Abstract: The University of Canterbury has developed a rocket research group, UC Rocketry, which recently broke the world altitude record for an I-class motor (impulse of 320–640 Ns) and has run a rocketry course for the first time in New Zealand. This paper discusses the development and results of the world record rocket “Milly” and details all the fundamental elements of the rocketry final year engineering course, including the manufacturing processes, wind tunnel testing, avionics, control and the final rocket launch of “Smokey”. The rockets Milly and Smokey are an example of the design, implementation and testing methodologies that have significantly contributed to research and graduates for New Zealand’s space program.
Abstract: Air traffic is growing at a steady rate of 3% to 5% per year in most regions of the world, implying a doubling every 15–25 years. This requires major advances in aircraft noise reduction at airports, just not to increase the noise exposure due to the larger number of aircraft movements. In fact it can be expected, as a consequence of increased opposition to noise by near airport residents, that the overall noise exposure will have to be reduced, by bans, curfews, fines, and other means and limitations, unless significantly quieter aircraft operations are achieved. The ultimate solution is aircraft operations inaudible outside the airport perimeter, or noise levels below road traffic and other existing local noise sources. These substantial noise reductions cannot come at the expense of a degradation of cruise efficiency, that would affect not just economics and travel time, but would increase fuel consumption and emission of pollutants on a global scale. The paper reviews the: (i) current knowledge of the aircraft noise sources; (ii) the sound propagation in the atmosphere and ground effects that determine the noise annoyance of near-airport residents; (iii) the noise mitigation measures that can be applied to current and future aircraft; (iv) the prospects of evolutionary and novel aircraft designs towards quieter aircraft in the near term and eventually to operations inaudible outside the airport perimeter. The 20 figures and 1 diagram with their legends provide a visual summary of the review.
Abstract: In the field of aerospace engineering, the study of the characteristics of vortical flows and their unsteady phenomena finds numerous engineering applications related to improvements in the design of tip devices, enhancement of combustor performance, and control of noise generation. A large amount of work has been carried out in the analysis of the shock wave diffraction around conventional geometries such as sharp and rounded corners, but the employment of splitters with lateral variation has hardly attracted the attention of researchers. The investigation of this phenomenon around two-dimensional wedges has allowed the understanding of the basic physical principles of the flow features. On the other hand, important aspects that appear in the third dimension due to the turbulent nature of the vortices are omitted. The lack of studies that use three-dimensional geometries has motivated the current work to experimentally investigate the evolution of the shock wave diffraction around two splitters with spike-shaped structures for Mach numbers of 1.31 and 1.59. Schlieren photography was used to obtain an insight into the sequential diffraction processes that take place in different planes. Interacting among them, these phenomena generate a complicated turbulent cloud with a vortical arrangement.
Abstract: Improvements in safety in the air and in space can be achieved through better ergonomics, better work environment, and other efforts of the traditional avionic psychology that directly affect human behaviors and performance. There is also a significant potential, however, for further reduction in aerospace accidents and casualties through better understanding the role that various uncertainties play in the planner’s and operator’s worlds of work, when never-perfect human, never failure-free navigation equipment and instrumentation, never hundred-percent-predictable response of the object of control (air- or space-craft), and uncertain-and-often-harsh environments contribute jointly to the likelihood of a mishap. By employing quantifiable and measurable ways of assessing the role and significance of such uncertainties and treating a human-in-the-loop (HITL) as a part, often the most crucial part, of a complex man–instrumentation–equipment–vehicle–environment system, one could improve dramatically the state-of-the-art in assuring aerospace operational safety. This can be done by predicting, quantifying and, if necessary, even specifying an adequate (low enough) probability of a possible accident. Nothing and nobody is perfect, of course, and the difference between a highly reliable object, product, performance or a mission and an insufficiently reliable one is “merely” in the level of the never-zero probability of failure. Application of the probabilistic predictive modeling (PPM) concept provides a natural and an effective means for reduction of vehicular casualties. When success and safety are imperative, ability to predict and quantify the outcome of an HITL related mission or a situation is a must. This is not the current practice though. The application of the PPM concept can improve therefore the state-of-the-art in understanding and accounting for the human performance in a vehicular mission or a situation. While the traditional statistical human-factor-oriented approaches are based on experimentations followed by statistical analyses, the PPM concept is based on, and starts with, physically meaningful and flexible predictive modeling followed by highly focused and highly cost effective experimentations geared to the chosen governing model(s). The PPT concept enables one to quantify, on the probabilistic basis, the outcome of a particular HITL related effort, situation or a mission. If the predicted outcome, in terms of the most likely probability of the operational failure, is not favorable, then an appropriate sensitivity analysis (SA) based on the developed and available algorithms can be effectively conducted to improve the situation. With the appropriate modifications and generalizations, such a cost-effective and insightful approach is applicable to numerous, not even necessarily in the aerospace and vehicular domain, HITL related missions and situations, when a human encounters an uncertain environment or a hazardous off-normal situation. The suggested approach is applicable also when there is an incentive to quantify human’s qualifications and performance, and/or when there is a need to assess and possibly improve his/her role in a particular mission or a situation. The general PPM concepts are illustrated in this analysis by addressing several more or less typical aerospace HITL related problems and by providing meaningful numerical examples.
Abstract: The investigation of aviation alternative fuels has increased significantly in recent years in an effort to reduce the environment and climate impact by aviation industry. Special requirements have to be met for qualifying as a suitable aviation fuel. The fuel has to be high in energy content per unit of mass and volume, thermally stable and avoiding freezing at low temperatures. There are also many other special requirements on viscosity, ignition properties and compatibility with the typical aviation materials. There are quite a few contending alternative fuels which can be derived from coal, natural gas and biomass.[...]
Abstract: Recent advances in smart structures and multifunctional materials have facilitated many novel aerospace technologies such as morphing aircraft. A morphing aircraft, bio-inspired by natural fliers, has gained a lot of interest as a potential technology to meet the ambitious goals of the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) Vision 2020 and the FlightPath 2050 documents. A morphing aircraft continuously adjusts its wing geometry to enhance flight performance, control authority, and multi-mission capability.[...]