MIT Students' System Project

  • Project Bosporus

    Project Bosporus

    MIT Students' System Project

    This is another in the series of reports that have resulted from the interdisciplinary student projects in systems engineering conducted each spring term at M.I. T. In 1968 the class was given the task of studying the problems facing the Boston seaport and the airport, which serve the northeastern United States, and recommending steps that might be undertaken to enable the ports to meet the demands of the next twenty years. During the study, the class surveyed existing port facilities, developed models for projecting future demand, investigated alternate sites at which new airport and seaport installations might be located, and examined the labor, management, social, and economic problems of the port. The recommended solution proposes an off-shore airport to be developed in the vicinity of a group of small islands in the mouth of Boston Harbor, the upgrading of certain seaport facilities to enable them to handle containerized cargo more efficiently, the abandonment of other facilities, and the eventual development of a portion of the existing airport to handle containerized cargo. The entire program would extend over a period of approximately twenty years. The students concluded that noise and pollution from 400-passenger jumbo jets and supersonic transports makes location of jetports away from residential areas mandatory. Moreover, they found that the practicality, within the next 20 or 30 years, of relatively quiet vertical and short takeoff and landing aircraft will make short-haul (under 500 miles) flights accessible from a variety of suburban neighborhoods.

    The Project BOSPORUS class included graduate students and seniors from several M.I.T. Departments: mechanical, electrical, and marine engineering, city planning, aeronautics and astronautics, economics, political science, mathematics, and management, and, under a cross-registration agreement of long standing, the Harvard Law School.In earlier projects, students have designed a Boston-Washington high-speed transport system (Project GLIDEWAY), an automated metropolitan transportation system (Project METRAN), and a prototype residential area for 100,000 people built on Boston Harbor islands (Project ROMULUS). The reports of these Projects have been published by The MIT Press.

    • Paperback $40.00
  • Project Nero

    Near-Earth Rescue and Operations

    MIT Students' System Project, Harold R. Isaacs, James V. Carroll, and John F. Neyhard

    Project NERO (for Near-Earth Rescue and Operations) depicts in practical detail a kind of “Coast Guard” for astronauts, designed to provide emergency aid and everyday service in space. The fleet of vehicles proposed here, together with the ground-based tracking systems, might one day be the launches and lighthouses of the Space Age. The Project is a design study undertaken by a group of students at M.I.T. and had as its object the detailed planning of an integrated system to fill needs that will become critical as the Apollo and other programs take off into their advanced stages. Based on present-day engineering techniques and employing a booster (the Titan III-C) whose capabilities have already been demonstrated, it could be made operational by the early 1970's. With this booster, whose upper-stage engines use storable fuels, the system can be counted down to T-minus-195 minutes and held in stand-by readiness for up to 30 days, thus backing up even extended flights. The proposal calls for a versatile vehicle capable of performing a variety of missions, including:-Rescue of astronauts whose craft is in distress. The vehicle has a crew of two, but it can seat two survivors in addition.-Delivery of supplies, fuel, and replacements to long-range manned missions, like the Manned Orbital Laboratory.-Repair of malfunctioning unmanned satellites, such as the orbiting Astronomical Observatory.-Inspection of unidentified orbiting objects and foreign matter, including suspicious satellites launched by other powers.-Flotsam collection and disposal on such debris as inert orbiting boosters and burned-out satellites. It is estimated that already more than a thousand man-made objects are floating in space. If these and those of the future are not somehow scavenged or destroyed, man will not only have created for himself a serious navigational hazard but will have to admit “space pollution” to the list of his ambiguous achievements in changing the face of the earth and its environs.

    While there can be no doubt that the techniques described in this book will be further refined in the years ahead, it is felt that sufficient technical data are presented here to be useful as a basis for projects that are bound to be launched at an increasing rate in the future.

    • Paperback $8.95