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We finally have drones with "frickin’ laser beams"

November 5, 2013 4:43 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Dr. Evil would be proud. Lasers have always been the next frontier (some would say pipe dream) of weapons development. But recent developments have brought Sci-Fi closer to reality. And now this — the Pentagon has awarded a total of $26 million to defense contractors to develop a laser countermeasures system for manned and unmanned aircraft.

Optical backplane interconnect system supports VITA 66.1 standard

November 5, 2013 3:19 pm | Product Releases | Comments

TE Connectivity announces the new VITA 66.1 Ruggedized Optical Backplane interconnect system that has been designed to meet the needs of high-bandwidth applications such as for high-definition video and images and more specifically for computing applications requiring optical infrastructure.

Photos of the Day: India launches first mission to Mars

November 5, 2013 8:49 am | by KATY DAIGLE, Associated Press | News | Comments

India on Tuesday launched its first spacecraft bound for Mars, a complex mission that it hopes will demonstrate and advance technologies for space travel. Hundreds of people watched the rocket carrying the Mars orbiter take off from the east-coast island of Sriharikota and streak across the sky. Many more across the country watched live TV broadcasts.

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This hypersonic Blackbird can launch weapons from space

November 4, 2013 3:43 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

In aviation, it doesn’t get more chic than the SR-71 Blackbird, the Rolls Royce of the sky. From 1964 till its retirement in 1998, this supersonic, Mach 3+ reconnaissance aircraft played a crucial role in the Cold War (and afterward) for over three decades. But ever since the Blackbird went to the Boca Raton of the skies, aviation buffs have been pining for a successor. And now they have one. And it’s glorious.

Frequency converters cover the range of 60 Hz to 400 Hz

November 4, 2013 1:02 pm | Behlman Electronics | Product Releases | Comments

The Behlman FC5003 is an ultra-rugged COTS power supply designed to convert common 120/208 VAC, 3-phase, 60 Hz ground power to 115/200 VAC, 3-phase 400 Hz power used by aircraft and other vehicles, and equipment that require 400 Hz.

Voltage-controlled crystal oscillators offer a wide choice of frequency, voltage, and output combinations

November 4, 2013 12:52 pm | Rfmw Ltd | Product Releases | Comments

RFMW, Ltd. announces design and sales support for Sunny Electronics SVP-53 series of FastClock voltage controlled crystal oscillators (VCXO’s). The SVP-53 series of FastClock VCXO’s is available in a CMOS output waveform and comes in a standard 5x3.2mm package.

Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem

November 4, 2013 11:05 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Using an in-orbit robot to capturing a malfunctioning satellite that is tumbling out of control is currently just a theoretical idea. However, research inspired by nature to be published in the forthcoming issue of International Journal of Mechanisms and Robotic Systems, could take us a small step towards making such science fiction science fact.

Solid-state power amplifier block upconverters offer 47 dBm of output power

November 1, 2013 1:26 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Comtech Xicom Technology announces new military satellite communication (MIL-SATCOM) solid-state power amplifier block upconverters will be presented during MILCOM'13. At MILCOM’13, Xicom will be showcasing its new generation of 50-Watt X-Band and 40-Watt Ku-Band solid-state high power amplifiers (SSPAs).

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Capacitor series includes extended capacitance range up to 39µF

November 1, 2013 12:51 pm | Avx Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

AVX Corporation has expanded its Mini-TurboCap and RoHS Compliant Mini-TurboCap Series with a new 25V rating and an extended capacitance range (up to 39µF) for its 50V parts. Now available in 25V, 50V, and 100V, these state-of-the-art base metal electrode (BME) capacitor series exhibit extremely high volumetric efficiency....

F-35 successfully targets aerial drone (is still a moneypit)

November 1, 2013 11:28 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The F-35 Lightning II program, which surpassed 10,000 flight hours in September, has another reason to celebrate today. On October 31, the F-35A, a 5th generation fighter, successfully launched an AIM-120 radar-seeking missile from the internal weapons bay. 

US OKs air passengers using gadgets on planes

October 31, 2013 10:58 am | by JOAN LOWY, Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. government safety rules are changing to let airline passengers use most electronic devices from gate-to-gate. The change will let passengers read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music — but not make cellphone calls. The Federal Aviation Administration says airlines can allow passengers to use the devices during takeoffs and landings...

Photos of the Day: Earth-size planet found with rocky core like ours

October 31, 2013 8:33 am | by MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

Scientists have found a planet way out in the cosmos that's close in size and content to Earth - an astronomical first. But hold off on the travel plans. This rocky world is so close to its sun that it's at least 2,000 degrees hotter than here, almost certainly too hot for life.

