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Engineering Update #18: NASA's 3D printer and BMW's electric car

August 1, 2013 11:31 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week's headlines: NASA is sending a 3D printer to the International Space Station to be used for printing spare parts and tools. BMW has its first all-electric hatchback called the i3. The car offers an 80 to 100 mile range and multiple eco-friendly, low energy options.

First drone landing on carrier forecasts the future of aerial warfare

July 30, 2013 10:47 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Forget fancy, 5th-generation manned stealth jets. The future of aerial warfare is unmanned, with fighter jockeys shelved in favor of cold, robotic precision. Look no further than the X-47B: Last month, the autonomous drone became the first unmanned jet to land aboard a moving aircraft carrier.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... Swiss 'Jetman'

July 30, 2013 10:43 am | by CARRIE ANTLFINGER, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Swiss adventurer is making his first public flights in the United States this summer with his custom-built jet suit. Yves Rossy (eev RAW'-see), also known as "Jetman," is making appearances at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture in Wisconsin. On Monday he demonstrated his carbon-Kevlar jetwing with four engines.

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PCI Express Mini Card uses GNSS receiver to handle data transmissions

July 29, 2013 3:21 pm | Product Releases | Comments

MEN Micro Inc. has released the PX1, a new PCI Express Mini Card that uses a GNSS receiver to handle data transmissions from both GPS and GLONASS systems. The board, which supports both active and passive antennas via a U.FL connector, provides superior satellite-based communication worldwide

Organizational multitasking: The secret killer of engineering productivity

July 29, 2013 9:38 am | by Sanjeev Gupta, CEO of Realization Technologies | Blogs | Comments

Nearly all of the research on multitasking to date has studied its effects on individuals. Researchers have not yet paid much attention to the effects of multitasking on organizations, but there are good reasons to believe that multitasking has similar effects at an organizational level. After all, people do not typically work independently in organizations

Engineering Update #17: The DIY quadrotor and 3D-printed Mini-Me

July 25, 2013 12:49 pm | Videos | Comments

In this week's headlines: Drone It Yourself turns random objects into RC quadrotors: A Drone It Yourself project turns just about anything into a quadrotor drone with the addition of a few motors and a control unit. Twinkind 3D photo booth scans your body in a flash: A company called Twinkind in Hamburg, Germany is offering a 3D portrait service that creates your very own mini-me.

Oh, the humanity! Army to deploy military blimps

July 25, 2013 11:02 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The military is going decidedly low-tech with its latest experiment – blimps. The Army’s anti-missile blimp system, JLENS, will make its way to the East Coast next year. The high-tech/low-tech radar system can detect cruise missiles, light planes, drones, boats and vehicles on the ground....

Space art eyes creativity in tech at Smithsonian

July 25, 2013 10:59 am | by BRETT ZONGKER, Associated Press | News | Comments

The familiar exteriors of astronauts' spacesuits often hide all of the ingenuity and mechanics that are built inside the suits, which were first imagined as "wearable spacecraft." Now a new art exhibit, "Suited for Space," highlights the creativity behind the suits that allowed humans to explore the moon and aspire to fly farther from Earth.

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This is what firing an AK-47 underwater looks like

July 24, 2013 3:47 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It's pretty incredible what some people can do with a Phantom Miro 320S high-speed camera and a fairly, extensive understanding of guns. This video is a follow-up to another video Smarter Every Day did where he fired a pistol underwater. In this video, he fires a modified AK-47 underwater to study how a blowback system works underwater versus air.

Sensors allow rescue teams to "speak" dog

July 24, 2013 2:58 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Have you ever had a burning desire to understand what your dog is saying? Personally, I feel it would be mostly, “Food? Walk? Toy? Food? But, seriously, food?” but that’s just me.For your average housedog, it’s not really imperative the owner understand everything the dog is trying to communicate. However, if the dog’s job is a little more intense, it could make a huge difference.

Choosing a wave could accelerate airplane maintenance

July 24, 2013 11:26 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Ultrasonic waves can find bubbles and cracks in adhesive bonds holding airplane composite parts together, and now aerospace engineers can select the best frequencies to detect adhesive failures in hard-to-reach places more quickly, thanks to Penn State researchers.

The must-have security device

July 23, 2013 3:54 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I am, by nature, a very anxious person. Alright, I am a worrier—particularly when it comes to leaving the house. Did I leave the garage door open? The stove on? The hair straighter plugged in? Did I lock all the doors? Windows? And that’s just when I leave for work.

