Teams from three of the top United States aerospace corporations have spent the last year studying how to meet NASA’s sustainability goals for cleaner, more efficient aircraft. Among the requirements that prompted adventurous design work from the companies was a 50% reduction in fuel consumption and a 75% reduction in harmful emissions.
Every year, students studying aeronautical and astronautical design brace themselves for the time-consuming process of writing their own code to optimize aerospace designs. In search of a better way, a team of engineers at the Aerospace Design Lab at Stanford University has released SU2, an open-source application that models the effects of fluids moving over aerodynamic surfaces.
Marines running low on ammo may one day use an app on their digital handhelds to summon a robotic helicopter to deliver supplies within minutes, enabled by technologies from a new Office of Naval Research program. The Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System is a five-year, $98 million effort to develop sensors and control technologies for robotic vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) aviation researchers are developing an information system to help unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) make safer emergency landings and better enable their wider commercial use.
Using powerful magnets to levitate fruit flies can provide vital clues to how biological organisms are affected by weightless conditions in space, researchers at The University of Nottingham say. The team of scientists has shown that simulating weightlessness in fruit flies here on earth with the use of magnets causes the flies to walk more quickly.
Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is an intriguing, alien world that's covered in a thick atmosphere with abundant methane. With an average surface temperature of -300 F and a diameter just less than half of the Earth's, Titan boasts methane clouds and fog, as well as rainstorms and plentiful lakes of liquid methane. The origins of many of these features have remained puzzling to scientists. Until now.
A Russian spacecraft bound for a moon of Mars and stuck in Earth's orbit will come crashing back next month, but its toxic fuel and radioactive material on board will pose no danger of contamination, the Russian space agency said.
The resources invested in aerospace, defense, and national security R&D continue to dominate U.S. federal funding and constitute an important part of overall global R&D. U.S. federally funded defense R&D will reach nearly $75 billion in 2012, exceeding every other country's total R&D except that of China, Japan, and Germany.
About 18% of all R&D performed in the U.S. is basic research, with academia having the largest share (60%). For the past 50 years, academia has had the largest share of basic research work.
The following long-term developments are shaping the global distribution of R&D.
The media seem to be filled with two perspectives on China’s R&D capabilities: (1) comments on its technology accomplishments and (2) attempts to put those accomplishments into perspective. Indeed, China has accomplished much over the past decade.
Many people call this the Asian Century because of the rapid economic, population, and technology growth in this area and the trends forecast for the next several decades. Asia has the world's largest regional gross domestic product (GDP), with its share currently at about 38% and increasing at about 1% per year.
The European Union (EU), one of the "R&D Triad" regions along with the U.S. and Asia, consists of 27 countries and three candidate countries (Croatia, Macedonia, and Turkey). The EU and 11 other countries all participate in the European Commission's (EC's) Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for Research and Technological Development—which runs from 2007 to 2013 with a budget of about $10 billion per year.
The following Websites are good sources of information related to the global R&D enterprise. Much of the information in the 2012 Global R&D Funding Forecast was derived from these sources, which are certainly not all-inclusive.
Federally funded research can be a solution to some of the nation's top challenges, say government laboratory executives.
NASA Glenn Research Center's Ramon (Ray) Lugo III speaks on topics including funding, peer review, entrepreneurship, nanotechnology research, and communicating research missions in a social networking environment.
The tycoons of cyberspace are looking to bankroll America's resurgence in outer space, reviving "Star Trek" dreams that first interested them in science. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen made the latest step Tuesday, unveiling plans for a new commercial spaceship that, instead of blasting off a launch pad, would be carried high into the atmosphere by the widest plane ever built.
The Naval Research Laboratory Vehicle Research Section has successfully completed flight tests for the Autonomous Deployment Demonstration program. The final demonstration took place Sept. 1 at the Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma, Ariz., and consisted of a series of eight balloon-drops at altitudes of up to 57,000 ft, delivering sensor-emplacement Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft vehicles within 15 ft of their intended landing locations.
NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center recently completed NASA’s latest quiet sonic boom research study at Edwards Air Force Base. The Waveforms and Sonic boom Perception and Response, or WSPR, project gathered data from a select group of more than 100 volunteer Edwards Air Force Base residents on their individual attitudes toward sonic booms produced by aircraft in supersonic flight over Edwards.
A team of scientists have used the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's Aura satellite to confirm major reductions in the levels of a key air pollutant generated by coal power plants in the eastern United States. The pollutant, sulfur dioxide, contributes to the formation of acid rain and can cause serious health problems.
A weapon prototype developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) successfully hit two high-speed boat targets during recent testing. ONR researchers produced the Low-Cost Imaging Terminal Seeker, a suite of low-cost technologies that modify existing helicopter-borne rockets into precision-guided weapons.
With the successful launch of the Mars Science Laboratory on Saturday, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers and scientists from the French space institute IRAP are poised to begin focusing the energy of a million light bulbs on the surface of the Red Planet to help determine whether Mars was or is habitable.
Using a little side antenna rigged with a cone, technicians in Australia have received the first signal from an unmanned Russian spacecraft bound for a moon of Mars since it got stuck in Earth’s orbit two weeks ago. The signal raises hopes the mission might be saved.
As big as a car and as well-equipped as a laboratory, NASA's newest Mars rover blows away its predecessors in size and skill. Powered by plutonium, Curiosity will be lowered to the Martian surface by a jet pack and tether system similar to those used by sky cranes.
Future astronauts spending Thanksgiving in space may not have to forgo one of the most traditional parts of the day's feast: fresh sweet potatoes. A Purdue University team developed methods for growing sweet potatoes that reduce the required growing space while not decreasing the amount of food that each plant produces.