Monday, 29 February 2016

NASA green-lights supersonic passenger plane project



NASA is moving ahead with its new X-planes program by awarding its first contract to design a prototype "low-boom" supersonic passenger jet. At a ceremony today at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced that a team led by Lockheed Martin will develop the preliminary designs for a demonstration aircraft.

.. Continue Reading NASA green-lights supersonic passenger plane project

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Review: Dyson Small Ball packs full features in half the size



Dyson started off with its signature upright vacuum cleaners, then expanded with a line of portable handhelds based on the same technology. Now the company is filling in the gap with the Dyson Small Ball – a small upright that claims to pack features comparable to a full upright in half the size. We dirtied up the place and put the Small Ball to the test.

.. Continue Reading Review: Dyson Small Ball packs full features in half the size

Category: Around The Home

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SpaceX SES-9 launch aborted at last second



SpaceX dramatically aborted its third attempt to launch the SES 9 mission today at literally the last second. At 7:21 pm EST, the lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was called off with the order to shutdown the engines of the Falcon 9 rocket at the moment of ignition. Today's launch would have been SpaceX's most ambitious to date, as it was to be the first attempt at a powered landing of the Falcon 9 on a sea barge after returning from a geostationary transfer orbit launch.

.. Continue Reading SpaceX SES-9 launch aborted at last second

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Long-endurance Predator drone spreads its wings



The Predator B (AKA the MQ-9 Reaper) is one of the mainstay drones of the US Air Force and is also flown by the air forces of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. In the latest of a long series of upgrades, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has announced the maiden flight of the Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Extended Range (ER) Long Wing. Retrofitted with long-endurance wings with greater internal fuel capacity and a raft of other features, the improvements bring the drone into the reconnaissance class.

.. Continue Reading Long-endurance Predator drone spreads its wings

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Saturday, 27 February 2016

US Army researchers patent limited-range bullet to reduce chances of collateral damage



Safer munitions may seem like a contradiction in terms, but modern designers put a lot of effort into creating weapons that do the least unintentional harm after or if they fail to do their job. A case in point is a new limited-range bullet invented by Brian Kim, Mark Minisi, and Stephen McFarlane at the US Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC). Recently awarded a US patent, the proof-of-concept bullet disables itself after flying a preset distance.

.. Continue Reading US Army researchers patent limited-range bullet to reduce chances of collateral damage

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Friday, 26 February 2016

Richard Mille RMS05 fountain pen blends writing with precision watchmaking



Generally, the fountain pen is regarded as as outdated as the horse-drawn Zeppelin, but in upmarket circles it's still a symbol of luxury and status. Precision mechanical watches are still made for a similar reason, and Richard Mille is taking the simile even further by creating the US$105,000 RMS05 fountain pen that runs off a self-winding Swiss movement.

.. Continue Reading Richard Mille RMS05 fountain pen blends writing with precision watchmaking

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Solar sails to help keep pole-sitting satellites in their place



Pole sitting was a fad in the United States in the 1920s, but ESA is putting a modern orbital spin on the practice. Investigating advanced orbital mechanics, the space agency has concluded that it's possible to build a hybrid solar-sail/electric-propulsion satellite that could hover over either of the Earth's poles by balancing the pull of the Earth and the Sun.

.. Continue Reading Solar sails to help keep pole-sitting satellites in their place

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High-temperature photovoltaics and electrochemical cell combine to advance solar power



Despite continual improvements in efficiency, silicon-based solar cells are hampered by the fact that they only deliver power when the sun is shining and that their efficiency falls off markedly at temperatures over 100° C (212° F). To address these limitations, scientists at TU Wien in Vienna have combined perovskite-based solar cells that work at high temperatures with an electrochemical cell that allows the energy from ultraviolet light to be stored chemically.




.. Continue Reading High-temperature photovoltaics and electrochemical cell combine to advance solar power

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Ibex extreme mobility agribot goes where no farm robot has gone before



Farms tend to conjure up images of flat prairies crammed with corn, but a surprising amount of farmland is situated on hillsides that are difficult to get to or maintain. To help keep these high fields clear for livestock, UK-based technology firm Ibex Automation is starting fully autonomous field trials in England's Peak District of its extreme mobility agricultural robot that can maneuver around steep dairy and sheep pastures as it identifies and destroys weeds.

