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Virginia Tech unmanned aircraft test site 'fully operational,' FAA says

August 14, 2014 1:59 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership's Unmanned Aircraft Systems test site program is fully operational and ready to conduct research vital to integrate unmanned aircraft into the nation's airspace, Federal Aviation Administration officials announced Wednesday....

Engineering Update #71: A $52 million dollar car

August 14, 2014 1:20 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

In this week's episode of the Engineering Update: A $52 million dollar car — The Ferrari GTO 250 weighs in at 1980 pounds and has a 300 horsepower v8 engine. It gets its sleek shape from placing aluminum over a wood frame and hammering it, by hand, into shape.....

Three radars are better than one: Field campaign demonstrates two new instruments

August 14, 2014 8:33 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Putting three radars on a plane to measure rainfall may seem like overkill. But for the Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment field campaign in North Carolina recently, more definitely was better. The three instruments, developed by the High Altitude Radar group ...

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High-res photo satellite launched from California

August 14, 2014 8:07 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A satellite designed to produce high-resolution images of Earth from space was launched Wednesday from a military base on California's Central Coast. The commercial satellite known as Worldview-3 was sent into space atop an Atlas 5 rocket....

NASA's space station fix-it demo for satellites gets hardware for 2.0 update

August 13, 2014 9:10 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Who doesn't love an upgrade? Newer, better and oh so shiny is great, but what's really fantastic is when a change unlocks new possibilities. That's the case with NASA's fix-it investigation on the International Space Station, the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM)....

Career advice from the ECN engineers

August 12, 2014 10:23 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

A few months ago, we asked our engineers (that’s you guys) a few questions about how you felt about retirement, engineering, and the future of the industry. (Check out the infographic or the Whiteboard in our August issue.) While we learned a lot from our experienced engineers (turns out most are happy with their careers), we also asked for some advice for engineers in the future.

Astrophysicists detect destruction of 3 stars by black holes

August 11, 2014 3:40 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Researchers from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences have reported registering three possible occasions of the total destruction of stars by supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies....

Customized surface inspection

August 11, 2014 1:34 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Before a workpiece leaves the production plant, it is subjected to rigorous inspection: because even the most infinitesimal fracture or impact point could diminish the reliability or durability of a component. And when it comes to safety-critical applications – such as in the automotive or aerospace industries ...

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All-you-can-eat at the end of the universe

August 11, 2014 11:57 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

At the ends of the Universe there are black holes with masses equaling billions of our sun. These giant bodies – quasars – feed on interstellar gas, swallowing large quantities of it non-stop. Thus they reveal their existence: The light that is emitted by the gas as it is sucked in....

NASA selects U.S. Small Business Technology Transfer projects for further development

August 8, 2014 2:17 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA has selected 23 proposals from small business and research institution teams to continue the development of innovative technologies that will support future agency mission needs and may also prove viable as commercial products and services....

Israel's Iron Dome & the ethics of war

August 8, 2014 11:39 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

By many reports, the damage done by the rockets fired from Gaza into Israel would be much worse if it were not for Israel's air-defense system called Iron Dome. According to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), Iron Dome succeeds in intercepting about 80% of rockets that come within its zone of protection....

Step closer to birth of the sun

August 8, 2014 9:23 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Researchers are a step closer to understanding the birth of the sun. Published in Science, the team led by Dr Maria Lugaro and Professor Alexander Heger, from Monash University, have investigated the solar system's prehistoric phase and the events that led to the birth of the sun....

Study measures steep coastal costs of China's GDP growth

August 8, 2014 9:05 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A new study by a team of Chinese and American conservation biologists quantifies the serious consequences of China's recent economic growth on its coastal ecosystems. By several measures, 1978 was the beginning of a hugely successful surge in the nation's ability to produce economic value, but that surge brought accelerated degradation in the vitality of its coastal ecosystems....

