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Solar-Powered Airplane With Cameras and WLAN

High-resolution images are sent to a ground station in nearly real time. An experimental airborne remote sensing system includes a remotely controlled, lightweight, solar-powered airplane (see figure) that carries two digital-output electronic cameras and communicates with a nearby ground control and monitoring station via a wireless local-area network (WLAN). The speed of the airplane — typically <50 km/h — is low enough to enable loitering over farm fields, disaster scenes, or other areas of interest to collect high resolution digital imagery that could be delivered to end users (e.g., farm managers or disaster-relief coordinators) in nearly real time.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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A Resonator for Low-Threshold Frequency Conversion

A nonlinear dielectric whispering-gallery resonator would be poled for quasiphase-matching. A proposed toroidal or disklike dielectric optical resonator (dielectric optical cavity) would be made of an optically nonlinear material and would be optimized for use in parametric frequency conversion by imposition of a spatially periodic permanent electric polarization. The poling (see figure) would suppress dispersions caused by both the material and the geometry of the optical cavity, thereby effecting quasi-matching of the phases of high-resonance-quality (high-Q) whispering-gallery electromagnetic modes. The quasi-phase-matching of the modes would serve to maximize the interactions among them. Such a resonator might be a prototype of a family of compact, efficient nonlinear devices for operation over a broad range of optical wavelengths.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Helicity in Supercritical O2/H2 and C7H16/N2 Mixing Layers

This report describes a study of databases produced by direct numerical simulation of mixing layers developing between opposing flows of two fluids under supercritical conditions, the purpose of the study being to elucidate chemical species-specific aspects of turbulence, with emphasis on helicity. The simulations were performed for two different fluid pairs — O2/H2 and C7H16/N2 — at similar values of reduced pressure.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Doping-Induced Interband Gain in InAs/AlSb Quantum Wells

A paper describes a computational study of effects of doping in a quantum well (QW) comprising a 10-nm-thick layer of InAs sandwiched between two 21-nm-thick AlSb layers.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Large Fluvial Fans and Exploration for Hydrocarbons

A report discusses the geological phenomena known, variously, as modern large (or large modern) fluvial fans or large continental fans, from a perspective of exploring for hydrocarbons.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Subsurface Ice Probe

Small samples of ice would be melted and pumped to the surface for analysis. The subsurface ice probe (SIPR) is a proposed apparatus that would bore into ice to depths as great as hundreds of meters by melting the ice and pumping the samples of meltwater to the surface. Originally intended for use in exploration of subsurface ice on Mars and other remote planets, the SIPR could also be used on Earth as an alternative to coring, drilling, and melting apparatuses heretofore used to sample Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Real-Time Simulation of Aeroheating the Hyper-X Airplane

Computational simulations are expected to provide for initial design choices. A capability for real-time computational simulation of aeroheating has been developed in support of the Hyper-X program, which is directed toward demonstrating the feasibility of operating an air-breathing ramjet/scramjet engine at mach 5, mach 7, and mach 10. The simulation software will serve as a valuable design tool for initial trajectory studies in which aerodynamic heating is expected to exert a major influence in the design of the Hyper-X airplane; this tool will aid in the selection of materials, sizing of structural skin thicknesses, and selection of components of a thermal-protection system (TPS) for structures that must be insulated against aeroheating.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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