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Memory Metals Shape the Evolution of Aviation

Shape-memory alloy (SMA) is a functional metal with unique properties that allow it to be trained to move on its own. Researchers at NASA Glenn partnered with Boeing to test how shape-memory alloys can be used in deployable vortex generators (VGs), the tiny fins you might have noticed on airplane wings that help control airflow during flight.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Materials, Metals
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Thin Heat Shield Protects Superfast Aircraft

The world of aerospace increasingly relies on carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites to build the structures of satellites, rockets, and jet aircraft. But the life of those materials is limited by how they handle heat.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Imaging, Materials, Propulsion
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System Prevents Speedy Drones from Crashing

MIT researchers developed a trajectory-planning model that helps drones fly at high speeds through previously unexplored areas, while staying safe. The model — named “FASTER” — estimates the quickest possible path from a starting point to a destination point across all areas the drone can and can’t see, with no regard for safety.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense
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“Circulatory” Air Conditioning Could Keep Planes Cooler

The complex network of veins that keeps us cool during the heat of summer has inspired engineers to create novel thermal management systems. A new computer program could be key to mimicking the body’s evolution-optimized cooling system in functional materials.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Composites, Materials
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New Navigation System Enables Critical Assured PNT in Contested Environments

Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., has been selected by the U.S. Army to provide a next-generation Mounted Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing System (MAPS) for manned ground vehicles. Known as ‘MAPS Gen II’ by the Army, the system will maintain the integrity of positioning and timing during operations in GPS-contested environments. Collins Aerospace will deliver new systems to be evaluated for a year with the potential for fielding up to 8,000 additional vehicles upon completion.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Motion Control, Positioning Equipment, Transportation
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Preparing for the Consequences of a Chemical Attack

Is the U.S. ready for a chemical attack on the homeland? With the very real possibility of a chemical attack in public spaces like stadiums, religious buildings, museums and theaters, or even contamination of the food or water supply, the U.S. needs to be prepared to take appropriate action to save lives. This means having security measures in place to prevent or minimize the attack. It also means having effective medical responses that consider the quantity of medical supplies needed, transportation of those supplies to the scene, and medical facilities and personnel to care for the injured.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Mathematical/Scientific Software, Simulation Software, Software
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Armoring Satellites to Survive and Operate Through Attacks

Satellites do a lot of things — they help people navigate from one place to another, they deliver television programming, they search for new stars and exo-planets and they enable the U.S. nuclear deterrence strategy. But until recently, one thing they haven’t done — or needed to do — is defend themselves. That may soon change.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics
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Improving Flight One Breath at a Time

NASA’s Pilot Breathing Assessment (PBA) program documents how pilots breathe in fighter aircraft while flying a variety of scripted profiles to better understand how flight conditions may cause pilots to experience a physiological episode during flight.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aviation, Defense
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Composite Metal Foam Outperforms Aluminum for Aircraft Wings

The leading edges of aircraft wings have to meet a very demanding set of characteristics. New research shows that a combination of steel composite metal foam (CMF) and epoxy resin has more desirable characteristics for use as a leading-edge material than the aluminum currently in widespread use.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Composites, Materials, Metals
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NASA’s Supersonic X-59 QueSST Being Built at Famed Factory

In the high desert of California, where some of the most important aircraft in aviation history have been built and flown, the next airplane destined to make history continues to take shape on a legendary factory floor. That airplane is NASA’s X-59 QueSST (short for Quiet SuperSonic Technology), an experimental piloted aircraft designed to fly faster than sound without producing sonic booms.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Defense
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