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Category: Aerospace Engineering

Drone-based thermal imaging and analytics for energy efficiency

A thermal imaging test flight by an Airworks drone. Credit: MIT Sloan School of Management Say the word drone, and you’re likely to conjure up images of the latest military technology, the newest e-commerce delivery device, or something you snap a GoPro camera onto for aerial shots of the Grand Canyon. All of that is true. Increasingly, though, drone technology is entering traditional industries. One example is the construction industry, where drones are demonstrating their potential to assist in building…

Middle school youth explore nontraditional careers at MU

Middle school students and teachers get ready a day of discovery and learning at the kickoff of the nontraditional career exploration day, April 4. Photo by Melissa Grindstaff, MU College of Education. More than 70 middle school students became Mizzou Tigers for a day at a nontraditional career exploration event sponsored by University of Missouri campus partners and Commerce Bank on Wednesday, April 4. Students extracted DNA from a banana in a biochemistry lab, observed lungs inflating with oxygen during…

Quantum radar will expose stealth aircraft

Credit: University of Waterloo Stealth aircraft in the Canadian arctic will be no match for a new quantum radar system. Researchers at the University of Waterloo are developing a new technology that promises to help radar operators cut through heavy background noise and isolate objects—including stealth aircraft and missiles—with unparalleled accuracy. “In the Arctic, space weather such as geomagnetic storms and solar flares interfere with radar operation and make the effective identification of objects more challenging,” said Jonathan Baugh,…

Engineering Ethics Blog: Southwest Airlines Flight 1380: Cracks in Airline Safety?

Over the last twenty years or so, the news about airline safety in the U. S. has been mainly good.  Before last week, the last time a passenger died in a U. S. commercial airliner accident was 2009, and for some time before that it’s been true that the most dangerous part of a plane trip is the drive to the airport.  But on Tuesday April 17, the explosive decompression that resulted from an engine fan blade on Southwest Airlines…

Optimizing space travel efficiency — ScienceDaily

Sending a human into space and doing it efficiently presents a galaxy of challenges. Koki Ho, University of Illinois assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, and his graduate students, Hao Chen and Bindu Jagannatha, explored ways to integrate the logistics of space travel by looking at a campaign of lunar missions, spacecraft design, and creating a framework to optimize fuel and other resources. Ho said it’s about finding a balance between time and the amount of fuel —…

Cycling motion keeps hydrofoils upright during flight

Credit: Delft University of Technology When you’re about to fall when riding your bike, you steer into the direction of the fall without even realising it. This correction can be explained using the principles of physics; your supports, i.e. the wheels, remain in balance due to the centre of gravity. Now, for the very first time, it has also been scientifically proven that this principle of bicycle stability can also be used to maintain the stability of a hydrofoil, such…

Automated lightweight construction reduces weight and costs

The Fraunhofer ENAS manufactures printed circuit boards in screen printing on a flexible plastic film. The tracks transmit electrical impulses – for example, to make LEDs glow. Credit: Fraunhofer ENAS The aircraft of the future flies electrically and autonomously, is feather-light and can be conveniently produced in a fully automated manner. While the electrification and permanent autopilot are still in their infancy, lightweight construction is already indispensable today. Digital manufacturing processes are about to be applied. Fraunhofer will present new…

Human factors research accelerates mission planning

GTRI researchers analyze the mission planning task. Shown are Senior Research Engineer John Huggins, Research Scientist Elizabeth Weldon, Research Engineer Jerry Ray and Research Scientist Stuart Michelson. Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech The key to a successful flight mission is planning – sometimes several hours of it. Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) specialists in human factors and human computer interfaces are working with PMA-281, Strike Planning and Execution Systems in Patuxent River, Maryland, to streamline the current mission planning process…

Coding Conversations: How Challenges Can Lead to Innovation

Suja with our Big Data Platform Team  While it’s almost unheard of today to stay at one company for so long, I worked as an engineer at IBM for over a decade, growing from an intern to a senior engineering manager. Over my 12 years with IBM, I transitioned from test to development, then on to management, and also moved from mainframes to big data. I thought I was going to be a “lifer” at IBM given all the new…

Detecting volcanic eruptions — ScienceDaily

To borrow from a philosophical thought experiment: If a volcano erupts in a remote part of the world and no one hears it, does it still make a sound? Indeed, it does. And not only does the sound occur, but it also can tell scientists about the timing and duration of the eruption itself. As part of the United Nations’ Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, an International Monitoring System was built to detect any nuclear explosion on Earth — underground, underwater or…