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Topic: NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center

NASA Scientists use Global Hawk aircraft to track atmosphere changes that affect the climate of Earth

 

Written by Rachel Hoover
NASA’s Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – NASA’s uncrewed Global Hawk research aircraft is in the western Pacific region on a mission to track changes in the upper atmosphere and help researchers understand how these changes affect Earth’s climate.

Deployed from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA, the Global Hawk landed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam Thursday at approximately 5:00pm EST and will begin science flights Tuesday, January 21st. Its mission, the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), is a multi-year NASA airborne science campaign.

NASA's Global Hawk 872 on a checkout flight from Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in preparation for the 2014 ATTREX mission over the western Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Tom Miller)

NASA’s Global Hawk 872 on a checkout flight from Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in preparation for the 2014 ATTREX mission over the western Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Tom Miller)

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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory tests Precision Flight Control Software

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A year after NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity’s landed on Mars, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, are testing a sophisticated flight-control algorithm that could allow for even more precise, pinpoint landings of future Martian spacecraft.

Flight testing of the new Fuel Optimal Large Divert Guidance algorithm – G-FOLD for short – for planetary pinpoint landing is being conducted jointly by JPL engineers in cooperation with Masten Space Systems in Mojave, CA, using Masten’s XA-0.1B “Xombie” vertical-launch, vertical-landing experimental rocket.

A Xombie technology demonstrator from Masten Space Systems, Mojave, Calif., ascends from its pad at Mojave Air and Space Port on a test for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The vehicle is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing experimental rocket. It is being used in collaboration with NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to evaluate performance of JPL's Fuel Optimal Large Divert Guidance (G-FOLD), a new algorithm for planetary pinpoint landing of spacecraft. (Image Credit: NASA/Masten)

A Xombie technology demonstrator from Masten Space Systems, Mojave, Calif., ascends from its pad at Mojave Air and Space Port on a test for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The vehicle is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing experimental rocket. It is being used in collaboration with NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to evaluate performance of JPL’s Fuel Optimal Large Divert Guidance (G-FOLD), a new algorithm for planetary pinpoint landing of spacecraft. (Image Credit: NASA/Masten)

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NASA Dryden’s X-48 Blended Wing Body Aircraft completes 100th Test Flight

 

Dryden Flight Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – The Boeing X-48 Blended Wing Body subscale research aircraft made its 100th flight in late October at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, CA.

The milestone occurred October 30th when the unmanned X-48C aircraft was flown on two separate 25-minute flights — the seventh and eighth flights for the X-48C since it began flying August 7th. Between 2007 and 2010, the aircraft, then in the X-48B configuration, made 92 flights.

The upgraded X-48C version of Boeing's Blending Wing Body subscale research aircraft banks over Rogers Dry Lake near "Contractors' Row" at Edwards Air Force Base during a test flight Oct. 16, 2012. Combined with the earlier X-48B version, the X-48 technology demonstrator has now flown 100 test missions, more than any other single unmanned X-plane. (NASA / Carla Thomas)

The upgraded X-48C version of Boeing’s Blending Wing Body subscale research aircraft banks over Rogers Dry Lake near “Contractors’ Row” at Edwards Air Force Base during a test flight Oct. 16, 2012. Combined with the earlier X-48B version, the X-48 technology demonstrator has now flown 100 test missions, more than any other single unmanned X-plane. (NASA / Carla Thomas)

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NASA to study active volcanoes in Alaska and Japan using images from it’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar

 

Written by Beth Hagenauer, Public Affairs
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – A NASA aircraft carrying a unique 3-D aerial radar developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, has left California for a 10-day campaign to study active volcanoes in Alaska and Japan.

The modified NASA C-20A (G-III) aircraft, with JPL’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) installed in a pod under its belly, departed NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, CA, October 2nd, en route to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, WA.

This UAVSAR interferogram shows active volcano Mount St. Helens (left) and dormant volcano Mount Adams, both in Washington state. The sensor collected data for this image during flights in July 2009 and August 2010 to compute the surface deformation that could indicate activity in the volcanoes' magma. No deformation was evident during this period. (NASA image)

This UAVSAR interferogram shows active volcano Mount St. Helens (left) and dormant volcano Mount Adams, both in Washington state. The sensor collected data for this image during flights in July 2009 and August 2010 to compute the surface deformation that could indicate activity in the volcanoes’ magma. No deformation was evident during this period. (NASA image)

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NASA’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft flys over Hurricane Lelie in the Atlantic

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA has begun its latest hurricane science field campaign by flying an unmanned Global Hawk aircraft over Hurricane Leslie in the Atlantic Ocean during a day-long flight that began in California and ended in Virginia.

With the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) mission, NASA for the first time will be flying Global Hawks from the U.S. East Coast.

