Here you'll find definitions for words used throughout the site or related to the content. These definitions are not standard, they are the transportation-relevant meanings. Check out the interactive section, under "puzzles" for a crossword puzzle using glossary words.
AHS (Automated Highway System): fully automated street system that steers cars safely while drivers can relax hands-free
DAS (Driver Assistance System): a system that senses outside the car and helps the driver in some way
Radar: a form of detection that involves emitting radio waves that bounce off objects and back into receptors. It is useful for judging the distance of a car that is ahead.
Magnetometers: detects magnetic markers in the road, helps the computers to locate the position of the car relative to the road
Smart Car: a name for an advanced car with certain automated systems or special equipment
Diesel Engine: An engine that uses up a large amount of fossil fuels, thus not as efficient as the Maglev
Electro-magnets: A magnet whose magnetism comes from the magnetic field created by an electric current
Maglev: A new type of train that is magnetically raised a little bit above the tracks
Air taxi: A solution to air traffic and personal transportation needs that uses many small plains
Lockheed Martin/NASA X-33 Rocket Plane: A new type of plane that can potentially fly at Mach 15 (or 15 times the speed of sound)
Hypersonic: speeds exceeding Mach 5 (see Mach number)
Mach number: named after 1800s physicist Ernst Mach, a Mach number represents the ratio of a plane's speed to the speed of sound. For example, Mach 3 is three times the speed of sound.
Scramjet: An airplane that uses a hypersonic engine to go high speeds such as Mach 10 while still maintaining flexibility and maneuverability
SS1 White Knight: A craft that can fly suborbital space flights
Super Jumbo Plane: A partial solution to heavy air traffic that uses a big plane that can carry many passengers and cargo
Subsonic: any speed under Mach 1 (see Mach number)
Supersonic: speeds that exceed Mach 1 (see Mach number)
Transonic: a speed equal to Mach 1 (see Mach number)
Anode: The part of a fuel cell that uses a catalyst to separate the electrons and protons in hydrogen
Catalyst: A substance that speeds up chemical reactions
Cathode: In a fuel cell, the separated protons pass through the electrolyte membrane and into this part
Electrolyte: In a fuel cell, the electrolyte membrane is between the anode and the cathode. The membrane only allows the protons to pass into the cathodes; the electrons must go around the membrane. This is the electrical current.
Fuel Cells: A highly efficient form of energy that electrochemically converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity
Benson, T. (2004, December 16). Mach Number. Retrieved February 23, 2005, from NASA Web site: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/mach.html
Other sources used in creating this glossary can be found under the appropriate section on the web site. For example, to find sources for words under "cars," go to the cars section on the site. For energy, look under the technology section.