For Release: January 26, 2001
Barbara L. Kakiris
Media Relations Office
Lori J. Rachul
Media Relations Office
Imagine a future when personal and mass air mobility are a reality due to radically advanced propulsion systems. Smart Efficient Components (SEC), Revolutionary Aeropropulsion Concepts (RAC) and Nanotechnology-three new projects from NASA Glenn Research Center's Aerospace Propulsion and Power (APP) program-will impact the public tremendously by making such advancements more plausible and revolutionizing the way people live today.
"We believe the technologies included in these projects will provide pioneering innovations for the future of air and space travel," said Pete McCallum, acting manager, APP program. "These technologies will make air travel more affordable and less polluting, thereby opening the skies to more travelers."
SEC will develop and demonstrate novel multidisciplinary technologies and analyses tools that will help propulsion system components-including compressors, combustors, turbines, bearings, seals, sensors and controls-adapt to changing engine conditions to safely operate at peak performance. For example, work on active combustion control will provide concepts to aid engine component developers to design combustors that operate in a safe and stable fashion at extremely lean fuel-to-air ratios, thus improving efficiency and reducing emissions.
RAC will develop technologies that will make radically advanced propulsion systems-including personal and mass air mobility systems-affordable safe, efficient, comfortable, reliable and environmentally friendly. RAC technologies may make forward-thinking ideas-such as owning and operating air vehicles to the extent that automobiles are today-more within our reach. Another possible advancement is quick cross-country and intercontinental travel that could reduce a 12-hour trip to just 3 or 4 hours.
Nanotechnology, which involves controlling and manipulating matter on the nanometer (one one-billionth of a meter) scale, will develop and demonstrate innovative approaches to create new materials and devices on the atomic and subatomic levels that revolutionize the operation and performance of propulsion and power systems for aerospace applications. Applications could include "thinking air or spacecraft," which will be totally autonomous, highly integrated, self-healing and resilient while consuming very little power. Another NASA dream is a nanorobot, a probe that can learn, adapt to unexpected environments and change its capability as necessary.
These three new projects represent 25 percent of Glenn's total Base Research and Technology (R&T) funding for fiscal year 2001. They are managed by Glenn's APP Base R&T Program.
For more information on the APP program and its various projects, please visit:
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