.. Continue Reading Ibex extreme mobility agribot goes where no farm robot has gone before

Category: Robotics

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NASA declassifies Apollo 10 "space music" ... in 1973



NASA recently released evidence buried for decades showing that astronauts on the Apollo 10 lunar mission in 1969 heard strange "space music" that seemingly defies explanation – or did it ... and does it? Many news services have picked up on the story and claim that the "space music" incident is only now being made public, but NASA disagrees. According to the space agency, the audio and transcripts from the mission have been available in the National Archives since 1973 and the explanation of the event is quite down to Earth.

.. Continue Reading NASA declassifies Apollo 10 "space music" ... in 1973

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Boston Dynamics' latest Atlas robot struts its stuff



Boston Dynamics has showcased its evolving robot family in a new video of the Atlas humanoid robot. At 5.75-ft (175-cm) tall, the latest Atlas is a head shorter than its elder sibling, but it has some new tricks up its sleeve. Not only can the tetherless robot operate under internal power, but it can work indoors and out and boasts greatly improved balance.

.. Continue Reading Boston Dynamics' latest Atlas robot struts its stuff

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Monday, 22 February 2016

NASA wants to bring back X-planes to test new aviation technologies



The American X-planes were part of the romance of the heyday of post-war aviation with test pilots like Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in the X-1 and a rival corps of astronauts flew into space in the X-15. As part of a 10-year plan proposed by the Obama administration, NASA Aeronautics' New Aviation Horizons program wants to revive the X-planes for the 21st century as demonstrators for emerging, greener flight technologies.

.. Continue Reading NASA wants to bring back X-planes to test new aviation technologies

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Review: Pioneer XDP-100R-S puts hi-res audio in your pocket



Playing high-definition audio on a standard player is a bit like playing a state-of-the-art 1950s vinyl stereophonic record on a wind up Victrola – you can do it, but it just won't be the same as on the Hi-Fi. In an effort to create a portable player that does justice to hi-def digital playback and streaming, Pioneer came up with its XDP-100R. We recently got our hands on one, slapped on the headphones, and cranked some tunes to see what it could do.

.. Continue Reading Review: Pioneer XDP-100R-S puts hi-res audio in your pocket

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Fifth-dimensional black hole could cause general relativity to break down



We like to think of the physical universe as being governed by immutable laws, but maybe they're not quite as concrete as we imagine. A team of physicists at the University of Cambridge have run computer simulations that show that a five-dimensional, ring-shaped black hole could violate Einstein's general theory of relativity by creating a naked singularity, which would result in the equations behind the theory breaking down.

.. Continue Reading Fifth-dimensional black hole could cause general relativity to break down

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Friday, 19 February 2016

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo unveils new, VSS Unity



The after a year's Over a fatal test flight accident, of Virgin Galactic's is back as with CEO of Sir by Richard from Branson today has been Unveiled the new spacecraft That will of the replace the ill-fated SpaceShipTwo, of Virgin Spaceship (the VSS) the Enterprise . Sporting a new silver and white livery and pulled by a Land Rover Autobiography, the new vehicle was wheeled out before an invited audience and named VSS Unity by Professor Stephen Hawking via a recorded message.

The Continue the Reading .. of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo unveils new, the VSS the Unity

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Cygnus spacecraft Takes out the trash



Orbital Sciences of The / ATK's the Cygnus the CRS-4 mission CAME to an end today has been as with NASA's Astronauts by Scott Kelly and by Tim Kopra USED one's of the International, the Space Station then's (the ISS) robotic arms to the release the spacecraft from its' docking port. Filled with rubbish, the unmanned cargo ship left the station at 7:26 am EST. After a controlled re-entry maneuver monitored by mission control in Houston, it is scheduled to burn up over the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning.

The Continue the Reading .. the Cygnus spacecraft Takes out the trash the

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Jaguar Gives the lowdown on the the the F-Recorder SVR the Type



January with In, the Jaguar took the LID off its' the F-Recorder SVR of the type - the latest of the the F-the Type variants. Billed as the fastest series production vehicle produced by Jaguar Cars, the all-weather supercar is the first Jaguar to wear the SVR badge and is designed to be as usable on the morning commute as on the track. Now, the company has rolled out more details about it in anticipation of its public d├ębut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1.

The Continue the Reading .. the Jaguar Gives the lowdown on the the the F-Recorder SVR the Type

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Milrem combat robot is Brings modular way to the versatility of the battlefield



The modern battlefield requires soldiers who are able to adapt quickly to any mission and as robots join them, they'll have to do the same. At the Singapore Airshow 2016 this week, Estonian defense company Milrem took the wraps off its robotic Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) - a compact battlewagon billed as the "first-of-its-kind modular hybrid Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)" that acts as a multi-mission vehicle platform to assist or replace soldiers on the battlefield.

