Wednesday, 30 April 2014

E-Fan electric aircraft makes first public flight

Manned electric-powered aircraft have made record-breaking flights and turned more than a few heads in the past few years, and it's not a trend that's likely to slow down. Last week, the E-Fan electric trainer airplane developed by the Airbus Group made its first public flight before a collection of French dignitaries. Currently a demonstrator for electric aircraft technology, Airbus says that is will be used as the basis for building a new pair of electric training aircraft models... Continue Reading E-Fan electric aircraft makes first public flight

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Airbus, Aircraft, EADS, Electric, Electric Aircraft, Experimental, Lithium-ion

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Update: NASA announces winner in Z-2 spacesuit contest

The votes are in as NASA announced on Wednesday the winner of its Z-2 spacesuitdesign challenge. For the challenge, the public was invited to choose one of three alternative designs for a new prototype spacesuit with the “Technology” option winning with 233,431 votes, or about 63 percent of the total vote. The Technology design will now be used in the completed Z-2 suit as part of NASA’s project to create a new spacesuit for the exploration of Mars... Continue Reading Update: NASA announces winner in Z-2 spacesuit contest

Section: Space

Tags: Competition, Mars, NASA, Prototype, Space Suit

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Boeing reveals future CST-100 commercial spacecraft Interior

Captain Picard’s ride seemed to have landed in Las Vegas today, as Boeing unveiled a mock-up of the new commercial interior of its Crew Space Transportation (CST-100). Under development as part of a NASA program to put a privately-owned and operated manned spacecraft to ferry American crews and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), the new interior reflects Boeing’s design strategy and it ambitions beyond NASA. .. Continue Reading Boeing reveals future CST-100 commercial spacecraft Interior

Section: Space

Tags: Boeing, CST-100, International Space Station, NASA, Spacecraft

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Monday, 28 April 2014

NASA's Spitzer and WISE telescopes find star colder than the North Pole

We tend to think of stars as being very, very hot, but what about a star that you could use as a deep freeze? Astronomers using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered a dim star-like object with the catchy title WISE J085510.83-071442.5.0 that is colder than the North Pole. Lying about 7.2 light years from Earth, it is not only the coldest brown dwarf on record, but the fourth-closest star system to the Solar System... Continue Reading NASA's Spitzer and WISE telescopes find star colder than the North Pole

Section: Space

Tags: Brown dwarf, NASA, Space telescope, Spitzer, WISE

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British government okays £200 million Antarctic science ship

What’s big and red and costs £200 million? The answer is the new flagship of Britain’s polar research fleet complete with helideck and robot submarines. On Friday at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne announced that the British government had authorized the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to go ahead with the design and construction of a new state-of-the-art vessel for polar research and to maintain the British presence in Antarctica and the South Atlantic... Continue Reading British government okays £200 million Antarctic science ship

Section: Marine

Tags: Antarctic, British, British Antarctic Survey, Environment, Research, Ships

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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Modular design puts picnic cutlery in your pocket

Unless you enjoy whittling twigs into chopsticks or stabbing tinned ravioli with a pen knife, forgetting the cutlery and reverting to eating with one's hands can be one step too far removed from civilization for many campers. Piltz Design's modular Picnic cutlery is something a bit more elegant for those not interested in joining the usual spork brigade... Continue Reading Modular design puts picnic cutlery in your pocket

Section: Outdoors

Tags: Camping, Modular, Picnic, Pocket, Utensils

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DARPA seeks drop-in autopilot system to assist pilots

Flying a military aircraft is the classic example of long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of terror. Part of the reason for this is that despite half a century of creating automated flight systems, emergencies still require flight crews to multitask like a one-tentacled octopus. DARPA is hoping to change this with its Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program aimed at producing a drop-in automated flight control system designed to make the pilot's life simpler while reducing the size of flight crews... Continue Reading DARPA seeks drop-in autopilot system to assist pilots

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Automation, Autonomous, autopilot, DARPA

