Thursday, 26 February 2015

Boeing and RAAF triple bomb range with new JDAM-ER kit



Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have carried out tests of the Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM-ER), which showed a three-times increase in range while maintaining accuracy. The add-on guidance kit for bombs was put through its paces at Australia's Woomera Test Range, where the 500-lb (227 kg) ordnance was dropped by RAAF F/A-18 Classic Hornets from altitudes ranging from 40,000 ft (12,190 m) down to 10,000 ft (3,048 m). .. Continue Reading Boeing and RAAF triple bomb range with new JDAM-ER kit

Section: Military

Tags: Aircraft, Australia, Boeing, Bombs, RAAF, Weapons

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Robear robot care bear designed to serve Japan's aging population



Japan is facing an aging population in the coming decades and that means more people requiring care, and less people to provide it. In an effort to meet the shortfall, RIKEN and Sumitomo Riko Company Limited have developed Robear, an experimental nursing care robot that combines advanced robotics and a non-threatening design... Continue Reading Robear robot care bear designed to serve Japan's aging population

Section: Robotics

Tags: Aging, Japan, RIBA, RIKEN, Robotics, Robots

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Aston Martin takes wraps off the Vulcan



When an Aston Martin promises "extreme performance," it's time to get out of the way. After weeks of teasing, the company is lifting the lid on the Aston Martin Vulcan; its new track-only V12 supercar. Set to make it debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show, it's based on Aston Martin's GT motorsport experience and will be limited to only 24 units... Continue Reading Aston Martin takes wraps off the Vulcan

Section: Automotive

Tags: Aston Martin, Geneva Motor Show 2015, Motorsport, Racing, Supercars, track car

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MAVEN digs deeper into Martian atmosphere



NASA’S Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter has taken a deep dive into the Martian atmosphere. The first of a series of five planned deep-dip maneuvers by the unmanned spacecraft, its purpose was to gather information about the lower limits of the upper regions of the Red Planet's atmosphere... Continue Reading MAVEN digs deeper into Martian atmosphere

Section: Space

Tags: Atmosphere, Mars, MAVEN, NASA, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

GE RFID tech turns stickers into explosives detectors



A global economy brings many benefits, but it also makes international terrorism extremely difficult to combat. With more goods passing through the world's shipping terminals and airports than ever before, hunting explosives with large, static detectors or teams of inspectors armed with detecting devices and reagents is a bottleneck that increases the chances of evasion. To help US counterterrorism efforts, GE has developed RFID stickers that act as wireless, battery-free explosives detectors that can be placed almost anywhere. .. Continue Reading GE RFID tech turns stickers into explosives detectors

Section: Electronics

Tags: Detector, Explosives, GE, RFID, Terrorism, Wireless

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Space technology cools Paris commute



The Paris Metro is one of the world's great underground railways and not the sort of place you'd expect to find cutting edge satellite technology at work. But for the last year and a half a cooling system developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its satellites has been making Trains on Metro Line One more comfortable. The new cooling system works without moving parts and frees up more space to be enjoyed by passengers while saving costs... Continue Reading Space technology cools Paris commute

Section: Urban Transport

Tags: Cooling, ESA, Paris, Trains

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New Horizons spots more of Pluto's moons



As NASA's New Horizons deep space probe heads for its July rendezvous with Pluto, it's not only revealing the secrets of the dwarf planet, but of its moons as well. On the 85th anniversary of Pluto's discovery, the unmanned spacecraft sent back its first look at the small moons Nix and Hydra. Taken by New Horizons’ Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), the images will help space scientist better understand their orbits... Continue Reading New Horizons spots more of Pluto's moons

Section: Space

Tags: Dwarf planet, Kuiper Belt, NASA, New Horizons, Pluto, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Putting the world's largest and most powerful gas turbine to the test



One of the problems with building the world's largest and most powerful gas turbine is that you need to build a test bed to match. Having invested US$1 billion in its 500,000 bhp 9HA Harriet gas turbine, GE had to fork over another US$185 million to build a full-load test bed at GE Power & Water in Greenville, South Carolina that can handle the grid-busting output of Harriet... Continue Reading Putting the world's largest and most powerful gas turbine to the test

