Engines for Remotely Piloted Atmospheric-Science Airplanes

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-28410
Published March 01, 1999 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States
  • English

A spark-ignited reciprocating gasoline engine, intake-pressurized with three cascaded stages of turbocharging, was selected by NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) Program, managed at the Dryden Flight Research Center, to propel the next generation of remotely piloted atmospheric-science airplanes. Scientific needs for sampling the atmosphere, and providing unique images of the Earth, dictate the unique required flight regime; namely, subsonic speeds at altitudes >80 kft (>24 km) and for periods exceeding 24 hours.