News

System Makes Airport Surface Traffic More Efficient

Researchers are attempting to improve the control tower software system using mathematics and optimization techniques. (Photo: ThinkStock) Researchers have developed an optimization system that identifies the optimal timing and taxiing sequences for runway use by a given aircraft. It plans detailed taxiing routes, recommends new routes automatically, and responds to a continuous stream of updated information. The model takes into account the basic rules and physical restrictions that apply at all airports, such as safety zones around turning aircraft and one-way taxiing routes.

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NASA Tests Technologies to Increase Drone Uses

Photo: NASA/David C. Bowman NASA researchers and drone industry representatives foresee a day when small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are used in wildfire spotting, precision agriculture, wildlife monitoring, and small package delivery.

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Will VR be the new way to watch sports?

This week's Question: Fox Sports offered virtual-reality streams from last week's U.S. Open, a major golf championship in Oakmont, PA. Sports fans who owned the right devices could watch the golf event on the television while using VR for enhancements: game recaps, highlights of a particular play, features, and brief cut-ins to live play. Virtual reality still faces adoption challenges. Viewers need to buy special equipment to view the broadcast, and the users may find the devices too inconvenient and cumbersome to wear regularly. What do you think? Will VR be the new way to watch sports?

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Will AI improve vehicle safety by 2020?

This week's Question: As the competition to develop self-driving cars intensifies, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that over the next five years the company will spend $1 billion on the integration of artificial intelligence (AI). Gill Pratt, CEO of Toyota Research Institute, recently said Toyota aims to improve car safety by enabling vehicles to anticipate and avoid potential accident situations. While today's driver assistance systems largely use image sensors to avoid obstacles within the car’s lane, Pratt said TRI was looking at AI solutions to enable "the car to be evasive beyond the one lane."

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3D-Printed Polymer Turns Methane to Methanol

By combining biology and 3D printing, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have created a reactor that continuously produces methanol from methane at room temperature and pressure.

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Researchers Test Galaxy-Seeking Robots

A telescope project from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will use a planned array of 5,000 galaxy-seeking robots to produce a 3D map of the universe. Dubbed ProtoDESI, the scaled-down, 10-robot system will help scientists achieve the pinpoint accuracy needed to home in on millions of galaxies, quasars, and stars with the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI).

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SLED-Based Broadband Near-Infrared Source

Avo Photonics (Horsham, PA) design, development, and manufacturing, was commissioned by Luxmux Technology Corporation, to develop and manufacture a solid-state, broadband, continuous emitter for use with their line of miniature integrated spectrometers. The emitter combines the outputs of multiple super-luminescent LEDs (SLEDs) into a polarization-maintaining single-mode fiber. Such an accomplishment required collimating multiple beams and achieving collinearity to an overlap of 700 um and pointing to within 250 urad. The result is a >100 mw, fiber-coupled source with continuous emission over the 1250 – 1750 nm band. To learn more, click here.

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