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Category: Aerospace Engineering

Human influence on global droughts goes back 100 years, NASA study finds — ScienceDaily

Human-generated greenhouse gases and atmospheric particles were affecting global drought risk as far back as the early 20th century, according to a study from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City. The study, published in the journal Nature, compared predicted and real-world soil moisture data to look for human influences on global drought patterns in the 20th century. Climate models predict that a human “fingerprint” — a global pattern of regional drying and wetting characteristic of…

New inspection process freezes parts in ice

University of Cincinnati professor Francesco Simonetti holds up a manufactured part encased in ice. The ice works as a coupling medium for ultrasonic inspection. Credit: Corrie Stookey/CEAS Marketing “How on Earth did they make that?” asks Francesco Simonetti, commenting on an ice sculpture of a swan. Simonetti isn’t admiring the artistry of shaping a block of ice into a bird. He’s admiring the swan’s crystal-clear transparency. Simonetti, an aerospace engineering professor at the University of Cincinnati, is an expert in…

Controlling instabilities gives closer look at chemistry from hypersonic vehicles — ScienceDaily

While studying the chemical reactions that occur in the flow of gases around a vehicle moving at hypersonic speeds, researchers at the University of Illinois used a less-is-more method to gain greater understanding of the role of chemical reactions in modifying unsteady flows that occur in the hypersonic flow around a double-wedge shape. “We reduced the pressure by a factor of eight, which is something experimentalists couldn’t do,” said Deborah Levin, researcher in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the…

Tiny, fast, accurate technology on the radar

The new device is compact: it fits into a 10-centimeter box, weighs less than 150 grams and is powered by a 5V battery. Credit: KAUST A tiny, portable radar device could allow visually impaired people, or unmanned moving devices to detect objects in real time. Radar technology has been used for decades in aviation, defense and speed-camera technology. Now, a team at KAUST, in collaboration with scientists at the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, have created a compact, low-cost…

Embracing papercuts | Dropbox Tech Blog

We’ve all seen “helicopter parents,” hovering over their kids to catch them at the slightest inclination they might fall. We swear we’d never do that, that we’d give our kids room to grow and learn from mistakes. Then we become tech leads and turn into the worst kind of “helicopter leaders.” I was certainly guilty of micromanagement. It started with code reviews, commenting on every minor issue I could find. Hey, just setting a high quality bar. Then it moved to second-guessing…

What Earth’s gravity reveals about climate change — ScienceDaily

On March 17, 2002, the German-US satellite duo GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) were launched to map the global gravitational field with unprecedented precision. After all, the mission lasted a good 15 years — more than three times as long as expected. When the two satellites burnt up in the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018, respectively, they had recorded the Earth’s gravitational field and its changes over time in more than 160 months.…

Hubble peers at cosmic blue bauble — ScienceDaily

Globular clusters are inherently beautiful objects, but the subject of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, Messier 3, is commonly acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful of them all. Containing an incredible half-million stars, this 8-billion-year-old cosmic bauble is one of the largest and brightest globular clusters ever discovered. However, what makes Messier 3 extra special is its unusually large population of variable stars — stars that fluctuate in brightness over time. New variable stars continue to be…

A Jetsons future? Assessing the role of flying cars in sustainable mobility — ScienceDaily

In the 1960s animated sitcom The Jetsons, George Jetson commutes to work in his family-size flying car, which miraculously transforms into a briefcase at the end of the trip. A new study of the environmental sustainability impacts of flying cars, formally known as electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or VTOLs, finds that they wouldn’t be suitable for a Jetsons-style short commute. However, VTOLs — which combine the convenience of vertical takeoff and landing like a helicopter with the efficient…

Astronomers find evidence of a planet with a mass almost 13 times that of Jupiter — ScienceDaily

In the past three decades, almost 4,000 planet-like objects have been discovered orbiting isolated stars outside the Solar System (exoplanets). Beginning in 2011, it was possible to use NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope to observe the first exoplanets in orbit around young binary systems of two live stars with hydrogen still burning in their core. Brazilian astronomers have now found the first evidence of the existence of an exoplanet orbiting an older or more evolved binary in which one of the…

Researchers tap rare pristine air to reveal pollution’s impact — ScienceDaily

Five years ago, researchers spent three hours packed aboard a steamy Gulfstream-1 research aircraft as it zig-zagged between pristine air over the Amazon rainforest and polluted air nearby. It was like a trip back (and forth) through time, as scientists weaved between the two vastly different settings, snagging air samples characteristic of today’s industrial environment as well as samples of unpolluted air, like that before the industrial age. An international team of scientists led by Manish Shrivastava of the U.S.…