The Latest from LTI!
LightCraft Flight Manual Now Available!
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How does a LightCraft work? What might it be like to fly in one? What kinds of missions can it accomplish? Alll these questions and many more are answered in this long-awaited
book from LightCraft developer Dr. Leik Myrabo. Available through Apogee Space Books (opens in new window),
The LightCraft Flight Manual provides a detailed and in-depth look at the workings of these innovative and revolutonary vehicles.
Engine and Inlet Experiments Underway
Scale cross-sections of various LightCraft engine and inlet geometries are currently undergoing tests in a hypersonic wind tunnel in South America at
Mach 7 to 10. These laser propulsion experiments are aimed at confirming physics-based computer models for: a) Directed Energy AirSpike (DEAS) inlets;
and, b) full-scale pulsed detonation engine segments-examining interactions of expanding plasma blast waves with inlet flows and thruster surfaces.
Tests thus far have shown excellent conformity.
Flight Dynamics & Control Laws Developed
Working with graduate students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York state, Dr. Myrabo and his team developed and modeled a comprehensive set of Flight
Dynamics and Control (FDL) laws for the LightCraft, calibrated against 16 historic lightcraft flights at White Sands Missile Range, NM. Subsequent computer simulations
have confirmed that complete dynamic control of a full-size LightCraft along a launch trajectory into low Earth orbit is feasible. Aerodynamics and propulsion data bases
now being collected in both low-speed and hypersonic wind tunnel experiments will be used to upgrade subroutines in the FDL code.