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Transparent aluminum, a technology first suggested in the science fiction film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, is now a reality.
With a growing need in the Department of Defense for transparent armor for personnel protection and infrared windows for reconnaissance applications, the Air Force Research Laboratory along with the Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology program, support the manufacturing of aluminum oxynitride products providing greater system performance.
Armor - Protection - Weight - Thickness - Glass
The transparent ceramic armor provides superior ballistic protection at less than half the weight and thickness over traditional glass laminates. This provides the warfighter with superior protection for both air and ground vehicles.
ALON is a transparent ceramic material composed of aluminum, oxygen and nitrogen. It begins as a powder that is formed into unique shapes and made transparent through the application of high temperature and pressure.
Air - Force - Research - Laboratory - Defense
The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Production Act Title III program have been working on this material since 2006 when DPA Title III was improving manufacturing processes to improve the powder that is used to form transparent armor and infrared sensor windows.
The DMS&T program is an investment mechanism that allows the department to advance the state-of-the-art for defense-essential manufacturing capability, through the development of technologies and processes necessary for the production of defense systems.
Program - ALON - Window - Size - Feet
Prior to this program, the largest ALON window size was limited to 2.8 square feet. ALON is now manufactured...
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