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This Army helicopter can fit in your pocket

July 25, 2014 8:36 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

It weighs 16 g, can fly for up to 20 minutes, and fits in the palm of your hand. It’s the Prox Dynamics PD-100 Black Hornet, a mini helicopter which uses embedded cameras and a digital data link to provide real-time video for ground troops. Information is king on the battlefield....

Engineering Update 68: Marines begin testing robotic mule

July 24, 2014 11:00 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The United States Marines Corps recently began testing Boston Dynamics' legged squad support system (or the LS3) at the Kahuku training area in Hawaii. For those who don’t know, the LS3 is a robotic pack mule that could function autonomously and follow troops over rugged terrain, toting up to 400 pounds of equipment....

5100 W DC power supplies designed for high voltage and solar array applications

July 23, 2014 1:10 pm | B&K Precision Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

B&K Precision (Yorba Linda, CA) introduced three new models of high power programmable DC power supplies, models PVS10005, PVS60085, and PVS60085MR. The new PVS Series delivers output power up to 5.1 kW with excellent regulation, low noise, and fast transient response times....

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This is what a fireball in space looks like

July 23, 2014 9:22 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

This mission on the International Space Station has been full of social media adventures, including the very first Space Vine! (Full disclosue: I coined the term Space Vine! and you probably won't see it anywhere else.)  Reid Wiseman is an American astronaut and naval aviator currently serving on Expedition 41 in the ISS....

Please don't 3D print me when I'm dead

July 23, 2014 8:49 am | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

When I die, please don’t grow pieces of me. Whether the practice is in the name of science, art, or engineering, after I’ve been harvested of all viable organs in my remaining vessel, do not reconstruct and 3D print any body part to be kept alive inside a case of "nourishing liquid"....

Bootstrap circuit for gate driver optocoupler

July 22, 2014 4:27 pm | by See Leng Kian, Principal Product Engineer of the Optoelectronic Business Unit of Fairchild. | Articles | Comments

IGBTs are commonly used in inverter systems, which are used for adjustable motor drives, solar inverters and UPS. Inverters can be single-phase or three-phase, which is basically an extension of the H-bridge. Figure 1 illustrated one of the six gate driver optocouplers from Fairchild Semiconductor driving the IGBT module for the implementation of the three-phase inverter system.

Any way the wind blows....

July 21, 2014 9:14 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Articles | Comments

When I hear or read the phrase wind power, I immediately imagine tall-towered machines with tri-blade impellers tracing out huge arcing sweeps against partly cloudy skies. Your imagery may vary. Globally, wind generation capacity climbed to 318 GW in 2013 and has increased, year-over-year, an average of 37 MW since 2008....

Converging trends for cloud and HPC – Taking the next step

July 15, 2014 1:54 pm | by Sanjay Bhal, focused end equipment manager, cloud and HPC, TI | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

We are living in an exciting time of change. The era of cloud computing has come upon us over the last few years bringing profound changes in the way we conduct our day to day lives. We are seeing a lot of changes in the way traditional high performance computing (HPC) applications are developed and deployed....

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Engineering Update #67: A ridiculously energy efficient house

July 15, 2014 12:08 pm | Videos | Comments

The Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility is a two-story, 2,700 square foot house located on the campus of The National Institute of Standards and Technology in Washington D.C. Though the house looks like any other house, it was actually designed as a laboratory to study clean energy....

From cloud automation to cloud orchestration: Migrating and managing applications painlessly

July 15, 2014 11:09 am | by Nati Shalom, CTO and Founder, GigaSpaces Technologies | Articles | Comments

With use of the cloud comes the ability to use as many resources as needed, essentially endless resources on demand, using a “pay-as-you-go” model.  In a world where everything is dynamic and IT environments are constantly changing, this is becoming an ever-growing necessity....

Why PLM is moving to the cloud

July 15, 2014 11:02 am | by Steve Chalgren, Vice President of Product Management and Strategy, Arena Solutions | Arena Solutions | Articles | Comments

This is a golden age of innovative electronics. Lowered barriers to entry for innovators in the form of lowered costs, funding, and more ubiquitous manufacturing options are making it much easier for anyone with a good idea to become an entrepreneur. So what does all this have to do with cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM)?

How has rapid prototyping affected your job or industry?

