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DARPA’s new TERN program aims for eyes in the sky from the sea

Posted March 6, 2013 by

Effective 21st-century warfare requires the ability to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and strike mobile targets anywhere, around the clock. Current technologies, however, have their limitations. Helicopters are relatively limited in the distance and flight time. Fixed-wing manned and unmanned aircraft can fly farther and longer but require either aircraft carriers or large, fixed…

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NASA begins flight research campaign using alternate jet fuel

Posted March 1, 2013 by

NASA researchers have begun a series of flights using the agency’s DC-8 flying laboratory to study the effects of alternate biofuel on engine performance, emissions and aircraft-generated contrails at altitude. The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS) research involves flying the DC-8 as high as 40,000 feet while an instrumented NASA Falcon…

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Mojave Air and Space Port improvements on schedule

Posted February 27, 2013 by Raphael Jaffe

Major capital improvement projects are proceeding on schedule at Mojave Air & Space Port, the staff reported to the directors at the Feb. 19 meeting. A marketing budget for the airport was also discussed. The projects are: providing utilities to the north side of the airport; repaving and widening of runway 4-22 under an FAA…

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DARPA Experimental Aircraft Program to develop next generation of vertical flight

Posted February 25, 2013 by

One of the greatest challenges of the past half century for aerodynamics engineers has been how to increase the top speeds of aircraft that take off and land vertically without compromising the aircraft’s lift to power in hover or its efficiency during long-range flight. The versatility of helicopters and other vertical take-off and landing aircraft…

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Academy cadet’s research could save Air Force $4.9 billion

Posted February 25, 2013 by Don Branum

Air Force photograph by Don Branum Air Force Academy Cadet 1st Class Chris Kirk developed a method that would let the Air Force purchase Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles and extended range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles at significantly lower prices, saving more than $4 billion over five years. Kirk is a management major and native of…

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Educator teams fly on NASA’s SOFIA airborne observatory

Posted February 22, 2013 by

The first four Airborne Astronomy Ambassador educators returned safely to Earth at Palmdale, Calif., early in the morning of Feb. 13, 2013, after completing their initial flight on NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA.

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NASA set for new round of J-2X testing at Stennis

Posted February 13, 2013 by

NASA’s progress toward a return to deep space missions continues with a new round of upcoming tests on the next-generation J-2X rocket engine, which will help power the agency’s Space Launch System to new destinations in the solar system. SLS is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Beginning this month, engineers…

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NASA Spinoff 2012 features new space tech bettering your life today

Posted February 13, 2013 by

A plant texts a farmer to say it needs more water. An invisible coating scrubs pollutants from the air. A robot roams a hospital’s halls, aiding doctors and nurses by recording vital signs and registrations. The 2012 edition of NASA’s annual Spinoff publication captures a nation and world made better by advancements originally achieved for…

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NASAs Super-Tiger balloon breaks records while collecting data

Posted February 8, 2013 by

A large NASA science balloon has broken two flight duration records while flying over Antarctica carrying an instrument that detected 50 million cosmic rays. The Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder (Super-TIGER) balloon launched at 3:45 p.m. EST, Dec. 8 from the Long Duration Balloon site near McMurdo Station. It spent 55 days, 1 hour, and…

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Army laboratories collaborate on octopus-inspired suction cups

Posted February 6, 2013 by

Natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis can unveil points of weakness in man-made infrastructure, and now robots are being called in to help. Scientists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, or ECBC, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., are developing suction cups that could be placed on robots…

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