• Debdoot Ghosh

A couple of instances in my life where I thought out a solution for a real-life problem.

1st Instance:

Last year, in a team project, CANSAT we had to develop a deploy mechanism of payload from our rocket at an altitude of 2500 ft. without using any active mechanism, like servo motor, etc. We have an intention to find a unique way to d

o it, unlike the conventional methods used by previous teams. But even after days of brainstorming we were not able to find a solution for it. Finally, one day I was able to figure out a feasible solution for it. I thought of using a permanent magnet attached to the payload and a small power-efficient electromagnet to the deploy mechanism connected to the rocket. The methods were to carry the payload by rocket until it reaches the 2500ft target, the magnetic field of both of the magnets, the permanent and the electromagnet will have their pole in the opposite direction. Now when it is reached to 2500ft, to deploy it, with the electronic configuration mounted on the PCB we will alter the polarity of the electromagnet configuring it in the same polarity with the permanent magnet. Now, due to the no attractive propulsion or repulsion, the payload will be released successfully at the designated altitude. Thus, I figured out a solution for carrying the payload to a specific altitude and then deploying it.

2nd Instance:

A recent incident related to the hybrid rocket project, which is a team-based project on which students from different years and different departments work on. We have the vision to develop a rocket that will have the capability of vertical take-off and vertical self-landing features. In the vertical landing process, the rocket descends back to the earth's surface after reaching it designated apogee (in our case it is 30,000ft) by means of retro-propulsion. It involves various aerodynamics and propulsion related challenges. One aerodynamic design challenge was the Centre of Gravity(COG) should be above the Centre of Pressure (COP) while in the ascend stage and while in the descend the above condition should be reversed, that is, COP should lie above COG. But the COG of a rocket can not be altered, it is fixed. My seniors assigned me to figure out a solution for it. After a few moments of brainstorming, I was able to find a solution for it. The solution was - we will make grooves like dimples on then nose cone of the rocket, which will help to maintain a high pressure more at the upper part of the rocket and thereby switching the position of the Centre of Pressure (COP) from the lower part to the upper part while the rocket descents. This feature will not affect much the COG-COP relative position while ascending because of high speed and flow separations in the region. Later, the concept was verified using numerical investigations by tools like CFD. Thus, it is another real-life problem I solved successfully.

List any five ideas that became reality today.

  1. Reusable Self-Landing Rocket:

The Self Landing rocket is one of the greatest technological achievements of our time. The organization to achieve for the first time is SpaceX, the largest private space organization. This technology is very beneficial in terms of efficient space access. Previously, the boosters were used to put a space shuttle to low earth orbit, but after it is accomplished the boosters are either destroyed in the upper atmosphere or trajected to large water bodies like oceans. These make a space program highly expensive, but with the advent of reusable self landing rockets, a significant amount of budget can be cut down for space missions.

2. International Space Station (ISS):

The international station previously seemed to be sci-fi concepts, but a few decades ago it became reality. The rudiments of it were first established by Russian engineers and then by the American. Now many contours have collaborated to join the ISS program. This is now the largest man-made object in space. The ISS is home to a lot of low-gravity experiments and understanding various aspects of outer space.

3. Breaking the sound barrier:

Supersonic flight, an aircraft that is meant to fly beyond the speed of sound, is a long-cherished dream of researchers which became reality in the early 1940s. Miles Aircraft, developed in the United Kingdom, is the first aircraft to fly beyond Mach 1, that is, more than the speed of sound. With the advancement of aerospace technologies, now humans can also travel across the world with hypersonic speed. An analogy for hypersonic flight, a person travels from India to Tokyo in just 6 mins.

4. Electric Vehicles:

Electric vehicles were envisioned many decades ago by engineers, but in the 21st century became reality. Electric vehicles in both the automobile and aerospace sector upheld the foundation of green-mobility. With the spread in the use of electric vehicles, we can now save lots of fuel resources, easy and cheap transportation, safety improvements, etc.

5. Artificial Intelligence:

The computer program, Logic Theorist, developed by Herbert Simon and Allen Newell in 1955 laid the foundation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Before that, a computer program can work according to the algorithm assigned by the user. But the implementation of AI, a computer program, can now understand patterns and can learn and develop itself like human beings. The applications of AI are limitless and it is revolutionizing each and every sector.

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