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Engineering Update #121: Chasing whales with drones

July 30, 2015 | by Jon Dipierro, Kasey Panetta, Jamie Wisniewski, & Janine E. Mooney | Videos | Comments

Ocean Alliance, in coordination with Olin College of Engineering, has created the SnotBots. The drone will be able to quietly observe the whale while being operated...

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How do you drive a lunar spacecraft?

July 30, 2015 3:46 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to drive a lunar spacecraft? If you have, it might be a little bit different that you have imagined.

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How to look for a few good catalysts

July 30, 2015 2:15 pm | by Massachusetts Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Two key physical phenomena take place at the surfaces of materials: catalysis and wetting. A catalyst enhances the rate of chemical reactions; wetting refers to how liquids spread across a surface...

Developments enhance future vertical lift aircraft

July 30, 2015 1:58 pm | by Bill Crawford, AMRDEC Public Affairs | News | Comments

Efforts are being made to establish methods to reduce the time to develop and field new software capabilities and their life cycle costs for future vertical lift aircraft...

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NASA's MMS formation will give unique look at magnetic reconnection

July 30, 2015 1:44 pm | by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center | News | Comments

On July 9, 2015 the four spacecraft of NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission began flying in a pyramid shape for the first time. The four-sided pyramid shape--called a tetrahedron--means that scientists' observations will be spread out over three dimensions...

Direct digital synthesized RF signal source with 1Hz to 100MHz frequency range

July 30, 2015 1:07 pm | by Saelig Company, Inc. | Saelig Company, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Saelig Company, Inc. announces the availability of the USB-stick-sized TDDS100-48 - a laboratory quality Direct Digital Synthesized RF signal source with a frequency range of 1Hz to 100MHz and a minimum of 0dBm output power that is available from its SMA female socket...

Sol-gel capacitor dielectric offers record-high energy storage

July 30, 2015 12:36 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Using a hybrid silica sol-gel material and self-assembled monolayers of a common fatty acid, researchers have developed a new capacitor dielectric material that provides an electrical energy storage capacity rivaling certain batteries, with both a high energy density and high power density...

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Studying killer whales with an unmanned aerial vehicle

July 30, 2015 12:31 pm | by NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service | News | Comments

Last year, for the first time, scientists used an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, to study killer whales from above. In an article published this month in the Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, scientists describe how they configured their UAV, turning it into a precision scientific instrument...

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Lockheed studying first-responder radiation shield for deep-space application

July 30, 2015 11:12 am | by Lockheed Martin | News | Comments

StemRad and Lockheed Martin have initiated a joint research and development effort to determine if StemRad’s radiation shielding technology – originally designed for first-responders – could help to keep astronauts safe on deep-space exploration missions...

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Like paper, graphene twists and folds into nanoscale machines

July 30, 2015 11:09 am | by Cornell University | News | Comments

The art of kirigami involves cutting paper into intricate designs, like snowflakes. Cornell physicists are kirigami artists, too, but their paper is only an atom thick, and could become some of the smallest machines the world has ever known...

New Horizons data hint at underground ocean

July 30, 2015 11:06 am | by Cassie Martin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Pluto wears its heart on its sleeve, and that has scientists gleaning intriguing new facts about its geology and climate. Recent data from NASA's New Horizons probe—which passed within 7,800 miles of the surface on July 14—have revealed striking features on Pluto's heart-shaped region...

Tesla’s new referral program could land you a free Model X

July 30, 2015 10:50 am | by Jamie Wisniewski, Associate Editor, @JamieECNmag | Blogs | Comments

Imagine a refer-a-friend program that gave you a new car for putting in a good word about its company? Tesla Motors is doing just that. Sort of. Elon Musk has announced the electric car giant’s new referral program that will run for three months, now through October 31st, open to current Model S owners...

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Deserializer integrates four surround view camera streams in automotive applications

July 30, 2015 9:49 am | by Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. | Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

The MAX9286 quad deserializer from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM) enables the design of surround-view systems for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) with fewer components and faster time to market...

Detecting small metallic contaminants in food via magnetization

July 30, 2015 9:47 am | by Toyohashi University of Technology | News | Comments

The detection of metallic contaminants in foods is important for our health and safety. However, existing inspection methods have limitations. For instance, the X-ray radiation method cannot detect contaminants with sizes smaller than 1 mm with current practical X-ray levels...

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3-D human skin models could replace animal testing to assess dermal sensitivity to medical device

July 30, 2015 9:45 am | by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News | News | Comments

New research shows that exposing a 3D human skin tissue model to extracts of medical device materials can detect the presence of sensitizers known to cause an allergic response on contact in some individuals. Conventional skin sensitization testing of medical devices relies on animal testing...

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Shoring up Tor

July 30, 2015 9:44 am | by Massachusetts Institute of Technology | News | Comments

With 2.5 million daily users, the Tor network is the world's most popular system for protecting Internet users' anonymity. For more than a decade, people living under repressive regimes have used Tor to conceal their Web-browsing habits from electronic surveillance, and websites hosting content that's been deemed subversive have used it to hide the locations of their servers....

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