MAE UCSD Team accepted into NASA's Microgravity University program

This year, the UCSD Microgravity Team has been accepted into NASA's Microgravity University program to pursue research involving biofuel combustion in near zero-gravity conditions. Microgravity University, or the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program, offers undergraduate student teams the opportunity to propose, design, and fly their own experiments aboard the "Vomit Comet" aircraft. Each year, teams from universities around the nation submit their research proposals to NASA and a select number of teams are chosen, based on the quality of their proposals, to perform their experiments in a reduced gravity environment. The UCSD Microgravity Team's research proposal focuses on Fiber Supported Droplet Combustion (FSDC) of bioethanol and biobutanol to better understand burning rate characteristics of these fuels. An improved understanding of the combustion of these biofuels may lead to improvements in ground-based engines and fire safety aboard spacecraft, among other possible innovations.