RF power amplifier optimized for 20 to 1000 MHz operation

October 24, 2013 4:34 pm | Richardson RFPD, Inc., Nitronex | Product Releases | Comments

Richardson RFPD today announces availability and full design support capabilities for a new 28V gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) RF power amplifier from Nitronex. The NPA1006 is a wideband GaN power amplifier optimized for 20 to 1000 MHz operation.

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Solid-state power relay rated for up to 5A continuous load current

October 24, 2013 4:27 pm | Ixys | Product Releases | Comments

The CPC1968 is a single-pole normally open (1-Form-A) solid-state power relay rated for up to 5A continuous load current with a 5°C/W heat sink. The output is constructed with MOSFET switches and photovoltaic die, while the input utilizes a highly efficient GaAIAs infrared LED to provide the optically coupled control.

Iran’s newest “drone” held together with duct tape

October 24, 2013 4:20 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

A recently released video of Iran’s new “suicide remotely piloted vehicle” called the Ra’ad 85—aka Thunder 85—reveals it might be less impressive than originally announced. A few weeks ago, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force, announced the Ra’ad 85 would be a game-changer for Iran’s military.

Nano-sized communications subsystems upgrade airborne mission computers

October 24, 2013 1:14 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Advanced, rugged, nano-sized Intelligent I/O and communications subsystem from North Atlantic Industries (NAI) delivers significant advantages for mission computers in airborne vehicles. The Nano Interface Unit (NIU1) adds distributed network, sensor data interfaces to airborne mission computer without expensive chassis or backplane redesign.

A new idea for space tourism: Balloon over rocket

October 23, 2013 12:36 pm | by SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The latest space tourism venture depends more on hot air than rocket science. World View Enterprises announced plans Tuesday to send people up in a capsule, lifted 19 miles by a high-altitude balloon. Jane Poynter, CEO of the Tucson, Ariz.-based company, said the price for the four-hour ride would be $75,000.

Power transistor designed for broadband avionics data link applications

October 23, 2013 12:06 pm | Richardson RFPD, Inc., Microsemi Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

Richardson RFPD introduces a new 50V gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN on SiC) RF power high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) from Microsemi Corporation (Microsemi). The 0912GN-650V is internally-matched and capable of providing over 17 dB gain....

MOSFETs offer excellent stability and low intermodulation distortion

October 23, 2013 8:50 am | Richardson RFPD, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Richardson RFPD announces availability and full design support capabilities for two new high-frequency vertical diffusion metal oxide semiconductor (VDMOS) MOSFETs from Microsemi Corporation (Microsemi). The new high-power, high breakdown voltage (V(BR)DSS), common source configuration devices offer excellent stability and low intermodulation distortion (IMD).

Piezoelectric accelerometer features high-temperature operation to +482 degrees C

October 21, 2013 1:09 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Meggitt Sensing Systems has announced the global market introduction of the Endevco model 2280, a hermetically sealed, triaxial, piezoelectric charge output accelerometer with high-temperature operation to +482 degrees C (+900  degrees F).

Low-voltage DC-DC converters designed for satellite power systems

October 21, 2013 10:01 am | International Rectifier | Product Releases | Comments

International Rectifier introduced the LSO Series of feature-rich radiation-hardened (RAD-Hard) low-voltage, single- and dual-output DC-DC converter modules for satellite power systems requiring up to 15 years or more of mission life. The LSO Series delivers isolated output voltages from 1.5V to 15.0V with typical efficiency performance up to 81 percent....

Wrangling flow to quiet cars and aircraft

October 18, 2013 12:05 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Plasmas are a soup of charged particles in an electric field, and are normally found in stars and lightning bolts. With the use of high voltage equipment, very small plasmas can be used to manipulate fluid flows. In recent years, the development of devices known as plasma actuators has advanced the promise of controlling flows in new ways...

Most distant gravitational lens helps weigh galaxies

October 17, 2013 1:16 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

An international team of astronomers has found the most distant gravitational lens yet — a galaxy that, as predicted by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, deflects and intensifies the light of an even more distant object. The discovery provides a rare opportunity to directly measure the mass of a distant galaxy.

Engineering Update #29: Brain-reading devices and interactive paper generators

October 17, 2013 11:51 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week's headlines: DOD promotes development of brain-reading devices: The US Department of Defense is working to develop a cheap, wearable system that can detect a person's brain waves and display the data on smartphones and tablets.

New survey tools unveil 2 celestial explosions

October 16, 2013 2:17 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A team of researchers including Carnegie's Mansi Kasliwal and John Mulchaey used a novel astronomical survey software system—the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF)—to link a new stripped-envelope supernova, named iPTF13bvn, to the star from which it exploded.

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