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Crowdfunding push to bring 36-year old spacecraft out of retirement

Putting classic cars on the road or classic boats on the water isn’t that odd, but what about putting a classic spacecraft back into service? The ISEE-3 Reboot Project is a crowdfunding effort aimed at reactivating a comet-chasing space probe launched in the 1970s. Using a radio telescope and a software emulator of the original control equipment to contact and reactivate the hibernating unmanned probe, the hope is to use the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) to conduct a privately funded mission to fly by a comet. .. Continue Reading Crowdfunding push to bring 36-year old spacecraft out of retirement

Section: Space

Tags: Crowdfunding, ISEE-3, NASA, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Saturday, 26 April 2014

SpaceX confirms successful Falcon 9 soft landing on the Atlantic Ocean

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that boosted the CRS-3 Dragon spacecraft into orbit made a controlled power landing on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The historic first controlled landing of a liquid booster was tracked by telemetry and recorded on video. Unfortunately, heavy seas destroyed the rocket before recovery operations could retrieve it... Continue Reading SpaceX confirms successful Falcon 9 soft landing on the Atlantic Ocean

Section: Space

Tags: Elon Musk, Falcon, Rocket, Spacecraft, SpaceX

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Friday, 25 April 2014

IBM creates world's smallest magazine cover

IBM has unveiled the world’s smallest magazine cover at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. Certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the micro magazine is a reproduction of the cover of the March 2014 issue of National Geographic Kids and is many times smaller than a grain of salt at just 11 × 14 micrometers. Why, you ask? The tiny cover was created to demonstrate potential of a new nano-scale manufacturing technology, as well to encourage young people’s interest in science and technology... Continue Reading IBM creates world's smallest magazine cover

Section: Electronics

Tags: IBM, Manufacturing, Moore's Law, Nanotechnology, National Geographic,Transistor, World's Smallest

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New DARPA program to develop prosthetics with lifelike sensory feedback

Many modern prosthetic limbs are so intricate that they seem like something from the sci-fi cyborg realm. Unfortunately, to the wearer these marvels still feel like lumps of dead metal and plastic. DARPA's recently announced Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program aims to change this. Using implantable sensors linked wirelessly to external modules, the goal is to provide lifelike prosthetic limbs with such a high degree of sensory feedback that they bring a sense of being part of the the wearer’s body, not something just strapped on... Continue Reading New DARPA program to develop prosthetics with lifelike sensory feedback

Section: Health and Wellbeing

Tags: DARPA, Modular, Prosthesis, Prosthetics

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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Arcturus gets the Jump on vertical takeoff and landing for fixed wing UAVs

Fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have a lot of advantages over manned aircraft, but much of that is lost when they get too big to be launched by hand and start needing runways and catapults to get aloft. Vertical Takeoff and Landing systems seem like an obvious alternative, but the extra weight of these systems can limit the advantages they offer. Arcturus UAV in Northern California unveiled its solution this week with its Jump VTOL system. Using self-contained electric lift motors, this add-on system is designed to provide tactical UAVs with VTOL capabilities without the usual penalties of payload and range... Continue Reading Arcturus gets the Jump on vertical takeoff and landing for fixed wing UAVs

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Autonomous, Electric, Quadcopter, UAV, Unmanned, VTOL

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Punching mantis shrimp inspires super-tough composites

A new lightweight, super strong material has been discovered thanks to one of nature’s most violent sociopaths. The peacock mantis shrimp may look like a colorful, reasonably mild-mannered aquarium dweller, but its claws have the punch of a .22 bullet. A team of researchers led by University of California, Riverside, has developed a carbon composite that imitates the claw’s structure. The result is a promising new material that may one day be used to build cars and airplanes... Continue Reading Punching mantis shrimp inspires super-tough composites

Section: Science

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"Optionally piloted" Black Hawk takes to the air

