Propulsion

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

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Briefs: Manned Systems
A Sustainable Engine with Reduced Assembly Costs
Boom Supersonic, the company building supersonic planes, is developing Symphony, a new propulsion system designed and optimized for its Overture supersonic airliner.
Briefs: Propulsion
A team of MIT engineers is creating a one-megawatt motor that could be a key stepping-stone toward electrifying larger aircraft. The team has designed and tested the major components of the motor.
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Briefs: Aerospace
Biomimicking Hummingbirds for Better Drones
Hummingbirds have extreme aerial agility and flight forms, which is why many drones and other aerial vehicles are designed to mimic hummingbird movement.
Briefs: Manned Systems
Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are developing a novel microthruster that could provide easy-to-control propulsion during spaceflight.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
This below-the-hook device enables gentle crane placement to decrease the risk of property damage.
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Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Biomimetics is one of the most important robotic research methods which can improve the kinematic performance of robots by imitating the structure and behavior of natural organisms.
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Briefs: Design
An experimental plant-based jet fuel could increase engine performance and efficiency, while dispensing with aromatics, the pollution-causing compounds found in conventional fuels.
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Briefs: Propulsion
Besides miniature spacecraft propulsion systems, the valve could also have applications in the industrial processing industry where low flow devices are commonly used.
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Briefs: Power
Single joint allows six attachments with independent movement.
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Briefs: Power
Acoustic optimization for anti-phase asymmetric rotor.
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Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Advanced analyses shed light on the mechanism of a deadly problem plaguing combustion chambers in rocket engines.
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Briefs: Motion Control
A lightweight alternative to rudders for aircraft with spanwise adaptive wings.
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Briefs: Transportation

Electrification of the transportation sector is critical to future energy and environmental resilience and will require high-power fuel cells (either standalone or in conjunction with batteries) to...

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Briefs: Power
This scalable power processing unit (PPU) is for use with low-power Hall effect thrusters.
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Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
A new catalyst and microchannel reactors improve efficiency and cost of the process.
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Briefs: Energy
The system could allow for flight speeds of Mach 6 to 17 and would have applications in air and space travel.
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Briefs: Manned Systems
This system would extend the life of CubeSat satellites.
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Briefs: Imaging
The engine could make rockets not only more fuel-efficient, but also more lightweight and less complicated to construct.
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Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Synthesized micro-robots can convert their mechanical motion into a means of self-propulsion in water.
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Briefs: Materials
A remotely controlled microswimmer could navigate the human body and aid in drug delivery.
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Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The “nanoswimmers” could be used to remediate contaminated soil, improve water filtration, or even deliver drugs to targeted areas of the body.
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Briefs: Propulsion
The low-density, graphene-based aerogel could make aircraft as quiet as a hairdryer.
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Briefs: Propulsion
This method is a faster way to manufacture combustion chambers and nozzles for aerospace propulsion as well as heat exchangers in oil and gas applications.
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Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The reaction converts 90% of plastic to jet fuel and other valuable hydrocarbon products within an hour at moderate temperatures.
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Briefs: Aerospace
This fuel cell could power a variety of transportation modes such as unmanned underwater vehicles, drones, and eventually electric aircraft.
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Briefs: Materials
A folded plastic bladder could store and pump the fuel.
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Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The soft robot harvests energy from a laser beam and can crawl on horizontal surfaces and climb vertical walls and an upside-down glass ceiling.
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Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
The valve enables telerobotic resupplying of media such as propellant and pressurant.
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Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Applications include wind turbines, solar arrays, commercial space mobile launchers, and industrial process stacks and equipment.
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