For over 100 years, Aerospace is the crucible for all next generation technologies. From material science to Electronics, from sheet metal to composites, RADAR & communication technologies to wood working, from CAD to weather forecasting, from imaging to 3d Printing, from autonomous vehicles to sensor technology. All breakthroughs in science and technologies have been first applied for A&D before being adopted by other industries. This is because rather than confining to the constraints of existing, A&D pushes the envelope and accepts no limits. It is an unforgiving industry where nothing but perfection & innovation is accepted.
So rather than talking about exciting developments of aerospace technology, I would like to share few technologies incubated by aerospace that are set to change our life as we know of:
- Since the 1950s, the space program has been largely unmanned. From the first satellite to the first landing on the moon to fly by wire technology software & computing power has made our journey safer, easier and reliable. While some of the liability & legal constraints are being ironed out, this technology is going to make a major impact in the autonomous cars & transportation
- The piston engine technology has saturated and some of the new improvements in engine efficiency are coming through creative testing by the car manufacturers. The composite technology used in the next generation aircraft can help make cars lighter and more fuel efficient. The directional strength properties make these vehicles a lot safer by distributing the impact force away from the driver making it a lot safer. It enables electric vehicles become practical with long enough drive distance.
- Additive technology or 3D printing that is used in the gas turbine is set to revolutionize the manufacturing process across industry. Rather than manufacturability dictating what can be designed it will be the other way around. This will allow our goods to be more customizable, aesthetically appealing, efficient & light weight.
- Aerospace industry gave birth to the NC programmable machines & CAD (computer aided design). Aerospace industry created the sensor technology and even today the best sensors are marked A&D grade. The two are coming together and creating Industry 4.0 which is poised to change the manufacturing as we know it. It will bring manufacturing back from the far east to England, the birth place of Industrial revolution. It will make manufacturing economical, better quality, customizable, more environmentally friendly and ethical.
- Hand-held drones and solar powered eyes in the sky are winning the war against terrorism for us. They not only reduce the collateral damage, bring home our soldiers, and save the hostages/ civilians but also neutralize the armed terrorist from a safe distance. It allows economical monitoring and greatly improve the response time winning the battle against terror.