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System Lets Drones Fly Autonomously and Learn New Routes

Drones, say goodbye to pilots. With the goal of achieving autonomous flight of these aerial vehicles, researchers developed a vision and learning system to control and navigate them without relying on a GPS signal or trained personnel. The method estimates the position and orientation of the vehicle, allowing it to recognize its environment, replacing the GPS location system with low-cost sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, and camcorders.

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Will seaplanes take flight?

This week's Question: As global air traffic increases and airports expand, researchers from Imperial College London's Department of Aeronautics have developed a design concept for a medium to long-range seaplane. The proposed design, the Imperial College team says, may reduce the pressure on inland airports, lower noise pollution, and the halt the need for extensive infrastructure. The design has a V-shape hull, inspired by the flying boat aircraft the 1940s. The hull provides buoyancy and navigability as the plane lands and take off from the water. The team says their concept seaplane design would have the capacity to carry up to 2000 passengers at a time. In an interview with CNN, Dr. Errikos Levis, a researcher in the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London, said he doesn't believe seaplanes would replace land planes or match their current fuel efficiency, and it would take a decade for the design to become a reality. What do you think? Will seaplanes take flight?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Who's Who at NASA: Kurt Leucht, Command & Control Software Developer

Kurt Leucht, Command & Control Software Developer, Kennedy Space Center, Florida Project Lead Kurt Leucht has spent recent months testing the software of NASA's "Swarmie" robots. Using an evolving genetic algorithm, the robots operate as connected, ant-like swarms. The technology could prove to be valuable as humans explore harsh, remote, or inaccessible locations where teleoperation and resource gathering is required.

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Tiny Origami Robot Folds Itself Up

MIT researchers have developed a printable origami-inspired robot that, when heated, folds itself up from a flat sheet of plastic. The robot weighs a third of a gram and measures about a centimeter from front to back.

Posted in: News

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Spectrum Analyzer Fundamentals – Theory and Operation of Modern Spectrum Analyzers

This primer examines the theory of state-of-the-art spectrum analysis and describes how modern spectrum analyzers are designed and how they work. That is followed by a brief characterization of today's signal generators, which are needed as a stimulus when performing amplifier measurements.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers

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Receiver requirements for a TDOA-based radiolocation system

Emitter location based on measuring the time difference of arrival (TDOA) at multiple receiver sites has been available for several decades. In the past, the greatest challenge lay in time-synchronizing the various spatially separated receiver sites. Extremely complex methods were needed to precisely synchronize multiple receivers. Without adequate synchronization, the results of this location method are unusable because even small synchronization errors lead to significant errors in emitter location. For example, when using a single sensor, an error of 100 ns in measured time means an error of 30 m in the estimated distance. When using multiple sensors, the errors are additive and lead to unusable location results.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers

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Introduction into Theory of Direction Finding

Applications of direction finding While direction finding for navigation purposes (referred to as cooperative direction finding) is becoming less important due to the availability of satellite navigation systems, there is a growing requirement for determining the location of emitters as the mobility of communications equipment increases:

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers

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