The Continue the Reading .. Milrem combat robot is Brings modular way to the versatility of the battlefield

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Monday, 15 February 2016

DARPA readies unmanned ACTUV sub hunter for sea trials



The day of the robot warship may be a lot closer than many people think with DARPA announcing that it will christen its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) on April 9 at the Swan Island shipyard in Portland, Oregon. Also known as the Seahunter, the 139 ft (42 m) long vessel is designed to track potentially hostile submarines for months at a time without a crew.

.. Continue Reading DARPA readies unmanned ACTUV sub hunter for sea trials

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Ordnance Survey creates map for Martian ramblers



When the first astronauts set foot on Mars, they'll need to be able to find their way around without the aid of GPS. To this end, Britain's Ordnance Survey (OS) has released its first map of another planet. Created in the distinct OS style, the one-off chart's purpose is to examine the potential of the agency's advanced cartographic methods in creating detailed, easy to understand maps for planning future missions to the Red Planet.

.. Continue Reading Ordnance Survey creates map for Martian ramblers

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Lensless imaging achieved using "optical brush"



In the quest for imaging systems that are very small and flexible, yet don't require elaborate protective cases, a team of researchers at MIT Media Lab have scaled things down with a lensless imaging device called a "optical brush." The device uses a loose bundle of optical fibers to produce images that could lead to more compact and robust ways to study oil fields and build smaller endoscopes.

.. Continue Reading Lensless imaging achieved using "optical brush"

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DARPA's fully-loaded quadcopter autonomously navigates an indoor maze at 45 mph



A fully-laden quadcopter recently flew through an indoor obstacle course at 45 mph (72 km/h) as part of DARPA's Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program. The test flight was conducted entirely under autonomous control with the goal of developing small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with the ability to navigate through tight spaces without the need for outside control or GPS.


.. Continue Reading DARPA's fully-loaded quadcopter autonomously navigates an indoor maze at 45 mph

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Which came first, the drone or the PowerEgg?



Conventional drones are often billed as portable, though they're also often a collection of rods, rotors, and other bits and pieces that are perfect for catching on things and getting tangled. To make taking drones into the backcountry a bit less onerous, Beijing-based Powervision Robot has taken the gubbins of a quadcopter and built them into a giant PowerEgg that folds up into one smooth package shaped like a cackleberry for transport.

.. Continue Reading Which came first, the drone or the PowerEgg?

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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Review: iClever IC-BK03 keyboard unfolds for touch typing



Ever been stuck in a doctor's waiting room longer than expected with a report to finish and the only option is to try to bang out a draught on your phone? One alternative to typing with your thumbs is to pack along a folding Bluetooth keyboard. The question is, which one? We recently got hold of an iClever IC-BK03 Trifold Bluetooth keyboard, went for a flu jab, and tried it out.

.. Continue Reading Review: iClever IC-BK03 keyboard unfolds for touch typing

Category: Computers

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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Reversible fuel cell goes both ways for the US Navy



Boeing has delivered a new type of fuel cell to the US Navy for testing that can both store energy and generate electricity. Called a "reversible solid oxide fuel cell," it's designed to absorb energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, then release it as required to provide commercial and military users with a cleaner, more sustainable source of power.

.. Continue Reading Reversible fuel cell goes both ways for the US Navy

Category: Energy

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"Unhackable" RFID chip to keep your credit cards safe



Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips have made cashless payments commonplace and opened the way to automatic inventory control. However, they've also made it possible for credit card details and other private information to be stolen wirelessly. To make things a bit more secure, MIT and Texas Instruments are developing an "unhackable" RFID chip that's designed to fend off information-stealing attacks.

.. Continue Reading "Unhackable" RFID chip to keep your credit cards safe

Category: Electronics

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Boeing brings electronic log book on line



The paperless office may not have arrived, but it looks like the paperless cockpit is well on its way. Boeing has announced that Air New Zealand is abandoning old-fashioned hard copy technical logs on its fleet of six 787 Dreamliners in favor of Boeing's Electronic Log Book (ELB). According to the aircraft manufacturer, Air New Zealand is one of the first airlines to gain operational approval for the app, which is designed to improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of aircraft maintenance operations.

.. Continue Reading Boeing brings electronic log book on line

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Sunday, 7 February 2016

X-rays and nanoparticles combine to kill cancer deep in the body



Cancer may be terrifying, but cancerous cells aren't actually that difficult to kill. The tricky bit is doing so without killing the host or making them dreadfully ill in the process. The key is treatments that only target the cancer cells while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue alone. By combining X-rays with nanoparticles, a team of researchers from the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) in Australia has found a way of combating cancer deep inside the body in this way using a simple chemical.

