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Long-Life Stratospheric Balloon System With Altitude Control

There would be no venting of helium or dropping of ballast. A proposed improved balloon system for carrying scientific instruments in the stratosphere would include a lightweight, ambient-pressure helium balloon and a vented infrared Montgolfiere (see figure). [An infrared Montgolfiere is an ambient-pressure warm-air balloon, named after the familiar fire-heated hot-air balloons invented by the Montgolfier brothers. An infrared Montgolfiere is heated primarily by the Sun during the day, and/or by infrared radiation from relatively warm surface of the Earth at night.] The system would feature controllability of altitude for taking scientific data, landing, or taking advantage of favorable winds for relocation. The system would be designed for long life, but would weigh less (and therefore cost less) than do previously developed long-life balloon systems.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Seed-Wing Flyers for Exploration

Scientific instruments would be dispersed from aloft by use of miniature autogyros. Small instrumented, free-flying (unpowered) rotary aircraft have been proposed for use in gathering scientific data from hazardous or inaccessible terrain on remote planets as well as on Earth. These aircraft are called “seed-wing flyers” because they would resemble winged seeds (e.g., maple seeds) in both appearance and aerodynamic behavior.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Boundary Conditions for Computing Flows of Real Gas Mixtures

It is possible to suppress errors that arise in a simplistic formulation. An improved formulation of equations of flow of a general gas mixture includes consistent boundary conditions that are applicable to real gases. An analysis of prior formulations, with focus on boundary conditions, led to the conclusion that boundary conditions based on ideal mixtures and/or perfect gases can lead to errors in computed flows of real gases. The improved formulation makes it possible to achieve greater accuracy in computation of flows of real (including chemically reactive) gas mixtures, and is expected to be especially beneficial in computing flows of supercritical fluids like those in diesel engines, gas turbine engines, rocket engines, supercritical-fluid extraction processes, and crude oil under high pressure.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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National Nano Engineering Conference



Posted in: Blog

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Create the Future & Win Big!



Posted in: Blog

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Software Tech Briefs



Posted in: Blog

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A Brighter Choice for Safety

LUNAplast™ EXIT signs illuminate without the need for electricity, maintenance, or a power connection.Emergency exit signs can be lifesavers, but only if they remain visible when people need them. All too often, power losses or poor visibility can render the signs ineffective. Luna Technologies International, Inc., of Kent, Washington, is shining new light on this safety issue. The company’s LUNAplast™ product line illuminates without the need for electricity, maintenance, or a power connection. LUNAplast, which benefited from tests conducted at Johnson Space Center, is so successful that NASA engineers selected it for the emergency exit pathway indicators on the International Space Station (ISS).

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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