Aeronautics & Space

Video: NASA technology extracts oxygen from Martian atmosphere

By Lisa McDonald / May 5, 2021

To achieve future manned missions to Mars, we must be able to extract oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. An experimental instrument aboard the Perseverance rover called MOXIE succeeded in extracting oxygen for the first time during a test on April 20.

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Filling in the gaps: A review of self-crack-healing in ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / January 5, 2021

As ceramics find more uses in the automotive and aerospace industries, interest in creating ceramics that can self-heal cracks continues to grow. A review paper published in ACerS’ premier open-access journal looks at some of the experimental and numerical studies on this topic.

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Video: Remembering Arecibo Observatory

By Lisa McDonald / December 2, 2020

On Dec. 1, 2020, the instrument platform of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico collapsed on the radio dish below. In honor of the observatory’s nearly 60-year run, today’s CTT highlights some of the important discoveries made using data collected from the radio telescope.

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Video: Tracking the moon with laser beams

By Lisa McDonald / August 19, 2020

For more than 50 years, the Apollo-era Laser Ranging Retroreflector experiment helped scientists track the moon’s orbit and distance from Earth. The efficiency of the moon-based reflectors decreased over time, though, so NASA scientists looked to reflect light from a spacecraft-based reflector instead—a feat they recently achieved for the first time.

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Will it spall? Phase diagrams, thermal expansion, and barrier coating degradation

By Jonathon Foreman / August 11, 2020

Thermal and environmental barrier coatings are often used to protect turbine blades made from ceramic matrix composites—but these coatings are prone to damage caused by environmental silicate contamination. In three papers published in JACerS, researchers provide extensive insights into the many aspects of damage.

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Video: Harvest solar energy from outer space

By Lisa McDonald / June 3, 2020

In their search for places to install PV infrastructure, solar companies have taken several creative approaches, including floating solar panels on reservoirs and co-locating them with crops. Space-based solar power is another concept studied since the 1970s, and this May, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory launched the first orbital experiment with space-based solar power.

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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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