A new research program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute seeks to define the next generation of low-orbit satellites that are more maneuverable, cheaper to launch, easier to hide, and longer lived. Additionally, this research holds the promise of guiding dead satellites and other space debris more safely to the Earth's surface.
A mysterious phenomenon detected by space probes has finally been explained, thanks to a massive computer simulation that was able to precisely align with details of spacecraft observations. The finding could not only solve an astrophysical puzzle, but might also lead to a better ability to predict high-energy electron streams in space that could damage satellites.
A new study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that the rapid rise in low-wage manufacturing industries overseas has had a significant impact on the United States. The disappearance of U.S. manufacturing jobs frequently leaves workers unemployed for years, if not permanently, while creating a drag on local economies and raising the amount of taxpayer-borne social insurance necessary to keep workers and their families afloat.
Tomorrow's aircraft could contribute to their power needs by harnessing energy from the wheel rotation of their landing gear to generate electricity. They could use this to power their taxiing to and from airport buildings, reducing the need to use their jet engines. This would save on aviation fuel, cut emissions, and reduce noise pollution at airports.
Near-Earth space is full of junk. NASA keeps close tabs on at least 16,000 objects larger than 10 cm in diameter. In an effort to tidy up the mess, the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) is building an $11 million satellite called CleanSpaceOne that will force debris toward Earth, burning it up in the atmosphere.
As integrated circuits and environmentally friendly technologies emerged, R&D 100 Award winners set the pace.
With a $100 million dollar investment beginning in 2009, Alcoa embarked on a complete redesign and modernization of a 50,000-ton forging press. The 92-foot structure, with five stories above and seven below the ground, began production in 1955 and is one of just five left in the United States.
Providing high-bandwidth communications for troops in remote forward operating locations is not only critical but also challenging because a reliable infrastructure optimized for remote geographic areas does not exist. DARPA recently announced the Fixed Wireless at a Distance program seeks to tackle the problem of stationary infrastructure designed specifically to overcome the challenge inherent with cell communication in remote areas.
NASA scientists are in the midst of preparing their Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed for launch later this year. Its mission will be to push the limits of software-defined radio, a communication system in which components typically implemented in hardware are instead provided by means of software.
NASA says it still has confidence in the quality of Russia's manned rockets, despite an embarrassing series of glitches and failures in the Russian space program. The Soyuz is still consider by NASA officials to be the world’s most reliable space system.
A camera aboard one of NASA's twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar spacecraft has returned its first unique view of the far side of the moon. Thousands of fourth- to eighth-grade students will select target areas on the lunar surface and send requests to the GRAIL MoonKAM Mission Operations Center in San Diego. Photos of the target areas will be sent back by the satellites for students to study.
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.
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.