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Enhanced Aircraft State Display for Improved Situation Awareness of Flight Envelope Limitations

In the case of an aircraft system failure such as control surface or engine failure, an aircraft’s flight envelope may change. Notifying the pilots of these changes may improve situational awareness and, hence, increase flight safety because pilots will have additional knowledge about maneuver limitations to stay safely within the flight envelope. Also, notifying the pilots of where the vehicle is relative to maneuver limitations may further increase safety by assuring pilot’s knowledge of the aircraft state.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace

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Film Cooled Surface

This cooling technique increases the efficiency of turbine blades.Turbine film cooling flows typically are subject to jet detachment and reduced cooling effectiveness for high blowing rates. Current concepts to improve jet attachment involve impractical or overly complex hole designs due to manufacturing or durability constraints. Novel film cooling concepts from NASA’s Glenn Research Center involve creating a V-shaped recess on the flow surface of a turbine blade to induce fluid, temperature, or shedding effects; threading turbine film cooling holes with helical channels or grooves (much like the threads of a screw) for the purpose of producing a swirling flow of cooling fluid exiting the film cooling hole; and pairing the threaded holes with holes that have an opposite direction of swirl.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace

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Aeronautical Data Link and Radar Simulator (ADRS)

Air traffic management research needs to adequately address all players, including flight crews, air traffic controllers/managers, and airline dispatchers. Interactions between the different stakeholders are crucial elements for the viability of a given concept. A simulation capable of addressing this type of distributed decision-making needs to meet several requirements in terms of fidelity, operator proficiency, and number of participants. Most research facilities and laboratories can provide a sufficient fidelity for one particular aspect, but lack in the other aspects because of budget, personnel, and proprietary constraints.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace

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A Versatile Three-Dimensional Printing Approach

This technology can generate integrated circuits, electrical connectors, supercapacitors, and flow cell batteries.NASA has developed a versatile method and associated apparatus for constructing and using a conductive filament in various applications of 3D printing. It uses an attractive polymer formulation, which exhibits low melting temperature even when combined with conductive material, as the printing filament material. It may be used with a commercial 3D printer to generate custom 3D conductive geometries, such as integrated circuitries, electrical connectors, supercapacitors, and flow cell batteries. This invention can be used to create conductive, piezoelectric, or multifunctional materials using three-dimensional printing, with relatively low melt or glass transition temperatures. This invention should be useful wherever such materials are needed, with modest fabrication costs.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Puncture-Healing Thermoplastic Resin Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Composites

This technology self-repairs following low- to mid-velocity impacts. A through-transmission C-scan of the healable composite panel shows the material post-impact (top) and post-healing cycle (bottom). NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed carbon fiber reinforced composites with self-healing properties. The initiation and propagation of damage to carbon composites, such as in aircraft structural components, results in component failure. Typical structural repairs result in damaging practices, where material is ground away and holes are drilled to secure patches, which can act as new sites for damage. This technology exhibits effective self-repair that heals quickly following low- to mid-velocity impacts, while retaining structural integrity.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Improved Impact Toughness and Heat Treatment for Cast Aluminum

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center researchers have developed a new, stronger aluminum alloy, ideal for cast aluminum products that have powder or paint-baked thermal coatings. With advanced mechanical properties, the NASA-427 alloy shows greater tensile strength and increased ductility, providing substantial improvement in impact toughness. In addition, this alloy improves the thermal coating process by decreasing the time required for heat treatment. With improvements in both strength and processing time, use of the alloy provides reduced materials and production costs, lower product weight, and better product performance. The superior properties of NASA-427 can benefit many industries, including automotive, where it is particularly well suited for use in aluminum wheels.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Dynamically Variable Spot Size Laser System

Applications include aerospace engine repair, medical hardware manufacturing, plastic mold and die restoration, and jewelry manufacturing and repair.NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center developed the handheld laser torch, designed for welding and brazing metals, to repair hard-to-reach Space Shuttle engine nozzles. It incorporates various manual controls and changing lenses to allow the operator to adjust the laser’s power output in real time. The controls and lenses are designed to increase precision, portability, and maneuverability as compared to existing automated lasers and traditional welding techniques such as tungsten inert gas (TIG), metal inert gas (MIG), or gas-tungsten arc welding (GTAW) systems. Proximity sensors with automated shut-off switches also ensure a high level of safety for the user.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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