While autonomous aircraft are now a well established part of military operations, there are some areas where “pilot optional” is still very much synonymous with “cutting edge.” Case in point is Optionally Piloted Black Hawk (OPBH) Demonstrator developed by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. In cooperation with the US Army, Sikorsky demonstrated the helicopter's capabilities for the first time in an autonomous cargo delivery exercise on March 11 at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center... Continue Reading "Optionally piloted" Black Hawk takes to the air

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Autonomous, Helicopters, Sikorsky, UAV, Unmanned, US Army, VTOL

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Denza all-electric vehicle production model premieres in China

The auto market in China looks set to continue expanding dramatically and this hasn't failed to catch the eyes of the big players in the car industry. At Auto China 2014 in Beijing, Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd presented the world premiere of the production model of its Denza; the first all-electric vehicle for the Chinese market produced by the first Sino-German electric car joint venture... Continue Reading Denza all-electric vehicle production model premieres in China

Section: Automotive

Tags: Auto China 2014, Beijing, BYD, Cars, China, Daimler, Electric Vehicles,Vehicle

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

"Going up" at 45 mph: Hitachi to deliver world's fastest elevator

Hitachi has announced that it’s installing the world's fastest ultra-high-speed elevators in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre skyscraper in Guangzhou, China. Making up two out of a total of 95 elevators in the building, the new lifts use a range of technologies to produce record-breaking speeds of 1,200 m/min (that's 44.7 mph, or 72 km/h) while still meeting the necessary standards of safety and comfort according to Hitachi... Continue Reading "Going up" at 45 mph: Hitachi to deliver world's fastest elevator

Section: Architecture

Tags: China, Elevator, Hitachi, Skyscrapers, World's Fastest

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Dassault achieves world's first formation flight of combat drone and manned aircraft

Dassault Aviation announced that last month it came a step closer to making science fiction reality when it conducted a formation flight of the nEUROn unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) with a Rafale fighter and a Falcon 7X business jet. The flight off the coast of the south of France took place on March 20, and for almost two hours the nEUROn kept station with the other planes as they flew over the several hundred kilometers out over the Mediterranean. According to Dassault, this was the first time an unmanned combat aircraft achieved formation flight... Continue Reading Dassault achieves world's first formation flight of combat drone and manned aircraft

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Dassault Aviation, Drone, UAV

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BAE Systems develops a flat lens that acts like it's curved

Anyone who’s ever needed a pair of thick eyeglasses has a firm idea that lenses are the one thing where form follows function. However, BAE Systems and Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science in London have put paid to that idea with a flat lens that works like a conventional curved lens, yet without any reduction in bandwidth performance. Using a combination of composite metamaterials and transformational optics for the first time, they have created a lens that's able to bend electromagnetic waves, yet isn't bound by its shape for its function. .. Continue Reading BAE Systems develops a flat lens that acts like it's curved

Section: Electronics

Tags: Antenna, BAE Systems, Communications, Electromagnetic, Lenses, Light,Metamaterials, Queen Mary University of London

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US Navy announces sea trials for electromagnetic railgun

Watching old war movies, we expect firing a navy gun to be accompanied by a deafening bang and a dramatic cloud of burnt powder. This being the 21st century, the US Navy has other ideas as it prepares to install and test a prototype electromagnetic railgun on a Spearhead-class joint high speed vessel in 2016 as part of a program to develop the naval artillery of the future... Continue Reading US Navy announces sea trials for electromagnetic railgun

Section: Military

Tags: BAE Systems, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Prototype, Railgun,Research, US Navy

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Monday, 21 April 2014

Boeing's Phantom Badger packs a lot of combat vehicle into a small package

The US military fields some pretty impressive vehicles, but they aren't worth much if they don’t fit on the aircraft intended to transport them. Last month, the US Navy removed one obstacle when it cleared the Boeing Phantom Badger combat support vehicle for transport inside a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. After a battery of tests, including form-fit checks, pressure tests and structural evaluations of over four G’s, the modular vehicle was a step closer to deployment by the US Marine Corps and US Air Force Special Operations... Continue Reading Boeing's Phantom Badger packs a lot of combat vehicle into a small package

