Aeronautics & Space

Preparing for hypersonic flight—wing shape affects thermal shock behavior of UHTCs

By Jonathon Foreman / March 27, 2020

Ultrahigh-temperature ceramics are promising materials for protecting aircraft wings from friction during hypersonic flight—but thermal shock can cause these ceramics to crack. In the cover article for the March 2020 International Journal of Ceramic Engineering & Science, researchers in China report how wing shape affects thermal shock behavior of UHTCs.

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Observing at the extremes— nanomechanical materials testing at over 2,000°C

By Lisa McDonald / March 3, 2020

Performing microscale experiments at ultrahigh temperatures is difficult because the high heat can destroy the testing mechanisms. Researchers demonstrated a new method, which combines targeted laser heating and transmission electron microscopy, that may overcome this problem.

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Video: Glass-ceramic allows detailed imaging of sun’s surface

By Lisa McDonald / February 19, 2020

The first images released from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope show the sun’s surface in unprecedented detail. Such imaging is possible because of ultra-low thermal expansion glass-ceramic mirrors, which are used in numerous large-scale telescope projects around the globe.

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Faster than a speeding bullet: A review on fiber reinforced UHTCMCs for hypersonic aircraft and more

By Jonathon Foreman / February 4, 2020

Ultra-high temperature ceramic matrix composites could be used on some of the hottest portions of hypersonic aircraft if their brittleness is reduced. Research on using fibers to reinforce these materials increased greatly in the past decade, and a recent review article in an ACerS journal discusses the progress and challenges in this field.

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Video: Starlink strife and a possible four-satellite solution

By Lisa McDonald / January 29, 2020

With just under 200 of 12,000 satellites launched, SpaceX’s planned Starlink constellation is already causing major complications for astronomers. Global internet coverage could theoretically be achieved with only four satellites, and a new paper proposes a way to make such a constellation economically feasible.

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Lucrative lunar? Startup companies raise significant funding to mine the moon for rare earth elements and more

By April Gocha / January 7, 2020

A whole slate of startup companies are raising millions of dollars in funding to support their missions to extract resources from space—but is mining the moon for rare earth elements even feasible?

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Video: Launch into testing—Lamborghini sends carbon fiber samples to International Space Station

By Lisa McDonald / November 6, 2019

On November 2, Lamborghini sent carbon fiber composite samples to the International Space Station to test the effects of extreme space conditions on composite materials. The project is part of a collaboration with the Houston Methodist Research Institute to research biocompatibility of composite materials.

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Video: World’s largest optical lens moves toward completion

By Lisa McDonald / October 23, 2019

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, targeted to begin operations in October 2022, is currently under construction in Chile. Funded through the National Science Foundation, LSST will contain both the largest convex mirror and largest optical lens ever made.

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Video: 120-year-old solar eclipse caught on film

By Lisa McDonald / June 26, 2019

The one and only total solar eclipse of 2019 takes place on July 2. To prepare for the occasion, take a look at the oldest surviving footage of a solar eclipse from 1900.

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Video: First five-seater air taxi takes flight

By Lisa McDonald / June 5, 2019

If flying cars are to be sustainably integrated into society, they need to hold multiple passengers. Air taxi startup Lilium GmbH recently conducted a first test flight with its five-seater jet.

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