Saturday, 20 September 2014

Catch up

Move over, Tony Stark; the US Navy is going Iron Man. The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) has ordered a pair of Fortis exoskeletons from Lockheed Martin for testing and evaluation. The unpowered exoskeletons won’t give sailors superhuman strength, but they will allow them to handle heavy equipment for longer periods with less fatigue... Continue ReadingUS Navy to test Fortis exoskeletons

Section: Robotics

Tags: Exoskeleton, Lockheed Martin, US Navy

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In some cases, a pilot discovering damage to an airplane involves noticing a frightening thump on the hull. That may indicate that something is wrong, but not what or where. On the other hand, when human beings are injured, the network of nerves in the skin tell us almost exactly where and what is wrong. Stealing a march on nature, BAE Systems’ Advanced Technology Centre is working on a "smart skin" that covers the fuselage of an aircraft with thousands of microsensors to send back a wide variety of detailed information in real time. .. Continue Reading BAE Systems developing "smart skin" for aircraft

Section: Aircraft

Tags: BAE Systems, Multi-functional, Sensors

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Northrop Grumman, in partnership with Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic, has unveiled the preliminary design it is developing as part of DARPA’s XS-1 Spaceplane project. Looking like a windowless update of a 1960s Dyna Soar orbiter, it’s the next step in producing launch systems that will dramatically reduce the costs of getting into orbit... Continue Reading Northrop Grumman gives early look at its XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane design

Section: Space

Tags: Aircraft, DARPA, Northrop Grumman, Virgin Galactic, XS-1

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Like a traveler on a very long road trip, a deep space probe has passed the last sign post before its destination. NASA has announced that its New Horizons probe has passed the orbit of Neptune – its last milestone before it flies by Pluto on July 14 next year. Launched in 2006, the piano-sized unmanned spacecraft is almost 2.75 billion mi (4.42 billion km) from Earth and is the fastest man-made object ever sent into space. .. Continue Reading New Horizons passes Neptune orbit on way to Pluto encounter

Section: Space

Tags: NASA, Neptune, New Horizons, Solar System, Spacecraft

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After you become the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid, what do you do for an encore? For ESA’s Rosetta comet probe, the answer is to get ready for the first soft landing on a comet nucleus. Only weeks after going into orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the unmanned Rosetta explorer is engaged in a fast-paced reconnaissance of the comet and has identified five candidate sites for putting down the Philae lander in November. .. Continue Reading Rosetta narrows down potential comet landing sites

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, ESA, Reconnaissance, Rosetta, Spacecraft

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NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) program has received the green light to progress after the completion of a critical design review. The next generation heavy launch system, which is designed to lift the Orion spacecraft for manned missions into deep space, is NASA’s most ambitious project since the 1960s and the most powerful rocket ever built, with 12 percent more thrust than the Saturn V booster used to send the Apollo missions to the Moon... Continue Reading SLS completes key development review

Section: Space

Tags: Construction, NASA, Orion Spacecraft, Space Launch System, Spacecraft

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Whether driven by Inspector Morse or the less-than-pristine example in Withnail and I, the Mark 2 is one of the most memorable Jaguars. It may not have the flash and stand-out gorgeous lines of the E-Type, but since it was introduced in 1959, the Mark 2 had a reputation as a fast, capable saloon. Now an 18-month collaboration between Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum and Classic Motor Cars Limited (CMC) has produced an updated riff on the Mark 2 suitable for the 21st century... Continue Reading Updated Jaguar Mark 2 puts new spin on a classic

Section: Automotive

Tags: Classic Motor Cars, Jaguar, Vintage

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Tel Aviv-based start up Effective Space Solutions claims that its DeOrbiter microsatellites could not only be used to dispose of defunct geosynchronous satellites, but could also rescue a pair of errant Galileo satellites currently trapped in the wrong orbit and put them back into service... Continue Reading DeOrbiter microsatellite could put wayard satellites back on track

Section: Space

Tags: Communications, Galileo Satellite Navigation System, Satellite

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Since the dawn of the Space Age, boffins have worked on how to provide astronauts travelling to distant worlds with food, water, and oxygen. But what about the big question? What about drinkies? Scotland’s Ardberg distillery is working on how to provide future explorers and colonists with a wee dram with an experiment in how whisky matures in zero gravity... Continue ReadingSpace whisky coming home from the ISS

