Back in 1975 I was in my final year of engineering school, preparing for what I assumed would be a long and fruitful career solving problems and designing new ones. Meanwhile I was spending most of my free time honing my...

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Engineering Team Develops Chip for Mars Rover

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity would have a hard time completing its mission if it were not for a successful partnership between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a professor-student team at UT. Ben Blalock, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and two graduate...

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Blemished Graphene Could Lead to New Battery Technology

Engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute made a sheet of paper from the world’s thinnest material, graphene, and then zapped the paper with a laser or camera flash to blemish it with countless cracks, pores, and other imperfections. The result is a graphene anode...

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Researchers Create 3D 'Movies' of Electron Behavior

For the first time, an MIT team has managed to create three-dimensional “movies” of electron behavior in a topological insulator, or TI. The movies can capture vanishingly small increments of time — down to the level of a few femtoseconds, or millionths of a billionth of a second — so...

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Open Network Architecture for Army Vehicle Electronics

Army vehicle electronics networking is complex and challenging due to vendor- specific devices and interfaces. Military vehicles require 100% network uptime and security. The network must reduce vehicle clutter, focus on saving soldiers’ lives, and provide minimum latency. Battle...

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Tactical Communications Network Backbone Undergoes Operational Tests

Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, known as WIN-T, Increment 2, is nearing the finish line having undergone its largest operational test back in May. WIN-T Increment 2 is a major upgrade to the Army's tactical communications backbone and provides an on-the-move network...

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Networked Vehicle Production In Full Swing at U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal

Beginning in October, the U.S. Army will begin fielding the first integrated group of networked technologies – radios, sensors and associated equipment and software – that will for the first time deliver an integrated voice and data capability throughout the entire...

Question of the Week
Will Exoskeletons and Robotic Suits Become a Part of Everyday Life?

Many companies, including Raytheon and the Israel-based Argo Medical Technologies, have created self-contained, wearable robotic suits to reduce injuries from heavy lifting, for example, and help paraplegics walk again. Ekso, based in Richmond, California, builds a suit without...

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Software Calculates Carbon Footprints

Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed new software that can simultaneously calculate the carbon footprints of thousands of products.

The team used a life-cycle-analysis (LCA) tool and developed three new techniques that work in concert, enabling them to calculate thousands of footprints within...

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Chevron Research Could Help Quiet Jet Engines

They’re fast, powerful, and deafening. Furthermore, military jets need to be up in the air in the wee hours over land to simulate their landings on aircraft carriers. But innovations out of the University of Cincinnati’s Gas Dynamics and Propulsion Laboratory are showing promise in reducing the...

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Autonomous Robotic Plane Flies Indoors With No GPS

For decades, academic and industry researchers have been working on control algorithms for autonomous helicopters — robotic helicopters that pilot themselves, rather than requiring remote human guidance. Dozens of research teams have competed in a series of autonomous-helicopter challenges...

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NASA Global Hawk Pilots Face Challenges Flying Hurricane Missions

NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) mission will be a complex one for the pilots flying NASA's Global Hawk aircraft from the ground. The mission will be the first deployment for the unmanned aircraft away from their regular base of operations at the Dryden Flight...

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Army’s Multiscale Modeling Research Studies Lightweight Materials

At the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, scientists and engineers have been studying how they can make higher-performance materials for soldiers at lighter weights. The challenge has led to the ARL Enterprise for Multiscale Research of Materials, made up of in-house research and...

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New Program Processes Hubble Images More Efficiently

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne master’s student Thibault Kuntzer has focused his efforts on an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope – the most distant photo of the universe ever taken. As part of a semester project, he tested and increased the efficiency of an...

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Simulation Model Predicts Wind Turbine Tower Loads

Mikel Abasolo, a researcher of the University of the Basque Country, has built a simplified simulation model for wind turbines. All one has to do is enter the characteristics that the tower and its parts will have, and in a matter of seconds, the model predicts the load that has to be given to...

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Biocompatible Hydrogel May Replace Artificial Cartilage

A team of experts in mechanics, materials science, and tissue engineering at Harvard has created an extremely stretchy and tough gel that has potential as a replacement for damaged cartilage in human joints.

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Engineers Demonstrate Wirelessly Powered Cardiac Device

A team of engineers at Stanford has demonstrated the feasibility of a super-small, implantable cardiac device that gets its power not from batteries but from radio waves transmitted from a small power device on the surface of the body.

Question of the Week
Are You Encouraged by the Capabilities of Medical Sensors and Stretchable Electronics?

Many wireless-monitor products today track daily activity, including a person's steps and calories burned. Wearable sensors, and even internal ones, however, may also be used to monitor one's specific biological processes. "Stretchable electronics," for...

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Scientists Capture X-Ray Image of Magnetic Nanostructure

Scientists working at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source have captured the first single-shot X-ray microscope image of a magnetic nanostructure and shown that it can be done without damaging the material.

This result not only demonstrates the success of a powerful new X-ray technique,...

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NASA Rover Beams Telephoto Images Back to Earth

NASA's Mars Curiosity has debuted the first recorded human voice that traveled from Earth to another planet and back. The voice playback was released along with new telephoto camera views of the varied Martian landscape during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif....

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New Imaging Technique Measures Electrocatalytic Activity of Nanoparticles

By modifying the rate at which chemical reactions take place, nanoparticle catalysts fulfill myriad roles in industry, the biomedical arena, and everyday life. They may be used for the production of polymers and biofuels, improving pollution and emission control devices,...

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Flat Lens Focuses Light Without Imparting Distortions

Applied physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have created an ultrathin, flat lens that focuses light without imparting the distortions of conventional lenses.

At 60 nanometers thick, the flat lens is essentially two-dimensional, yet its focusing...

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Smartphone Imaging Tools Track Objects On the Battlefield

Using smartphones' GPS and imaging capabilities, University of Missouri researchers have developed new software that determines the exact location of distant objects, as well as monitors the speed and direction of moving objects. The software could eventually allow smartphone-armed...

Vanderbilt University researches have developed a way to combine Photosystem 1 (PS1), the photosynthetic protein that converts light into electrochemical energy in spinach with silicon (the material used in...

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NASA Robotic Prototype Lander Sails to 100 Feet

With a whistle and a roar, the "Mighty Eagle," a NASA robotic prototype lander, sailed to an altitude of 100 feet.

During the 35-second run, the vehicle was "open loop," navigating autonomously without the command of the onboard camera and flying on a preprogrammed flight profile.

Once it...

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Researchers Use Simulated Sunlight to Test PV Efficiency

PML researchers have devised a novel source of portable sunlight that may fill an urgent need in renewable energy research – namely, light sources that generate a near-perfect solar spectrum to be used in testing the performance and efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) materials.

The...

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Engineers to Add Arms and Hands to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as those used by the military for surveillance and reconnaissance, could be getting a hand – and an arm – from engineers at Drexel University as part of a National Science Foundation grant to investigate adding dexterous limbs to the aircrafts....

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New Software Can Identify Coverage Problems Before Network Deployment

A Tennessee company has licensed award-winning software from Oak Ridge National Laboratory that will help industries install wireless networks more cost-effectively in challenging environments such as mines, offshore drilling platforms and factory floors. Networcsim, founded...

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Researchers Use Graphene to Make Wireless Communications More Flexible

Michael Lekas and Sunwoo Lee, electrical engineering Ph.D. candidates, have been awarded a Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (QInF) and the accompanying $100,000 prize. They were one of eight teams from across the U.S. to win the fellowship. Their project —“CMOS Compatible...

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