Aeronautics & Space

Mars cleaning tech offers method to sweep dust off Earth’s solar panels

By / August 25, 2010

PV panels on the Mars rover Spirit were covered with dust over a two-year period. Credit: NASA/JPL. Self-cleaning surfaces aren’t a particularly novel idea, and self-cleaning glass commercial products made by companies, such as Saint Gobain, have been around in various products for at least five years – but at a premium price. These technologies…

Read More

Solar sail uses smart glass to steer through cosmos

By / July 27, 2010

Artist’s conception of solar sail. (Credit: JAXA.) Japan has successfully deployed a solar sail on a spacecraft, demonstrating for the first time that such technology can be used to convert the sun’s energy to the power needed to move a vessel in the cosmos. As an added feature, the IKAROS spacecraft uses LCD technology to…

Read More

50 R&D 100 Awards given to national labs

By / July 22, 2010

Ultrasensitive Nanomechanical Transducers Based on Nonlinear Resonance, one of ORNL’s 2010 R&D 100 award winners. (Credit: ORNL.) R&D Magazine awarded DOE and other federal labs with 50 of its R&D 100 Awards. The awards, sometimes referred to as the “Academy Awards of Science,” are presented to those labs and companies that have been a major…

Read More

40 years and still growing: Polymer-derived ceramics field still on upswing

By / July 1, 2010

A quartet of researchers from Italy and Germany have published an fascinating overview of polymer-derived ceramics in the most recent edition of JACerS. Paolo Colombo, Gabriela Mera, Ralf Riedel and Gian Domenico Sorarù write in “Polymer-Derived Ceramics: 40 Years of Research and Innovation in Advanced Ceramics” (free access), that: “The polymer precursors represent inorganic/organometallic systems…

Read More

Electrostrictive ceramic actuators to shape mirror of next space telescope

By / April 28, 2010

According to a NASA Tech Brief, the Next Generation Space Telescope – aka, the James Webb Space Telescope – will be using electrostrictive ceramic actuators that can function at low temperatures to control the shapes of mirrors. The actuators, developed by two ACerS members, Maureen L. Mulvihill and Mark A. Ealey of Xinetics, a division…

Read More

Video of the week: Linda Jones on high temperature oxidation and corrosion of ceramics and glass

By / April 21, 2010

[flash https://ceramics.org/ceramictechtoday/wp-content/video/linda_jones.flv mode=1 f={image=/ceramictechtoday/wp-content/video/linda_jones.jpg}] ACerS Fellow Linda Jones is the Hewlett Professor of Engineering at Smith College. Through much of her career, Jones has focused on how materials behave when exposed to oxygen and other gases under conditions of high temperatures and high levels of vibrations, such as might be found on the leading-edge surfaces…

Read More

Please welcome the newest addition to the periodic table: Element 117

By / April 8, 2010

According to a release from the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, a new element has been discovered, one that resides in a tiny slice of paradise called the island of stability. Element 117– yet to receive a formal name – is the fifth new element scientists have discovered in the past decade. “The discovery of element…

Read More

Video of the week: Ultrahigh-temperature ceramics and hypersonic flight

By / March 31, 2010

Greg Hilmas and Bill Fahrenholtz, both professors at Missouri S&T, are working on developing ceramic materials that can withstand ultrahigh temperatures (1,600°C–3,000°C) that will be encountered by hypersonic planes of the future. Ultrahigh-temperature ceramic materials are particularly needed on the leading edges of acute flight surfaces to withstand the intense heat that will be generated…

Read More

Missouri S&T pioneers process for tough, custom aerospace materials

By / March 5, 2010

A group out of Missouri University of Science and Technology says it has a new method for mixing metals with ceramic that will allow stronger, heat-resistant, functionally graded materials for the creation of hypersonic and other ultrahigh-temperature aerospace components. The group, led by Ming Lue, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at S&T, uses a…

Read More

Composite materials designed for hypersonic flight

By / February 11, 2010

University of Queensland (Australia) researchers are testing new materials that can withstand the extreme heat experienced by hypersonic aircraft to enable longer flight times. The tests use scramjet engines composed of composite materials that may be able to withstand the heat produced at Mach 8. The $1.5 million project is run by Australia’s Defence Materials…

Read More