Section: Good Thinking

Tags: Engine, GE, Testing, Turbine

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Building a real-life Baymax



The recent animated feature Big Hero 6 is more than a collection of comic book fantasies – there's some hard science behind the soft robots. Baymax, the inflatable robot designed to care for humans who stars in the film may seem as unlikely as a chocolate teapot, but Chris Atkeson, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon is working on a real life version (minus the karate and flying armor). Gizmag caught up with Atkeson to discuss the project... Continue Reading Building a real-life Baymax

Section: Robotics

Tags: Artificial Muscles, Carnegie Mellon, Health, Inflatable, Robotics, Robots, Soft Robotics

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Space telescopes uncover supermassive black hole winds



Supermassive black holes are titanic oddities. Usually sited at the core of galaxies and various high-energy phenomena such as quasars, their mass can be anywhere from that of a hundred thousand to billions of suns. Now observations from NASA and ESA space telescopes are shedding light on the incredibly powerful cosmic winds they produce, which can have more energy than an entire galaxy... Continue Reading Space telescopes uncover supermassive black hole winds

Section: Space

Tags: Black hole, ESA, Galaxy, NASA, NuSTAR, Space telescope, Supermassive black hole,X-ray

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Mars One reduces colonist pool to 100



The Mars One project, aimed at starting the first permanent human settlement on the Red Planet, has reduced its pool of prospective colonists to 100 candidates. According to the non-profit company, the selection was winnowed down from the original pool of 202,586 applicants of people from all walks of life from all over the world. However, questions remain about the viability of the project... Continue Reading Mars One reduces colonist pool to 100

Section: Space

Tags: Applications, Mars, Mars One, Spacecraft

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ESA releases images of Rosetta's comet close encounter



In a space-age game of chicken, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta probe made its closest approach to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko last weekend. The spacecraft, which has ceased orbiting the comet due to 67P's increased activity as it approaches the Sun, came within 6 km (3.7 mi) of the surface over the Imhotep region of the larger of the comet’s two lobes, with the up close and personal maneuver taking place, appropriately enough, on Valentine's Day... Continue Reading ESA releases images of Rosetta's comet close encounter

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, ESA, Rosetta, Spacecraft

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

CogniToys draw on IBM's Watson for some serious smarts



Today, an interactive toy is more often than not a chatty teddy bear with a very limited repertoire, but Elemental Path is developing a "CogniToy" that would relegate such toys to the dunce's chair. The Dino CogniToy isn't just a plastic dinosaur with a chip, it's a plastic dinosaur connected to IBM's Watson artificially intelligent computer system, which makes it not simply interactive, but also a toy that can "evolve, learn, and grow" with a child... Continue Reading CogniToys draw on IBM's Watson for some serious smarts

Section: Children

Tags: 3D Printing, Education, IBM, Kickstarter, Supercomputer, Toys, Watson

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Martian mystery plume puzzles scientists



Astronomers are scratching their heads over mysterious plumes that have been sighted in the atmosphere of Mars. First seen by amateur astronomers using Earthbound telescopes, the plumes are at an altitude much higher than that of any clouds yet seen on the Red Planet, and may not even be clouds... Continue Reading Martian mystery plume puzzles scientists

Section: Space

Tags: Atmosphere, ESA, Hubble, Mars, Northern Lights, Telescope

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Automatic whale detectors keep track of migration



Something as large as a whale might seem an easy thing to keep tabs on, but for for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tracking migrating pods of gray whales is a major undertaking. In hopes of making binoculars and clipboards a thing of the past, the agency has installed a new generation of whale detectors to keep an electronic eye on the passing leviathans. .. Continue Reading Automatic whale detectors keep track of migration