Section: Military

Tags: Aircraft, Boeing, Combat, Modular, Transport

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Astronauts to get green thumbs with NASA sending veggie garden to the ISS

The International Space Station (ISS) may be a remarkable piece of engineering, but it’s so drab that it needs a window box to brighten things up. That isn't possible in the vacuum of space, but NASA is doing the next best thing on Monday as it sends its Vegetable Production System (Veggie) to the space station aboard the SpaceX Dragon CRS-3 mission. However, this plant-growing chamber will be more than a horticultural experiment, it's also a bit more culinary as it lets astronauts put fresh salad on the menu... Continue Reading Astronauts to get green thumbs with NASA sending veggie garden to the ISS

Section: Space

Tags: Farming, Garden, International Space Station, NASA, Plants

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Solar Impulse 2 spreads its wings for the public

What has a wider wingspan than a 747, weighs the same as a car, and can fly almost forever without a drop of fuel? If you were in Payerne, Switzerland on Wednesday, you would have seen the answer as psychiatrist and explorer Bertrand Piccard and engineer and entrepreneur AndrĂ© Borschberg unveiled the Solar Impulse 2. The result of 12 years work, the ultra-light, solar-powered airplane will attempt to fly around the world next year relying exclusively on solar power to keep it aloft for days at a time. .. Continue Reading Solar Impulse 2 spreads its wings for the public

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Aviation, Electric Aircraft, Solar Impulse, Solar Impulse 2, Solar Powered

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New US time standard launched with NIST-F2 atomic clock

If you’re someone who is happy to spend an hour setting the clock on the microwave because it has to be just right, then the news out of the US Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is right up your alley. NIST has announced the launch of a new atomic clock as the official standard for civilian time. Called NIST-F2, it is so accurate that it will lose only one second in 300 million years... Continue Reading New US time standard launched with NIST-F2 atomic clock

Section: Science

Tags: Clock, NIST, Time

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Friday, 18 April 2014

LADEE probe hits the Moon at 3,600 mph

In space, no one can hear you hit the Moon at near-hypersonic speed. Today, NASA's Ames Research Center announced that the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) made a controlled impact on the far side of the Moon some time between 9:30 and 10:30 pm PDT on Thursday, bringing to an end its mission to study the lunar atmosphere... Continue Reading LADEE probe hits the Moon at 3,600 mph

Section: Space

Tags: Impact, LADEE, Moon, NASA, Spacecraft

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Fourth time lucky for SpaceX's CRS-3 Dragon launch

It took four tries, but SpaceX’s CRS-3 mission is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). Today at 3:25:21PM, EDT, the unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in rainy, overcast weather that NASA said only gave the launch a 40 percent chance of going ahead without delay. The successful launch is SpaceX’s third cargo mission to the ISS and its fourth visit to the station... Continue Reading Fourth time lucky for SpaceX's CRS-3 Dragon launch

Section: Space

Tags: Dragon, International Space Station, Launch, NASA, Spacecraft, SpaceX

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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Kepler discovers most potentially habitable planet yet

The search for extraterrestrial life zeroed in a bit today as NASA announced that its unmanned Kepler Space Telescope detected the most Earth-like planet yet found beyond the Solar System. Named Kepler-186f, the new planet orbits a red dwarf star about 500 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, is only 10 percent larger than our planet, and could have liquid water, which is essential for life as we know it... Continue Reading Kepler discovers most potentially habitable planet yet

Section: Space

Tags: Cygnus, Exoplanet, Habitable zone, Kepler Mission, NASA, Space telescope

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Land Rover takes wraps off Discovery Vision concept

Land Rover’s been dropping hints about its new Discovery Vision concept in the run up to the 2014 New York International Auto Show. Now before 200 VIP guests, the company has taken the lid off what turns out to be a design template for the new Discovery line as well as a showcase for the technologies that may end up in Land Rovers of the future. The debut aboard the USS Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York City included a scale model of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft SpaceShipTwo as part of Land Rover’s new partnership with the space tourism company... Continue Reading Land Rover takes wraps off Discovery Vision concept

