Thursday, 30 October 2014

NASA releases more information on Antares explosion

At a press conference arranged only a few hours after the event, NASA released details of theexplosion of the Antares rocket carrying the unmanned Cygnus supply ship to the International Space Station (ISS). The space agency said that the launch pad at Wallops Island, Virginia, where the 240,000-kg (530,000-lb) rocket went up in flames seconds after lift off has been cordoned off by firefighters until daylight because of the on-going hazards from fires, and scattered solid and hypergolic fuel from the Antares... Continue Reading NASA releases more information on Antares explosion

Section: Space

Tags: Antares, Cygnus, Explosion, International Space Station, NASA, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Planetary Resources, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Empa invents chemical computer faster than a satnav

If you’re going out for pizza in Budapest, which would you choose to get you there; a smartphone with GPS or a drop of gel on a little maze? A team of scientists from Switzerland, Hungary, Japan and Scotland under the leadership of Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, thinks that the gel might be your better bet because that little bit of plastic and goo is a chemical computer capable of navigating a maze faster than a satnav... Continue Reading Empa invents chemical computer faster than a satnav

Section: Science

Tags: Computers, Empa, GPS, Navigation

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Electrodialysis identified as potential way to remove salt from fracking waste water

Fracking is a highly controversial and divisive issue. Proponents argue that it could be the biggest energy boom since the Arabian oil fields were opened almost 80 years ago, but this comes at a serious cost to the environment. Among the detrimental effects of the process is that the waste water it produces is over five times saltier than seawater, which is, to put it mildly, not good. A research team led by MIT that has found an economical way of removing salt from fracking waste water that promises to not only reduce pollution, but conserve water as well... Continue Reading Electrodialysis identified as potential way to remove salt from fracking waste water

Section: Environment

Tags: Energy, Fracking, MIT, Pollution, Salinity

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in real time thanks to a small electronics package that fits into the weapon's grip. .. Continue Reading Wireless Yardarm Sensor monitors firearm use in real time

Anytime a police officer draws their weapon, it's likely to be a tense, confusing situation where split second decisions can be the difference between life and death. In an attempt to reduce some of the confusion, Yardarm has developed a wireless sensor that allows firearms to be tracked and monitored in real time thanks to a small electronics package that fits into the weapon's grip. .. Continue Reading Wireless Yardarm Sensor monitors firearm use in real time

Section: Good Thinking

Tags: Bluetooth, Crime, Firearms, Law Enforcement, Police, Security, Telemetry, Weapons,Wireless

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MIT "microwalkers" stroll across cell surfaces to seek out target areas

Ever wonder how a germ knows where to attack the body or how a white blood cell knows where to counter attack? How bacteria find food? Or how cells organize themselves to close a wound? How can something so simple do things so complex? A team of MIT researchers is seeking the answers as they develop "microwalkers" – microscopic machines that can move unguided across the surface of a cell as they seek out particular areas... Continue Reading MIT "microwalkers" stroll across cell surfaces to seek out target areas

Section: Science

Tags: Cells, Magnetic, Microbes, MIT

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Rosetta discovers comet smells like rotten eggs and horse poo

Comets may be deep-frozen fossils that could provide clues as to the earliest days of the Solar System, but what does one smell like? Not very nice, says ESA, whose Rosetta space probe has discovered that comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) has the aroma of rotten eggs and horse dung... Continue Reading Rosetta discovers comet smells like rotten eggs and horse poo

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, ESA, Rosetta, Smell

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RAZAR riflescope brings push-button zoom to the battlefied

In combat, seconds count and a moment’s hesitation or distraction can mean the difference between life and death. So it's no small problem that modern riflescopes often require soldiers to look away from their targets or take their hands off their rifles in order to change magnification. Sandia National Laboratories’ Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles (RAZAR) riflescope is capable of switching between high and low zoom magnifications at the touch of a button, allowing soldiers to concentrate on the battle rather than their scopes... Continue Reading RAZAR riflescope brings push-button zoom to the battlefied

Section: Military

Tags: Combat, Lenses, Optical, Prototype, Riflescope, Sandia Labs, Telescope, Zoom

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Hubble identifies Kuiper Belt targets for New Horizons mission

With NASA'S New Horizons spacecraft scheduled to pass Pluto next year, the space agency has announced the discovery of three Kuiper Belt objects (KBO); one of which may be the unmanned probe’s next destination. Located in the constellation of Sagittarius, the primordial asteroids were found after a detailed survey using the Hubble Space Telescope... Continue Reading Hubble identifies Kuiper Belt targets for New Horizons mission

Section: Space

Tags: Hubble, Kuiper Belt, NASA, New Horizons, Solar System, Space telescope, Spacecraft

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Xenex updates protocols for germ-zapping robots in response to Ebola threat

