Author Topic: Technologies that will shape the future of aviation and space exploration  (Read 40124 times)

Offline Star One

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See if you agree with the space related entries chosen by Aviation Week in this round up.

http://m.aviationweek.com/technology/technologies-will-shape-future#slide-0-field_images-1491461
« Last Edit: 07/29/2016 06:43 PM by Star One »

Offline Stormbringer

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When antigravity is outlawed only outlaws will have antigravity.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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advanced CO2 scrubber/ fuel generator/life support/power source?

https://news.uic.edu/breakthrough-solar-cell-captures-co2-and-sunlight-produces-burnable-fuel
Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2016 12:28 AM by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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advanced CO2 scrubber/ fuel generator/life support/power source?

https://news.uic.edu/breakthrough-solar-cell-captures-co2-and-sunlight-produces-burnable-fuel
Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.

A motor vehicle that uses burnable fuel can be refuelled much faster than a battery powered vehicle can be recharged. Energy can be stored for longer as well.

In the case of Mars rockets have to be used to flights to and from orbit since propellers do not work in a vacuum.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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advanced CO2 scrubber/ fuel generator/life support/power source?

https://news.uic.edu/breakthrough-solar-cell-captures-co2-and-sunlight-produces-burnable-fuel
Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.

A motor vehicle that uses burnable fuel can be refuelled much faster than a battery powered vehicle can be recharged. Energy can be stored for longer as well.

In the case of Mars rockets have to be used to flights to and from orbit since propellers do not work in a vacuum.
It still does not make sense. Just moving the huge volume of air towards those things would take a lot of energy for what little you get out of it in fuel.
Maybe for ISRU on mars, if there are no better options. But totally pointless on earth.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2016 06:45 AM by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline CameronD

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advanced CO2 scrubber/ fuel generator/life support/power source?

https://news.uic.edu/breakthrough-solar-cell-captures-co2-and-sunlight-produces-burnable-fuel
Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.

A motor vehicle that uses burnable fuel can be refuelled much faster than a battery powered vehicle can be recharged. Energy can be stored for longer as well.

In the case of Mars rockets have to be used to flights to and from orbit since propellers do not work in a vacuum.
It still does not make sense. Just moving the huge volume of air towards those things would take a lot of energy for what little you get out of it in fuel.
Maybe for ISRU on mars, if there are no better options. But totally pointless on earth.

There's plenty of waste CO2 in raw natural gas so perhaps there's an application there in helping clean up the raw gas stream from the well-head prior to processing ..but as for it's use in the atmosphere someplace? Yep, I'm with you - it don't make much sense here on Earth.
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline KelvinZero

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Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.
All Horticulture relies on making money off this principle though. :)

I assume to be interesting it is claiming to outperform biofuels etc, which seem a lot less fiddly to do the same thing. You are probably right about energy but there are also plastics and other things that use hydrocarbons.

If this actually did outperform leaves, I wonder if one day all our vegetables will be cyborgs :)

Offline RanulfC

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See if you agree with the space related entries chosen by Aviation Week in this round up.

http://m.aviationweek.com/technology/technologies-will-shape-future#slide-0-field_images-1491461

Pretty much, though in a non-space commentary I'll note two things from the article:
Teams and Swarms: Well at least we're a "bit" ahead of the game as according to the Gundam series "BITS" don't appear till the late 21st Century :)

New Shapes: Well the whole reason for developing 'podded' aircraft engines rather than ones buried in the wings was to facilitate maintenance and accessibility, but I suppose this will vindicate the designers of the V-Bombers :)

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline Robotbeat

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Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.
All Horticulture relies on making money off this principle though. :)...
This.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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All Horticulture relies on making money off this principle though. :)
Does not change a thing.

I assume to be interesting it is claiming to outperform biofuels etc, which seem a lot less fiddly to do the same thing.
Biofuels are not exactly efficient either.

You are probably right about energy but there are also plastics and other things that use hydrocarbons.
Makes even less sense for plastics. Less than 1% of the oil is used for plastic. The rest is transportation.

I stay with my original statement, would be better to just use regular solar panels and use those to directly power all those things that burned the fossil fuels to produce the CO2 in the first place.

