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Category: Aerospace Engineering

The Moon, Mars, or Stay Home?

This coming Saturday marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first landing of humans on the moon.  I remember staying up late in my bathrobe and watching the blurry images on our old black-and-white tube-model TV as Neil Armstrong first set foot on the dusty surface.  I was no more moonstruck than most fifteen-year-olds were at the time.  I enjoyed the attention that engineers and high technology were getting as a part of the space program.  But the geopolitical forces that…

unique test bench to measure collision impact

No drones allowed in the vicinity of helicopters. Credit: Michael May The rapid rise in the number of drones worldwide has been accompanied by increasing reports of near misses with commercial aircraft. In 2017, while coming in to land, a Canadian passenger aircraft actually collided with a drone, narrowly escaping catastrophe. Bird-strike tests for aircraft are mandatory. To date, however, there is no equivalent standard test procedure for collisions with drones. In order to to be able to fundamentally understand…

Solving for Urban Air Travel: A Q&A with François Sillion, Director of Uber ATCP

Bolstering Uber’s position at the leading edge of transportation technology, the new Advanced Technologies Center in Paris (ATCP) supports the development of Uber Air, our effort to add a third dimension to our platform using flying vehicles.  Leading ATCP is François Sillion, who recently served as director of artificial intelligence at Inria, France’s national research institute for the digital sciences. François earned his Ph.D. in Physics and Computer Graphics from the Ecole Normale Supérieure and has enjoyed a long career…

Interior wall brings breath of fresh air to home of the future

Bill Hutzel, a professor of mechanical engineering technology, and Danielle LeClerc, an undergraduate student who works on the Biowall team, are inspecting the plants used for the project. Credit: Purdue Research Foundation image/Hope Sale More than 3.8 million deaths worldwide each year are blamed on household air pollution, and scientists are turning to many strategies to try to clean the air in homes and business, including the use of everyday plants. A Purdue University project called the Biowall is showing…

No direct link between North Atlantic currents, sea level along New England coast — ScienceDaily

A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) clarifies what influence major currents in the North Atlantic have on sea level along the northeastern United States. The study, published June 13 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined both the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) — a conveyor belt of currents that move warmer waters north and cooler waters south in the Atlantic — and historical records of sea level in coastal New England. “Scientists…

How do foams collapse? Two distinct physical mechanisms identified for how simple foams collapse — ScienceDaily

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have successfully found two distinct mechanisms by which foams can collapse, yielding insight into the prevention/acceleration of foam rupture in industrial materials e.g. foods, cosmetics, insulation, stored chemicals. When a bubble breaks, they found that a collapse event propagates via impact with the receding film and tiny scattered droplets breaking other bubbles. Identifying which mechanism is dominant in different foams may help tailor them to specific applications. Foams play a key role in a wide…

Boeing wanted to wait 3 years to fix Max flaw

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Two key lawmakers said Friday that Boeing planned to delay fixing a nonworking safety alert on its 737 Max aircraft for three years and sped up the process only after the first of two deadly crashes involving Max planes last October. U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Rick Larsen of Washington disclosed the decision in letters sent to Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration seeking details on what the plane maker and the agency knew…

Origami-inspired materials could soften the blow for reusable spacecraft — ScienceDaily

Space vehicles like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 are designed to be reusable. But this means that, like Olympic gymnasts hoping for a gold medal, they have to stick their landings. 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 the force and soften the blow. University of Washington researchers have developed a novel solution…

Sandia launches a bus into space

A sounding rocket designed and launched by Sandia National Laboratories lifts off from the Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii on April 24. Credit: Sandia National Laboratories Sandia National Laboratories recently launched a bus into space. Not the kind with wheels that go round and round, but the kind of device that links electronic devices (a USB cable, short for “universal serial bus,” is one common example). The bus was among 16 total experiments aboard two sounding rockets that were launched…

One more thing… new Speed Page

Congratulations on making it through Speed Week. In the last week, Cloudflare has: described how our global network speeds up the Internet, launched a HTTP/2 prioritisation model that will improve web experiences on all browsers, launched an image resizing service which will deliver the optimal image to every device, optimized live video delivery, detailed how to stream progressive images so that they render twice as fast – using the flexibility of our new HTTP/2 prioritisation model and finally, prototyped a…