This week a team of undergraduate aerospace engineering students competes in NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s 2022 Gateways to Blue Skies: Airports of Tomorrow Competition. They will present their airport design concept, “Project ECOAir,” to a panel of industry experts at the Blue Skies Forum at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, June 2 and 3.
Elizabeth Newton, director, and Ethan Rivera, marketing operations specialist, of the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering and Public Policy at the Glenn College advised the team. The Battelle Center provided the students with a place to meet up, brainstorm and set up meetings via video or phone calls during their work on this project. The students also received guidance and direction from Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering faculty Brian Ritchie, Ali Jhemi and John Horack, a Glenn College professor, who helped make connections with industry personnel with specialized knowledge in areas they were looking to improve.
As the aviation industry moves into the future of Zero Emission Aviation by 2050, planes and airports of today will be vastly different in tomorrow’s landscape, the NASA press release states. The Blue Skies competition is a new event that seeks to inspire the incoming generation of engineers, planners, architects and other related disciplines to conceptualize changes to new airport designs or airport overhauls to ensure technology changes in the air go hand-in-hand with infrastructure changes on the ground.
The team's airport design includes hydrogen and bio-fueling systems, electric charging stations and increased gate-runway mobility. They also implemented sustainable airport technologies, such as electric taxiing vehicles, carbon-friendly building materials and solar panels and wind turbines to create the most efficient airport they could conceive.
Read the full story from Ohio State's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.