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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

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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“It Is A More Rugged Surface Than We Predicted,” NASA’s Plan to Scoop Up Dirt from Asteroid Hits Complication

A Japanese spacecraft, Hayabusa2, touched down on another asteroid in February, also on a mission to collect material. Japan managed to return some tiny particles in 2010 from its first asteroid mission.

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This artist's rendering made available by NASA in July 2016 shows the mapping of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. VOA

NASA’s plan to scoop up dirt and gravel from an asteroid has hit a snag, but scientists say they can overcome it.

The asteroid Bennu was thought to have wide, open areas suitable for the task. But a recently arrived spacecraft revealed the asteroid is covered with boulders and there don’t seem to be any big, flat spots that could be used to grab samples.

In a paper released Tuesday by the journal Nature, scientists say they plan to take a closer look at a few smaller areas that might work. They said sampling from those spots poses “a substantial challenge.”

“But I am confident this team is up to that substantial challenge,” the project’s lead scientist, Dante Lauretta, told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

The spacecraft, called Osiris-Rex, is scheduled to descend close to the surface in the summer of 2020. It will extend a robot arm to pick up the sample, which will be returned to Earth in 2023. The spacecraft began orbiting Bennu at the end of last year, after spending two years chasing down the space rock.

FILE - This Nov. 16, 2018, image provide by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu.
This Nov. 16, 2018, image provide by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu. VOA

When the mission was planned, scientists were aiming to take dirt and gravel from an area measuring at least 55 yards (50 meters) in diameter that was free of boulders or steep slopes, which would pose a hazard.

“It is a more rugged surface than we predicted,” said Lauretta, of the University of Arizona in Tucson and one of the paper’s authors. But he said he believed a sample could still be collected.

NASA project manager Rich Burns said a spot will be chosen this summer and the setback won’t delay the sampling.

Patrick Taylor, who studies asteroids at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston but didn’t participate in the spacecraft mission, noted in a telephone interview that the spacecraft was evidently maneuvering more accurately and precisely than had been expected.

“That gives me confidence they will be able to attempt a sample acquisition,” he said.

NASA
NASA project manager Rich Burns said a spot will be chosen this summer and the setback won’t delay the sampling. VOA

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Bennu is 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) from Earth. It’s estimated to be just over 1,600 feet (500 meters) across and is the smallest celestial body ever orbited by a spacecraft.

A Japanese spacecraft, Hayabusa2, touched down on another asteroid in February, also on a mission to collect material. Japan managed to return some tiny particles in 2010 from its first asteroid mission. (VOA)