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SpaceX Dragon cargo ship splashes into Pacific

March 27, 2013 1:27 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

The SpaceX Dragon capsule returned to Earth on Tuesday with a full science load from the International Space Station. The privately owned cargo ship splashed down in the Pacific, off the coast of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, five hours after leaving the orbiting lab.

PCB test system designed for aircraft, transportation, and manufacturing industries

March 26, 2013 3:33 pm | Saelig Company, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Saelig Company has introduced the System 8 Diagnostic Solution Plus - a unique, versatile, easy-to-use PCB test system that uses a selection of CD-drive-size modules to create a PC-driven PCB test station. The System 8 Diagnostic Solution Plus, which can be built in a PC case or 19" rack-mounted...

Solar-powered everything!

March 25, 2013 3:14 pm | by Chris Rendall, Mechanical Engineer, PCDworks | Blogs | Comments

I’ve heard for years that “soon we’ll have solar panels on everything.” To be honest, I’ve never paid much attention to the hype because these magical solar panels that can fit on and inside everything never seemed to materialize commercially, or if they did they were always way too expensive for the everyday consumer, or maybe just for me.

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Industry’s first reconfigurable DC arc detect reference solution enables designers to safeguard high-power DC systems

March 22, 2013 3:08 pm | Texas Instruments | Product Releases | Comments

Texas Instruments introduces the industry’s first fully programmable DC arc detect reference solution. The RD-195 makes it faster and easier for designers to address a growing need to safeguard high-power DC systems, such as automobile and aircraft battery management systems....

Lockstep microcontrollers advance aerospace electronics safety

March 22, 2013 10:53 am | by Anthony Vaughan, Texas Instruments, www.ti.com | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Mechanisms like lockstep CPUs, error correction code (ECC) logic for embedded memories and automated built-in self test (BIST) engines integrated into embedded controllers may greatly simplify and reduce the development time needed to design and certify safety critical electronic systems for the aerospace industry.

Counterfeit devices take us all the way to the scene of the crash

March 22, 2013 10:44 am | by George Karalias, Director of Marketing & Communications at Rochester Electronics | Rochester Electronics, Llc | Articles | Comments

In early January 2013, the CBC News concluded its investigation about Canada’s new Hercules C-130J aircraft military transport aircraft containing counterfeit Chinese parts in the cockpit instrumentation. The report confirms what a leading U.S. testing lab has known since 2010 — that the parts are fake and could leave pilots with blank instrument panels in mid-flight.

AWG touts 50 GS/s sample rate for high-speed test apps, advanced research

March 20, 2013 6:24 pm | Tektronix | Product Releases | Comments

Tektronix unveiled its next generation of arbitrary waveform generators that offer up to 50 GS/s sample rate performance. The new AWG70000 Series supports a range of demanding signal generation requirements in defense electronics, high-speed serial, optical networking and advanced research

Large asteroid heading to Earth? Pray, says NASA

March 20, 2013 10:41 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

  NASA chief Charles Bolden has advice on how to handle a large asteroid headed toward New York City: Pray. That's about all the United States - or anyone for that matter - could do at this point about unknown asteroids and meteors that may be on a collision course with Earth....  

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Astronomer gets grant to better measure mysterious black holes

March 18, 2013 4:20 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Black holes, the high-gravity phenomena of galaxies from which no light can escape, will be better measured thanks to a $862,769 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to a Georgia State University astronomer. Misty Bentz, assistant professor of astronomy at Georgia State, received the five-year grant to help untangle the uncertainties that exist when trying to measure black holes.

A fireside chat: Counterfeit components in the military

March 15, 2013 1:16 pm | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

Driven by financial gain and opportunism, counterfeiting is not new, or uncommon. Recently, counterfeited products have been appearing in the military and aeronautics marketplace as counterfeiters take advantage of profitable components. PD&D caught up with Mark Bollinger, Vice President of Marketing at Smith & Associates, to learn more about this trend....

Holt Integrated Circuits announces validation of world’s smallest MIL-STD-1553 remote terminal

March 15, 2013 11:07 am | Holt Integrated Circuits | Product Releases | Comments

Holt Integrated Circuits announced formal MIL-STD-1553 RT validation of HI-6130/31, the world’s smallest BC/MT/ RT multi-terminal solution. Validation was performed at Test Systems, Inc., an independent Air Force approved testing service for MIL-STD-1553 remote terminals.

