UpFront

Voyage to “New Horizons”

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft traveled more than three billion miles over nine-and-ahalf years, reaching the Pluto system in July. The mission will help us understand worlds at the edge of our solar system by making the first reconnaissance of Pluto.

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NASA Leads Development of System to Manage Drones

“The sky could become increasingly crowded as personal and commercial uses of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, become more popular.” That’s the assessment of Parimal Kopardekar, manager of NASA’s Safe Autonomous Systems Operations project. NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognize that a UAS traffic management (UTM) system for low-altitude airspace is needed.

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Editor's Choice: September 2015

A multi-functional, lightweight, aerogel-fiber composite laminate material was developed that features compressive strength, impact and acoustic energy absorption, thermal insulation, reduced heat transfer, and fire barrier properties. It can be used in both high- and low-temperature applications in aerospace, automotive, building materials, sporting equipment, and military protective gear. Find out more on page 37.

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Editor's Choice: September 2015

A multi-functional, lightweight, aerogel-fiber composite laminate material was developed that features compressive strength, impact and acoustic energy absorption, thermal insulation, reduced heat transfer, and fire barrier properties. It can be used in both high- and low-temperature applications in aerospace, automotive, building materials, sporting equipment, and military protective gear. Find out more HERE.

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NASA and Industry Create Mid-Infrared Detector

NASA Goddard scientist Xiaoli Sun and his industry partner, DRS Technologies (Dallas, TX), have created the world’s first photon-counting detector sensitive to the mid-infrared wavelength bands — a spectral sweet spot for a number of remote-sensing applications, including the detection of greenhouse gases on Earth, Mars, and other planetary bodies as well as ice and frost on comets, asteroids, and the Moon.

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A Tale of Tails

Tests were conducted recently by Boeing and NASA to answer the question: What if reducing the size of an aircraft’s tail could lead to more efficient air travel? The tests, focused on a technology called active flow control, are part of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program. Active flow control is a technology that could result in a tail that is 17% smaller. This would reduce drag by about 0.5%, and would also reduce the tail’s weight, both of which cut an airplane’s fuel use and carbon emissions.

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Editor's Choice: August 2015

NASA is developing the next generation of radiators using a composite that combines low density, high thermal conductivity, and high strength. A scalable process was developed that incorporates nanoparticles into magnesium that forms a high-strength, high-thermal-conductivity nanocomposite. Other applications for this technology are consumer electronics, automobile components such as brake systems, drill bits, mining equipment, and corrosion-resistant coatings. Click HERE to find out more.

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