A research paper about heat transfer inside the reactor of a conceptual liquid-fueled nuclear rocket engine by a University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) graduate student won best student paper at the American Nuclear Society’s recent Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS) conference
In Physics of Fluids, researchers detail how the protruding eyes and mouths on simulated stingrays affect a range of forces involved in propulsion, such as pressure and vorticity. They created a computer model of a self-propelled flexible plate that mimicked a stingray’s up-and-down harmonic oscillations and used it to illustrate the complex interplay between hydrodynamic forces. The group found that the eyes and mouth help streamline stingrays even further.
Propelled by chemical changes in surface tension, microrobots surfing across fluid interfaces lead researchers to new ideas.