Technology Today Fall 1997 cover image

Saturn's distinctive ring system, stretching some 45,000 kilometers from inner to outer edge but with almost infinitesimal thickness averaging just 20 meters, adds an element of mystery to the seven-year voyage of the Cassini spacecraft, which carries instrumentation designed by SwRI scientists.

Technology Today® Fall 1997

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Saturn: A Journey of Exploration and Discovery

When the Cassini spacecraft leaves Earth in October 1997 to begin its seven-year, 1.4 billion-kilometer journey to Saturn, it will carry the most sophisticated set of experimental equipment yet flown to any planet. Institute scientists developed two elements of the Cassini instrument package.

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The Heat Is On

Using knowledge gleaned from studies of planets and comets, Institute scientists are building computer models to further understand the Urban Heat Island effect, a phenomenon thought responsible for increased temperatures in large cities.

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Suspension System earns R&D 100 Award

A regenerative active vehicle suspension system invented by two SwRI engineers becomes the Institute's 18th winner in the R&D 100 Award competition, honoring the 100 most significant technological advances of the year.

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The Hunt for Hydrocarbons

Theoretical and numerical models of oil and gas reservoirs, developed by SwRI scientists, aid in exploration for hydrocarbons.

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Propane Vehicle Challenge

Student engineering teams from universities in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, take their modified propane-powered vehicles on the road and into the laboratory.


Technical Staff Activities

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.