are gaps, but not enough for the number of different grades, then you can use the gaps that do exist and look for points where there may only be a single student and that point can then be used in lieu of a clear gap. It is important to remember as mentioned at the beginning that there is no single “best” grading system and as a teacher there will be times when you need to use your professional judgment as to what the final grades will be.References: Testing and Grading: Evaluating and Grading Students by Marilla D. Svinicki, The University of Texas at Austin.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off