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NASA’s Noise-Reduction Tech to Make Quieter Airports a Reality

The Landing Gear Noise Reduction technology element addressed airframe noise caused by airflow moving past the landing gear on approach

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NASA image.
Just 11 years after Eisenhower authorized NASA, American astronaut Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Pixabay
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Aiming to reduce aircraft noise for communities that live near airports, NASA has successfully tested new noise reduction technologies on a series of Acoustic Research Measurement (ARM) flight, and managed to cut airframe noise during landing by more than 70 per cent.

The ARM flights, which concluded in May, at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, tested technology to address airframe noise, or noise that is produced by non-propulsive parts of the aircraft, during landing.

NASA successfully combined several technologies including Landing Gear Noise Reduction, landing gear cavity treatments, and the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge flexible wing flap, on various airframe components of a Gulfstream III research aircraft to achieve a greater than 70 per cent reduction in airframe noise.

“This airframe noise reduction produced by NASA technology is definitely momentous, and the best part is that it directly benefits the public,” ARM Project Manager Kevin Weinert, said in a statement.

“We are very confident that with the tested technologies we can substantially reduce total aircraft noise, and that could really make a lot of flights much quieter,” added Mehdi Khorrami, an aerospace scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia.

The Gulfstream III research aircraft flew at an altitude of 350 feet, over an 185-sensor microphone array deployed on the Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

NASA jet
Representational image. (IANS)

The Landing Gear Noise Reduction technology element addressed airframe noise caused by airflow moving past the landing gear on approach.

Another area of focus was landing gear cavities, also a known cause of airframe noise. These are the regions where the landing gear deploys from the main body of an aircraft, typically leaving a large cavity where airflow can get pulled in, creating noise.

NASA applied two concepts to these sections, including a series of chevrons placed near the front of the cavity with a sound-absorbing foam at the trailing wall, as well as a net that stretched across the opening of the main landing gear cavity.

This altered the airflow and reduced the noise resulting from the interactions between the air, the cavity walls, and its edges, the report said.

Also Read: NASA Seeks Partnership With US Industry to Develop First Gateway Element

To reduce wing flap noise, NASA used an experimental, flexible flap, which investigated the potential for flexible, seamless flaps to increase aerodynamic efficiency.

“While there are obvious potential economic gains for the industry, this benefits the people who live near major airports, and have to deal with the noise of aircraft coming in to land. This could greatly reduce the noise impact on these communities,” Weinert said. (IANS)

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Rocket Lab is Set To Launch 10 NASA CubeSats

They will be placed in RailPODs aboard the Electron rocket that will ferry them to space

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Kepler, NASA, tissue
Rocket Lab to launch 10 NASA CubeSats on Sunday. Pixabay

In its first mission for NASA, the American aerospace manufacturer Rocket Lab is set to launch 10 small research satellites, or CubeSats, from New Zealand, the US space agency said.

Owing to bad weather, Rocket Lab was forced to postpone the earlier decided launch on December 12.

Rocket Lab is now targeting the ELaNa-19 launch on December 15 with a launch window opening at 11 p.m. EST from the company’s launch complex on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand, NASA said in a statement on Friday.

The CubeSats were built by three NASA centres, seven universities, and a middle school under the NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites, or (ELaNa-19) mission.

ElaNa-19 is NASA’s first to be completely dedicated to launching CubeSats under the agency’s Venture Class Launch Services program for small-satellite launches.

More than 250 students have been involved in the design, development and construction of the CubeSats scheduled to be flown as payloads on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket.

NASA, Hubble, Keplar, asteroids
Owing to bad weather, Rocket Lab was forced to postpone the earlier decided launch on December 12. Flickr

“The major difference between today’s launch and previous #ELaNa missions is that for the first time, NASA will have a launch completely dedicated to CubeSats rather than having the small satellites ride along with a much larger spacecraft that is the primary mission,” NASA Launch Services Program officials wrote on Twitter on December 12.

The 10 CubeSats are named as CubeSail, CeREs, NMTSat, CHOMPTT, ALBus, STF-1, ISX, RSat, Shields-1 and DaVinci, NASA said.

These are built to standard dimensions of one unit (1U), and can be 1U, 2U, 3U or 6U in size. They generally weigh less than 1.33 kg per U — 6U may be up to 12 kg.

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They will be placed in RailPODs aboard the Electron rocket that will ferry them to space.

After the main payload deploys, the CubeSats will separate from their RailPODs. After 45 minutes in orbit, the CubeSat transmitters will turn on and university ground stations will listen for their beacons, determine their small satellites’ functionality and announce operational status.

CubeSat mission durations and orbital life vary but are anticipated to last at least three years. Upon mission completion, the CubeSats fall to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere, NASA noted. (IANS)