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Designing better materials for the 21st Century

August 8, 2014 8:46 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The U.S. Defense Department recently named Jian Luo, professor of nanoengineering and materials science and engineering at the University of California, San Diego as one of 10 new National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows (NSSEFF). The award provides up to $3 million over five years to develop a new materials design tool called interfacial phase diagrams....

Engineering Update Episode 70: Japan’s military space force

August 7, 2014 1:27 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Following Japan’s approval of the Basic Space Law in 2008, allowing for the use of space for security purposes, the country recently announced the formation of a space-based military force by 2019. Most of us are probably familiar with Japan’s constitution — established by Allied Forces in 1947....

Fiber-optic interconnects are a prime choice for military applications

August 7, 2014 11:32 am | by Mark Matus, Molex Global Product Manager for Rugged Interconnects | Articles | Comments

Downtime and poor performance in military systems are unacceptable. But finding fiber optic components that not only hold up under harsh conditions yet also consistently deliver superior throughput has proved challenging in the past — especially in recent years....

Shrinking connectors uphold MIL-style requirements

August 7, 2014 11:01 am | by Klaus Montoya, Senior Cable Design Engineer, Elma Electronic | Articles | Comments

Physical characteristics, such as size and weight, aren’t the only real problem with using traditional MIL connectors in the growing number of small form factor (SFF) and unmanned applications. There is a significant technology challenge designers are facing, as well....

History of fire and drought shapes the ecology of California, past and future

August 7, 2014 9:28 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Fire season has arrived in California with vengeance in this third year of extended drought for the state. A series of large fires east of Redding and Fresno, in Yosemite, and on the Oregon border prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency on Sunday, August 3rd....

NIST ion duet offers tunable module for quantum simulator

August 7, 2014 9:10 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a pas de deux of atomic ions that combines the fine choreography of dance with precise individual control.NIST's ion duet, described in the August 7 issue of Nature, is a component for a flexible quantum simulator that could be scaled up in size and configured to model quantum systems of a complexity that overwhelms traditional computer simulations....

Developing smart tools for the Airbus factory of the future

August 7, 2014 8:40 am | by Sébastien Boria, Airbus | Blogs | Comments

Today’s aerospace factory floor is nothing like the hectic, noisy production facility of the past. The latest techniques, designs, and equipment make modern manufacturing efficient, organized, and structured. And what about tomorrow? The future of the aircraft factory is a research and technology project....

Wounded veteran finds new way to serve by training for career in 3D printing

August 7, 2014 8:24 am | News | Comments

While 26-year-old wounded veteran Joseph Grabianowski has inspired Americans with his harrowing war story, someday he may be nationally known for building highly efficient exhaust systems for cars and trucks using 3D printing technology....

August 2014: Motion Control

August 6, 2014 2:56 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

In this day and age, anywhere you have a large crowd of people, you will have a large crowd of people using their phones. Technologically, this is a challenge when it comes to designing wireless networks capable of handling the load. In the August issue, we explore the problems and solutions for today's wireless companies and also discuss how motion control is changing the engineering landscape.

Construction to begin in Hawaii on world's most advanced telescope

August 6, 2014 11:42 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

With the recent approval of a sublease by Hawaii's Board of Land and Natural Resources, initial construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope — destined to be the most advanced and powerful optical telescope in the world — can begin later this year....

Typhoon Halong opens its eye again for NASA

August 6, 2014 11:37 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Halong on its northern journey through the western North Pacific Ocean, it became wide-eyed again after going through eyewall replacement. Eyewall replacement happens when the thunderstorms that circle the eye of a powerful hurricane are replaced by other thunderstorms. Basically, a new eye begins to develop around the old eye and it usually indicates a weakening trend....

Butterflies could hold key to probes that repair genes

August 6, 2014 9:17 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

New discoveries about how butterflies feed could help engineers develop tiny probes that siphon liquid out of single cells for a wide range of medical tests and treatments, according to Clemson University researchers. The National Science Foundation recently awarded the project $696,514. It was the foundation's third grant to the project, bringing the total since 2009 to more than $3 million....

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