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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....

Please retain the packaging for future reference

April 17, 2014 9:14 am | by Marc Harvey, Verotec Inc. | Articles | Comments

There is an urban myth that the US standard width for railroad track can be...

Integrating physical security at the rack level inside the data center

April 17, 2014 9:03 am | by Steve Spatig, General Manager, Electronic Access Solutions | Articles | Comments

As strict enforcement of data protection regulations continues, data centers require an...

What’s a “must-have” for harsh environment equipment protection?

April 17, 2014 8:27 am | by ECN Staff | Articles | Comments

Design engineers must take into account the type of harsh environments to which end-products may...

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5 engineers with fatally terrible inventions

April 16, 2014 2:19 pm | by Aubrey Schaefer, Engineer Jobs | Blogs | Comments

If I stopped to count how many engineers have positively affected my life, I would have no time for anything else. Instead, let’s look at those other engineers – the ones with fatally terrible inventions.The staggering talent of thousands of engineers bears fruit with every processor cycle of the slick little laptop I’m typing this on....

Solar-powered plane can "fly forever"

April 16, 2014 8:25 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Aviation pioneers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg — who previously had circumnavigated the globe in a balloon — plan to make history again with the Solar Impulse 2, which will undertake the first solar-powered flight around the world....

Engineering Update #53 bloopers

April 10, 2014 12:51 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Who says ECN's editors can't have a bit of fun? Enjoy these bumbles, stumbles, and hilarious outtakes from the latest edition of ECN's premier video series, Engineering Update. Thanks to David Mantey, Jason Lomberg, and Kasey Panetta for being such great sports....

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Engineering Update #53: A guide to charging your phone in 30 seconds

April 10, 2014 10:38 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Israeli startup StoreDot is taking the lead on shortening the amount of time it takes to charge your phone from a few hours to about 30 seconds by creating chemically synthesized bioorganic peptide molecules—called nano dots—that—as the name suggests—are really tiny....

Renewable energy market share climbs despite 2013 dip in investments

April 7, 2014 1:39 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Renewable energy's share of world electricity generation continued its steady climb last year despite a 14 per cent drop in investments to US$214.4 billion, according to a new report released today. According to Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014....

Photos of the Day — BAT: The Buoyant Airborne Turbine

April 4, 2014 2:27 pm | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

The Altaeros Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) integrates a shell, turbine, tethers, and a ground station to combine aerospace and wind turbine technology and solve many of the problems associated with wind energy. Floating at a height of 1,000 feet...

April 2014: Digital ICs

April 4, 2014 12:17 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

In the April issue, ECN is proud to announce the 2014 ECN IMPACT Award Finalists chosen to recognize the top products, tools, and services from 18 categories across the electronics design engineering field. The finalists were picked by our panel of esteemed judges selected for their expertise in one or more product category. We’ll announce the winners on May 6 at the EDS Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials

April 3, 2014 4:06 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

In a recent advance in solar energy, researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible. This breakthrough by chemical engineers at Oregon State University could soon reduce the cost of solar energy....

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Engineering Update #52: Secret Pentagon spacecraft stays in orbit for 469 days

April 3, 2014 11:00 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

In December of 2012, the Pentagon launched the X-37B unmanned spacecraft into orbit, where it remained for more than 469 days, breaking its own longevity record. Since the X-37 has always been shrouded in secrecy, savvy observers posited all sorts of potential applications....

DC/DC converter available in ultra-compact SIP-8 package

April 2, 2014 2:06 pm | XP Power | Product Releases | Comments

XP Power (Sunnyvale, CA) today announced the ITX series of 6 Watt DC/DC converters encapsulated in an industry standard SIP 8-pin package measuring just 0.86 x 0.44 x 0.36 inches (21.85 x 11.1 x 9.2 mm). Delivering a power density of up to 46 Watts per cubic inch...

Wind energy: On the grid, off the checkerboard

April 2, 2014 9:46 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

As wind farms grow in importance across the globe as sources of clean, renewable energy, one key consideration in their construction is their physical design -- spacing and orienting individual turbines to maximize their efficiency and minimize any "wake effects"....

Engineering Update Episode 51: Hypersonic weapons needed to defeat advanced anti-aircraft systems

March 27, 2014 12:29 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The Cold War officially ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but old habits die hard, and since the fall of the iron curtain, Russian-American relations have been a tad ... frosty. This led a senior Pentagon staffer called for hypersonic weapons....

