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KAIST Launches Woorisae II
Professor Sejin Kwon from the Department of Aerospace Engineering and his team succeeded in launching a science rocket, named ‘Woorisae II’ at Saemanguem reclamation. This rocket was developed in collaboration with the Satellite Technology Research Lab (SaRTec). The test-firing was conducted at 10:43 am on Sunday October 28, 2018 (35°N 42’ 06” 126°E 33’ 36”, Radius of 0.6NM). This launch was the follow-up to the previous launch that was cancelled due to not gaining approval for using the airspace. Professor Kwon’s team put a great deal of effort into securing the land for the rocket launch. As a result, they got approval from the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency for the land and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for the use of the airspace. The Republic of Korea Air Force and United States Air Force also approved the use of the airspace for the launch of the science rocket for research purposes. Woorisae II is 2.2 meters long with a diameter of 20cm, and weighs 13kg without a payload. The rocket is powered by a hybrid rocket with hydrogen peroxide oxidizer producing 100 kg of force. The Woorisae II sounding rocket was designed to burn for five seconds and then continue inertial flight for 20 seconds. The target altitude of Woorisae II was set at 3,300 feet to comply with the airspace approval. The team developed the core components, including a hybrid rocket propulsion system, flight computer and parachute recovery system, as well as a ground control station. The flight data was transmitted to the ground station and recorded to onboard computer memory. When a malfunction occurs during the flight, Woorisae II was designed to terminate the power flight for safety by shutting the propellant valve and deploying the recovery parachute. All the rocket subsystems and components were developed and supplied by domestic startup companies such as INOCOM and NARA SPACE TEHCNOLOGY. Generally, sounding rockets reach an altitude beyond 30km and are widely used for testing rocket engines and reentry materials as well as for conducting microgravity experiments. Instruments for atmospheric science can also be installed to measure fine dust and high altitude atmosphere. Besides these science and technology purposes, most advanced spacefaring countries have sounding rocket programs to train and educate young people in the field of space science. Professor Kwon said, “We will plan to launch upgraded rockets on November 4 and December 6 because we already received approval from the related agencies for using this land and airspace. Based on the experiment, we are planning to develop a cost-efficient small launch vehicle that is capable of delivering a cube satellite into Earth’s orbit.” (Photos of preparing the rocket launch)
Mechanical Engineering Building on Campus Refurbished
KAIST’s Mechanical Engineering Department has finished the project to remodel its buildings and hosted an opening ceremony on December 12, 2016, which was attended by the university’s senior management and guests including President Steve Kang and Choong-Hwan Ahn, Architecture Policy Officer at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korea (MLIT). With an investment of approximately USD 10 million, the old buildings (each consisting of seven floors and one basement) were transformed into smart, green buildings. Among the upgrades were the establishment of LED lighting systems, the replacement of the exterior walls with insulated materials, and the installation of double-glazed windows, all resulting in the improvement of the buildings’ energy efficiency. Previously, offices and lecture halls in the buildings had individual cooling and heating systems, which consumed a great deal of energy, but they were replaced with a centralized smart energy control system that monitors the operation status as well as energy consumption in real time. With these new improvements, the Department was able to slash its energy consumption by 32%, for which it received Green Building Conversion Certification from MLIT. The ministry issues the certification to buildings that reduce their energy consumption by over 20% as a result of infrastructure upgrades. Beginning with the Mechanical Engineering buildings, KAIST will work on obtaining this certification for all of its buildings that are either under renovation or construction. President Kang said, “We are pleased to offer our students a comfortable environment for study and research and will continue improving outdated facilities and infrastructure to make the campus safer and nicer.” Picture 1: Ribbon-cutting ceremony for the refurbished Mechanical Engineering buildings on campus Picture 2: Mechanical engineering buildings
KAIST student wins Aerospace Student Papers Grand Prize
