NASA Technology Stabilizes All Kinds Of Structures

By Frank Morring, Jr.
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

“We're able to get greater than a four-times reduction [in lateral motion],” says Berry, noting that the water in the FSC pipe has only 0.3% of the mass of the building.

Berry's group has studied the phenomenon analytically and empirically, and is using the large-scale experiment “to make sure the physics doesn't fall apart.” Some of that work may help SLS designers if they need to dampen loads on their big new launch vehicle, but NASA also has embarked on some missionary work.

After passing their findings along to military research and development organizations that may want to make classified use of the techniques, Berry says, NASA has been briefing various civilian entities on FSC. Not surprisingly, engineering firms that specialize in skyscrapers are showing interest, he says, as are shipbuilders and oil companies with deep-sea drilling platforms.

“What's important to know is it's mature,” Berry says. “This is not just some lab experiments and concepts. We spent the time, because of Ares where we had a real issue to go solve, to understand the physics.”


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