Momentum - April 2020 - 14

Ion thrusters work by
ionizing stable gases
like xenon and krypton,
using electricity from
solar cells to strip the
electrons from the
gas atoms to create
Science Source
a stream of positively
A class of engine now used to keep satellites in stable
charged ions, called a
orbits could be adapted to power long-distance space
plasma. The spacecraft
pushes this plasma
out its exhaust to
propel itself through the weightless void. Plasma thrusters currently
enable hundreds of GPS, military, and communications satellites make
tiny course corrections and maintain stable orbits. But now, scientists
are developing a new generation of ion thrusters capable of sending
spacecraft on long-distance missions throughout the solar system.
"Plasma thrusters represent the future of space exploration," said Ken
Hara, an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford
University, who is helping develop computer models to make ion
engines more powerful, efficient, and useful by exploring how plasmas
can achieve faster and more powerful exhaust velocities.

Professor Gregory
Whiting and his
research group
at the University
of Colorado
are preparing
for the thrill of
a lifetime: two
Charlotte Bellerjeau, an aerospace
parabolic flights,
undergraduate researcher at the
each expected to
University of Colorado, gives a
provide around
demonstration of the 3D printer used
ten total minutes
to print multi-functional composite
of reduced gravity
materials in the department of
to test and model
mechanical engineering's BEEM Lab.
how 3D printing
of functional
materials works in lunar gravity. This technology is one
of 25 promising space technologies selected by NASA
for testing on an aircraft that simulates spaceflight, a
high-altitude balloon, or a suborbital rocket. The process
is meant to be iterative, providing researchers with a
quick way to collect data and refine their innovations
for possible inclusion into NASA missions to space and
the moon. The university is co-recipient of a $500,000
NASA grant for reduced-gravity research.

Maneuvering wheeled robots
up and down stairwells and
flying drones slim enough
to slip through narrow
doorways and tough enough
to survive collisions are
among the new capabilities
Team Explorer at Carnegie
Mellon University has added
In stage two of DARPA's Subterranean
for the latest competition
Challenge, a team from Carnegie Mellon
in the Defense Advanced
University and Oregon State will send robots
Research Projects Agency's
into the depths of an incomplete nuclear
(DARPA's) Subterranean
power plant in a search-and-rescue scenario in
Challenge. Explorer, which
Elma, Washington. Team Explorer's machines
includes researchers from
will scale stairs and search for artifacts in the
"Urban Circuit."
CMU and Oregon State
University, is one of 11
teams that will send robots into the depths of an incomplete nuclear
power plant in a search-and-rescue scenario. Teams have been told to
be ready to search multiple levels and open spaces within the plant,
looking for artifacts such as a simulated human survivor, a backpack, a
cellphone, a vent and a mock gas leak. The Urban Circuit is the second in
a series of scored contests in the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency's (DARPA) Subterranean Challenge, in which autonomous
robots map underground environments and look for objects, much as
a first responder might in an emergency. Explorer outscored the other
competitors during the first contest, the Tunnel Circuit, in August 2019.

14 April 2020

2004_briefs_14.indd 14

The University of
Arizona College
of Engineering
wind tunnels are
getting $1.7 million
in upgrades,
which will boost
the capabilities of
A grant from the Army Research Office
the Department
will fund an extension of the Arizona
of Aerospace
Supersonic Wind Tunnel, making it
capable of conducting experiments
and Mechanical
in transonic conditions. Stuart "Alex"
Engineering in
Craig (left) and Jesse Little received the
funding through the U.S. Department
of Defense's Historically Black Colleges
and Universities/Minority-Serving
Institutions Science Program.
is a key part of
the university's
strategic plan," said Jesse Little, Associate Professor
and Associate Department Head for Graduate Studies.
"Our department has a legacy in fluid mechanics and
aerodynamics, and we are building on decades' worth of
research done by colleagues. When we're done, across
a few different facilities, we will be able to experiment
from Mach 0 to Mach 5, at scales relevant for real
problems, not just theoretical ones."

3/19/20 10:58 AM

Momentum - April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - April 2020

Momentum - April 2020
Start a new SAE Chapter in your life
Focused on design
Taking the classroom to the racetrack
Great moments happen due to the work of many
ONE-ON-ONE – Emily Kerr
Sticking to the schedule
GM deploying electricals of the future in new architecture
Myers Awards winners named
SAE 101: Industry Leadership Award
Dossier: Justin Lange of John Deere
Focusing on the ‘E’ in STEM
Momentum - April 2020 - Momentum - April 2020
Momentum - April 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - April 2020 - 1
Momentum - April 2020 - Start a new SAE Chapter in your life
Momentum - April 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - April 2020 - Focused on design
Momentum - April 2020 - 5
Momentum - April 2020 - 6
Momentum - April 2020 - Taking the classroom to the racetrack
Momentum - April 2020 - 8
Momentum - April 2020 - Great moments happen due to the work of many
Momentum - April 2020 - ONE-ON-ONE – Emily Kerr
Momentum - April 2020 - 11
Momentum - April 2020 - Sticking to the schedule
Momentum - April 2020 - 13
Momentum - April 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - April 2020 - GM deploying electricals of the future in new architecture
Momentum - April 2020 - Myers Awards winners named
Momentum - April 2020 - SAE 101: Industry Leadership Award
Momentum - April 2020 - Dossier: Justin Lange of John Deere
Momentum - April 2020 - 19
Momentum - April 2020 - Focusing on the ‘E’ in STEM
Momentum - April 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - April 2020 - Cover4