News: Aerospace
New Process Speeds Manufacture of JSF Cockpit Canopies

A faster, more precise way to create cockpit enclosures may end up saving the F-35 Lightning II program a significant amount in manufacturing costs. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has invested in an automated thermoforming process that could cut costs by as much as $125 million over the...

News: Aerospace
Nanotube Array Technology Could Improve Spacecraft Propulsion

A pair of carbon nanotube arrays will be flying in space by the end of the year to test technology that could provide more efficient micro-propulsion for future generations of spacecraft. Part of a Cube Satellite (CubeSat) developed by the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), the...

News: Aerospace
NASA Pilots Take a Load Off With Tablets

NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's pilots are saving trees, money, and their backs by joining the tablet computer revolution in aviation. Tablet computers have replaced pilots' heavy flight bags, some of which weighed about 40 pounds filled with hard copies of aviation documents. This transition has...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

Unexpected behavior in ferroelectric materials explored by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory supports a new approach to information storage...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

Researchers in electrical and computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara have introduced and modeled an integrated circuit design scheme in which transistors and interconnects...

Question of the Week
Will Amazon's Drone Delivery Service Really Fly?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced that Amazon's R&D department is working on "Amazon Prime Air," a service that enables drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes. The earliest the technology could be in service, however, is 2015, because the FAA will need to update its laws.

News
Penguin-Inspired Propulsion Uses Novel Spherical Joint Mechanism

Underwater, emperor penguins can turn into regular rockets, accelerating from 0 to 7 m/s in less than a second. Researchers at the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland have created a new propulsion system based on a penguin’s shoulder and wing system that features a...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Scientists have created a heat-resistant thermal emitter, an element used in specialized solar cells, that could significantly improve the efficiency of the cells. The novel...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Gems are known for the beauty of the light that passes through them. But it is the fixed atomic arrangements of these crystals that determine which light frequencies are permitted...

News
Special Camera Makes Hidden Tumors Visible During an Operation

Tumor removal surgeries pose a great challenge even to skillful and experienced surgeons. Up to now, doctors depend exclusively upon their trained eyes when excising pieces of tumors. A new camera system developed by Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Auto- mation...

News
Imaging System Inspired by Human Eye Can Diagnose Disease

Optical devices like telescopes and microscopes have relied on solid lenses that slide up and down to magnify and to focus. To tune how much light is received, conventional devices use mechanical contraptions like the blades that form the adjustable aperture in cameras. Engineers from...

News
Inexpensive Nano-Camera Operates at the Speed of Light

A $500 nano-camera that can operate at the speed of light has been developed by researchers in the MIT Media Lab. The three-dimensional cameracould be used in medical imaging and collision-avoidance detectors for cars, and to improve the accuracy of motion tracking and gesture-recognition...

Question of the Week
Can a Computer Be Taught Common Sense?

Researchers are building a massive computer system that browses millions of pictures and decides for itself what they all mean. The system at Carnegie Mellon University, called NEIL (short for Never Ending Image Learning) has been searching the Internet for images 24/7 and, in tiny steps, is determining how...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Scientists Build an Open-Source 3D Metal Printer

Using under $1,500 worth of materials, including a small commercial MIG welder and an open-source microcontroller, a Michigan Technological University team built a 3D metal printer than can lay down thin layers of steel to form complex geometric objects.

Expanded 3D printing would benefit...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers Combine Antennas and Solar Cells

Researchers have combined antennas and solar cells to work together with unprecedented efficiency. The development is a first step towards more compact, lightweight satellites. The technology could also be deployed in the autonomous antenna systems used in the aftermath of natural disasters.

For...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Lidar System Produces Images — One Photon Per Pixel

Researchers from MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) created a new lidar-like system that gauges depth when only a single photon is detected from each location.

The new scheme could enable laser rangefinders to infer depth from a hundredth as much light — and to produce images...

Who's Who: Aerospace

Jim Lux is task manager on FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response), a portable radar device that detects heartbeats and breathing of victims trapped...

News
Naval Research Laboratory Advances Green Technologies

Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) benthic microbial fuel cell (BMFC) extracts electricity from the sea floor using the natural decomposition process of sediment. Most current scientific sensors in the marine environment are battery-powered, but the BMFC offers an attractive alternative to a...

News
New Inspection System Ensures Safer Body Armor

Soldiers who have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation New Dawn, have the shared experience of being issued ballistic plates for their body armor that have been turned in by other soldiers after their combat tours. Part of ensuring plates are combat...

News
Army Scientists Improve Methods of Detecting, Decontaminating Ricin

An envelope laced with ricin intended for the president of the United States was recently intercepted by law enforcement officials when protocols established for mail screenings revealed the threat of a biological weapon. Ricin is a highly toxic, naturally occurring protein...

Question of the Week
Will Asteroid Mining Missions Pay Off?

Two firms are already planning prospecting missions to passing asteroids. Meteorites contain precious metals, including platinum and rhodium, but the presence of hydrogen and oxygen could also enable 'pit stops' to create fuel for Mars missions.

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
2D Tin Conducts Electricity with 100-Percent Efficiency

A single layer of tin atoms could be the world’s first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate, according to a team of theoretical physicists led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Engineers Develop Faster 3D Printing Process

Although 3D printing — or direct digital manufacturing — has the potential to revolutionize various industries by providing faster, cheaper, and more accurate manufacturing options, fabrication time and the complexity of multimaterial objects have been a longtime hurdle to its widespread use in...

News
Army and University Study Could Improve Aviation Vibration Testing

Results from a recent study that looked at how battlefield-born vibrations, like those from blasts and heavy armored vehicles, for example, are leading research scientists to rethink military vehicle testing and evaluation methods that could also, eventually, improve automotive...

News
Wrangling Flow to Quiet Future Aircraft

Plasmas are a soup of charged particles in an electric field, and are normally found in stars and lightning bolts. With the use of high voltage equipment, very small plasmas can be used to manipulate fluid flows. In recent years, the development of devices known as plasma actuators has advanced the promise...

News
Crashing Rockets Could Lead to Novel Sample-Return Technology

During spring break the last five years, a University of Washington class has headed to the Nevada desert to launch rockets and learn more about the science and engineering involved. Sometimes, the launch would fail and a rocket smacked hard into the ground. This year, the session...

News
NASA Researchers Get Flying Insects to Bug Off Airplane Wings

A bee and a jumbo jet: common sense would tell you that the tiny insect couldn't possibly cause any troubles for the massive airplane, right? Actually, no. Bees can cause trouble. When flying insects get in the way of an airplane's wing during takeoff or landing, it's not just the...

News
Analysis Explains Shifting Winds in Turbine Arrays

Researchers modeling how changes in air flow patterns affect wind turbine output power have found that the wind can supply energy from an unexpected direction: below. The researchers introduced a mathematical way to measure changes in the flow that gives a more accurate representation of the...

News
Simulation Helps Predict Life Expectancy of Solar Modules

Solar panel modules must fulfill certain standards to be approved for operation. This involves exposing them to high temperatures and high mechanical loading. However, the results only predict something about the robustness of a brand-new sample with respect to extreme, short-term...

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