Offline Robotbeat

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We're going to use electric vehicles for transport. However, niche fuels and plastics will be able to benefit.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline daveklingler

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See if you agree with the space related entries chosen by Aviation Week in this round up.

http://m.aviationweek.com/technology/technologies-will-shape-future#slide-0-field_images-1491461

The parts of that article I enjoyed the most were all aviation-oriented.  I hadn't ever seen that hairy-looking open rotor turbine before.

They did mention the attempt to get a small NTR back into testing by 2024, which I think is currently the most significant thing happening in exploration spaceflight.  Solar electric may be very significant for moving cargo between the inner planets, and the combination of the two may put humans into Mars orbit.

From Mars orbit, deep inside Phobos or Deimos, the synthetic vision systems AW mentioned can help us pretend that we have Mars surface colonies.  That'll save a lot of money and people won't get caught out on the surface during solar storms and cosmic ray bursts.  :)

Offline muomega0

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New Shapes: Well the whole reason for developing 'podded' aircraft engines rather than ones buried in the wings was to facilitate maintenance and accessibility, but I suppose this will vindicate the designers of the V-Bombers :)
Maintenance was not the initial reason as pods cause drag and currently restrict the bypass ratio in larger aircraft--a main driver in fuel burn reduction.   

The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world's first production commercial jetliner.  It featured buried engines in the wings  and the aircraft would change aviation.  The Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, would differ by employing podded engines held on pylons beneath the wings. 

Boeing stated that podded engines were selected for their passenger airliners because buried engines carried a higher risk of catastrophic wing failure in the event of engine fire.

Offline Robotbeat

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....That'll save a lot of money and people won't get caught out on the surface during solar storms and cosmic ray bursts.  :)
The surface of Mars is one of the safest places you could be during a solar particle event. The 40 grams/cm^2 shielding from the atmosphere reduces all solar flares to levels that wouldn't even make you sick.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline RanulfC

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Still semi-off-topic but :)
New Shapes: Well the whole reason for developing 'podded' aircraft engines rather than ones buried in the wings was to facilitate maintenance and accessibility, but I suppose this will vindicate the designers of the V-Bombers :)
Maintenance was not the initial reason as pods cause drag and currently restrict the bypass ratio in larger aircraft--a main driver in fuel burn reduction.

Actually while pods cause more drag they do NOT restrict the bypass ratio but allow it to be higher which is why all high-bypass turbofans are in pods. Incorporating high-bypass engines into the wing requires some very creative design which conversely usually means the maintenance and servicing functions are impaired. It's self limiting to a you can't use the bigger diameter fans without having a larger wing housing for them with the drag of that larger and thicker wing...

It's one of the drivers behind 'distributed' multiple fans being driven by a single turbojet system.

Quote
The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world's first production commercial jetliner. It featured buried engines in the wings  and the aircraft would change aviation.  The Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, would differ by employing podded engines held on pylons beneath the wings.

The Comet had buried engines to reduce drag but on the same hand they were harder to maintain and work on due to that instillation. Boeing and most US jet design used to pods because drag was seen as less of an issue and a higher priority was placed on maintenance and servicing by the 'customers' for the airframes.

Quote
Boeing stated that podded engines were selected for their passenger airliners because buried engines carried a higher risk of catastrophic wing failure in the event of engine fire.

Which isn't 'wrong' mind you ;) But more specifically the driving 'customer' for the airframe (the US Air Force) required, (not requested) that podded engines be used in the design for both maintenance and servicing requirements as this had already been shown to be easier for both during operational use. Airlines and other manufacturers agreed and maintenance and servicing the Comets engines showed this in operation so the idea of buried engines fell by the wayside.

Circumstances and the situation has changed and the concept is making a comeback.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline CameronD

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Circumstances and the situation has changed and the concept is making a comeback.

Speaking of podded engines:  Besides drag, there's also the issue of asymmetric thrust.  Modern avionics can compensate to some degree but I know this annoys the s*** out of many airline pilots; at least those who enjoy actually flying the plane once in while.

It's also the reason you don't see podded engines on front-line jet fighters (well, not since the Me262.  Channelling my inner Colonel Kilnk: "If have Tommy in your gun-sights, do not touch zee throttle!!!" ;) )..
 


« Last Edit: 08/04/2016 04:45 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Stormbringer

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When antigravity is outlawed only outlaws will have antigravity.

