Propulsion

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on propulsion, from engineering experts at NASA and government, university, and commercial laboratories.

This additively manufactured alloy is tailored for high-temperature applications.
Using microwaves reduces the cost of launching rockets.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Nanosatellite Thruster Emits Pure Ions
The thruster provides a low-cost, extremely efficient propulsion source for miniature satellites.
These engines will allow upper stage rockets for space missions to become lighter, travel farther, and burn more cleanly.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Hybrid Propellant Formulation Uses Graphene Foams
This method increases burn rate of solid propellants.
The proposed design could reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 95 percent.
Thrusters based on magnetic reconnection could complete long-distance missions in a shorter period of time.
The new technology demonstrates a 20 percent savings in fuel in typical passenger car low-load operating conditions.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
SMART Solar Sail
The miniaturized, autonomous, reconfigurable solar sail is capable of very fine maneuvering by small surface deformation.
This method provides a fast way to assess rocket engine performance in a variety of operating conditions.
Briefs: Transportation
Bio-Inspired Propulsion
Frequencies and passive dynamics of vehicles moving in air or water help enhance propulsion performance.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Supersonic Spike Diffuser
This diffuser provides double the pumping efficiency in one-quarter the space.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Green Jet Fuel Additive Made from Acetone Plus Light
The additive creates fuel from biomass while improving engine performance.
Electric motors and gas-alcohol engines could slash pollution levels and greenhouse gases from long-haul trucks.
These louvers provide passive thermal cooling for CubeSats.
This technology enables methane metabolism by yeast.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Superconductivity in a Nickel Oxide Material
Made with “Jenga chemistry,” the material could help in understanding how high-temperature superconductors work.
This technology provides simultaneous ohmic contacts and the process to make them.
Briefs: Propulsion
De-Orbit Device for SmallSats
This retractable de-orbit device facilitates targeted re-entry, attitude and orbital control, and collision avoidance.

A numerical modeling tool allows for a better understanding of rotating detonation engines (RDEs).

Microrobots that can deliver drugs to specific spots inside the body while being monitored and controlled from outside the body have been developed that also can treat tumors in the...

Landing is stressful on a rocket’s legs because they must handle the force from the impact with the landing pad. One way to combat this is to build legs out of materials that absorb some of...

Briefs: Automotive
Inductive Power Transfer for Spaceflight Systems

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed technology that uses inductive power transfer (IPT) for wireless power interfaces between spaceflight elements (such as the payload, vehicle, and pad). Current spaceflight systems require traditional hardwire connections for power interfaces. This...

Briefs: Energy
Double-Fed Induction Linear Alternator

This technology was developed to address the limitations of traditional, single-fed linear alternators that require permanent magnets, adhesive bonding organics, and heavy iron laminations for flux control. They experience eddy-current losses and require electromagnetic interference protection. Furthermore,...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Generating Electrical Power from Waste Heat

Directly converting electrical power to heat is easy; however, converting heat into electrical power is not as easy. To address this issue, a tiny silicon-based device was developed that can...

Briefs: Aerospace
Improved Directed Flux Motor

Electromagnetic motors typically convert electrical energy into rotational mechanical energy and are employed across a wide array of applications. While motors represent relatively mature technology, practitioners continue to seek ways to enhance motor operation including a decrease in cost, drop in size/weight,...

Mechanical systems such as engines and motors rely on two principal types of motions of stiff components: linear motion, which involves an object moving from one point to another in a straight...

Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. A new cooling concept...

Recent technical advances have enabled flywheel energy storage systems (FESS) to become more compact and able to support higher-power applications. Due to their proven...

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