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Aeronautics

Our work advances propulsion for aircraft while reducing energy consumption, noise, emissions and the cost of air travel. We are committed to investigating the use of alternative energy sources and improving the safety and expediency of flight.

Expertise

  • Engine cycles
  • Advanced propulsion systems
  • Component improvements
  • Controls and dynamics
  • Harsh environment sensors
  • Electronics
  • Instrumentation
  • Health monitoring and management
  • Materials and structures
  • Power extraction and management
  • Icing
  • Fuels and propellants
  • Acoustics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Heat transfer
  • Aerothermodynamics and plasmas

The Future of Aviation: Quieter. Cleaner. Faster. (music only)
Credits: NASA

What we’re working on

Large-Scale Swept Wing Model in the NASA Glenn Icing Research Tunnel
Ice accreted on a Large-Scale Swept Wing Model in the NASA Icing Research Tunnel.

Icing Research

At NASA Glenn Research Center, “We Freeze to Please”. Our icing research teams utilize a refrigerated wind tunnel, an engine test cell, and small scale laboratories to create icing conditions for models and airfoils on the ground, as well as flying laboratories to study aircraft icing in the sky. They have also developed software tools … Continued

Boundary Layer Ingestion testing in NASA Glenn 8'x6' wind tunnel.
Boundary Layer Ingestion propulsion concept undergoing high-speed testing in the NASA Glenn 8’x6’ wind tunnel.   Credits: Dave Arend/NASA

Boundary Layer Ingestion Propulsion

The Aviation Industry has made tremendous strides in increasing the efficiency of today’s aircraft, especially by significantly reducing the fuel consumption of the aircraft engines.  But, the number of commercial aircraft and the number of people flying each day is expected to double by 2036.  In the same time period, the expected cost per gallon … Continued

STARC-ABL electrical
STARC-ABL electrical

Hybrid Electric Propulsion

Hybrid Electric Propulsion is an exciting area with much promise for improving the fuel efficiency, emissions, and noise levels in commercial transport aircraft. NASA’s research in this area includes airplane concepts, electrical power systems, component materials, and test facilities along with exploratory investment in turbine-generator interactions and boundary-layer ingestion validation. The overall goal is to … Continued

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