Dong-Il Yoo, a doctoral candidate under Professor Hyun-Chul Shim, at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, KAIST, has been awarded the Second Prize Award at the 11th Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Paper Contest. The award ceremony was held on October 30th at the media conference room at the KINTEX ADEX 2013 Exhibition in Seoul. Yoo"s paper, titled "A Study on Virtual Pursuit Point-based Autonomous Air Combat Guidance Law for UCAV," is highly regarded for originality and creativity. The Field Robotics Center at the KAIST Institute, where Yoo conducted his research, also received the first prize at the 7th KAI Paper Contest. The KAI Paper Contest was first organized in 2003 to promote academic interest and advance research and development in aerospace engineering among university students. The KAI Paper Contest is one of the most prestigious contests in Korea. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Korean Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences, the Korea Aerospace Industries Association, and the Korea Civil Aviation Development Association. Dong-Il Yoo (left) and Professor Hyun-Chul Shim (right)
KAIST unveils foldable micro electric car, Armadillo-T
The small and light electric car completely folds in half when parking, making it a perfect fit for public or private transportation in an urban environment. Looking for a parking space for hours at a busy shopping mall or being stuck on roads jammed with cars releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide are all-too-familiar scenes for city dwellers. A group of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) recently developed a possible solution to such problems: a foldable, compact electric vehicle that can be utilized either as a personal car or part of the public transit system to connect major transportation routes within a city. In-Soo Suh, associate professor of the Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST, and his research team introduced a prototype micro electric car called "Armadillo-T," whose design is based on a native animal of South America, the armadillo, a placental mammal with a leathery armor shell. The research team imitated the animal"s distinctive protection characteristic of rolling up into a ball when facing with threat from predators. Just as armadillos hide themselves inside the shell, Armadillo-T tucks its rear body away, shrinking its original size of 2.8 meters (110 inches) down to almost half, 1.65 meters (65 inches), when folding. Armadillo-T is a four-wheel-drive, all-electric car with two seats and four in-wheel motors. Since the motors are installed inside the wheels, and the 13.6 kWh capacity of lithium-ion battery pack is housed on the front side, the battery and motors do not have to change their positions when the car folds. This not only optimizes the energy efficiency but also provides stability and ample room to drivers and passengers. Once folded, the small and light (weighs 450 kg) electric vehicle takes up only one-third of a 5-meter parking space, the standard parking size in Korea, allowing three of its kind to be parked. With a smartphone-interfaced remote control on the wheels, the vehicle can turn 360 degrees, enhancing drivers" convenience to park the car, even in an odd space in a parking lot, the corner of a building, for example. Professor In-Soo Suh said, "I expect that people living in cities will eventually shift their preferences from bulky, petro-engine cars to smaller and lighter electric cars. Armadillo-T can be one of the alternatives city drivers can opt for. Particularly, this car is ideal for urban travels, including car-sharing and transit transfer, to offer major transportation links in a city. In addition to the urban application, local near-distance travels such as tourist zones or large buildings can be another example of application." The concept car has loads of smart features on board, too: the cameras installed inside the car eliminate the need for side mirrors and increase the driver"s ability to see the car"s right and left side, thereby reducing blind spots. With a smartphone, the driver can control Armadillo-T and enable remote folding control. The car has a maximum speed of 60 km/h, and with a ten-minute fast charge, it can run up to 100 km. Professor Suh explained that the concept of Armadillo-T was originally initiated in 2011 as he focused his research interest on the sub-A segment of personal mobility vehicles (PMVs), which are smaller and lighter than the current compact cars, as a new personalized transport mode. "In coming years, we will see more mega-size cities established and face more serious environmental problems. Throughout the world, the aging population is rapidly growing as well. To cope with climate, energy, and limited petroleum resources, we really need to think outside the box, once again, to find more convenient and eco-friendly transportation, just as the Ford Model T did in the early 1920s. A further level of R&D, technical standards, and regulatory reviews are required to have these types of micro vehicles or PMVs on the market through test-bed evaluations, but we believe that Armadillo-T is an icon toward the future transport system with technology innovation." The research project has been supported by the Korean government, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement, since December 2012.Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DoZH7Y-sR0
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