Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
After the Skyglow launch, Lu Zhou moved the space shuttle assembly center research department to the Jinling Institute for Advanced Study, turning it into its separate "Aerospace Science and Technology Institute". This research institute was responsible for researching aerospace-related technologies, including ion thruster propulsion systems.
Because there were many top-secret projects, the building of the institute had the highest level of security.
Unlike other institutes at the Jinling Institute for Advanced Study, the Aerospace Science and Technology Institutes main customer was the Star Sky Technology space shuttle assembly center. The vast majority of funding also came directly from Star Sky Technologys account. This was different from the Jinling Institute of Computational Materials, which received funding from other companies.
The director of the Aerospace Science and Technology Institute was obviously Hou Guang, the designer of Skyglow.
Because of his past experience in the 863 Program, there wasnt anyone else more suitable for this position than him. There wasnt anyone else in the entire research institute who was more familiar with the structure and overall design of Skyglow. Asking him to coordinate the project teams was undoubtedly a wise decision.
Hou Guang lived up to Lu Zhous expectations. During the time when Lu Zhou wasnt in Jinling, not only did he speedily complete the relocation of the research institute, but he didnt stop researching.
On one hand, he organized technicians to modularly dismantle the Skyglow aerospaceplane, On the other hand, he evaluated the damaged equipment areas and systematically performed analysis on the test flight data. He summarized all of the data in a 20-page report.
After Lu Zhou spent two days reading the report and finished his PowerPoint presentation for the conference. He called Hou Guang and had a meeting with the people from the Aerospace Science and Technology Institute.
"First of all, I would like to thank you all for your hard work. I cant speak on behalf of this country, but as the president of the Institute for Advanced Study, I would like to give my most sincere thanks."
After the brief opening remarks, there was a round of applause in the conference room.
Lu Zhou nodded and the applause subsided.
He cleared his throat and gently placed the 20-page report on the multimedia desk.
"I have already read the contents of the report.
"The Skyglow design was successful, but I think there are many areas that can be improved.
"Looking at the analysis of the overhaul, the wing and the belly of the spacecraft received more heat than we expected during re-entry. Our brilliant engineers deduced that the main reason is that the spacecraft entered the dense part of the atmosphere too quickly.
"Ive thought about this problem for a long time, and I have also exchanged opinions with experts. I think that because ion thruster is relatively stable compared to chemical engines, we can abandon the rocket design of traditional chemical rockets. We can move four of the ion thrusters to the wings of the shuttle, leaving only one main engine at the tail.
"Also, we should add a pair of bi-axle ailerons to the aerospaceplane. This can be used to suspend and control the engines ejection direction."
Whispers were heard in the conference room; a lot of people looked surprised.
This design was nothing novel. It referenced the tiltrotor design, which had the advantages of both fixed-wing aircraft and vertical take-off aircraft. Even though this type of design wasnt rare, this was the first time someone had heard of using this design in the field of aerospace.
After Lu Zhou paused for a second, he continued, "By improving the design, we can use the deceleration engine to decelerate upon re-entry and balance out the effect of gravity. We can reduce the flight speed before the aircraft reaches the dense section of the atmosphere, which reduces friction."
After hearing Lu Zhous explanation, Hou Guang stood up and spoke.
"This design is interesting I will study the feasibility with my team."
"Ive already studied the feasibility, but it was simulated." Lu Zhou smiled and clicked the mouse. He opened a folder and presented a 3D composition image on the projector.
He paused for a second and continued, "This is for reference only."
Shining on the center of the curtain was a professional conceptual graphic of this tiltrotor aerospaceplane. Next to it were the altitude of the aircraft, the atmosphere density, speed, and various other parameters, which were all presented in a graph.
These calculations were all done by Lu Zhou alone.
Xiao Ai helped him with the models and the flight simulation.
Hou Guang stared at the image on the projector and adjusted his glasses. He spoke in astonishment.
"Which companys software is this?"
He had been in this industry for many years, and he had worked with many companies that made simulation software. However, he had never seen such precise physical dynamics simulation before In his opinion, this software was perfect.
Lu Zhou didnt explain anything. Instead, he said, "I asked people from the Information Technology Research Institute to code it for me. Ill send you a copy after the meeting."
The second Lu Zhou finished speaking, his phone in his pocket began to vibrate.
Lu Zhou knew that it was Xiao Ai complaining.
However, there was no way Lu Zhou could disclose Xiao Ais existence and give it credit.
After hearing Lu Zhous explanation, Hou Guang mouth was wide open
Even though he wasnt sure what kind of person could make such a perfect simulation program, this program would make his work a lot easier.
Hou Guang said, "Forget about the software If we move the engine from the tail to the wing, it will impact the failure rate. If were just doing this to improve maneuverability, isnt this a bit excessive?"
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, "Its not just maneuverability. With this new design, we can significantly reduce the speed of an aerospaceplane at altitudes above 30 kilometers. Not only will this reduce the risk of re-entry, but it will also reduce each missions maintenance costs.
"As for the failure rate, there are definitely risks, but I think we can solve them by improving the design."
Even though this sounded simple on paper, Lu Zhou was well aware that it was no piece of cake to make this blueprint a reality.
Adding two electric drive shafts to the aileron wings would significantly increase structural risk on the wing itself.
Also, in order to maintain coordination between the two engines, he also needed to develop a more sophisticated electric drive system to prevent the engine from deviating from the original course due to direction adjustment errors.
There was also the crucial junction materials, as well as the control system. These things all needed to be improved.
It was no exaggeration to say that this was as difficult as conducting the Skyglow project from scratch.
Hou Guang frowned and raised his hand. He then asked, "What about the bidding projects at the State Administration for National Defense and China National Space Administration?"
"Well use Skyglow to bid," Lu Zhou said. "This is our new goal for next year. Were in no rush. We have enough time to prepare."
After hearing this, Hou Guang was relieved.
At last, Professor Lu set more realistic deadlines.
The manned moon landing project was happening soon. The State Administration for National Defense and China National Space Administration would announce their bidding results soon. Conducting new research was not a good idea, but it would be fine to take on this project next year.
Since Lu Zhou and Hou Guang were in agreement, there was nothing left to debate about.
Lu Zhou continued to present the PowerPoint, and he briefly talked about the new aerospaceplane design.
The engineer who was taking notes raised his hand.
"I have a question."
Lu Zhou said, "Go ahead."
Engineer: "What should the new design be called? Skyglow 2?"
Using the old name didnt sound nice.
Not to mention that the new aerospaceplane was unrecognizable from the old one.
What should I call it
Lightning? The escape capsule is called that already.
Meteor? Sounds a bit tacky.
Lu Zhou contemplated for a while, and a light bulb suddenly went off in his head.
" Well just call it Starlight."