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Category: Aerospace Engineering

NASA InSight lander ‘hears’ Martian winds — ScienceDaily

NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport InSight lander, which touched down on Mars just 10 days ago, has provided the first ever “sounds” of Martian winds on the Red Planet. InSight sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 15 mph (5 to 7 meters a second) on Dec. 1, from northwest to southeast. The winds were consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks…

Researchers devise 3-D printer that can make energetic materials safer, more environmentally friendly

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Purdue University researchers have devised a method of 3-D printing that can produce energetic materials with fine geometric features faster and with less expense than traditional methods, while also being safer and more environmentally friendly. Jeffrey Rhoads, a professor in Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering, and Emre Gunduz, a former research assistant professor at the school, along with a few colleagues, have launched a faculty-owned startup called Next Offset Solutions Inc. that makes the printers and…

Using drones to simplify film animation

Actors’ movements can be easily recorded using commercial drones, which greatly reduces the technical effort required for animated film. Credit: ETH Zurich / Tobias Nägeli Producing realistic animated film figures is a highly complex technical endeavour. ETH researchers have now shown how drones can be used to greatly reduce the effort required in the process. Drones are going to change the film industry in a major way. Tobias Nägeli, for one, is sure of that. The computer scientist, who recently…

How well do you know website performance?

How quickly did this blog post load? Did you happen to notice? Most website visitors do notice that sort of thing, even if they don’t realize it consciously. In fact, virtually all visitors have strong opinions about how quickly a website should load, how responsive it should be, and how often it should go down (preferably, never). Most users strongly prefer webpages that take under 5 seconds to load, and they’re much more likely to leave without buying products or…

The silent, lightweight aircraft doesn’t depend on fossil fuels or batteries — ScienceDaily

Since the first airplane took flight over 100 years ago, virtually every aircraft in the sky has flown with the help of moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades, and fans, which are powered by the combustion of fossil fuels or by battery packs that produce a persistent, whining buzz. Now MIT engineers have built and flown the first-ever plane with no moving parts. Instead of propellers or turbines, the light aircraft is powered by an “ionic wind” — a…

Honeycomb-like frameworks with unusual rippled shapes can produce buckle-resistant architectures

Deconstructing complex shapes into simple mathematical variables has enabled researchers to design and fabricate extremely strong cores for sandwich panels. Credit: Elsevier Composite panels that sandwich a porous inner core between two solid outer sheets are increasingly being used in aircraft to reduce weight while maintaining structural rigidity. A study led by A*STAR may help other industries exploit the benefits of sandwich panels by using three-dimensional (3-D) printing to generate core structures optimized for different mechanical loads. Many existing sandwich…

Mizzou Engineer discovers new method to measure workplace stress

Participants were required to complete process monitoring and Multi-Attribute Task Battery tasks together. Essentially, they worked as control room operators in an oil and gas refinery plant, monitoring gauges, responding to alerts, tracking information on computer screens and more. Photo by Ryan Owens. Measuring the workload for individuals doing individual tasks is becoming fairly simple. Researchers measure the time each task takes and how much time it takes up during a worker’s given day. But what about the workload of…

Laser system prevents contamination on aircraft surfaces

Credit: Wararat Sukharom, Shutterstock Scientists have developed a laser material processing method to produce textured surfaces that repel dirt and water. This technology will primarily be used in the aerospace industry. The use of coatings that mimic the lotus plant, whose leaves have self-cleaning properties, is becoming more common in a broad range of applications, from industry to medicine. When water falls on these leaves, it forms beads that roll off, taking dust and dirt with them thanks to the…

Wind tunnel and lasers provide hypersonic proving ground at Sandia National Laboratories

Aerospace engineer Steven Beresh, left, and technologist Russell Spillers of Sandia National Laboratories’ aerosciences department place a model in the hypersonic wind tunnel’s test section. Credit: Randy Montoya It’s about speed, and Sandia National Laboratories, with a hypersonic wind tunnel and advanced laser diagnostic technology, is in an excellent position to help U.S. defense agencies understand the physics associated with aircraft flying five times the speed of sound. With potential adversaries reporting successes in their own programs to develop aircraft…

Feeling the need for speed, neutrons study fluid flow for hypersonic flight

UT researchers Zhili Zhang (left) and Cary Smith, in association with researchers from the US Air Force, use neutrons at HFIR’s CG-1D instrument to investigate fluid flow dynamics for potentially improved fuel systems in hypersonic vehicles and other industrial spray-related applications. Credit: ORNL/Genevieve Martin One of the grand challenges in aerospace engineering is the development of hypersonic vehicles capable of traveling at or above Mach 5—about 4,000 miles per hour or faster. However, liquid fuel combustion at those speeds and…