An unmanned NASA Global Hawk aircraft comes in for a landing at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VA, Sept. 7, kicking off the month-long Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) mission. HS3 will help researchers and forecasters uncover information about how hurricances and tropical storms form and intensify. (Image credit: NASA)

An unmanned NASA Global Hawk aircraft comes in for a landing at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VA, Sept. 7, kicking off the month-long Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) mission. HS3 will help researchers and forecasters uncover information about how hurricances and tropical storms form and intensify. (Image credit: NASA)

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NASA’s New Book “Breaking the Mishap Chain” tells why Aerospace Accidents Happen

 

Written by Jim Banke
NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Understanding what causes an accident often is like looking at an iceberg. We see the accident as the tip of the iceberg, but all the missteps, poor decisions and coincidences that led up to it often are missed, hidden just beneath the surface.

In NASA’s newest book, “Breaking the Mishap Chain,” that oversight is corrected as some of the most well-known accidents in aviation and space history are remembered with details that reveal the non-technical, human-related events that led to each incident.

Accident investigators learned that the enormous and confusing array of dials and gauges in older aircraft cockpits were sometimes a link in the mishap chain. (Image credit: NASA)

Accident investigators learned that the enormous and confusing array of dials and gauges in older aircraft cockpits were sometimes a link in the mishap chain. (Image credit: NASA)

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NASA’s Unmanned Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinels ready to study this Summer’s Storms

 

Written by Rob Gutro and Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Ah, June. It marks the end of school, the start of summer…and the official start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, which got off to an early start in May with the formation of Tropical Storms Alberto and Beryl. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters are calling for a near-normal hurricane season this year.

But whether the season turns out to be wild or wimpy, understanding what makes these ferocious storms form and rapidly intensify is a continuing area of scientific research, and is the focus of the NASA-led Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) airborne mission that kicks off this summer.

NASA's Global Hawk soars aloft from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The NASA Global Hawk is well-suited for hurricane investigations because it can over-fly hurricanes at altitudes greater than 60,000 feet with flight durations of up to 28 hours - something piloted aircraft would find nearly impossible to do. (Credit: NASA/Tony Landis)

NASA's Global Hawk soars aloft from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The NASA Global Hawk is well-suited for hurricane investigations because it can over-fly hurricanes at altitudes greater than 60,000 feet with flight durations of up to 28 hours - something piloted aircraft would find nearly impossible to do. (Credit: NASA/Tony Landis)

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Sierra Nevada Delivers Flight Test Vehicle Structure part of the NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

 

Written by Candrea Thomas
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationKennedy Space Center, FL – One of NASA’s industry partners, Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC), recently delivered the primary structure of its first Dream Chaser flight test vehicle to the company’s facility in Louisville, CO, where it will be assembled and integrated with secondary systems. This is one of 12 milestones to be completed under SNC’s funded Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

“It’s rewarding to see our partner’s ideas and concepts come to fruition,” said CCP Program Manager Ed Mango. “The company’s delivery of its flight structure will allow them to make more strides toward launching NASA astronauts on American vehicles to the International Space Station.”

Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser flight test vehicle is in Louisville, CO, where it will be assembled and integrated with secondary systems for future milestones. (Image credit: Sierra Nevada Corp.)

Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser flight test vehicle is in Louisville, CO, where it will be assembled and integrated with secondary systems for future milestones. (Image credit: Sierra Nevada Corp.)

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NASA Aeronautics Research Mission: New Ideas Sharpen Focus for Greener Aircraft

 

Written by Kathy Barnstorff
NASA Langley Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHampton, VA – Leaner, greener flying machines for the year 2025 are on the drawing boards of three industry teams under contract to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project.

Teams from The Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, CA, Lockheed Martin in Palmdale, CA, and Northrop Grumman in El Segundo, CA, have spent the last year studying how to meet NASA goals to develop technology that would allow future aircraft to burn 50 percent less fuel than aircraft that entered service in 1998 (the baseline for the study), with 75 percent fewer harmful emissions; and to shrink the size of geographic areas affected by objectionable airport noise by 83 percent.

Three proposed aircraft designs have varying levels of success in meeting tough NASA goals for reducing fuel use, emissions and noise all at the same time. (Image credit: NASA)

Three proposed aircraft designs have varying levels of success in meeting tough NASA goals for reducing fuel use, emissions and noise all at the same time. (Image credit: NASA)

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NASA Propulsion Experiment Provides Data for More Efficient Jet Engines

 

Written by Gray Creech
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – Aeronautics researchers at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center recently completed flight tests of a unique experimental jet engine inlet design in the Channeled Center-body Inlet Experiment, or CCIE.

The experimental inlet was checked out on NASA Dryden’s F-15B aeronautics research test bed aircraft, which continues to be an innovative and cost-effective tool for flight test of advanced propulsion concepts.

NASA Dryden’s F-15B research testbed aircraft flew the CCIE experimental jet engine inlet to speeds up to Mach 1.74, or about 1.7 times the speed of sound. (NASA / Jim Ross)

NASA Dryden’s F-15B research testbed aircraft flew the CCIE experimental jet engine inlet to speeds up to Mach 1.74, or about 1.7 times the speed of sound. (NASA / Jim Ross)

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