Over the past few years, the industry of aviation has done countless innovations and is planning for many more.
So, here are the 10 coolest aerospace technologies that are helping the aerospace industry to take a step ahead to a better future…
Top 10 Technologies That are Changing the Future of the Aerospace Industry
From the early 1990s, when the Wright brothers first launched their woods and canvas glider, technology has improved dramatically. From that time, 3D printing has played a major role in this revolution by simply reducing the weight, streamlining design, and strengthening materials in the aerospace industry. Companies that were facing a lot of trouble in fulfilling the production deadlines have turned to 3D printing as a solution to the issue. The aerospace industry was among the first advocates of 3D printing. Even NASA foresees future spacecraft coming equipped with 3D printers so that the scientists can send astronauts digital CADD files to be printed.
Structural Health Monitoring
Structural Health Monitoring, also known as SHM, has given spectacular progress to the readers that have taken place over the last 20 years with respect to the SHM. It has been developed to enhance the ability to analyze and determine the status of an aircraft. The adoption of this technology significantly improves safety and reduces the maintenance and repair expenses that were estimated to be about a quarter of an aircraft fleet’s operating costs.
The concept of zero-fuel aircraft has gained a lot of popularity in both the commercial and civil sectors. This concept proved to be very useful in multiple sectors like 3D mapping, agriculture, wildlife protection, aerial photography, and the provision of internet access in remote places. According to the analyst Avimanyu Basu, this aircraft uses photovoltaic panels in order to utilize solar energy to provide the necessary thrust to the engines. Its solar power impulse 2 reduces the overall weight of the body, and that is why it is termed as a zero-fuel aircraft.
Smart Automation and Blockchain
Manufacturing different parts of aircraft is considered as a highly specialized and complicated process. But, thanks to the new technologies and processes that are making it much faster and simpler. Due to these technologies, the technicians can easily scan the metal surface using a tablet or a smart glass and can easily determine the correct sized bolt that needs to be used in it. And according to the information, a robotic arm will then perform the working. So, this way these technologies are giving shape to the aerospace industry.
Advanced Space Propulsion Technologies
A new plasma-based technology also known as a VASMIR rocket has been in development from the last few years. NASA and Department of Energy and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are working on this technology. According to them, this technology will reduce fuel consumption and surely enable the long-term space mission in the future. The future of deep-space exploration completely depends on these five key areas of advance space propulsion:
- Chemical propulsion
- Electric propulsion
- Precision propulsion
- Power system
- Energy storage
AI-Driven ‘Generative Design’
Instead of fleshy and elegant aircraft, there is an innovation in the aerospace industry that is known as AI-driven generative design. Basically, it uses machine learning and cloud computing to come up with the best option that a human could create. This technology is very useful and enables aircraft manufacturers to design such parts that are very light and sturdy and constantly reduces the amount of building materials. Using AI software, generative design enable engineers to create thousands of design options by defining their design issues and by inputting their basic parameters. This technology becomes so successful that thousands of companies are using it to solve their engineering challenges and to come up with a unique solution that human mind could never conceive them.
Even though new types of aircraft are increasing rapidly, so there is nothing to stop the classic model innovation as well. The advances in material science have provided huge benefits to aircraft manufacturers. With the use of new materials like graphene and carbon natotube, the aircraft wings have become more efficient due to reduced weight and fuel consumption.
The scientists of MIT and NASA have used these materials to develop a “morphing” wings that could lead to a more efficient manufacturing process. This is only possible because they consist of tiny, lightweight sub-units that can be assembled by small, specialized robots easily.
This is another innovation that is flying through in the aerospace industry. In fact, this trend is of particular interest to many engineers. This technology is very useful in consolidating light-weighted aerospace parts. With this innovation, most of the aerospace manufacturers get the freedom to produce different parts on demand. Hence, the supply chain becomes more efficient with this innovation. The strengths of additive manufacturing basically lie in those areas where the conventional manufacturing reaches its limitations. This technology develops a new interest among the aircraft manufacturers and also enables a design-driven manufacturing process.
Autonomous Flight Systems
It is considered as one of the major innovations in the aerospace industry. As autonomy has come in many forms, like – from drones to the space vehicles. Everyone knows this fact that autonomous flights are fundamental to the future of space travel. In order to create a fully developed autonomous aircraft, the expert engineers need to perform closed-loop simulations between the sensors, control software, and intelligent algorithms. So, overall this technology has gained a lot of popularity in the aerospace industry.
We all know the fact that smartphones have become more commonplace, so have their numerous applications. With the increasing innovation in the aerospace industry, it has launched in-flight apps that prove to be very useful for the pilots to communicate with each other. Apart from this, the technology serves many other purposes such as:
- In-flight high bandwidth connectivity.
- Low-cost alternative to embedded IFE systems.
- Cabin and passenger data management.
- Payment portal.
- Optional high-definition AVOD delivered personal devices.
- Works with multiple operating systems.
- Streams up to 300 devices simultaneously.
- Interactive services and apps with in-the-air content updates.
Inventive advancements and procedures are being created on a daily basis and the small and large scale manufacturers are receiving the rewards. The reason behind is the aerospace organizations are searching for niche providers to help grow their supply chain.
A number of joint endeavors and outsourcing are likely to happen in the following five to ten years as these developing markets start to compete on a worldwide scale.