Engineering Update #6: Spidey's new suit, robotic cheetahs and stretchable power supplies

March 14, 2013 10:03 am | Videos | Comments

ECN's Engineering Update, brought to you by Mouser Electronics, takes a look at: a Spidey Sense suit. Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have found a way to replicate Spider-Man's superhuman powers of perception with a Spider Sense suit. Modeled after the Marvel comic book hero...

Stereotyping prime obstacle to women in commercial science

March 13, 2013 9:14 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Female professors are almost 50 percent less likely than their male counterparts to be invited to join corporate scientific advisory boards (SABs) and start new companies mainly because of gender stereotyping, says University of Maryland researcher Waverly Ding, an assistant professor of management at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

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Europe gets 1st fix from its own satnav system

March 13, 2013 9:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Space Agency says it has received the first location fix from its own satellite navigation system. The Galileo system is seen as Europe's rival to the American-built Global Positioning System. ESA says technicians at a control center in the Dutch city of Noordwijk received a longitude, latitude and altitude reading early Tuesday from the four satellites already in orbit.

Drone pilots don’t need a “participation trophy”

March 12, 2013 4:31 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Sometimes — and I stress sometimes — the government does work for the people. Case in point: The new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has halted production of the new Distinguished Warfare Medal — awarded to drone operators — in response to veterans' complaints that the "participation trophy" ranks above combat medals like the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Space weather research to look at energy distribution

March 12, 2013 9:33 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A University of Texas at Arlington physicist has been awarded more than $400,000 in NASA funding to develop a 3D look at how electrodynamic energy from solar winds enters and moves throughout the Earth's upper atmosphere.

The closest star system found in a century

March 11, 2013 3:46 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A pair of newly discovered stars is the third-closest star system to the Sun, according to a paper that will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters. The duo is the closest star system discovered since 1916. The discovery was made by Kevin Luhman, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University....

Solving the counterfeit crisis, engineers weigh in

March 11, 2013 9:57 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

How would you stop counterfeiting? One of the hottest topics in electronic components--and basically every other industry-- is how to deal with the issue of counterfeiting. So we put it to the readers to come up with the best solutions for the counterfeiting crisis.

Earth gets a rush of weekend asteroid visitors

March 11, 2013 9:21 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

An asteroid as big as a city block shot relatively close by the Earth on Saturday, the latest in a series of visiting celestial objects including an asteroid the size of a bus that exploded over Russia last month, injuring 1,500.

Flat cables ideal for guided missile and fire control systems

March 7, 2013 5:01 pm | Cicoil Corp. | Product Releases | Comments

Cicoil’s highly durable flat cables are designed for guided missile and fire control systems, where unparalleled performance is critical and cable failure is not an option. Their compact, silicone encased flat cable solutions are engineered to provide consistent electrical characteristics, space & weight savings, optimum cable flexibility...

Subrack enclosure family offered in EMC, compact, and mobile rugged styles

March 7, 2013 4:51 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Pixus Technologies offers Eurocard subracks for 3U and 6U boards in multiple configurations. The subrack enclosures can house backplanes or special modules for industrial, mil/aero, communications, medical, energy, and test/measurement industries.

A bug in the drone wars

March 7, 2013 12:52 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

A new element is being added to the drone wars: Micro Drones. You can watch a five-minute video by the Air Force that looks at the development of M.A.V - Micro Killer Drones. Done in the usual dominating voice that the people promoting superior military technology seem to like for their videos.

German flight set to take off with comet tourists

March 5, 2013 12:35 pm | News | Comments

A German travel agency is selling tickets for a flight to give 88 astronomy buffs a close-up view of one of two rare comets expected to pass Earth this year. Eclipse Travel, based in Bonn, has joined charter agency Air Partner and airline Air Berlin to organize flight AB1000 on March 16 as comet Pan-STARRS passes through the solar system, 100 million miles from Earth.

Agita over 3D printed guns is absurd

March 1, 2013 4:26 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Hobbyists, tinkers, and DIYers are the unsung heroes of our industry — "hackers" in the original sense of the word. But conflating "hobbyists" with "guns" causes fits of hysteria. And it’s entirely unwarranted. The handwringing over the imagined capability to print 3D guns and the associated moral implications is absolutely absurd and betrays a basic misunderstanding of firearms and physics.

Top 10 must-read posts from February

March 1, 2013 3:12 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments. Keep checking out the Lead at www.ecnmag.com and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

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