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Mader C.A.,University of Toronto | Mader C.A.,Institute for Aerospace Studies | Martins J.R.R.A.,University of Michigan
AIAA Journal | Year: 2011

This paper presents a method for the computation of the static and dynamic stability derivatives of arbitrary aircraft configurations. Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics are used in this method to simulate the flow characteristics around the configuration, and a moving-grid formulation is included in the flow solver to handle the rotational physics necessary for the computation of the dynamic derivatives. To obtain the stability derivatives, the computational fluid dynamics code is differentiated using the automatic differentiation adjoint (ADjoint) approach. This approach enables the efficient and accurate computation of derivatives for a wide variety of variables, including the dynamic model states that are typical of the stability derivatives. To demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach, stability derivatives are computed for a NACA 0012 airfoil and an ONERA M6 wing. Copyright © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Source

Home > Press > Deep Space Industries teams with UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory to demonstrate autonomous spacecraft maneuvering: SFL and DSI demonstrate enabling technology for low-cost asteroid missions and constellations Abstract: The world’s first demonstration of autonomous spacecraft maneuvering was recently completed by Silicon Valley-based Deep Space Industries (DSI) and the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) of Toronto, Canada. Using their highly-successful CanX-4 and CanX-5 pair of nanosatellites, SFL operators executed a DSI-defined experiment on-orbit, in which the world’s first spacecraft-to-spacecraft orbit maneuver was commanded by one satellite and executed by the other. In this experiment, one of the two spacecraft (CanX-4) autonomously programmed the other (CanX-5) to perform an orbit change using its on-board propulsion system, over a shared S-band Inter-Satellite Link (ISL) radio. CanX-5 subsequently executed the maneuver, raising its orbit, as confirmed by operators at SFL’s Mission Control Center (MCC) in Toronto and data from the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base. To the best of each organization’s knowledge, this is the first time in history that one satellite has autonomously commanded another to execute propulsive maneuvers, with no operator in the loop. “This experiment was a key demonstration of a critical capability for multi-spacecraft asteroid missions, as well as constellations of spacecraft in Earth orbit,” said Grant Bonin, DSI’s Chief Engineer.” It was also a first step in demonstrating ship-to-shore command relay in-space, which could potentially reduce the difficulty of communicating with very small spacecraft at long range.” “The experiment was an important risk reduction exercise for DSI, which intends to use small spacecraft for initial asteroid prospecting missions in the next five years,” Bonin continued. “The ability to relay commands from spacecraft to spacecraft, and perform in-space maneuvers autonomously, without operator intervention, is a critical capability that has major implications for mission-level redundancy—not just for asteroid missions, but also for low-cost Earth orbit constellations. This also shows that, if necessary, we can take the operator entirely out of the loop during a mission, which can translate into significant savings.” Deep Space Industries’ partner, the Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), challenges the current state-of-the-art in space technology performance while achieving remarkably low cost without sacrificing quality or introducing risk. In an age where significant advances have been made in data processing and information technology, SFL strives to leverage the latest advances in commercial technologies to provide performance advantage in space for tomorrow’s space-based data users. The organizations’ high rate of success and distinguished legacy of being on the forefront of space technology make the team a great fit for partnering with Deep Space Industries. “Teaming with a satellite provider like SFL is a big win for us,” said DSI CEO Daniel Faber. “DSI’s philosophy is to partner with other organizations whenever it makes sense, in a way that maximizes complementary capabilities. Having a partner like SFL allows us to tap into almost 20 years of heritage, experience, and capabilities, while giving DSI the capacity to focus on key elements of its own roadmap, by leveraging already well-honed skill sets that exist elsewhere.” “We are very pleased to have contributed to DSI’s objectives through the tasking of CanX-4 and CanX-5. SFL welcomes the opportunity to partner with DSI, and we see great potential in such collaboration,” noted Dr. Robert Zee, Director of SFL. “For SFL, it is an opportunity to apply our heritage and experience in an emerging application area, one that can potentially revolutionize humanity’s use of deep space. SFL recognizes the pioneering work of DSI and their talented team, and looks forward to future projects with DSI." Bonin concluded: “Technologies such as launch-safe high-performance propulsion systems, long-range, high-data-rate communications, and autonomous spacecraft relative navigation are at the core of DSI’s current technology development efforts. By combining our enabling technologies with the excellent satellite platforms being offered by SFL, DSI can provide innovative, reliable and robust systems for a wide range of customers and mission types, both in Low Earth Orbit and beyond.” This work is the first project in what both organizations expect to be a long-term strategic relationship to bring cutting-edge, low-cost space technologies and missions to market, while also enabling low-cost asteroid missions. About Deep Space Industries (DSI) Deep Space Industries is an international space resources company, utilizing the most advanced nanosat technologies to realize asteroid mining. To learn more about DSI’s asteroid mining projects, innovative technology, or world-renowned team of experts, please visit: DeepSpaceIndustries.com. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

