Briefs : Aerospace
Aircraft Wing Flap Noise-Reducing Fins

Two different modifications have been developed for the edges of aircraft wing flaps to reduce noise. Reactive Orthotropic Lattice Diffuser (ROLD) is a modification that consists of a honeycomb-like, interconnected structure added to the region of the flap that experiences the highest degree of...

Briefs : Aerospace
Direct Multiple Shooting Optimization with Variable Problem Parameters

Solving complex trajectory problems optimally is of vital importance to the success of future aerospace programs. Trajectory optimization research has been divided into two main categories: indirect methods and direct methods. Both methodologies have been tested and...

Briefs : Aerospace
Constructing Composite Response Surfaces for Aircraft

The design of aerodynamic components of aircraft, such as wings or engines, involves a process of obtaining the optimal component shape that can deliver the desired level of component performance, subject to various constraints, e.g., total weight or cost. Aerodynamic design can be formulated...

Briefs : Aerospace
Digitally Steered Phased Antenna Array for GPS Applications

GPS signals are sparse and weak at high altitudes above the GPS constellation; this includes GEO and HEO orbit regimes. Spacecraft operating here need a high-sensitivity receiver capable of acquiring and tracking these weak signals throughout their orbits. Most space GPS receivers are...

Briefs : Aerospace
Broadband Circularly Polarized Antenna Array for Mars Rover Direct-to-Earth Communications

Mars rovers and other landers typically use UHF relay to return their science and engineering data to Earth. Direct-To-Earth (DTE) communications are typically used for commanding. If future UHF relay capability becomes diminished, Mars landers may be...

Briefs : Aerospace
Robust, Low-Density Parity- Check Decoder Design to Mitigate Pulsed Radio Frequency Interference

Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) codes are a class of forward error correction (FEC) linear block codes that provide near-capacity performance for power-efficient communications. Optimum decoding requires accurate combining ratio estimation to scale...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: September 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just...

Articles : Aerospace
Collaborative Robots Transform Traditional Assembly

Few production arenas are changing as quickly as small parts assembly. The electronics industry, in particular, has seen demand skyrocket past the supply of skilled labor. As conventional assembly methods diminish in value, manufacturers are finding it strategically and economically imperative...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Computer and Displays Help Control and Maneuver Crew Transportation System
Space-qualified boards and subsystems
Aitech Defense Systems
Chatsworth, CA

The Boeing Company selected Aitech Defense Systems to provide space-grade products and services to support the...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
CubeSat Launches With 3D-Printed Components
Windform XT 2.0 3D printing material
Mooresville, NC

A team of students from the University of Kentucky and Morehead State University developed the KySat-2 project, a 1U CubeSat that launched into orbit as part of NASA’s ElaNa...

Articles : Aerospace
Flight Controller Software Protects Lightweight, Flexible Aircraft

NASA Technology

Since its founding in 1958, NASA has made profound contributions to aviation, including advancing our understanding of flight mechanics—the study of forces that affect aircraft in flight—and devising ways to improve aircraft performance.

Products : Aerospace
Product of the Month: September 2015

CD-adapco, Melville, NY, has released STAR-CCM+® v10.04 simulation software that features a new finite element-based Solid Stress Solver, enabling both computational solid mechanics and computational fluid dynamics from a single, integrated environment. The new release also includes the Adjoint Solver for...

News : Test & Measurement
Crash Test Helps Improve Emergency Response

NASA’s Langley Research Center hoisted a Cessna 172 aircraft 100 feet into the air by cables and released it. The plane plummeted onto a slab of dirt in a violent but controlled experiment that will help NASA improve aviation emergency response times. The test is part of a push to bolster the...

News : Data Acquisition
Database Could Make Airport Ground Movements Quicker and Greener

Growth in air traffic and passenger numbers has led to warnings that airports could become bottlenecks in the global air transportation system. Ensuring efficient movement of aircraft on the ground is a key way for airport stakeholders to save time, reduce costs, and improve carbon...