Section: Automotive

Tags: Concept Cars, Land Rover, New York Auto Show 2014

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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Britain's Ministry of Defence using robot soldier for testing protectvie suits

The British Ministry of Defence has a new soldier that costs £1.1 million (US$1.8 million) and goes by the odd name of “Porton Man.” Based at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in Porton Down, Wiltshire, Porton Man isn't your average squaddie. He’s a robotic mannequin designed to test suits and equipment for the British armed forces in order to help protect them against chemical and biological weapons. .. Continue Reading Britain's Ministry of Defence using robot soldier for testing protectvie suits

Section: Military

Tags: Chemical Weapons, Mannequin, MOD

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OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return spacecraft gets go-ahead

Getting hit by a giant asteroid can ruin your whole day, so the first United States mission to visit an asteroid and return a sample presents a huge challenge. Lockheed Martin has announced that NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has passed a comprehensive technical review, giving the green light for Lockheed to begin building the spacecraft in anticipation of a launch in 2016... Continue Reading OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return spacecraft gets go-ahead

Section: Space

Tags: Asteroid, Lockheed Martin, NASA, OSIRIS REx, Spacecraft

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Bonhams auctioning Mercury space suit and other astro-memorabilia

If you've ever wanted to own a space suit from the NASA Mercury project, or maybe a pack of gum that went to the Moon, here’s your chance. On Tuesday, Bonhams auction house is selling a bumper crop of space exploration artifacts as part of its sixth annual Space History Sale in New York. The auction will see 296 lots of memorabilia from the US and Soviet space programs go on the block, including a Mercury-era space suit... Continue Reading Bonhams auctioning Mercury space suit and other astro-memorabilia

Section: Space

Tags: Anniversary, Astronauts, Auction, Bonhams, History, Launch Vehicles, NASA,Space Suit, Spacecraft, Spaceflight

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Sunday, 6 April 2014

Fujitsu gives speech synthesis a realism boost

Speech synthesis has come a long way from the days when computers sounded like a Dalek with a cleft palate, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. in Kawasaki, Japan are working to move computers away from sounding monotone or perpetually distracted by developing a new speech synthesis system that can quickly produce high quality voices that can be tailored to suit individual environments and circumstances... Continue Reading Fujitsu gives speech synthesis a realism boost

Section: Computers

Tags: Computers, Fujitsu, Japan, Speech, Synthesis

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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Land Rover teases Discovery Vision concept

Land Rover has released a teaser video and image of its new Discover Vision Concept ahead of the 2014 New York International Auto Show, promising that "pioneering technology from Jaguar Land Rover’s Advanced Research will be previewed for the first time," in the new vehicle, which also showcases the design and technology direction for a new family of SUVs under the Land Rover badge... Continue Reading Land Rover teases Discovery Vision concept

Section: Automotive

Tags: Land Rover, New York Auto Show 2014

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

NASA cuts ties with Russia

The Ukraine crisis reached into space yesterday as NASA confirmed that it is cutting ties with the Russian space program. With the exception of continued cooperation aimed at keeping the International Space Station (ISS) operating, the agency says that in response to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, it will no longer participate with its Russian counterparts on projects, bilateral visits or communications... Continue Reading NASA cuts ties with Russia

Section: Space

Tags: International Space Station, NASA, Roscosmos, Russia, Soyuz, Space Shuttle, Spacecraft

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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Christophe Claret puts "impossible" escapement in the Maestoso

Some upmarket wristwatches are all bells and whistles, while for others their attraction isn’t in what they do, but how they’re made. One case in point is the Christophe Claret Maestoso showcased at Baselworld 2014, which uses a detent escapement – a movement of remarkable accuracy that’s almost impossible to install in a watch... Continue Reading Christophe Claret puts "impossible" escapement in the Maestoso

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Baselworld, Baselworld 2014, Time, Watches

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