Dealing with highly infectious diseases like Ebola is often like a logic problem. Disinfecting rooms is hard enough, but what about protective suits? True, they greatly reduce the chances of infection, but getting them off can bring the risk straight back again if the suit isn't decontaminated first. Xenex has created protocols that conform to those of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its a line of robots that use UV lamps that to decontaminate hospital rooms and protective clothing exposed to the Ebola virus... Continue Reading Xenex updates protocols for germ-zapping robots in response to Ebola threat

Section: Robotics

Tags: Bacteria, CDC, Clothing, Disease, Health, Radiation, Robots, Safety, Ultraviolet, UV lamp,Virus

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Science Museum exhibit explores the Information Age

If the 19th and 20th centuries were the Transportation Age, then the 21st century is the Information Age. Like most other ages, it didn't suddenly leap into being with the arrival of the Web or the smartphone – it has a history going back more than 200 years. The Science Museum in London is exploring this history in a new permanent exhibit called "Information Age: Six Networks That Changed Our World," which was recently opened by Queen Elizabeth II when she sent the first tweet by a British monarch... Continue Reading Science Museum exhibit explores the Information Age

Section: Science

Tags: BBC, Communications, Computers, Exhibition, History, London, Museum, Science Museum

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Krossblade's SkyCruiser can't decide if it's an airplane, quadcopter, or car

Can’t decide if you want an airplane, a helicopter, or a flying car? Then why not all three at once? Arizona-based start-up Krossblade seems to think the same way with its SkyCruiser concept – an electric hybrid aircraft that not only switches between being an airplane and a quadcopter, but can be driven on the road as well... Continue Reading Krossblade's SkyCruiser can't decide if it's an airplane, quadcopter, or car

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Flying Cars, Hybrid, Quadcopter, VTOL

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Terrestrial Return Vehicle to provide parcel post for the ISS

So much attention is paid to how to get into space that we often forget that getting back can be just as difficult. For example, getting experiment samples back from the International Space Station (ISS) is a logistical nightmare. Intuitive Machines' Terrestrial Return Vehicle (TRV) system may change that by making sending small payloads back to Earth as easy as mailing a parcel. .. Continue Reading Terrestrial Return Vehicle to provide parcel post for the ISS

Section: Space

Tags: International Space Station, NASA, Spacecraft

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Catch up

Reaching space in a balloon may sound like something out of a children’s book, but Spain’s zero2infinity company doesn't think so. The Barcelona-based company specializes in near-space balloon flights for scientific and engineering clients, and is working on a nanosatellite launch vehicle called bloostar, which uses a high-altitude balloon as a first stage and rockets for reaching orbit... Continue Reading zero2infinity mixes balloons and rockets to launch nanosats

Section: Space

Tags: Balloon, Launch, Rocket, Satellite, Spain

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk has made it no secret that he plans to go to Mars, and it looks like he’s giving NASA’s ambitions about the Red Planet a bit of a boost along the way. During a Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in September, the space agency sent a pair of chase planes up to take high-resolution images of the booster as it made a powered test landing on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean as a way of gather critical engineering information for future Mars missions... Continue Reading NASA looks to SpaceX for Mars landing tips

Section: Space

Tags: Falcon, Mars, NASA, Spacecraft, SpaceX

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After completing its 10 month-long voyage, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is taking its first look at the Martian atmosphere. Part of the unmanned orbiter’s commissioning phase, it limbered up its sensors by observing the effect of a massive solar event and returned its first images of the fountain-like coronas that are slowly peeling away the Red Planet's atmosphere... Continue Reading MAVEN spacecraft provides first look at Martian upper atmosphere

Section: Space

Tags: Atmosphere, Mars, MAVEN, NASA, Spacecraft

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A secret mission came to a public end this morning as the US Air Force’s top secret X-37Bspaceplane landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The unmanned reusable spacecraft touched down on the runway like a conventional aircraft this morning at 9:24 am EDT after a record-breaking 674 days in orbit. According to the Air Force, the automatic landing was monitored by the 30th Space Wing and occurred without incident... Continue Reading Top secret X-37B spaceplane breaks orbital endurance record

Section: Space

Tags: Boeing, Reconnaissance, Record-breaking, Spacecraft, Unmanned, US Air Force,Vandenberg AFB, X-37B

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A team of MIT researchers has completed an analysis of the Mars One mission to colonize the Red Planet that throws the feasibility of the non-profit project into question. By analyzing the mission’s details, the team found that as the plan stands, there are a number of hurdles that must be overcome if the colonists aren't to end up dead within 10 weeks of landing. .. Continue Reading MIT team throws feasibility of Mars One mission into question

