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Laser pointer identifies dangerous chemicals in real-time

October 10, 2012 12:02 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

By using an ordinary green laser pointer, the kind commonly found in offices and college lecture halls, an Israeli research team has developed a new and highly portable Raman spectrometer that can detect extremely minute traces of hazardous chemicals in real time...

The evolution of product design tools

October 9, 2012 4:58 pm | by Engineering.com | Videos | Comments

Product concept design tools have come a long way from hand sketches. Even proper drafting rules made a big difference, and so have computer design tools. Now designers are using social media to bring consumer interaction into the concept stage of product design.

October 2012: Intelligent Systems

October 9, 2012 11:57 am | Digital Editions | Comments

In the October issue of ECN, Technical Editor Jason Lomberg pontificates about the Navy’s controversial “Great Green Fleet” initiative, Executive Editor discusses smart cars receiving a higher education, and our contributors write about intelligent systems.

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Skydiver's supersonic jump on weather hold

October 9, 2012 8:36 am | by JERI CLAUSING Associated Press | News | Comments

Plans for extreme athlete and skydiver Felix Baumgartner to make a death-defying, 23-mile free fall into the southeastern New Mexico desert were on hold Tuesday morning due to winds, but his team was still hoping the weather would clear after sunrise in time to make the jump.

NASA to upgrade vital communications link

October 8, 2012 12:56 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Technicians and engineers are completing final system checks and spacecraft inspections on the first of NASA's third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS). Boeing Space Systems will ship TDRS-K from its satellite assembly facility in El Segundo, Calif., to Cape Canaveral, Fla., in November.

What’s the worst that could happen? RF communication disasters

October 8, 2012 11:07 am | by Michael Clonts, Product Manager, RT Logic | Articles | Comments

The morning of December 4, 2011 began normally for the team of Air Force technicians. As they settled into their shift flying unmanned aircraft over Afghanistan, perhaps they chatted casually and swapped stories from the weekend. Very soon, however, their conversations were interrupted by shrill alarm sirens blaring from their control monitors.

SpaceX rocket blasts off for space station

October 8, 2012 8:58 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

An unmanned, privately owned Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo capsule blasted off from Cape Canaveral on Sunday on a mission to restore a U.S. supply line to the International Space Station after the retirement of the space shuttle.

Lost in migration: Earth's magnetic field overdue a flip

October 5, 2012 12:53 pm | by Chris Wickham, Reuters | News | Comments

The discovery by NASA rover Curiosity of evidence that water once flowed on Mars - the most Earth-like planet in the solar system - should intensify interest in what the future could hold for mankind. The only thing stopping Earth having a lifeless environment like Mars is the magnetic field that shields us from deadly solar radiation...

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Scientists tune into blue whale songs with defense technology

October 5, 2012 12:50 pm | News | Comments

Australian scientists are using military technology for locating submarines to track rare blue whales hundreds of kilometers away by eavesdropping on their distinctive songs. Blue whales can communicate with each other over an entire ocean basin by emitting low frequency sounds, or deep songs.

Uppsala researchers looking for life outside our solar system

October 5, 2012 12:28 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Astronomers at Uppsala University in Sweden will receive a grant of more than SEK 23 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation to search and analyse atmospheres surrounding earth-like exoplanets. Ultimately these researchers hope to find traces of life on these planets.

Far, far beyond wrist radios

October 5, 2012 8:41 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

To believe that technologies once dreamed of in science fiction novels, television shows, and comic strips may one day be a reality, or that real-world technologies might make the fantastic devices of fiction obsolete, you'd need to be either an optimist…or a futurist in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).

Robert Christy, Manhattan Project physicist, dies

October 5, 2012 8:38 am | by SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER Associated Press | News | Comments

Robert F. Christy, a former California Institute of Technology professor who helped design the trigger mechanism for the atomic bombs used in World War II, died Wednesday. He was 96. Christy died of natural causes at his home in Pasadena, surrounded by his family, according to Caltech spokeswoman Deborah Williams-Hedges.

Protection against counterfeit product issues for military programs

October 3, 2012 3:22 pm | by Michael Sarpa, e2v | Articles | Comments

Counterfeit material in the semiconductor supply chain is increasingly problematic for the military and aerospace community. With the immense costs and significant program delays inherent in a system redesign, military program managers search high and low for parts to meet the original specification requirements...

