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 18, 2014

Express fuel pumps to shut down July 21 & 22 The AAFES Express gasoline station will undergo vapor testing next week, which requires the pumps to be turned off to complete the process.†The fuel pumps will be shut down 8-11 a.m., July 21, and 7 a.m.-1 p.m., July 22. For more information, call (661) 258-1078,...
 
 

Exchange celebrates 119 years with 5 percent MILITARY STAR card discount

July 25, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service marks a historic milestone, celebrating 119 years of serving Soldiers, Airmen and their families. July 25, 1895, General Order No. 46 established the exchange on military installations, directing post commanders to set up an exchange at every post. Since then, the Exchange has supported U.S. troops...
 
 

Focus on deliberate self-development

I am an American Airman. I am a warrior. I have answered my nation’s call. These words should resonate with each of us who have the honor and privilege of wearing the uniform. Each time I recite our creed, I feel a sense of pride. I hope every Airman reading this shares my sentiment. Each...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Edwards says goodbye to Weavers

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Outgoing commander of the 412th Maintenance Group, Col. Robby Weaver (right) receives his retirement pin from his wife Susan during Weaverís retirement ceremony July 10. Weaver and his wif...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Got a ticket? What now?

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber 412th Security Forces Squadron defenders pull over a vehicle for speeding. Many drivers have experienced the sinking feeling that accompanies the flashing lights and siren of a police vehic...
 
 

Annual duck blind drawing set for Aug. 9

Waterfowl hunters can participate in the annual duck blind drawing scheduled for Aug. 9 at the Rod and Gun Activity, Bldg. 210. Base hunting permits may be submitted to drawing officials from 9 a.m. until the actual drawing begins, which will be at approximately 10 a.m. Duck blind reservations are required for all base affiliated...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>