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.

Three new unmanned helicopters were unveiled at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
A Navy Sea Glider can look for a target in mid-air or underwater.
As always, the Air Force Research Laboratory had a huge presence at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.

Founded on July 1, 1960, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL is one of NASA’s largest field centers. Marshall engineers designed, built, tested, and helped launch the Saturn V...

Rocket engine testing requires a lot of light since all tests are filmed with high-speed cameras to monitor performance; however, those cameras have to adjust to the bright plume from a firing...

You think riding your Harley Davidson is exciting? Try the ElectraFly.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Transforming Flat Elastomers into 3D Shapes

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...

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in...

An optical setup developed by researchers at Sandia's Combustion Research Facility and the Technical University of Denmark can now quantify the formation of soot — particulate matter consisting...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Interoperable Intelligent Controllers for Process Management and Control Networks

NASA Johnson Space Center developed reprogrammable and interchangeable electronic controllers that can attach to a system or subsystem wirelessly or through plug-and-play capability. Originally designed to work with rocket engines, this technology can control...

Briefs: Energy
Green Electric Monopropellant (GEM)-Fueled Pulsed Plasma Thruster

NASA required a rocket thruster able to produce a number of pulses at high specific impulse at a relatively low voltage (~300 to 400V). The key problem was that existing propellants for liquid-fueled pulsed plasma thrusters (LPPTs) required high voltages to ablate and accelerate...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
SAE WCX: Bringing You the Future of Mobility

WCX™ World Congress Experience 2019 — presented by SAE International — is for forward-thinking engineers, executives, OEMs, suppliers, decision-makers, disruptors, and the entire spectrum of...

Briefs: Software
Real-Time, Fuel-Optimal, Powered Descent Guidance Using Interpolated Time-of-Flight and Propellant Mass

Soft landing using rockets requires a trajectory to be planned for the lander from rocket ignition — typically several kilometers in altitude and moving at up to 200 m/s — to the point near the surface with near-zero velocity. The exact...

Briefs: Aerospace
Small-Body Dynamics Toolkit Version 5.0

The Small-Body Dynamics Toolkit (SBDT) v5.0 is a collection of primitive-body-specific trajectory design and analysis tools written in MATLAB®. The SBDT gives the user the capabilities to propagate, analyze, and visualize spacecraft trajectories and the dynamical environment near realistic asteroid,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Sublimable Propellant Source for Iodine-Fed Ion Propulsion System

NASA Marshall has developed a system for generating iodine vapor from solid iodine for use as a propellant in a Hall or ion thruster propulsion system. Xenon has generally been the preferred propellant for these spacecraft ion propulsion systems but more recently, iodine-based...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Fuel Cell/Fuel Cell Hybrid System

Fuel cells can deliver clean, reliable, and uninterrupted power nearly 100 percent of the time. Fuel cells offer the advantage of efficiency by converting chemical energy directly to electricity. They have no moving parts, thereby eliminating failures associated with pumps, blowers, heat exchangers, and other...

Briefs: Transportation
Effects of Reynolds and Mach Numbers in Large Eddy Simulation of Supersonic Round Jets

Rockets/landers arrive on the Moon with supersonic speed and impact lunar regolith. There is no reliable software to computationally simulate in an effective way the supersonic plumes escaping from these rockets/devices. A Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Voltage Power Line Multi-Sensor System

Government infrastructure facilities such as water treatment facilities, power plants, laboratories, and the like may be targets for terrorist attacks. Similarly, oil pipelines, power grids,...

Special Reports: Automotive
Powertrain - February 2019

The latest powertrain innovations for cars and commercial vehicles are featured in this Special Report, a compendium of recent articles from the editors of Automotive Engineering and Truck & Off-Highway...

Lateral nozzle forces are known to cause severe structural damage during testing of any new rocket engine configuration under development. While three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD)...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an unmanned aerial vehicle concept for long-range, distributed aerial presence and delivery applications. This aircraft concept is capable...

There are few industries where the demands for material testing and quality assurance are more challenging than in the aerospace industry. Ensuring the safety of all...

Typical direct-injection engines, such as diesel engines, can produce soot due to fuel-rich combustion conditions. Filters and catalytic converters are currently used to reduce soot and harmful...

Researchers have developed a new propulsion concept for swimming robots that exploits temperature fluctuations in the water for propulsion without the need for an engine, propellant, or power supply.

Since the first airplane took flight, virtually every aircraft has flown with the help of moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades, or fans that produce a persistent, whining buzz. MIT has built...

ALUMINUM-POWERED ELECTRICITY GENERATION

Aluminum has an incredibly high energy density — double that of gasoline and an order of magnitude greater than...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NASA at 60: Celebrating Success

Over the past 60 years, NASA scientists and engineers have developed many advanced technologies and processes. But NASA has also partnered with industry, using commercially available products to complete its missions. Here, some of those companies join NASA in celebrating these collaborative successes.

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