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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
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Manhattan, KS 66506

August 31, 2020

K-State Multifunctional Structures Lab receives NASA funding for joint project with Wichita State and KU

Submitted by Jared Hobeck

: (a) Raven RQ-11B CAD model, (b) engine schematic, and (c) 3D-printed titanium crankcase.

Jared Hobeck, assistant professor in the Alan Levin Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, has been awarded a subcontract as part of a short-term $127,000 Seed Research Initiation grant from NASA.

The project seeks to develop a design framework for 3D-printable hybrid internal combustion engines to power unmanned aerial vehicles on both Mars and Earth missions. Hobeck's Multifunctional Structures Lab is responsible for designing and simulating an electromagnetic linear generator integrated with the engine to provide electrical power while maximizing system efficiency.

This one-year project, led by Wichita State University, is a collaborative effort between three Kansas universities — Wichita State, Kansas State University and the University of Kansas; three industry partners — KalScott Engineering, Brij Systems and Aerojet Rocketdyne; and the NASA Glen Research Center.

The team expects these early efforts to pave the way for long-term sustained collaboration, STEM outreach events and future funding opportunities.

Image: (a) Raven RQ-11B CAD model, (b) engine schematic, (c) 3D printed titanium crankcase. Modified from [1]. DOI (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2020.112514).