Top three reed switch no-no's

March 26, 2014 10:02 am | by Lawrence McClure, HSI Sensing | Blogs | Comments

The reed switch: A simple electro-mechanical device with a contact area and two to three leads that, when the correct magnetic or electrical force is applied, facilitates continuity through the switch. Although simple in nature and application, we engineers sometimes can get a little creative....

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Robotic arm probes chemistry of 3-D objects by mass spectrometry

March 26, 2014 9:09 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

When life on Earth first started, simple molecules bonded together into precursors of modern genetic material. One theory is that the catalytic minerals on a meteorite's surface jump-started life's first chemical reactions. But scientists need a way to directly analyze these rough, irregularly shaped surfaces....

Solar…toilet?! Zap waste into fuel

March 26, 2014 8:04 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Human excrement is probably one of the most embarrassing and least glamorous topics out there. But the Sol-Char Toilet is starting a conversation that’s hard to miss. That’s right, it’s a solar-powered toilet. This toilet turns poo into power, and the most astounding part is that it’s 100% sanitary.

Engineering Live: The Internet of Things (On Demand)

March 25, 2014 3:03 pm | by ECN Staff | Videos | Comments

Check out the On-Demand version of The Internet of Things Engineering Live. IoT thought leaders from leading organizations, including Libelium, IBM,Texas Instruments, and Sierra Wireless, team up with ECN Editor-in-Chief David Mantey to discuss the present and future....

Parallel programming may not be so daunting

March 24, 2014 4:22 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

'Lock-free' parallel algorithms may match performance of more complex 'wait-free' algorithms: Computer chips have stopped getting faster: The regular performance improvements we've come to expect are now the result of chipmakers' adding more cores or processing units....

Researchers improve performance of III-V nanowire solar cells on graphene

March 24, 2014 1:30 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Imagine a field of small wires—standing at attention like a tiny field of wheat—gathering the Sun’s rays as the first step in solar energy conversion. Researchers have achieved new levels of performance for seed-free and substrate-free arrays of nanowires from a class of materials....

Engineering Live: The Internet of Things - Mobile

March 24, 2014 10:17 am | by ECN Staff | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Engineering Live, we’ve assembled an expert panel with direct influence on the IoT to discuss the current state of the industry; where we’ll be in five years; and the key componentry that is making it all possible ...  

Box-shaped pressure vessel for LNG developed by KAIST research team

March 21, 2014 3:07 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Korean researchers successfully showcased the installation and operation of a box-shaped, high-pressure tank for the storage of liquefied natural gas in Pohang, Republic of Korea. The development was the first of its kind in the world. Pressure vessels have many applications....

Oregon physicists use geometry to understand 'jamming' process

March 21, 2014 1:06 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Physicits using a supercomputer have captured fundamental insights about what happens when objects moving freely jam to a standstill. Their approach captures jamming -- objects come together too tightly to move -- by identifying geometric signatures....

E3-production – sustainable manufacturing

March 21, 2014 9:28 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Scarce and expensive raw materials, rising energy prices, climate protection, and demographic shifts leave industrial production with a lot to contend with in the coming years. In the “ E3-production” lighthouse project, researchers are laying the groundwork to achieve sustainable production....

Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

March 21, 2014 9:00 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The worldwide demand for solar and wind power skyrockets. Since 2009, global solar photovoltaic installations have increased 40 percent a year on average, and the installed capacity of wind turbines has doubled. The dramatic growth of the wind and solar industries has led utilities to begin testing large-scale technologies....

Engineering Update #50: Deploying maritime drones

March 20, 2014 10:24 am | by ECN Staff | Videos | Comments

Deploying maritime drones: Now you didn’t really think the flyboys would get to play with all the unmanned toys did you? The Navy has its own plans to deploy drones, including the Hydra underwater “truck”, and other surveillance technology that can function in a maritime environment.

Lockheed Martin and Rowan University partner on radar technology

March 19, 2014 4:01 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Lockheed Martin and Rowan University are kicking off an innovative, strategic partnership to develop new technologies for a broad range of radar system applications in support of national defense. As threats to the United States become increasingly more complex, this next generation of radar technology is critical to protecting national assets and requires the dedication of an educated workforce.

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