Section: Marine

Tags: Detector, Infrared, NOAA, Whale

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

NASA tests TGALS glider-based satellite launch system



Recently, DARPA unveiled its ALASA system for launching satellites from fighter planes. Now NASA is upping the ante with its Towed Glider Air-Launch System (TGALS), which is designed to launch satellites from a twin-fuselage towed glider. Under development by NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, it's designed as an economical method for putting spacecraft into low-Earth orbit with the first test flight of a scale prototype having already been conducted. .. Continue Reading NASA tests TGALS glider-based satellite launch system

Section: Space

Tags: Aircraft, gliders, Launch, NASA, Prototype, Satellite, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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SpaceX signs landing pad agreement with US Air Force



Cape Canaveral has seen decades of rockets lifting into space, and now it will act as home to the world's first space landing pad. Brigadier General Nina Armagno, commander of the US Air Force 45th Space Wing, signed an agreement with SpaceX; giving the company a five-year lease on Launch Complex 13 (LC-13) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, which will be converted to receive returning boosters and spacecraft making powered soft landings... Continue Reading SpaceX signs landing pad agreement with US Air Force

Section: Space

Tags: Dragon, Falcon, Spacecraft, SpaceX, US Air Force

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Twinkle mission to take a closer look at exoplanet atmospheres



One reason exoplanets are so fascinating is the possibility that they may harbor life, but the definition of habitable used by astronomers is so broad that it could include planets that obviously aren't. To help zero in on the more likely candidates, a British-built satellite called Twinkle will look at the atmospheres of exoplanets to seek more definite signs of life, as well as clues as to the chemistry, formation and evolution of exoplanets... Continue Reading Twinkle mission to take a closer look at exoplanet atmospheres

Section: Space

Tags: Atmosphere, Exoplanet, Satellite, Space telescope, Twinkle, University College London

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DSCOVR launch successful, but Falcon 9 landing scrubbed



It was fourth time's the charm today as NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida at 6:05 pm EST. The launch went without incident, placing the unmanned solar weather station into a parking orbit, but rough weather in the recovery area meant that the planned power landing attempt of the Falcon 9 booster had to be abandoned. .. Continue Reading DSCOVR launch successful, but Falcon 9 landing scrubbed

Section: Space

Tags: DSCOVR, Elon Musk, Falcon, Launch, NASA, NOAA, Spacecraft, SpaceX, Unmanned,US Air Force

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Boston Dynamics introduces smaller, more kickable robot



In 2005, Boston Dynamics unveiled its robot "mule," Big Dog. Now it has a smaller, nimbler littermate called Spot that can take a good kick. Weighing in at 160 lb (72.5 kg), the electrically-powered, hydraulically-actuated, four-legged robot made its debut in a YouTube video released by the company on Tuesday... Continue Reading Boston Dynamics introduces smaller, more kickable robot

Section: Robotics

Tags: Autonomous, Boston Dynamics, Quadruped, Robotic, Robots

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NASA releases details of Titan submarine concept



Now that NASA has got the hang of planetary rovers, the space agency is looking at sending submarines into space around the year 2040. At the recent 2015 NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Symposium in Cocoa Beach, Florida, NASA scientists and engineers presented a study of the Titan Submarine Phase I Conceptual Design, which outlines a possible mission to Saturn's largest moon, Titan, where the unmanned submersible would explore the seas of liquid hydrocarbons at the Titanian poles... Continue Reading NASA releases details of Titan submarine concept

Section: Space

Tags: NASA, Saturn, Solar System, Spacecraft, Submarine, Titan, Unmanned

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DARPA's ALASA space launch system would turn airports into spaceports



If you've ever dreamed of turning your municipal airport into a satellite launching facility, then DARPA has your number. At this week's 18th Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, DC, Bradford Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office reported on the progress of the agency's Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program, which is designed to launch 100-lb (45-kg) satellites into low-Earth orbit using an expendable rocket dropped from a conventional aircraft. .. Continue Reading DARPA's ALASA space launch system would turn airports into spaceports

Section: Space

Tags: Aircraft, Boeing, DARPA, Orbit, Rocket, Satellite

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GE mixes lasers and water to keep turbine blades cool during drilling



