Articles

Multiphysics Software Models Mean Flow Augmented Acoustics in Rocket Systems

Combustion instability in solid rocket motors and liquid engines is a complication that continues to plague designers and engineers. Many rocket systems experience violent fluctuations in pressure, velocity, and temperature originating from the complex interactions between the combustion process and gas dynamics. During severe cases of combustion instability, fluctuation amplitudes can reach values equal to or greater than the average chamber pressure. Large amplitude oscillations lead to damaged injectors, loss of rocket performance, damaged payloads, and, in some cases, breach of case/loss of mission. Historic difficulties in modeling and predicting combustion instability haves reduced most instances of most rocket systems experiencing instability into a costly fix through testing or scrapping of the system entirely.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Simulation and modeling, Computer software and hardware, Combustion and combustion processes, Rocket engines

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Top Prizes Awarded in the Create the Future Design Contest

Top prizes in the 2015 Create the Future Design Contest were awarded on November 6 in New York City. The Grand Prize winner, and winners in seven categories, took home awards for their innovative design ideas.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Design processes, Robotics

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Supercritical Wing Design Cuts Billions in Fuel Costs

NASA-developed wing design is used worldwide by commercial airlines. Langley Research Center aeronautics engineer Richard T. Whitcomb was 34 when he did something no other single person could do. Whitcomb overcame the aviation challenge of the day — the so-called sound barrier. However, he was still working to improve flight efficiency at speeds approaching that barrier, now with a seemingly counterintuitive wing design, almost the inverse of what were then conventional wings. He called it the “supercritical” airfoil.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace, Wings, Design processes

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Vote for Tech Briefs' 21st Annual Readers' Choice Awards

Each December, we ask our readers to cast their vote for the annual NASA Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards. Each month, our editors choose a Product of the Month that has exceptional technical merit and practical value for our design engineering readers.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Product development

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Editor's Choice: December 2015

A Fluid Preservation System (FPS) was developed to address NASA’s need for a way to preserve body fluids collected from astronauts during flight. Sample processing is done within the system container, and the samples are hermetically sealed in a small, convenient package. Blood sample collection has significant commercial demand in areas such as cancer research, and for certain assays and bio-indicators. This application also extends to veterinary analysis and widespread monitoring of livestock, as well as use by first responders during natural disasters. Find out more HERE.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront, Aerospace

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A Robotic Titan to Build Rocket Parts

A titan resides at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. One of the largest composites manufacturing robots created in America, it will help NASA build the biggest lightweight composite parts ever made for space vehicles. The robot will build structures larger than 26 feet in diameter, and is mounted on a 40-foot-long track.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront, Aerospace

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Vest Warns Construction and Rescue Workers

Working at a construction site is loud, dirty, and often dangerous. Virginia Tech researchers have combined small radio sensors that construction workers can wear on or inside vests with connected vehicle technology that allows cars to “talk” to one another, roadside infrastructure, and personal electronics such as mobile phones.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront, Aerospace

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