.. Continue Reading X-rays and nanoparticles combine to kill cancer deep in the body

Category: Medical

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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Secrets of water-skipping revealed



Skipping stones across water may seem like an innocent children's pastime, but the science behind it has helped to win more than one war. Now, researchers at Utah State University's (USU) College of Engineering are uncovering new insights into the physics of these kinds of water impacts that could have wide applications in the fields of naval, maritime, and ocean engineering.

.. Continue Reading Secrets of water-skipping revealed

Category: Physics

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Friday, 5 February 2016

Apollo 14 astronaut Captain Edgar Dean "Ed" Mitchell dies at age 85



Some of us of a certain age felt a little bit older today after news that Captain Edgar Dean "Ed" Mitchell has died age 85. The US Navy veteran and NASA astronaut was the Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 14 mission in 1971 and was the sixth man to walk on the Moon. He passed away on Thursday at 10:00 pm EST in hospice care at Lake Worth, Florida.

.. Continue Reading Apollo 14 astronaut Captain Edgar Dean "Ed" Mitchell dies at age 85

Category: Inventors and Remarkable People

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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Shape memory alloys the basis for more efficient refrigerant-free cooling



By preserving our food and keeping our buildings comfortable in hot weather, mechanical cooling systems have been a boon, but with their refrigerant gases and high power consumption they're not exactly environmentally friendly. In an effort to make a greener, more energy efficient cooling system, a team of engineers from Germany's Saarland University is turning to shape memory materials to replace the refrigerant gases used in conventional cooling technologies.

.. Continue Reading Shape memory alloys the basis for more efficient refrigerant-free cooling

Category: Materials

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Shape Memory Alloys
Refrigeration
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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Orion arrives at Kennedy Space Center



The second Orion Crew module has arrived at the Kennedy Space Center's Operations & Checkout Facility after a flight by Superguppy from the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. According to primary contractor Lockheed Martin, the 2,700 lb (1,225 kg) spacecraft has been secured in its structural assembly tool called the "birdcage," where it will undergo testing and assembly for its first flight atop the Space Launch System on the unmanned Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) scheduled for November 2018.

.. Continue Reading Orion arrives at Kennedy Space Center

Category: Space

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Swarming robot boats demonstrate self-learning



Robots may be the wave of the future, but it will be a pretty chaotic future if they don't learn to work together. This cooperative approach is known as swarm robotics and in a first in the field, a team of engineers has demonstrated a swarm of intelligent aquatic surface robots that can operate together in a real-world environment. Using "Darwinian" learning, the robots are designed to teach themselves how to cooperate in carrying out a task.

.. Continue Reading Swarming robot boats demonstrate self-learning

Category: Robotics

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University of Lisbon
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Sorry Spider-Man, but geckos are the largest wall crawlers



Having faced off the Green Goblin and Mysterio, Spider-Man has been defeated by his greatest enemy; maths. According to a team of scientists from Cambridge University, for the webslinger to stick to a wall, he'd need hands and feet equal to 40 percent of his entire body surface area. Though this may dismay web head's fans, it may shed insights into how to improve gecko-like adhesives.

.. Continue Reading Sorry Spider-Man, but geckos are the largest wall crawlers

Category: Science

Tags:
Adhesive
Cambridge University
Biomimicry

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Graphene optical lens a billionth of a meter thick breaks the diffraction limit



With the development of photonic chips and nano-optics, the old ground glass lenses can't keep up in the race toward miniaturization. In the search for a suitable replacement, a team from the Swinburne University of Technology has developed a graphene microlens one billionth of a meter thick that can take sharper images of objects the size of a single bacterium and opens the door to improved mobile phones, nanosatellites, and computers.

.. Continue Reading Graphene optical lens a billionth of a meter thick breaks the diffraction limit

Category: Physics

Tags:
Microscopes
Graphene
Swinburne University of Technology
Lenses

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Hybrid polymer shows promise in self-repairing materials, smart drug delivery, and artificial muscles



We live in an age of plastics, but even after a century of progress, most polymers still come in a single, homogenous form with basic properties. Now a team of researchers at Northwestern University under the leadership of materials scientist Samuel Stupp have developed a hybrid polymer that combines soft and hard areas like bones and muscles in animals. According to the team, this breakthrough in nanoengineering opens the door to applications ranging from self-repairing materials to artificial muscles.

.. Continue Reading Hybrid polymer shows promise in self-repairing materials, smart drug delivery, and artificial muscles

Category: Materials

Tags:
Chemistry
Materials
Polymer
Northwestern University

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