NASA

August 9, 2013

NASA Dryden’s DROID mini-UAV reaches new heights

The DROID 3 takes off from the Muroc Model Masters strip on Rosamond Dry Lake on its first attempt to reach 10,000-foot altitude.

 

The smallest member of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center’s research aircraft fleet successfully flew to new heights recently to validate its potential as a tow plane for a scale model of a rocket-launching glider.

A Dryden Remotely Operated Integrated Drone, or DROID, a modified radio-controlled Super Flyin’ King model aircraft designed by Bruce Tharpe Engineering, flew to an altitude of 10,000 feet over Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California. Researchers are flying the DROID, whose wing spans about 10 feet, to test the Towed Glider Air-Launch Concept, a proposed technique to horizontally launch a rocket into near-Earth orbit from a towed glider.

“(Doing this) feels great. We have been wanting to do this for some time now and had the window of opportunity,” said Mike Marston, the DROID project lead.

Not only did the small DROID – one of four such aircraft at the center – fly higher than it ever had before, it also showed it has enough excess thrust to tow a scale model of a glider and rocket. During the test flight, researchers also gathered data for developing a DROID flight simulator.

If the DROID team can prove the concept on a small scale, it is one step closer to potentially launching a rocket from a glider towed by a large passenger or cargo aircraft. This concept could make small payload, near-Earth orbit launches far less expensive than present launch methods.

The Towed Glider Air-Launch Concept, conceived by NASA Dryden aeronautics engineer Gerald Budd, is an in-house effort supported by the center’s research innovation fund.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs July 2, 2015

Freedom Fest Freedom Fest is 4:30-9:30 p.m., July 4 at Wings and Roberts Fields. Event highlights include fireworks, Euro Bungee, 25-foot tidal wave water slide, eight pony carousel, balloon artists, 25′ gondola ferris wheel, Rockin’ Tubs Ride, double swing chair ride, Timberland Wrecking Ball, inflatable Slip & Slide and laser tag. All rides and entertainment...
 
 
afmc-cc-message

Be proud of your role this Independence Day

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, starting the colonies on the path to freedom. The next day, John Adams wrote to his wife, describing the time as “the most memorable epoc...
 
 
tw-cc-message

Happy Fourth of July!

Team, This Independence Day weekend, we celebrate the day our great nation declared independence for the original 13 colonies and thus the birth of the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence is the nationR...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

AFMC commander talks resilience, future of command

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, Air Force Materiel Command commander, addresses Team Edwards during a commander’s call in the base theater June 19. Pawlikowski offered insight into the Air Fo...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Seminar provides expert advice for smart home buying

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The Housing Management Office offered a free Home Buyer’s Seminar June 17, at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or looking to purchase an inv...
 
 
summer-safety

Summertime fire safety

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Summer is upon us! This means lots of fun with family and friends. At the Edwards AFB Fire Department we want your summer to be fun, memorable and safe. Here are a few tips to help keep you...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>