Volkan Ötügen, senior associate dean of the Mechanical Engineering Department at SMU's Lyle School and director of the SMU MicroSensor Laboratory. [Photo: SMU]
A team led by Volkan Ötügen, director of the SMU MicroSensor Laboratory, has developed a velocity-measuring "optical microresonator" that could help spaceships land safely on Mars and other planets. It's only 2 millimeters long—about the width of two sharp pencil points.
"Every gram of a device makes a huge difference in how much fuel I will have to have on a spacecraft and how many other items I can include as payload on that spacecraft," said Ötügen, whose research is funded by NASA.