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Will 'Bloon' rides catch on?

This week's Question: Zero2infinity, a Spanish company, plans to launch passengers to near space using technologies called "Bloons." A maximum of four passengers will join two pilots in the Bloon cabin, which will be chained to a balloon filled with inert helium. Once fully inflated, the balloon will pull the cabin to an altitude of about 22 miles or 116,000 ft; the balloons would take between 1.5-2 hours to reach maximum altitude. The passengers would not reach space itself, but would still be able to see the Earth, as well as the sun rise. Whether passengers would still need to wear spacesuits will depend on certification from authorities. Bloon's first departures are expected to be followed by the launch of space flights from World View Enterprises, an Arizona-based ballooning company. What do you think? Will 'Bloon' rides catch on?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Energy-Harvesting Method Shows Promise for Mars Power Stations

Northumbria and Edinburgh Universities researchers have developed an innovative, new technique to harvest energy from carbon dioxide. The method may enable the creation of future power stations on the surface of Mars.The research proposes a new kind of engine for producing energy based on the Leidenfrost effect – a phenomenon which happens when a liquid comes into near contact with a surface much hotter than its boiling point. Blocks of dry ice are able to levitate above hot surfaces protected by a barrier of evaporated gas vapor. Northumbria’s research proposes using the vapor created by this effect to power an engine. The technique has implications for working in extreme and alien environments, such as outer space, where it could be used to make long-term exploration and colonization sustainable by using naturally occurring solid carbon dioxide as a resource rather than a waste product.Increasing evidence from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) suggests that dry ice may be a naturally occurring resource on Mars, as suggested by the seasonal appearance of gullies on the surface of the red planet. If utilized in a Leidenfrost-based engine, the dry-ice deposits could provide the means to create future power on the Red Planet. The working principle of a Leidenfrost-based engine differs from steam-based heat engines; the high-pressure vapor layer creates freely rotating rotors whose energy is converted into power without the need of a bearing, thus conferring the new engine with low-friction properties.SourceAlso: Learn about Mars-Optimized Solar Cells.

Posted in: News

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Design & Electrical Function of the CM1000S28

A vital component of every military electronics system is a power supply. Rugged high-performance power supplies are required in mission critical systems. Our power supply can function effectively in ground mobile, aircraft uninhabited transport, and naval unsheltered environments. In the past few years, customer’s demands of smaller solutions, the need for increased power solutions, and increased reliability have paved the path for tremendous improvements in the military power supply industry; therefore Abbott Technologies has developed the CM1000S28 to meet those needs. This white paper details the design and electrical function of the CM1000S28.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers

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Additive Manufacturing Initiatives at Sandia National Laboratories

Additive manufacturing (AM), commonly referred to as 3D printing, is a hot topic these days. Sandia National Laboratories has been pioneering development and commercialization of the technology for over 30 years now.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars

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Are FAA drone rules too restrictive?

This week's Question: This month, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed long-awaited rules on the commercial use of small drones, requiring operators to be certified, fly only during daylight, and keep their aircraft in sight. The ruling, for now, prevents drones from being used for a range of possible other commercial uses, including crop inspection and package delivery. What do you think? Are FAA drone rules too restrictive?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Comparison of Interface Pressure Measurement Options

An increasingly competitive global marketplace means that design engineers must efficiently deliver a high quality product. Countless emerging technologies impact the design process and engineers must practice due diligence to ensure analysis tools meet their application’s requirements. This paper focuses specifically on technology for interface force and pressure measurement between two surfaces and includes a review of technology composition and data output. This paper will also examine capabilities driven by form factor, precision and environment that influence selection criteria of interface force and pressure sensors.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Sensors

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Force Sensors for Design

The Tekscan Force Sensors for Design White Paper provides insights on various force sensing technologies including: Comparison of various force sensing technologies such as load cells, piezoresistive, and capacitive sensors. Discussion of issues including power consumption, size, cost, and durability. Real-life examples of how thin and flexible tactile force sensors have contributed to the success of OEMs in a variety of applications and industries. What to consider in choosing a technology partner, including engineering support, customization, and manufacturing capabilities.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Sensors

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