News Article
Site: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment

Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard made headlines on Saturday when he glided a solar-powered plane onto Moffett Airfield in California after a three-day journey across the Pacific Ocean. It’s the most recent stop in an around-the-world trip that began in Abu Dhabi last spring and is intended to raise awareness about the importance of reducing carbon emissions through the use of clean energy. The plane itself, “Solar Impulse 2,” is a true zero-fuel aircraft, powered by more than 17,000 solar cells. It’s designed to carry just one pilot — Piccard and his colleague André Borschberg have been tag-teaming the journey around the world — and has the wingspan of a jumbo jet, although it weighs only two tons. The daring trans-Pacific flight has drawn global interest to the concept of electric planes, which have existed in various forms for several decades now. Some designs rely on solar cells, while others use various types of batteries, but the overall goal is the same: to achieve flight with minimal or no fuel burning. Electric aircraft are among the more ambitious technologies being researched around the world in an effort to reduce carbon emissions from aviation. It’s a cause that’s rapidly gaining international attention. Aviation is currently responsible for about 1 percent of all the world’s carbon emissions — and as air traffic is expected to experience rapid growth in the coming decades, that proportion could quickly climb if no steps are taken to improve the fuel efficiency of aircraft. Some estimates have suggested that by 2020, emissions from aviation could be 70 percent higher than they were in 2005. To that end, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) proposed the world’s first carbon dioxide emissions standards for aircraft back in February. And while some environmentalists have argued that the proposal did not go far enough, the action has placed aircraft emissions on the international radar — and scientists around the world are researching ways to reduce them. Electric flight, however, may be among the technologies that are furthest from becoming practical. So far, most of the electric planes that have achieved flight have only been able to accommodate one or two people, and it will likely be at least a decade or two before the technology will progress to the point that it’s commercially viable. “The big challenge is the batteries,” said David Zingg, director of the University of Toronto’s Institute for Aerospace Studies. For electric planes to become competitive, their power sources need to be able to store more energy per unit mass — otherwise, their speed and weight capacities will remain impractically low. “You can imagine in 20 years you can have an aircraft the size of a 737 that’s electric — but you can’t be sure,” Zingg said. “That all depends on battery technology.” For smaller aircraft, the technology may even be able to work its way into the market within the next 10 years, said Sean Clarke, co-principal investigator on a NASA project called Sceptor, which is working on an experimental electric propulsion-powered aircraft. But in the meantime, there are plenty of other alternatives being explored that could start cutting emissions far sooner. In March, United Airlines became the first American airline to use renewable fuel for commercial operations when it began using biofuel in flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, others may be following suit soon. Both Southwest Airlines and FedEx, for example, also have contracts with biofuel producers that will allow them to start buying renewable jet fuel for future use. The basic idea behind renewable fuels is to use biological sources — usually plant or sometimes animal matter — instead of oil. Many biofuel companies have developed “drop-in” fuels that are designed to work safely in existing jet engines — usually requiring mixing with traditional fuels — making them an easy way to cut down on carbon emissions without requiring costly mechanical alterations. But there are some cons to consider. When biofuels first started to become competitive, there was concern that they were competing with food growers for agricultural land — an issue that’s become more salient as concern heightens over the planet’s rapidly growing population and the future of global food security. As a result, producers are increasingly focusing on fuel sources that can be grown on land that’s unsuitable for food crops. Additionally, Zingg pointed out, “there’s a ton of work to be done to make the processing efficient enough that it’s cost efficient compared to fossil fuels.” Making physical design changes to planes is another way of increasing fuel efficiency. Finding ways to reduce the drag on aircraft in flight is one important research area, Zingg said — for example, redesigning wings to improve the way air flows over the plane. NASA has focused a great deal of research on these types of design challenges in recent years. It’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation project, which took place between 2009 and 2015, focused on solutions that would cut down on noise, pollution and carbon output and included research on more efficient engines, lighter-weight aircraft materials and new body designs. At least one of the resulting technologies — a new, more aerodynamic design for airplane wing flaps — is already on its way to becoming commercialized, according to the agency. Other design research is ongoing. The Sceptor project, for example, which Clarke is helping to lead, is working to design a smaller, more aerodynamic and efficient wing than would normally be possible by equipping it with electric motors to help energize the flow that generates lift on the plane. But it’s not necessarily all about the technology, Zingg added. Even the way air traffic controllers guide planes can make a difference. Adopting procedures that allow for smooth, continuous descents rather than forcing planes to fly in inefficient landing patterns can help reduce carbon output. Similarly, an imaginative idea known as “formation flight” could be helpful as well, he noted — this is a concept in which planes fly in bird-like formations that take advantage of airflow and reduce drag. In the end, integrating many carbon-cutting ideas together is likely to give the best shot at making a difference in aviation emissions, according to Zingg. There are plenty of concepts already commercially practical now — and one day, even solar-powered planes may join the mix. “There’s a huge range of different things that can be done — the most important thing is to try to do them all,” he said. “Individually, they might have a modest benefit…but if you add them all up you can make a pretty big improvement.”

