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Astronaut pee could help get us to Mars

April 21, 2014 8:16 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Urine, made up of more than 95% water, is one of the cleanest fluids in the human body. And on a protracted space mission lasting more than a year (one-way) — to Mars, for example — that fact becomes critically important....

Bright points in sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior

April 18, 2014 1:40 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Like a balloon bobbing along in the air while tied to a child's hand, a tracer has been found in the sun's atmosphere to help track the flow of material coursing underneath the sun's surface. New research that uses data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, to track bright points in the solar atmosphere...

First Earth-size planet is discovered in another star's habitable zone

April 18, 2014 12:53 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A team of astronomers that includes Penn State scientists has discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery was made with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope....

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UT Dallas professor to develop framework to protect computers' cores

April 18, 2014 12:46 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

UT Dallas cybersecurity expert Dr. Zhiqiang Lin has received funding from the U.S. Air Force to develop a defense framework that burrows deep into a computer system to protect its core. The Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) provides up to $360,000....

Engineering Newswire: HeliCat looks like copter, drives like boat

April 18, 2014 12:22 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

The HeliCat 22 is great for stable & safe, fun, fast, economical and practical water travel. It features two independent motor/fuel/electrical systems for redundancy, and can travel up to 20 to 30 miles per hour in whitecap waves at 5 miles per gallon, which is impossible with other boats....

Always connected: How the Internet of Things utilizes digital ICs

April 18, 2014 12:14 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

A tremendous convergence of technology is taking place at homes across the globe. The number of wireless sensing Internet of Things (IoT) devices is expected to reach 5 billion by 2019, according to ON World. For one, the Internet has moved beyond letting consumers access oceans of information from their living room....

Auto elocution: Vehicle-to-vehicle communication mitigates driving hazards

April 18, 2014 11:55 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Articles | Comments

It’s not often that in-vehicle technologies take a sudden step. The automotive industry is, historically, quite conservative. However, in February, the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA) announced its vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication initiative....

AC/DC Hall effect measurement system includes 7-inch magnet

April 18, 2014 10:52 am | Lake Shore Cryotronics | Product Releases | Comments

The new Model 8407 Hall effect measurement system from Lake Shore Cryotronics (Westerville, OH) features a 7-inch magnet for measuring mobilities at the low end of the DC field measurement range, from 1 to 106 cm2/V s. Like Lake Shore’s existing Model 8404 with 4-inch magnet, it can be ordered with AC field measurement capabilities....

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90-degree PCB connector system promises space savings

April 18, 2014 10:31 am | Erni Electronics | Product Releases | Comments

ERNI (Richmond, VA) has expanded its M12 wire-to-board connector product offering to include a center axis, PCB edge mounting connector that saves significant board space when compared to top mount right angle connectors, according to the company. The M12 90-Degree PCB Connector System mates according to

Under some LED bulbs, whites aren't 'whiter than white'

April 18, 2014 10:24 am | by A'ndrea Elyse Messer | News | Comments

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different degrees of whites may all look the same, according to experts in lighting....

This is what shooting a drone with a machine gun looks like

April 18, 2014 9:59 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

On today’s edition of destroying things with machine guns, we find ourselves in Arizona during the semi-annual Big Sandy Shoot, which is the largest machine-gun shoot in the US. We also find ourselves learning a valuable lesson: It’s really hard to shoot down drones....

MicroTCA.4 chassis addresses power redundancy problem

April 18, 2014 9:58 am | Vadatech, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

VadaTech (Henderson, NV) announced an 8U high chassis compliant with the MicroTCA.4 specification that offers N+1 redundant power to 4400 W.  MicroTCA.4 systems use double modules with an RTM connector for rear I/O.

microSD memory cards are said to be world’s fastest

April 18, 2014 9:10 am | Toshiba America Electronic Components | Product Releases | Comments

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., (Irvine, CA) has introduced what it says is the world’s fastest microSD memory cards. The new cards comply with the UHS-II2 interface standard, the ultra high speed serial bus interface defined in the SD Memory Card Standard Ver. 4.20.