Section: Space

Tags: Distillery, International Space Station, Scotland, Whisky

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The problem with nuclear waste is that it needs to be stored for many thousands of years before it’s safe, which is a tricky commitment for even the most stable civilization. To make this situation a bit more manageable, Hitachi, in partnership with MIT, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley, is working on new reactor designs that use transuranic nuclear waste for fuel; leaving behind only short-lived radioactive elements... Continue Reading Hitachi developing reactor that burns nuclear waste

Section: Environment

Tags: Hitachi, MIT, Nuclear, Reactors, Transuranic, University of California, University of Michigan

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Renault is taking aim at the urban car market with a major redesign for its third-generation Twingo, with the goal of recapturing the spirit of the original release in 1992. Based on last year’sTwin’Z and Twin’Run concept cars, the new Twingo was developed jointly with Daimler and is manufactured at the Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia as what Renault calls a fun, ultra-maneuverable city car... Continue Reading Renault targets city streets with reinvention of the Twingo

Section: Automotive

Tags: Cars, Daimler, Renault, Twingo, Urban

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GE is looking to a new generation of carbon-fiber composites to make the fan blades for its GE9X jet engine. That engine is being developed for the Boeing 777X passenger airplanes that are set to enter service in 2020 and the new blades promise to provide larger, lighter engines with greater fuel efficiency... Continue Reading GE's next-generation composite turbine blades to improve aircraft fuel efficiency

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Blades, Fuel efficiency, GE, Jets, Materials, Turbine

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A week after the unveiling of its updated version of the classic Jaguar Mark 2, Classic Motor Cars (CMC) has announced that what was initially a one-off of the 1960s luxury car, will now go into limited production. Redesigned and built for Jaguar designer Ian Callum, the new Mark 2 enjoys new engineering and interior features to make it suitable for modern day-to-day driving... Continue Reading Jaguar Mark 2 replica to enter production

Section: Automotive

Tags: Cars, Classic Motor Cars, Jaguar, Production

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The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded General Dynamics UK a contract to deliver 589 light-armor Scout Specialist Vehicles (SV) to the Army between 2017 and 2024. .. Continue Reading General Dynamics to build British Army's next light tank

Section: Military

Tags: Armor, British Army, General Dynamics UK

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The first Range Rover to roll off the production line has sold at auction for £132,250 (US$213,000). The vintage, fully-restored 4x4 with chassis No. 001 was sold in London to a private owner by Silverstone Auctions and Salon Privé in a sale that was not only about automotive history, but the end of a motoring mystery... Continue Reading Range Rover 001 sells for £132,250 (US$213,000)

Section: Automotive

Tags: Auction, Automotive, History, London, Range Rover, Silverstone Auctions

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If you've ever gone outside on a foggy night and shined a laser pointer about, you’ve seen two things: how flashy a raygun it makes, and the problem laser weapons face in such conditions as fog and rain scatters the energy that should be destroying missiles. However, in recent tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Boeing and the US Army have shown that their High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) is capable of successfully locking onto and taking out targets in very laser-unfriendly foggy, rainy, and windy maritime conditions... Continue ReadingNeither rain, nor fog, nor wind stops Boeing's laser weapon destroying targets

Section: Military

Tags: Boeing, Laser, Laser weapon, Oshkosh, US Army, Weapons

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Home camera systems from baby monitors to full-blown security systems are nothing new, but living with them can be about as comfortable as living in the novel 1984. Making its debut at this year’s IFA electronics show in Berlin, the Withings Home video and environmental monitoring device tries to dispel that vibe in a user-friendly package that blends into modern home decor... Continue Reading Withings Home acts as a security camera, environmental monitor and home diary

Section: Around The Home

Tags: Cameras, Environment, IFA 2014, Monitoring, Security, Withings

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Many see home automation as the next big thing in the consumer electronics space and D-Link is keen to plant a flag in the emerging connected smart home with its new mydlink Home range of smart devices. The line includes five modules aimed at letting homeowners control technology around the home using a smartphone or tablet, be it from the comfort of the sofa or when out and about. .. Continue Reading D-Link breaks into the smart home market with mydlink Home

Section: Around The Home

Tags: Automation, D-Link, Home, IFA 2014, Monitoring, Security, Streaming, Wi-Fi, Wireless

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Scanning shop shelf after shop shelf in the search for that elusive item can be a frustrating task, particularly if it turns out the item is out of stock. This isn’t just annoying, but it can also mean lost sales as customers leave without buying anything at all. In a bid to help both customers and shopkeepers, Germany-based findbox GmbH has developed the findbox, a kiosk-like device that scans items and packaging, lets shoppers know if a replacement is in the shop and guides them to the right peg... Continue Reading findbox scanner helps shoppers find what they're looking for