July 15, 2014 10:51 am | by ECN Staff | Articles | Comments

The need for rapid prototyping has always existed, however with the development of new tools and technologies, many of the traditional hurdles of prototyping have been eliminated. For instance, LCD display design, GUI development, MEMS sensing, motor control, RTOS or OS usage, and cap touch sensing are just a few of the obstacles....

Deployable renewable energy systems power critical equipment on the battlefield

July 14, 2014 4:31 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest consumer of energy in the United States. Much of that energy is consumed in harsh environments to power tanks, armored vehicles, fighter jets, generators, small hospitals, command outposts and operations centers out in the field. All of these applications are critical....

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Solar expectations rise for Brazil as auctions announced

July 14, 2014 10:01 am | News | Comments

Brazil’s plan to auction 3.5 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity through 2018 comes as welcome news for the global solar industry as the ambitious plan is expected to catalyze solar growth in Latin America, according to a new report from IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS). The Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL) announced a so-called...

Kasey's Korner: Removing toxic materials from batteries

July 11, 2014 9:55 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Though lithium-ion batteries have a lot to offer, they also have some issues-- including using toxic elements that are rare and difficult to work with. But they may be the future of portable electronics batteries, so it’s vital that researchers find another way of creating the batteries.

Kasey's Korner: This 3D-printed material will replace Balsa wood

July 10, 2014 2:57 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

When it comes to materials, high density usually equals high strength, while light low density materials are generally pretty fragile. However researchers at Harvard were able to 3D print a composite material using epoxy resin that they claim is even better than Balsa wood, generally revered for its lightweight, but strong properties.

Engineering Update Episode 66: The Navy's robo-tuna

July 10, 2014 10:39 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The Navy is experimenting with a 4-foot long unmanned undersea vehicle designed to blend in with marine life and perform military functions. This so-called "biometric" autonomous vehicle not only looks like a fish, but swims like one as well. The "robo-tuna" doesn't rely on traditional means of propulsion like propellers or jets, but it actually swims by flipping its tail....

Six cases where big data can reduce healthcare costs

July 9, 2014 12:38 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

As the use of electronic health record becomes widespread across the United States, due in large to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the quantity of clinical data that will become available for research and analytic purposes will also dramatically increase....

Kasey's Korner: This material can withstand forces 160,000 times its own weight

July 9, 2014 8:56 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

MIT engineers have created a new material that can withstand forces 160,000 times its own weight. The material uses micro lattices with nanoscale features for a material that offers great strength with ultra low density. The researchers utilized a high-precision 3d printing process called projection micro stereolithography to create a material that is 400 times stronger than an object of similar density.

Kasey's Korner: This material could change solar cell history

July 8, 2014 8:49 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

While solar cells offer a great opportunity for alternative energy, they also contain cadmium chloride, which is a toxic substance. Unfortunately, it’s also a necessary substance that greatly improves solar efficiency in the panel materials allowing for a conversion efficiency of over 15 percent.

Kasey's Korner: Forget steel, try ice and sawdust

July 7, 2014 9:43 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Pykrete, a material made of ice and sawdust, was first introduced by British inventor Geoffrey Pyke during World War II as a solution to the steel shortage.

NREL and General Motors announce R&D partnership to reduce cost of automotive fuel cells

July 2, 2014 12:03 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and General Motors (GM) are partnering on a multiyear, multimillion dollar joint effort to accelerate the reduction of automotive fuel cell stack costs through fuel cell material and manufacturing research and development (R&D)....

Engineering Update #65: A shark-detecting buoy

July 2, 2014 9:31 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Researchers at an Australian tech firm have recently come up with a potential solution called the Clever buoy, designed to emit sonar signals from a buoy anchored to the seabed by a box. The buoy uses a processor to analyze the returning sonar signals. The crazy part is that researchers have designed the technology....

Infographic: My boss is going to get somebody killed

July 2, 2014 9:13 am | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor, PD&D | News | Comments

As a general rule, engineers tend to be a calculated, conservative bunch. They approach problems as logically as possible to weigh the most desirable outcome (exceptions always apply), but that doesn’t mean that engineers are without concern or worry....

The 'Elf' gets 1,800 MPG

July 1, 2014 4:04 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

An unusual hybrid bike being developed in Durham, North Carolina could be the future of urban transportation, according to its creators. Rob Cotter of Organic Transit says his machine, called the "Elf", brings a new level of efficiency that equates to nearly 1,800 miles-per-gallon....

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