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: Propulsion
NASA Technology

Rocket launches—or earthquakes—are already punishing experiences. But it turns out there are some things that can make them worse: like if the vibrations hit the structure...

INSIDER: Propulsion

Inspecting the condition of dikes and other sea defense structures is typically a task for robots, working in a team and in a highly autonomous way. But if they move around across the dikes,...

INSIDER: Propulsion

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a rocket motor concept that could be used to power CubeSat low-cost satellites. The Los Alamos team recently tested a...

Briefs: Aerospace

Turbine film cooling flows typically are subject to jet detachment and reduced cooling effectiveness for high blowing rates. Current concepts to improve jet attachment involve impractical or overly complex hole designs...

INSIDER: Propulsion

Large elements for NASA's Space Launch System are in production, and will be joined together to create the rocket's 212-foot-tall core stage, the backbone of the SLS rocket. The...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Advances in Capacitor Materials

Electrochemical capacitors, or supercapacitors, have gained intense interest as an alternative to traditional energy storage devices. Applications for supercapacitors range from...

INSIDER: Motion Control

Researchers have devised a novel way to help keep a driverless vehicle under control as it maneuvers at the edge of its handling limits. The new technology is being tested by...

Briefs: Aerospace

An advanced Lean-Direct-Injection (LDI) turbine engine combustor was developed. Named LDI-II, which stands for second-generation LDI, this technology has vastly improved and expanded the...

Briefs: Propulsion

As powered flight expands to include electric propulsion technologies, aeronautics designers need to understand the electrical, aerodynamic, and structural...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The Hall effect thruster (HET) was designed for long-duration operation with gaseous iodine as the propellant. Iodine is an alternative to the state-of-the-art propellant xenon. Compared to xenon,...

Briefs: Propulsion
Burnable-Poison-Operated Reactor Using Gadolinium Loaded Alloy

The problem to be resolved in this work was the use of radial control drums as the sole active reactivity control system for nuclear thermal propulsion, which results in significant rocket performance changes during full-power operation. This can result in large inefficiencies in...

INSIDER: Test & Measurement

NASA tested a 3D printed rocket engine turbopump with liquid methane – an ideal propellant for engines needed to power many types of spacecraft for NASA’s journey to Mars. During the full-power...

News: Test & Measurement

A low-energy nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium in cargo containers arriving at U.S. ports was...

INSIDER: Motion Control

Testing has started at NASA on a concept called the Heliopause Electrostatic Rapid Transit System (HERTS), a propellant-less propulsion system that would harness solar wind to travel...

Briefs: Propulsion

There are difficulties related to storing enough gas to propel a CubeSat within an onboard tank. Currently, a CubeSat requiring a large volume of gas for extended...

Briefs: Propulsion

This technology is based on a model-scale experiment simulating a test facility where an engine exhaust is discharged into a duct....

Who's Who: Propulsion
Jim Heidmann, Project Manager for NASA’s Advanced Air Transport Technology Project, and Jason Welstead, Aerospace Engineer

Jim Heidmann of Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, OH) and Jason Welstead of Langley Research Center (Hampton, VA) have led NASA efforts to develop all-electric and hybrid-electric designs for large passenger aircraft....

R&D: Electronics & Computers

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

Briefs: Propulsion
Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes Integration for Shock Noise (RISN)

Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) Integration for Shock- Noise (RISN) is a computer program that evaluates acoustic analogies to predict jet noise. Jet noise is due to turbulence from the chaotic flow within the exhaust of a rocket or air-breathing jet engine. The source of...

Briefs: Aerospace
Regeneratively Cooled Porous Media Jacket

A non-toxic nitrous oxide fuel blend (NOFB) monopropellant with a high adiabatic flame temperature reaching and probably exceeding 3,450 K and a very high thermal decomposition limit (>390 °C) is under development. To design an optimal rocket engine that can handle the high adiabatic temperature...

Briefs: Propulsion
Multi-Pulse Motor (MPM) Designed for Use with Electric Solid Propellants

The multi-pulse motor is a solid-propellant rocket motor that is able to produce a number of pulses for various thrust levels (5 to 30 pulses and thrusts between 0.25 and 1.5 N, depending on electric power delivery system) and can be turned on and off through the...

Briefs: Propulsion
Adaptive Augmenting Control

Adaptive augmenting control (AAC) is a forward gain, multiplicative adaptive algorithm for launch vehicle flight control that meets three summary-level design objectives: Do no harm — return to baseline control design when not needed; respond to errors in the ability of the vehicle to track commands to increase...

INSIDER: Motion Control

The propulsion subsystem for NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) has been integrated onto the spacecraft, moving the mission another major step toward scheduled launch in...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

Advances in magnet technology have enabled researchers at MIT to propose a new design for a practical compact tokamak fusion reactor — and it’s one that might be realized...

INSIDER: Software

Researchers at the University of Georgia are helping NASA determine if a key rocket component can withstand the rigors of the next generation of spaceflight. The bellows...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

Elmo Motion Control (Nashua, NH) offers the NANO Gold Twitter servo drive that delivers up to 4000 Watts of qualitative power, current up to 50A at 100VDC, and up to 15A/200V with advanced servo capabilities and support for...

Briefs: Propulsion
Pyramid Micro-Electrofluidic-Spray Propulsion Thruster with Integrated Attitude and Thrust Vector Control

A micro-electrofluidic-spray propulsion (MEP) system was built on a micro scale, in which arrays of hundreds of nano-thrusters are etched on silicon wafers like ICs, only a centimeter on a side. Many dozens of these thruster chips can be...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Evaluation of Rail Gun Technology for Launch Assist of Air-Breathing Rockets

A prototype horizontal electromagnetic rail launcher has been demonstrated along with a corresponding theory. This system builds out of published work in augmented rail guns, but modifies this technology so that the motor can operate for seconds rather than...

Briefs: Aerospace
Using Harmonics to Control Flutter in Wings with Electrical Motors

As aeronautics engineers develop innovative distributed electric propulsion systems, they face new challenges in ensuring that these innovative aircraft are safe as well as fuel efficient. In particular, these systems involve a large number of electrically driven fan motors...

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