Section: Space

Tags: International Space Station, Mars, Mars One, MIT

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The US Air Force’s reusable unmanned spacecraft, the X-37B, is scheduled to return to Earth this week. Although the exact day and time remains undetermined, preparations are underway at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in anticipation of the arrival of the mini-shuttle as it ends its classified Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 (OTV-3)... Continue Reading US Air Force awaiting landing of X-37B after top-secret space mission

Section: Space

Tags: Boeing, California, Spacecraft, Unmanned, US Air Force, X-37B

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Having a 21st century robot doesn't help if the control is like something designed to handle a model plane circa 1965, so iRobot has come up with something that is not only up to date, but also more intuitive, so operators can worry more about the job at hand than the robot used to complete it. The iRobot uPoint Multi-Robot Control (MRC) system is a universal control system for the company’sdefense and security robots that uses combines a touchscreen interface with a mobile robotic radio relay... Continue Reading iRobot unveils one tablet-based control system to rule them all

Section: Robotics

Tags: iRobot, Remote Control, Tablet

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BAE Systems has begun construction of the first of the Royal Navy’s three new River class Batch 3 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). During a ceremony at BAE Systems Surface Ships’ Govan facility in Glasgow, Bernard Gray, the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Chief of Defence Material, activated a plasma cutting machine, which sliced through first plate of steel for HMS Forth. The ship will be the first in the Royal Navy to incorporate the state-of-the-art Shared Infrastructure operating system in its construction. .. Continue Reading Construction of Royal Navy's new River class OPVs gets underway

Section: Military

Tags: BAE Systems, Marine, Royal Navy, Ships

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Driver assistance technologies are becoming more common and more sophisticated with each passing year, but despite this, their function is still to reduce accidents rather than eliminate them – at least, for now. Volvo's project 360° is going the whole hog with a new technology that the Swedish car maker believes has the potential to eliminate deaths and injuries by a Volvo car or truck by 2020... Continue Reading Volvo's 360° view technology aimed at making accidents a thing of the past

Section: Automotive

Tags: Accidents, Driver Assistance, Prototype, Safety, Sensors, Volvo

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HMS Ocean is already the largest vessel in the British Royal Navy, so to help lighten ship, BAE Systems and Ministry of Defence is deploying a new system on the helicopter carrier that hosts software across multiple systems from a single console... Continue Reading HMS Ocean receives all-in-one computer system

Section: Military

Tags: BAE Systems, Computer, Royal Navy

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In the 21st century, the world lives with two futures ahead of it – one of looming energy shortages, and another of godlike energy abundance. The key to this whether it’s possible to turn fusion reactor technology from a laboratory exercise into a real-world application. Engineers that the University of Washington are working on a fusion reactor that, when scaled up, could produce energy on a practical scale, yet at a cost rivaling that of a conventional coal-powered plant... Continue ReadingUniversity of Washington fusion reactor promises "cheaper than coal" energy

Section: Science

Tags: Coal, Energy, Fusion, University of Washington

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Digital gadgetry for cars is progressing by leaps and bounds, which is great – except when they your car doesn't have them. Japan's Pioneer Corporation has developed one way to keep up with the high-tech motoring Joneses in the form of its rearview mirror telematics unit – a wireless information module that fits over a car's original rearview mirror. .. Continue Reading Pioneer packs latest in-car tech into rearview mirror telematics module

Section: Automotive

Tags: Cars, Driving, Japan, Navigation, NTT Docomo, Pioneer, Touchscreen, Wireless

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Ever since Antonie van Leeuwenhoek turned his simple microscope on a bit of pond water in the 17th century, optical microscopes have been a key tool for biologists. Unfortunately, they’re rather limited as to the smallness of what they can see – or at least, they were. This year's winners of theNobel Laureates in Chemistry, Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner, changed all that. Their discovery of two methods to bypass the physical limits of optical microscopes led to the creation of the field of nanomicroscopy. .. Continue Reading Super-resolved fluorescence microscopy pioneers awarded 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Section: Inventors and Remarkable People

Tags: Chemistry, Fluorescent, Microscopes, Nanoscale, Nobel prizes, Optical

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With the Royal Navy (RN) working hard to cast off the "Jonah" reputation of its Astute class nuclear attack submarines, BAE Systems has successfully completed the latest RN boat Artful’s maiden dive. The third of the British A boats, which are billed as the most advanced submarine in the world, Artful submerged while tied to the BAE dock at Barrow in Furness, Cumbria as part of its commissioning process... Continue Reading HMS Artful completes maiden dive

Section: Military

Tags: BAE Systems, Nuclear, Royal Navy, Submarine

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Thomas Edison may have invented the lightbulb, but he never received the Nobel Prize for it. Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano at the University of Nagoya, and Shuji Nakamura working at Nichia Chemicals in Tokushima, Japan have proven more successful, being awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention of the blue LED, which is the key to modern energy-efficient lighting... Continue Reading 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to inventors of blue LEDs

