Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Propulsion

Explore the key advances impacting propulsion technologies and applications involved in aircraft propulsion, turbo-electric distributed propulsion, and hybrid electric aircraft propulsion systems.

Articles: Transportation
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Latest Briefs & News

Question of the Week: Aerospace
Will Turboelectric Aircraft Take Off?

A recent video on Tech Briefs TV highlighted NASA’s new idea for aircraft: the STARC-ABL. The concept under development aims to bridge the gap between current jet fuel-powered aircraft and future all-electric vehicles.

Stanford University’s School of Engineering has been at the forefront of innovation for nearly a century
NASA Spinoff: Test & Measurement
Water-Powered Engines Offer Satellite Mobility
The technology could allow deep-space exploration without running out of propellant.
The NiobiCon™ underwater connector will not short out, corrode, or cause an electrical shock if touched while powered in harsh environments like saltwater.
Application Briefs: Aerospace
Wave Energy Modeling for Safer Space Travel
What does wave energy have to do with space exploration? Plenty, it turns out.
Facility Focus: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Facility Focus: NASA John C. Stennis Space Center
Stennis now is testing RS-25 rocket engines for the Space Launch System (SLS) that will carry humans back to the Moon.
Question of the Week: Aerospace
Will Electric Aircraft Take-Off in Everyday Aviation?

In May of 2020, the “eCaravan” aircraft, powered by a 750-horsepower electric motor and more than 2000 pounds of lithium-ion batteries, flew to a height of over 2500 feet, at over 100 miles per hour. The all-electric airplane was built by magniX, Seattle-based electric propulsion...

The Mars rover Perseverance has a helicopter. Will the rover have to carry it around?
Special Reports: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Vehicle Electrification - July 2020

The global transition to electric vehicles presents new design, manufacturing, and infrastructure challenges. To help you keep pace with the rapid changes in vehicle electrification technology, we present...

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: Motion Control
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.
To speed up the design process, researchers from the University of Texas are finding more efficient ways to predict, or "learn," a rocket's behavior.
Altering the traditional intensity distribution of fiber lasers improves weld quality.
Beta Technologies is putting their Electrical Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft (eVTOL) prototype through the wringer.
The additive creates fuel from biomass while improving engine performance.
Your preview of one of the largest technical mobility events of the year.
University of Washington engineer James Koch observed patterns in a promising, but often-unpredictable rocket part: The rotating detonation engine.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Power System for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks
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.
Special Reports: Motion Control
CONEXPO/IFPE - January 2020

Coming to Las Vegas in March, CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE are North America's largest events for the construction/commercial vehicle, fluid power, power transmission, and motion control industries. In this Special...

Special Reports: Propulsion
Vehicle Electrification - January 2020

Demand for electric vehicles is accelerating, presenting new design, manufacturing, and infrastructure challenges. To help you keep pace with the rapid changes in vehicle electrification technology, we...

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.
Facility Focus: Electronics & Computers
Facility Focus: NASA John H. Glenn Research Center
Glenn's research facilities have contributed to decades of technology advances.

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