Researchers Advance Propulsion Toward Low-Carbon Aircraft

Just as hybrid or turboelectric power has improved fuel efficiency in cars, boats and trains, aeronautical engineers are exploring how planes can be redesigned and configured with electrical power. One of NASA’s goals is to help the aircraft industry shift from relying solely on gas turbines to using hybrid electric and turboelectric propulsion in order to reduce energy consumption, emissions and noise.

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Lightweight, Strong Metal Could Make Airplanes More Energy Efficient

Researchers have created a lightweight, but very strong, structural metal made of magnesium because it is a light metal with two-thirds the density of aluminum, is abundant on Earth, and is biocompatible. It was mixed with silicon carbide nanoparticles into a molten magnesium-zinc alloy that uniformly dispersed and stabilized the nanoparticles, making a super-strong and lightweight metal.

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NASA Flies Drones in Aircraft Noise Test

Microphones strung together on an unmanned aircraft system runway were used to record the sounds of remotely piloted aircraft flying overhead as part of a NASA project to measure full-scale aircraft noise. The work is part of research to reduce airplane noise and make the skies more environmentally friendly, especially around airports.

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'Mini Force Fields' Power Microbots

Purdue researchers are using "mini force field technology" to independently control individual microrobots operating within groups.

Posted in: News, Automation, Robotics
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Researchers Use Rust to Improve 3D-Printing Process

A team of Northwestern researchers has created a new way to print three-dimensional metallic objects using rust and metal powders.

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New Solar Material Releases Heat on Demand

A layer-by-layer film developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could harvest sunlight and release heat on demand hours or days later.

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Nissan Tests NASA Technology in Driverless Car

For the past year, NASA’s Ames Research Center and Nissan have been collaborating on the development of autonomous driving technologies that could one day be used in future consumer vehicles, robotic rovers on Mars, and other space exploration missions. The partnership allows researchers to develop and test autonomy algorithms, concepts, and integrated prototypes for a variety of vehicular transport applications.

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Rapid Test Identifies Tumors Using Antibodies

Antibodies combat viruses and bacteria. They also attach themselves to cancer cells. Scientists are using this property to detect cancer cells in tissue samples. This polymer-based rapid test visually differentiates tumor cells from healthy cells in a tissue section through the use of a simple microscope.

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Remote-Controlled Robot Inspects Suspicious Packages

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) have created a sensor suite that will help emergency services more effectively detect improvised explosive devices. The system records the shape of suspicious packages and creates 3D images of their contents.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition
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Researchers Test New Mars Spacesuits

To support Mars exploration, new spacesuits must protect astronauts, supply air and water, and be flexible enough to allow for small required tasks like the digging of samples. Engineers from the University of North Dakota are evaluating new spacesuit design at Kennedy Space Center.

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