Section: Inventors and Remarkable People

Tags: Energy-efficient, Inventors, Japan, LED, Light, Nobel prizes

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Last month, the US MAVEN space probe and the Indian MOM orbiter arrived at the planet Mars within days of one another. As part of a welcome to India as the newest interplanetary spacefaring nation, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed a pair of documents formally sealing agreements between the US and India for greater cooperation in the exploration of Mars and for a joint NASA-ISRO Earth observation mission later this decade... Continue Reading India and the US to team up for Mars exploration and Earth-observing missions

Section: Space

Tags: India, ISRO, Mars, Mars Orbiter Mission, MAVEN, NASA, Spacecraft

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The sinking feeling of calling a help line and discovering that there’s a robot at the other end may not be as sinky in the future. IPsoft’s "virtual service-desk employee" Amelia is designed to bring advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to help desks and other interactive operations by engaging callers in more intuitive and natural conversations... Continue Reading IPsoft’s Amelia AI platform making its way to work

Section: Computers

Tags: Artificial Intelligence, Business, Interactive

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One of nature’s most notorious psychopaths may be giving cancer patients new hope. The mantis shrimp is famous for having a punch like a .22 bullet and a perpetual bad attitude, but is also has the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom, which are excellent at detecting polarized light. With this in mind, the University of Queensland is developing new cameras based on the mantis shrimp’s eyes that can detect a variety of cancer tissues... Continue Reading Mantis shrimp's eyes inspire new cancer-detecting camera

Section: Science

Tags: Animals, Cameras, Cancer, Cancer Tissue, Diagnosis, Imaging, Neuroscience, Non-invasive, University of Queensland

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Montblanc Metamorphosis II luxury watch features a transforming display

Digital watches may have progressed to the point where you can get one as accurate as a marine chronometer for a dollar, but mechanical timepieces still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Case in point is the Montblanc Metamorphosis II. At the press of a slider, it undergoes a complex mechanical ballet that converts it in look and function from a conventional luxury watch to a precision chronograph, by opening itself up to display a new set of dials. .. Continue Reading Montblanc Metamorphosis II luxury watch features a transforming display

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Luxury, Watches

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Monday, 6 October 2014

US Navy demonstrates how robotic "swarm" boats could protect warships

In an age plagued by terrorism, the threat posed to the world’s navies and merchant fleets by small craft laden with explosives or crews with automatic weapons is a very real and present danger. To help combat this, the United States Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) is developing a fleet of robotic patrol boats that can not only act as escorts for larger warships or merchant vessels, but can also autonomously swarm around a threatening craft and destroy it. .. Continue Reading US Navy demonstrates how robotic "swarm" boats could protect warships

Section: Military

Tags: Boats, ONR, Robots, Swarm, Terrorism, Unmanned, US Navy, USVs

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Fiat aims for best of both worlds with 500X compact crossover

Fiat has gone off-roading at the Paris Motor Show with the debut of its 500X compact crossover. To be available in two versions – one aimed city driving and the other for the outdoor leisure market – the new crossover comes in two-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations and features a wide choice of engines and gearboxes, including a nine-speed automatic... Continue Reading Fiat aims for best of both worlds with 500X compact crossover

Section: Automotive

Tags: Crossover, Fiat, Off-road, Paris Motor Show 2014

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Sikorsky reveals first S-97 Raider helicopter prototype

Sikorsky's record-breaking X2 Demonstrator helicopter may be a museum piece these days, but the technology that went into it is still alive and kicking as the United Technologies subsidiary takes the wraps off the first of its two S-97 Raider helicopter prototypes. According to Sikorsky, this event marks the beginning of the armed reconnaissance ‘copter’s flight tests aimed at providing the US Army with its next generation of combat rotorcraft. .. Continue Reading Sikorsky reveals first S-97 Raider helicopter prototype

Section: Military

Tags: Aircraft, Combat, Helicopters, Prototype, Reconnaissance, Sikorsky, Special forces, US Army

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Friday, 3 October 2014

GRAIL mission solves the mystery of the Man in the Moon

Where did the Man in the Moon come from? It sounds like a nursery school riddle, but it’s actually a very serious question about the history of our satellite. A major part of the "Man" is the lunar mare or sea called the Oceanus Procellarum or Ocean of Storms; the origin of which has been a matter of scientific speculation for centuries. Now NASA claims that the answer has been found by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) orbiter mission, which ended with a controlled impact on the Moon in 2012... Continue Reading GRAIL mission solves the mystery of the Man in the Moon

Section: Space

Tags: GRAIL, Moon, NASA, Spacecraft

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