A unique chamber tests pilotless aircraft for their ability to function at altitudes exceeding 67,000 ft. Engineers at Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. (Manassas, VA) designed, built, and operate the chamber, called the Ultra-High Altitude Test Facility. Aurora successfully tested its Perseus B drone in the 12- by 7-ft chamber. Ram air coolers, normally mounted under the Perseus wing and on the fuselage's side, were replaced with compact coolers in which liquid fluids cool the engine and turbos instead of the ram air. To simulate the low temperatures at high altitudes, a special low-temperature fluid with a freezing temperature of about -130C was pumped through the coolers. For details, e-mail Ben Russat at email@example.com.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
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