Offline Impaler

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All Horticulture relies on making money off this principle though. :)
Does not change a thing.

It shows that low carbon content of the atmosphere is not an insurmountable barrier, the trick is to use a foliated high surface absorption membrane and rely on ambient air movement rather then large air handlers using fans, that is basically what plant leaves are.

I assume to be interesting it is claiming to outperform biofuels etc, which seem a lot less fiddly to do the same thing.
Biofuels are not exactly efficient either.

No argument that Ethanol is a boondoggle, other bio-fuels are their own story and are a mixed bag, wood is a real net power source though it has it's own environmental issues.

You are probably right about energy but there are also plastics and other things that use hydrocarbons.
Makes even less sense for plastics. Less than 1% of the oil is used for plastic. The rest is transportation.

I stay with my original statement, would be better to just use regular solar panels and use those to directly power all those things that burned the fossil fuels to produce the CO2 in the first place.

Wrong, do some research next time, 4 percent of oil is turned into plastics, specifically liquids associated with natural gasses are very popular for plastics, and plastic consumption is huge and continues to rise even as the transport fuel uses for oil are starting to level off and be supplanted by electrification.  If fossil fuel usage is to cease we would certainly need a replacement for plastics as well as the wider petrol-chemical industries feed-stocks.

Offline john smith 19

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A side note on historical podded engine choices.

Bill Gunston in one of his books said De Havilland went with the buried approach because someone in the British aircraft industry (either they or RAE Farmborough as it was at the time) mis-calculated the drag levels of podded versus buried engines.  A mis-calculation which had major repercussions for the British industry and the V bomber designs, although I have to admit the Vulcan and Victor looked good.

IIRC the B36 was flying and the had pusher props buried in the wings and engine pods so I guess the USAF had a pretty good idea of how easy (or difficult) either was proving to be in the field.

As for the Boeing line about being able to accommodate turbo fans.  What?? AFAIK No aircraft was flying a turbofan at that time. All were turbojets. A turbojet too wide to fit in wing of the time would have had generated enormous thrust.

Let's recall the USAF already operates a big modern aircraft with buried engines in the form of the B2.

I'll note that things like accessability  and maintainability is all in the details. The ability to alter them when a problem is found (before mfg) is where modern CAD based mfg really shines. So a modern design of buried engine could have it's own structural framework which locks into the aircraft structure (precisely aligning with the inlet and exhaust systems) with all connectors brought out on a few (ideally one) panels. At this point the engine is either lifted or dropped out. In the case of the B2 lifted would give a smoth undersurface with no openings to preserve stealth. Commercial aircraft would probably drop them out.



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Offline CameronD

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A side note on historical podded engine choices.

Bill Gunston in one of his books said De Havilland went with the buried approach because someone in the British aircraft industry (either they or RAE Farmborough as it was at the time) mis-calculated the drag levels of podded versus buried engines.  A mis-calculation which had major repercussions for the British industry and the V bomber designs, although I have to admit the Vulcan and Victor looked good.

That's not the full story. Drag is obviously part of the equation, but asymmetric thrust is a far bigger problem if you're designing something that needs to accelerate quickly in flight (like a fighter) - especially at supersonic speeds.  Get it wrong and you'll rip the wings off.

I'll note that things like accessability  and maintainability is all in the details. The ability to alter them when a problem is found (before mfg) is where modern CAD based mfg really shines. So a modern design of buried engine could have it's own structural framework which locks into the aircraft structure (precisely aligning with the inlet and exhaust systems) with all connectors brought out on a few (ideally one) panels. At this point the engine is either lifted or dropped out. In the case of the B2 lifted would give a smoth undersurface with no openings to preserve stealth. Commercial aircraft would probably drop them out.

Maybe.  There are a multitude of ways to deal with the accessibility/maintainability issue and aircraft designers now have decades of experience with what works and what doesn't.  Probably the most ingenious I've seen is engine removal on the Sabre jet: the entire tail section comes off.


EDIT:  It's important to also note that even with podded engines on (sub-sonic) commercial airliners and bombers, they don't take the entire 'pod' off to change out the engine.  The engine 'pod' is used for reasons other than pure maintenance.

« Last Edit: 08/25/2016 01:01 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

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