Leung T.M.,University of Toronto | Leung T.M.,Institute for Aerospace Studies | Zingg D.W.,University of Toronto
AIAA Journal | Year: 2012

A Newton-Krylov algorithm for aerodynamic shape optimization in three dimensions is presented for both singlepoint and multipoint optimization. An inexact Newton method is used to solve the Euler equations, a discrete adjoint method is used to compute the gradient, and an optimizer based on a quasi-Newton method is used to find the optimal geometry. The flexible generalized minimal residual method is used with approximate Schur preconditioning to solve both the flow equation and the adjoint equation. The wing geometry is parameterized by B-spline surfaces, and a fast algebraic algorithm is used for grid movement at each iteration. An effective strategy is presented to enable simultaneous optimization of planform variables and section shapes. Optimization results are presented with up to 225 design variables to demonstrate the capabilities and efficiency of the approach. Copyright © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

News Article | November 28, 2015
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/environment.xml

A Montreal company announced its nanosatellite called, CLAIRE, surpassed its final test and is scheduled to launch in April 2016. This tiny satellite is designed to monitor greenhouse gas emissions in several sites around the world. This innovative satellite aims to battle climate change. It will soon provide a way to gauge gas emissions from industrial facilities from all over the world. GHGSat will monitor carbon emissions from facilities like companies involving mining, oil, gas, and power generation. "All systems go! This milestone is the culmination of two years of intense effort by a team of Canadian engineers and scientists. GHGSat is bringing technological innovation in the aerospace industry to the fight against climate change," Stéphane Germain, President of GHGSat, said. Developed for two years, the satellite has been dubbed as an affordable way for companies to measure how much gas emissions specifically carbon dioxide and methane industrial facilities produce each year. This will help companies to implement policies in the reduction of gas emissions that contribute to global warming and harm the environment. "Given the way the orbital dynamics work, it will take about two weeks for CLAIRE to see any point on the Earth, and then return to see that same point on the Earth. What that means is, we can measure any point on the surface of the Earth, every two weeks, with a single satellite," Germain explained. Several companies joined the effort in developing the satellite including Xiphos Technologies, Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto's Institute for Aerospace Studies, and MPB Communications. Also, Boeing Company helped with GHGSat's development with its expertise in engineering and spacecraft design. To maximize the utilization of the satellite, the company created a crowdfunding campaign in Kickstarter. This will pave way for the satellite to be used in its full potential and it will fund demonstrations globally. This will help companies in many parts of the world to be 'convinced of out technology's benefits'. "We founded our whole business on the concept that if there is value in a tonne of carbon, then the producers are going to be motivated to reduce their emissions," Germain added.

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