Aeronautics & Space

Tiny tubes and far away stars—large metalens images the night sky

By Guest Contributor / March 5, 2024

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences developed a method for creating 100-millimeter-diameter metalenses. Scaling up metalenses to this size makes applications in astronomy and free-space optical communications possible.

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Health hazards of space travel: Investigating the effects of high-energy radiation on synthetic bone materials

By Lisa McDonald / February 23, 2024

Exposure to high-energy radiation is a main health concern for future human space travel. Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County investigated the effects of high-energy radiation on hydroxyapatite, an important bone material.

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Heating up space science: A review of UHTCs for radiation-cooled thermal protective systems

By Lisa McDonald / February 6, 2024

Research on ultrahigh-temperature ceramics (UHTCs) for hypersonic and space vehicle applications is gaining increased attention and funding. This CTT summarizes an open-access review paper on the measurement and enhancement of UHTCs coatings for radiation-cooled thermal protective systems.

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New frontiers in space travel: A review of ultrahigh-temperature ceramic properties and processes

By Lisa McDonald / December 19, 2023

Ultrahigh-temperature ceramics (UHTCs) are a promising class of materials for next-generation aerospace technologies. Several ACerS members just published a review paper on UHTCs, describing their properties and overviewing traditional and novel manufacturing methods to synthesis these emerging materials.

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Electronics in space—high-temperature electrical tests reveal potential of various packaging materials for silicon carbide sensors

By Lisa McDonald / November 21, 2023

Silicon carbide electronics are expected to play a role in future space missions to hot celestial bodies, such as Venus and the sun. A new study by researchers at NASA Glenn Research Center investigated the electrical properties of several ceramic and glass packaging materials to determine which would best protect silicon carbide electronics at temperatures of more than 800°C.

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Plane protection: Alumina and titania improve the corrosion resistance of thermal barrier coatings to molten glass

By Lisa McDonald / August 18, 2023

Thermal barrier coatings protect engine components from extreme heat, but they can be damaged by the dust that gets sucked in and turned into molten glass. Previous studies found yttria-stabilized zirconia coatings doped with alumina and titania demonstrated improved corrosion resistance against this molten glass. Now, researchers in Turkey explored whether these additives could improve the resistance of ceria-stabilized coatings as well.

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Dusty data—hydrophobic ceramic surfaces significantly reduce adhesion of simulated lunar dust

By Lisa McDonald / August 11, 2023

Dust mitigation is a priority for space agencies to prevent damage to equipment during surface missions on the moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies. Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and NASA Langley Research Center used laser ablation to pattern two ceramics with hydrophobic surfaces, which led to a reduction in the adhesion of simulated lunar dust.

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Video: Year-long simulated Mars mission taking place in 3D-printed concrete habitat

By Lisa McDonald / July 19, 2023

Materials are not the only challenge to carrying out a successful space mission—the toll on a crew’s cognitive and physical performance must also be anticipated. In June 2023, NASA announced the start of its first year-long simulated Mars surface mission, which will take place within a 3D-printed concrete habitat.

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Introduction to “Thermal and environmental barrier coatings” for ACT @ 20

By Jonathon Foreman / June 16, 2023

To celebrate the milestone of the 20th volume of the International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, the editorial team assembled a selection of journal papers representing the excellent work from the advanced ceramics community. The focus this month is thermal and environmental barrier coatings.

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Video: Caltech announces first-ever wireless power transfer of space-based solar energy back to Earth

By Lisa McDonald / June 7, 2023

The idea of harvesting solar energy in outer space and beaming it back to Earth is a science-fiction concept that in recent decades gained real-world legs. Now, the California Institute of Technology announced that an experiment through its ongoing Space Solar Power Project beamed solar energy collected in space back to Earth for the first time.

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