Aerospace is Awesome
Following the success of our “Engineering is Awesome” series, the Dyne Technology team behind Plasma Treating are now launching a new mini-series discussing how awesome the industries we work with are!
First up, we take a look at how awesome the aerospace industry is and three of our favourite stories that remind us why “Aerospace is Awesome”.
Could we be closer to unlocking the secret of autonomous interplanetary travel?
The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Leicester University have recently published a paper that reveals that a spacecraft’s direction in space, when in the direction of a particular pulsar, can be calculated to an accuracy of 2km when using a small X-ray telescope on-board.
The method uses X-rays emitted from pulsars (dead stars or balls of Plasma!) that emit radiation in the form of x-rays and other electromagnetic waves, these can then be used to work out the position of a spacecraft in 3D to an accuracy of 30km at the distance of Neptune. For ‘millisecond pulsars’, the pulses of radiation occur with the regularity and precision of an atomic clock and could be used much like GPS in space.
These findings by the NPL and Leicester University highlight the incredible engineering in aerospace away from the building of aircraft. It’s highly likely we’ll see autonomous cars on our roads in the near future, but could we be on the verge of unlocking the secret to autonomous interplanetary travel?
Airbus Perlan 2 to reach new heights?
The Perlan I stratospheric glider’s record flight above 50,000 feet convinced aviator, business man and explorer Steve Fossett, who sadly died in 2007, and his partners, NASA co-pilot Einar Enevoldson and meteorologist Elizabeth Austin, that higher altitudes were possible to reach.
In the coming months, the pressurised Perlan 2 plans to make the team’s dream a reality, with hopes to reach at least 90,000 feet.
The 1,100-pound Perlan 2 research glider, sponsored by Airbus Group, plans to launch from 9,000 feet at El Calafate Airport in Southern Argentina with a traditional tow by a powered aircraft. The reason the location was chosen is that in August and September, powerful stratospheric mountain waves form, offering the natural push that the Perlan 2 will need to reach their dream height of 90,000 feet.
It may have influenced more than you think…
Aviation and space technology has helped shape the world we know today, aside from the more conventional influences, such as travel, how has it changed the world?
Did you know Computer-generated imagery (CGI) was first developed by the flight stimulation industry in the late 1960’s? Once confined to night views, airline users pushed for higher resolution to support zero-flight-time training and replace expensive model boards. Eventually, engineers broke scenes down and began to devise ways to convert photography into images that could be blended into synthetic scenes and as computing power surged ahead, the CGI we all know today was born.
Are you known to enjoy a frozen dinner? Convair’s B-36 bomber was equipped with two electric ovens. Why? It needed them, as missions could last two days. “Chow for the big bomber crews may mean a frozen meal of meat or seafood, potatoes, as you like them, and a green vegetable—all wrapped in disposable aluminium trays,” – taken from a press release.
Take a look at our source article and find out about how Aerospace is closely accredited with the creation of composite materials.
- The Engineer – Simulation demonstrates feasibility of autonomous interplanetary travel – https://www.theengineer.co.uk/simulation-demonstrates-feasibility-of-autonomous-interplanetary-travel/
- AirBus Perlan 2 standing by for record flight attempt – https://www.flyingmag.com/airbus-perlan-2-standing-by-for-record-flight-attempt
- How aviation and aerospace have benefited daily living – https://aviationweek.com/technology/how-aviation-and-aerospace-have-benefited-daily-living