Propulsion

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

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
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.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Applications include wind turbines, solar arrays, commercial space mobile launchers, and industrial process stacks and equipment.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
This below-the-hook device enables gentle crane placement to decrease the risk of property damage.
Briefs: Propulsion
This additively manufactured alloy is tailored for high-temperature applications.
Briefs: Propulsion
Using microwaves reduces the cost of launching rockets.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
The thruster provides a low-cost, extremely efficient propulsion source for miniature satellites.
Briefs: Power
These engines will allow upper stage rockets for space missions to become lighter, travel farther, and burn more cleanly.
Briefs: Energy
This method increases burn rate of solid propellants.
Briefs: Energy
The proposed design could reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 95 percent.
Briefs: Energy
Thrusters based on magnetic reconnection could complete long-distance missions in a shorter period of time.
Briefs: Transportation
The new technology demonstrates a 20 percent savings in fuel in typical passenger car low-load operating conditions.
Briefs: Energy
The miniaturized, autonomous, reconfigurable solar sail is capable of very fine maneuvering by small surface deformation.
Briefs: Software
This method provides a fast way to assess rocket engine performance in a variety of operating conditions.
Briefs: Propulsion
Bio-Inspired Propulsion
Frequencies and passive dynamics of vehicles moving in air or water help enhance propulsion performance.
Briefs: Propulsion
This diffuser provides double the pumping efficiency in one-quarter the space.
Briefs: Power
The additive creates fuel from biomass while improving engine performance.
Briefs: Energy
Electric motors and gas-alcohol engines could slash pollution levels and greenhouse gases from long-haul trucks.
Briefs: Aerospace
These louvers provide passive thermal cooling for CubeSats.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Made with “Jenga chemistry,” the material could help in understanding how high-temperature superconductors work.
Briefs: Materials
This technology provides simultaneous ohmic contacts and the process to make them.
Briefs: Aerospace
This retractable de-orbit device facilitates targeted re-entry, attitude and orbital control, and collision avoidance.
Briefs: Propulsion

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

Briefs: Medical

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...

Briefs: Automotive

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: Propulsion
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: Propulsion
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: Aerospace

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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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,...

Videos