Section: Good Thinking

Tags: IFA 2014, Internet of Things, Retail, Shopping, Wireless

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Honda took the occasion of the 2014 ITS World Congress in Detroit to show off some of the company’s latest accomplishments in the field of intelligent transportation. The technologies on display are part of Honda’s goal of a "collision-free society" and "safety for everyone" through assisted driving systems that protect not only the car’s occupants, but pedestrians, cyclists, and others on the road... Continue Reading Honda showcases latest intelligent transportation tech at ITS World Congress

Section: Automotive

Tags: Collision, Communications, Driving, Honda, Safety, Traffic, Transport, vehicle-to-vehicle

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NASA’s return to manned spaceflight took a couple of major steps forward this week with the completion of the Orion crew capsule and the attachment of it and the previously-completed service module to the adapter that will connect Orion to its rocket. This marks the completion of all major components of the spacecraft, which is due to make its first test flight in December... Continue Reading Orion spacecraft crew capsule completed and ready for fueling

Section: Space

Tags: NASA, Orion Spacecraft, Space Launch System, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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One aggravating property of the housefly is that swatting one is harder than it looks. That’s because flies have eyes designed for avoiding such a day-ruining event by detecting motion over a wide field of vision. Since asteroids have the potential to do to Earth what rolled newspapers do to flies, ESA is developing a telescope based on a fly’s eye as a new asteroid-hunting tool that could be the basis for a new asteroid defense network. .. Continue Reading ESA's bug-eyed "fly-eye" telescope to watch for Earth-threatening asteroids

Section: Space

Tags: Asteroid, ESA, Telescope, Tracking

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The Bible talks about beating swords into plowshares, but what about Kalashnikovs into timepieces? Swiss watchmaker Fonderie 47’s Inversion Principle has done just that with a luxury watch made in part from the steel of a deactivated AK-47 assault rifle and subtle design cues from the firearm. According to the company, part of the watch’s price goes toward helping to disarm and aid Africa... Continue Reading Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle turns weapons into watches

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: AK-47, Fonderie 47, Luxury, Tourbillon, Watches, Weapons

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Last year, Swiss watchmaker Urwerk announced that it was working on a wristwatch containing the world's first mechanical movement with an electronic monitoring system. The fruits of its of labor are now on display in the Urwerk Electro Mechanical Control (EMC) watch, which uses advanced electronics to monitor the precision movement’s performance within 10 microseconds... Continue Reading Uwerk EMC merges electronics with precision watchmaking

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: EMC, Monitoring, Urwerk, Watches

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DARPA has awarded a first-phase US$2.9 million follow-on contract to the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University as part of its Warrior Web program to create a soft exoskeleton. The Wyss Institute is studying the biometrics of walking as part of an effort to develop a soft fabric exoskeleton called the Soft Exosuit that uses robotics and biomimetics to augment the wearer’s musculoskeletal system as a way to reduce fatigue and injuries in soldiers and the disabled. .. Continue Reading DARPA awards contract to continue development of soft exoskeleton

Section: Robotics

Tags: DARPA, Exoskeleton, Robotics, Wearable

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The dawn of manned commercial spaceflight received a major boost as NASA announced in a news conference today that Boeing and SpaceX have been chosen to ferry US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The US$6.8 billion contract was divided between the two companies to cover the cost of certification of the Boeing CST-100 and the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, one demonstration mission for each, plus six commercial missions to the station... Continue Reading NASA selects Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts to space station

Section: Space

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

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Today, when we think of the dangers of the battlefield, we think of wounds caused by bullets, bombs, and other weapons. But as late as the Spanish American war of 1898, the number of soldiers who died from infectious diseases as opposed to directly from combat injuries was seven to one. Thanks to the discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics, that ratio has swung dramatically the other way, but it’s still a major problem, not only for military personnel, but civilians too. DARPA is developing an artificial spleen, or "biospleen," as a way to help fight deadly infections without antibiotics... Continue Reading DARPA working on portable and ruggedized artificial "biospleen" to fight sepsis

Section: Health and Wellbeing

Tags: Bacteria, Blood, DARPA, dialysis, Infections, Prototype

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Our stereotype of a spacesuit involves an astronaut clad in a bulky white outfit like some outer space Michelin Man wearing a rucksack – and about as graceful. But if an MIT team has any say, the spacesuit of the future will be a snug, form-fitting outfit that’s not only lighter and more flexible but also easier to get on, automatically tightening up to a proper fit at the touch of a button. .. Continue Reading Future skintight spacesuits could snug up at the touch of a button

Section: Space

Tags: Astronauts, MIT, Space Suit

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