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Earth is singing like a whale, says NASA - Hear it now

October 3, 2012 3:04 pm | by Chris Taylor | News | Comments

Need some soothing sounds to put your Wednesday blues in perspective? We’ve got you covered. Grab your headphones and check out this hot new MP3 track from NASA, currently the number one hit across the universe: That’s the sound of the Earth “singing,” as recorded by the awesomely-named Storm Probe mission

Unmanned aerial vehicles define and challenge new interconnect requirements

October 3, 2012 12:21 pm | by Stephen Johnson, Hypertronics Corporation, www.hypertronics.com | Articles | Comments

In recent years, unmanned vehicles, be they the Predator Drones that we watch on the evening news letting loose with pinpoint-precision Hellfire Missiles that take out enemy targets from high above the earth, a bomb-detecting/disposal ground vehicle that keeps soldiers and law enforcement people out of harm's way...

Impact and mitigation of counterfeit ICs in the aerospace and defense market

October 3, 2012 11:45 am | by Brad Little, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Over the years, the relative stability of the defense and aerospace industry has served as a stable and reliable revenue pool. This market has attracted a variety of manufacturers to help offset the cyclical changes in the commercial and industrial markets. Aerospace and defense (A&D) companies continuously search for the latest and best commercial technologies...

Space station to move to avoid debris

October 3, 2012 8:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Russian space program's Mission Control Center says it will move the International Space Station into a different orbit to avoid possible collision with a fragment of debris.Mission Control Center spokeswoman Nadyezhda Zavyalova said the Russian Zvevda module will fire booster rockets to carry out the operation Thursday at 07:22 a.m. Moscow time (0322 GMT).

Osprey Aircraft Fly To Okinawa Despite Protests

October 2, 2012 3:31 pm | News | Comments

Six Osprey hybrid aircraft were transferred to a U.S. base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa on Monday — and were greeted by hundreds of protesters outside the fence showing their concern about the plane's safety. The aircraft — which takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane — flew safely from Iwakuni, on the Japanese main island, to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

10 must-see posts from September

October 1, 2012 12:28 pm | by The ECN Editors | Articles | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles for September. They all come with a witty, engaging summary just in case you missed them the first time or want to check up on an old favorite. Keep checking out the Lead and follow us on twitter @ecnmagazine for our most up-to-date articles.

Mars rover finds first evidence of water: a river of it

September 30, 2012 10:19 pm | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, dispatched to learn if the most Earth-like planet in the solar system was suitable for microbial life, has found clear evidence its landing site was once awash in water, a key ingredient for life, scientists said Thursday.

Pitt's forthcoming laser shooter could better detect foreign substances for Homeland Security

September 28, 2012 8:53 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity fired its first laser beam in August, blasting a space rock at more than one million watts per shot to determine whether the red planet could be habitable. The method, called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), is used to detect not only the composition of space-related soils but also an array of foreign materials.

Simulations uncover 'flashy' secrets of merging black holes

September 28, 2012 8:47 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

According to Einstein, whenever massive objects interact, they produce gravitational waves -- distortions in the very fabric of space and time -- that ripple outward across the universe at the speed of light. While astronomers have found indirect evidence of these disturbances, the waves have so far eluded direct detection.

Learning to live on mars

September 28, 2012 8:46 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Since the beginning of August, NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, has been roaming all over the distant planet learning as much as it can about the Martian terrain. The mission control team back on Earth has also learned what it may be like on Mars by trying to live and work on a Martian day, which is about 40 minutes longer than an Earth day.

The emergency worker’s best friend: A backpack that maps

September 27, 2012 9:07 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Emergency workers risk their lives to keep us safe, and they’re often walking into situations essentially blind. If they run into a problem, they have only primitive ways of warning those coming in behind them. But, with the help of the researchers, the days of flying blind may be coming to a rapid end.

NYC auction offers 125 meteorites for sale

September 27, 2012 8:48 am | by ULA ILNYTZKY Associated Press | News | Comments

A New York City auction will offer 125 meteorites for sale, including a large chunk of the moon and a 179-pound iron cosmic rock that evokes Edvard Munch's iconic painting "The Scream." The sale, one of the largest of its kind, is being held by the Dallas-based Heritage Auctions on Oct. 14.

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