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Capacitors suit 3-phase AC power harmonic filtering

April 18, 2014 9:01 am | Cornell Dubilier Electronics | Product Releases | Comments

Cornell Dubilier Electronics (New Bedford, MA) announced the availability of its new PFCH capacitor series for 3-phase AC power harmonic filtering. Intended for use on the AC output of large inverter system, Type PFCH are designed to

LED luminaire is first to use Bluetooth technology

April 17, 2014 1:43 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Hubbell Lighting (Greenville, SC) has launched the first outdoor LED luminaire controlled by using Bluetooth technology—Kim Lighting’s LightVault 8. The solid brass fixture, which features leading-edge LED optics, uses high-speed Bluetooth technology to enable field aiming....

60V MOSFETs feature ultra-low Rds(on) for industrial applications

April 17, 2014 1:22 pm | International Rectifier | Product Releases | Comments

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) announced the expansion of its StrongIRFET MOSFET portfolio to include 60V devices for a wide variety of industrial applications including power tools, Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) inverters, DC motor drives, Li-Ion battery pack protection...

Photos of the Day: A remote-controlled, fire-breathing dragon

April 17, 2014 12:59 pm | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Hammacher Schlemmer has introduced possibly the coolest RC “toy” of all time: A remote-controlled, fire-breathing dragon. I put “toy” in quotations because of the obvious safety risk and the exorbitant price: This bad boy will set you back 60 grand. But it’d be money well-spent....

2-W DC/DC converters are medically approved

April 17, 2014 12:30 pm | MicroPower Direct, LLC | Product Releases | Comments

Micropower Direct’s (Stoughton, MA) MG200MHI Series is a family of compact, 2-W DC/DC converters fully approved to both EN 60950 and EN 60601. They are specifically designed to meet the stringent isolation, reinforced insulation and low leakage requirements of

Meteorites yield clues to red planet's early atmosphere

April 17, 2014 12:03 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published April 17 in the journal Nature, shows that the atmospheres of Mars and Earth diverged in important ways....

Board-mount pressure sensors provide high durability, sensitivity, and flexibility

April 17, 2014 10:45 am | Honeywell | Product Releases | Comments

Honeywell (Morristown, NJ) announced its new Basic Board Mount Pressure Sensors, Compensated, Unamplified, TBP Series. These new sensors are designed for customers who require a simple, high quality, cost-effective, basic performance, mV output sensor that is compensated and unamplified....

Metallized polypropylene film DC-link capacitor offers environment-friendly materials

April 17, 2014 10:31 am | Vishay Intertechnology | Product Releases | Comments

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. (Malvern, PA) introduced a new environmentally friendly metallized polypropylene film capacitor for DC-link applications that offers a broad capacitance range of 1 µF to 500 µF, compact footprints, and

Engineering Update 54: NASA to send flying saucers to Mars

April 17, 2014 10:25 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Future voyages to Mars would need to address the physiological strain on the astronauts, the length of the trip, itself, and ferrying the necessary payload to sustain human life for a protracted mission. The first two problems could be insurmountable, but to deal with the latter, NASA is currently testing its own prototype for a hypersonic flying saucer....

Smart physical fusing can help secure datacenter uptime

April 17, 2014 10:16 am | by Bharat Shenoy, Director of Technical Marketing, Littelfuse, Inc. | Littelfuse, Inc. | Articles | Comments

A blade server is essentially a single circuit board populated with components such as processors, memory, and network connections that are usually found on multiple boards. The explosive growth of mobile applications and the increasing use of Software as a Service (SaaS) has made protecting the blade servers...

Bus converter modules provide desirable power density

April 17, 2014 9:49 am | Vicor Corp. | Product Releases | Comments

Vicor Corporation (Andover, MA) announced the newest entries in its portfolio of isolated bus converter modules (BCMs) based on the company's Converter housed in Package (ChiP) power component platform. Supplying up to

Hotspot: Remote-controlled, fire-breathing dragon

April 17, 2014 9:24 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Hammacher Schlemmer is offering a remote controlled jet-powered dragon that soars through the air at up to 70 mph and belches propane-powered flame when on the ground. The dragon’s LED eyes can be commanded to glow red while it emits a fiery 3' blast of flame from a cleverly concealed (and flight-disabled) propane tank....

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