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NASA System Would Enable Unmanned Aircraft to Fly in US Airspace

NASA, working with government and industry partners, is testing a system that would make it possible for unmanned aircraft to fly routine operations in United States airspace. The tests engage the core air traffic infrastructure and supporting software components through a live and virtual environment to demonstrate how an autonomous aircraft interacts with air traffic controllers and other air traffic.

Posted in: News

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Jet Contrails Affect Ground Temperatures and Climate

High in the sky where the cirrus ice crystal clouds form, jet contrails draw their crisscross patterns. Now researchers have found that these elevated ice cloud trails can influence temperatures on the ground and affect local climate.

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Material That Mimics Owl Wings Could Make Planes Quieter

A newly designed material that mimics the wing structure of owls could help make wind turbines, computer fans, and planes much quieter. Early wind tunnel tests of the coating have shown a substantial reduction in noise without any noticeable effect on aerodynamics.

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New High Efficiency Piezoelectric Energy Harvesters

If we told you there’s a way to build piezoelectric energy harvesters that can produce more than ten-times the power output of commercial devices vibrating at the same frequency, would you believe us? It’s true! The key is to integrate stacks of polycrystalline lead zirconate-titanate Pb(Zr,Ti)03 (PZT) ceramic in design concepts that amplify your input forces, resulting in higher efficiency. And we’ll show you two ways to do that.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Energy Harvesting

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Advanced Thermal Management Solutions: Heat Pipes, Pumped Systems and Thermal Storage

How They Work and When They Should be Used This Webinar will discuss principles of the major thermal management solutions being implemented today. We will review the fundamentals of heat pipes, pumped liquid systems, pumped two phase systems and thermal storage. Basic heat transfer equations will be presented and explained for each.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Coatings & Adhesives

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Will robots be suitable emotional companions?

This week's Question: In June, Softbank sold its first 1,000 Pepper robots in less than a minute. Using cameras, touch sensors, an accelerometer, and other sensors in its neural network, Pepper has the ability to read (and develop its own) emotions. According to the company's Web site, the social companion is able to converse, recognize emotions, and move autonomously. Softbank recently announced that the technology will be available for sale beginning August 1st, at the rate of 1,000 per month. What do you think? Will robots be suitable emotional companions?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Guidelines for Ensuring PCB Manufacturability

The rules of PCB design have changed little over the years, but the demands on the boards themselves keep increasing. The need for smaller, more complex boards used in smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices translates into less real estate for greater functionality.

Posted in: Tech Talks

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