Turbine blades for use in jet engines need to be made of a hard, unyielding exotic material made to exact specifications, which means the drilling of tiny cooling holes in the blades runs the risk of ruining them. To prevent this from happening, GE is combining the heat of the laser beam with the cooling of the water jet to drill holes without weakening the blades... Continue Reading GE mixes lasers and water to keep turbine blades cool during drilling

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aviation, Engineering, GE, Laser, Manufacturing, Turbine, Water

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DSCOVR launch delayed



Today's launch of NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has been delayed 24 hours. With less than two and a half minutes on the clock, mission control placed the launch on hold due to problems in the first stage avionics and with one of the range safety radars... Continue Reading DSCOVR launch delayed

Section: Space

Tags: DSCOVR, Elon Musk, Falcon, Launch, NASA, NOAA, Rocket, Spacecraft, SpaceX, US Air Force

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"Robot scientist" Eve to save time and money in drug development



Modern pharmaceuticals are a wonder of our age, but they also take years to develop at incredible cost. To shorten development time and increase economy, scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Manchester have built Eve, an artificially-intelligent "robot scientist" that is not only faster and cheaper than its human counterparts, but has already identified a compound that could be used to fight malaria... Continue Reading "Robot scientist" Eve to save time and money in drug development

Section: Robotics

Tags: Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Drugs, Manchester, Robots, University of Cambridge

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Friday, 6 February 2015

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Nighthawk takes to the road



The Rolls-Royce badge has graced everything from luxury cars to nuclear reactors, but stealth aircraft have been a miss until now... sort of. As part of its Bespoke Collection, the upmarket car maker is showing off its high-tech street cred with its Phantom Drophead Coupé "Nighthawk". The limited edition aimed at the North American Market recently had its first public drive in Phoenix, Arizona and takes its cues from cutting-edge stealth aircraft... Continue Reading Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Nighthawk takes to the road

Section: Automotive

Tags: Carbon Fiber, Cars, Luxury, Rolls Royce

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Thursday, 5 February 2015

New Horizons sends back first Pluto images



NASA's New Horizons deep space probe to Pluto and beyond has sent back its first images since waking up in December. Taken by the unmanned spacecraft's Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on January 25 and 27, it took until Wednesday to download the image data due to the great distance and bandwidth limitations, and shows the dwarf planet and its moon Charon... Continue Reading New Horizons sends back first Pluto images

Section: Space

Tags: Dwarf planet, Kuiper Belt, NASA, New Horizons, Pluto, Spacecraft

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NASA officially backs mission to explore Europa



Another celestial body has been added to NASA's bucket list as the space agency officially asks the US Congress for US$30 million for the first mission aimed at exploring Jupiter’s moon Europa. Part of the FY 2015 NASA Planetary Science budget, it would fund further development of an unmanned probe to study place in the Solar System outside of Earth where life may exist... Continue Reading NASA officially backs mission to explore Europa

Section: Space

Tags: Europa, Jupiter, Mission, NASA, Solar System, Spacecraft

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SAFFiR, the US Navy’s prototype firefighting robot gets baptism of fire



If there's one job that a person would probably prefer to lose to a robot, it would be fighting fires aboard ships. To help make such a vision a reality, the US Navy and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) released details of demonstration exercises conducted by their Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) aboard the fire training ship USS Shadwell last November... Continue Reading SAFFiR, the US Navy’s prototype firefighting robot gets baptism of fire

Section: Military

Tags: Fire, Firefighting, ONR, Prototype, Robotics, Robots, US Navy, Virginia Tech

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Historic EDSAC computer component becomes part of reconstruction



A piece of cybernetic history returned home as a long-lost component of the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC), one of the first practical general purpose computers, was returned to Britain from the United States. The electronics chassis was given to the The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park, where it will be used as part of the EDSAC reconstruction project and raises the possibility that more surviving parts may be recovered in the future... Continue Reading Historic EDSAC computer component becomes part of reconstruction

Section: Computers

Tags: Cambridge University, Computer, Computers, Historic, National Museum of Computing

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