Streamlining Jet Engine Design

Argonne National Lab scientists developed a numerical modeling tool that helps researchers better understand Rotating Detonation Engines that could one day propel the next generation of airplanes and rockets. The computer simulations are combined with X-ray experiments to help engine designers understand the fundamental physics that, ultimately, affect engine performance, thrust, and emissions.

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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.

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Army Hopes to Use AI to Create More-Efficient Fuel Cells

As part of an effort to address the gap the U.S. Army faces in its need for long-lasting power and batteries for warfighters, an Army-funded research team has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that officials say identifies a promising material for creating more-efficient fuel cells. Researchers said the system, developed at Cornell University, is a potential breakthrough in both materials science and machine learning. It relies on a collective of algorithmic bots, each performing a distinct task and sifting through hundreds to thousands of combinations of elements to create a map of phases—arrangements of atoms in relation to each other—that humans can then use to determine which might work as a new material.

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Software Accelerates Hypersonic Engine Development

Argonne National Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory developed a new numerical modeling tool that allows for a better understanding of rotating detonation engines (RDEs). Unlike conventional gas turbine engines, RDEs leverage high-intensity, self-sustaining detonation to rapidly consume the fuel-air mixture, typically in a ring-shaped, cylindrical chamber.

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Study Could Help Aircraft Avoid Dynamic Stall

University of Illinois researchers are studying the physics of dynamic stall so that it can be used beneficially and reliably by aircraft. The problem has been studied at low speeds but at higher speeds, the process becomes significantly disorganized and difficult to understand.

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Navy Launches Virtual Training Tech for Aircraft Carrier Flight Deck Crews

One of the most dangerous environments in the U.S. Navy is the deck of an aircraft carrier. Catapult systems that can remove limbs, furious engines, whipping propellers, and high winds create a hectic environment. The driving force behind all of these activities is helping a pilot land an aircraft on a short slab of pitching steel in the middle of the ocean. Although pilots are the stars of the show, they could not accomplish their missions without the support of flight deck crews, who are responsible for safely launching and recovering aircraft.

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Optimizing Winglets for More Efficient Flight

Airplane winglets reduce drag, which can translate to higher speed or to allow a pilot to throttle back and save fuel. It also helps to reduce wingtip vortices that can be problematic for airplanes flying in their wake. Although winglets have been around since the mid-1970s, there is still a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and angles.

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Aircraft Scheduling Models Ease Traveler Frustration

Flight schedules that allow for a little carefully designed wiggle room could prevent the frustration of cascading airport delays and cancellations. By focusing on the early phases of flight schedule planning and delays at various scales, researchers have developed models to help create schedules that are less susceptible to delays and easier to fix once disrupted.

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Drones Learn Autonomous Flying by Imitating Cars and Bikes

The algorithm DroNet allows drones to fly completely by themselves through the streets of a city and in indoor environments. It produces two outputs for each single input image: a steering angle to keep the drone navigating while avoiding obstacles, and a collision probability to let the drone recognize dangerous situations and promptly react to them.

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Simulation Results Could Help Quiet Jet Noise

Argonne National Laboratory engineers are working to create high-fidelity computer simulations to determine how jet turbulence produces noise. Working on Argonne’s supercomputer Mira, the team is applying computational fluid dynamics to capture the physics of the turbulence that is making the noise.

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