News : Semiconductors & ICs
Thin Ribbon of Flexible Electronics Monitors Aircraft Health

A hybrid technology mixes traditional electronics with flexible, high-performance electronics and new 3D printing technologies. The system takes a razor-thin silicon integrated circuit and places it on a flexible, bendable, or even foldable plastic-like material. The circuitry can fit...

News : Propulsion
Researchers Help NASA Eliminate Vibration in Space System Joints

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 expansion joints serve several functions in rocket propulsion systems, perhaps most critically as connectors...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vibration Table Promises Different Ways of Testing

Vibration machines are crucial to test the forces that make things fall apart in the bumpy real world, from small components to complete systems like airplanes or nuclear weapons. Large, high-frequency vibration machines that shake things in several directions simultaneously are relatively new....

News : Imaging
Measurements of Pluto’s Atmosphere Reveal Surprises

NASA's New Horizons probe performed the first-ever flyby of Pluto, zooming within 7,800 miles of its frigid surface. The close encounter is giving researchers their first up-close looks at Pluto, which has remained mysterious since its 1930 discovery.

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: August 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just...

Articles : Aerospace
Connectivity in Aircraft Interior Electronic Systems

The use of high-density, lightweight fiber optics is increasing in networks and electronic systems for equipping aircraft interiors.

The civil aviation market comprises commercial passenger planes, cargo planes, private planes, private jets, and helicopters. Design engineers strive to...

Articles : Aerospace
Servo Motors Help Launch Vehicles Optimize Fuel
Servo motors
Clearwater, FL

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) builds economical launch vehicles like the Falcon 9 to carry a range of payloads into orbit. One way to control cost is by optimizing fuel...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Electrical Connectors Provide Signal Integrity for Orion
KA Series PCB connectors and D-Sub Series connectors
Smiths Connectors
Costa Mesa, CA

Development of NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle was a complex undertaking involving a vast number of subcontractors across...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Custom 3D Printers Revolutionize the Space Supply Chain

NASA Technology

Like a desert caravan, a space flight crew has to bring with it everything it will need over the course of its journey into an utterly barren environment. This has always meant allotting room for every gyroscope or astrolabe, every LED housing or oil lamp. In space...

Products : Aerospace
Product of the Month: August 2015

Microchip Technology, Chandler, AZ, offers the PAC1921 high-side current/power sensor with both a digital output and a configurable analog output that can present power, current, or voltage over a single output pin. Power-related output values are also available over the 2-Wire digital bus, which is compatible...

News : Electronics & Computers
Simulations Reveal Material with Record-Setting Melting Point

Using advanced computers and a computational technique to simulate physical processes at the atomic level, researchers at Brown University have predicted that a material made from hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon would have the highest known melting point: 4,400 kelvins (7,460 degrees...

News : Imaging
NASA System Would Enable Unmanned Aircraft to Fly in US Airspace

NASA, working with government and industry partners, is testing a system that would make it possible for unmanned aircraft to fly routine operations in United States airspace. The tests engage the core air traffic infrastructure and supporting software components through a live and...

News : Aerospace
Jet Contrails Affect Ground Temperatures and Climate

High in the sky where the cirrus ice crystal clouds form, jet contrails draw their crisscross patterns. Now researchers have found that these elevated ice cloud trails can influence temperatures on the ground and affect local climate.

News : Aerospace
Material That Mimics Owl Wings Could Make Planes Quieter

A newly designed material that mimics the wing structure of owls could help make wind turbines, computer fans, and planes much quieter. Early wind tunnel tests of the coating have shown a substantial reduction in noise without any noticeable effect on aerodynamics.

Briefs : Aerospace
Scientific Balloons as Solar Sails

Existing scientific research balloons such as those launched from Wallops Flight Facility could be placed in near- Earth space where they would perform as solar sails, providing relatively inexpensive propulsion systems for interplanetary missions. The balloons would accelerate at rates comparable with the ion...

Briefs : Aerospace
Non-Thermal, Plasma-Assisted Catalytic Reactor for CO2 Methanation

Converting in-situ resources such as CO2, which is the main component of the Mars atmosphere, into methane for rocket propellants can significantly reduce the cost and risk of human exploration while at the same time enabling new mission concepts and long-term...