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NASA Announces New Subsonic Aircraft Research Opportunities; Reduced Noise and Emissions, Improved Fuel Burn

NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is soliciting additional research proposals; “Research Opportunities in Aeronautics 2010” (ROA-2010) has been modified to include new topics in support of the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project.

With the amendment, the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project encourages proposals that develop improved prediction methods and technologies for lower noise, lower emissions, and higher performance for subsonic aircraft. The goal is to develop the enabling technology to meet specific long-term goals to reduce noise and emissions, improve aircraft fuel burn efficiency, and enable use of shorter runways at smaller airfields.

NASA expects that educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and industry engaged in foundational research will be the primary award recipients for this announcement. The due date for proposals is 30 Nov 2010.

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-70 db noise in 15 years seems unprecedented.


An MIT research group maintains that it is doable but it looks almost impossible to reach those goals so fast.

If aircraft design can be improved that much in 15 years, we could have new batteries with 500+ Wh/Kg energy density in the same time frame?


Harvey, in what progress in aircraft designs and battery design are connected ? stop to think that because progress can be done fast in one type of industry then also should be necessarily fast in another industry, each industry have their limitation and challenges, breakthrough in material like ceramic have stalled for decades despite strong expectation, hope to reduce the cost of manufacturing carbon fiber have cooled down, fuel cell was invented in the 60s and still didn't find commercial applications and the list goes on. Battery have never progressed fast, unlike aircraft technology, so your comparisons are irrelevant at best,


Maybe the only way to achieve -70 db noise reduction is via electric propulsion.


Electric propulsion won't cut noise from the engine fans or turbulence over other structure. I've flown in engine-less aircraft; they are far from quiet.


Best near solution to the noise issue would appear to be electric energized by vacuum field.

Or Mills' relativistic hydrino propulsion;)


Airplanes internal noises can be greatly reduced by generating out of phase noises. Bombadier is using that technology with success on their Q-400 turbo-props, specially in the first class area.

The time taken to develop a new technology is relevant to the resources used and specially the size of potential profits.

Most orphan (rare) diseases don't have proper medication (or none at all) because no resources are used to develop them. The reason is simple...reduced cases equals reduced potential profits.

The case of EV batteries is very different. The potential profits are huge, so 100+ firms and countries will spend $$$B to develop them faster. Future shortage of liquid fuels is another good reason.

The case of future improved airplanes is a lot less appealing. The average public couldn't care less. Profit opportunities is limited to very few manufacturers and operators. That is why the 15 year NASA goals will NOT be met.


It's said that engine-less gliders are very quiet.


They're relatively quiet, but the wind noise inside e.g. a Schweizter 2-33 isn't what you'd call a peaceful place.

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