The hotel that connects to your private jet

July 23, 2013 12:35 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

What do you get the obscenely-wealthy executive who has everything? If it’s an especially lazy exec who absolutely must sleep where he lands (his private jet), then the jetway hotel might be perfect. A private client (with the requisite bankroll and penchant for flamboyant acts of indulgent laziness) commissioned Margot Krasojevic to design this “short stay hotel hangar”....

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NKorea halts rocket launch-pad work

July 23, 2013 12:02 pm | by FOSTER KLUG, Associated Press | News | Comments

North Korea has stopped construction work at a site meant to launch bigger and better long-range rockets, a possible sign that Pyongyang is slowing or even halting development of larger rockets, according to a new analysis of recent satellite imagery.

Compact, stripline design microwave directional coupler covers 0.5 GHz to 8.0 GHz frequency

July 23, 2013 10:36 am | Krytar | Product Releases | Comments

KRYTAR introduced a new directional coupler offering low insertion loss, high directivity and tight coupling. The new directional coupler is suitable for emerging wireless ultra-broadband designs and many test and measurement applications. These couplers can also

50W railway DC-DC converters designed for railway, 24-volt vehicles

July 22, 2013 2:23 pm | Tdk Corporation Of America | Product Releases | Comments

TDK Corporation announces the release of TDK-Lambda’s new CN50A24 series of 50W railway DC-DC converters.  These quarter-brick modules operate off a wide range of DC inputs from 14.4 to 36.0VDC, which is widely used in the railway industry and for 24-volt vehicles.  Available with output voltages of 5V, 12V, or 24VDC (adjustable ±10%), these fully-regulated and isolated power modules deliver exceptional performance. 

What tools do you need for a space station?

July 22, 2013 12:19 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

If you think your workbench is impressive, check out some of the tool kits available on the International Space Station. British ISS astronaut Tim Peake posted some pictures of the range of tools the team uses to keep the station up and running. Check out more pictures at Peake's Flickr account.

Multitasking – The dubious badge of honor for engineers

July 22, 2013 11:49 am | by Sanjeev Gupta, CEO of Realization | Blogs | Comments

Though around the world the ability to multitask is touted as a proof of superior work ethic, more than three decades of academic research has overwhelmingly demonstrated that multitasking substantially decreases the productivity of individuals. Studies show that switching between tasks can cause a loss of productivity as high as 40 percent when compared to single-tasking...

Engineering Update #16: Steerable paper planes and an educational robotic fish

July 18, 2013 10:14 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

A robotics team from the University of Queensland has created two versions of a single-use UAV. The unmanned aerial vehicles, which are usually associated with clandestine military operations, are both designed to relay environmental information.

Asiana asked to review safety before crash

July 18, 2013 9:59 am | by YOUKYUNG LEE, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

South Korea's transport ministry said Thursday it asked Asiana Airlines Inc. to review safety measures two months before an Asiana flight crash-landed in San Francisco. Kwon Yong Bok, director general of aviation safety policy at the transport ministry, said the government informed Asiana on April 30 it should hire more pilots, engineers and cabin crew...

NASA engineer achieves another milestone in emerging nanotechnology

July 18, 2013 9:36 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A NASA engineer has achieved yet another milestone in his quest to advance an emerging super-black nanotechnology that promises to make spacecraft instruments more sensitive without enlarging their size.A team led by John Hagopian, an optics engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has demonstrated that it can grow a uniform layer of carbon nanotubes....

Study: Dead stars colliding forged gold on Earth

July 18, 2013 8:55 am | by ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

A strange glow in space has provided fresh evidence that all the gold on Earth was forged from ancient collisions of dead stars, researchers reported Wednesday. Astronomers have long known that fusion reactions in the cores of stars create lighter elements such as carbon and oxygen, but such reactions can't produce heavier elements like gold.

Advances in new material technology, according to engineers

July 15, 2013 9:42 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design. This month we're focusing on new material technology. From adhesives to thermal gap pad management, we want to know what's happening in your lab and on your benches!

Astronomers make landmark planet color discovery

July 12, 2013 4:14 pm | by JAMES BROOKS, Associated Press | News | Comments

Astronomers have for the first time managed to determine the color of a planet outside our solar system, a blue gas giant 63 light-years away. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, an international team said the planet known as HD 189733B would look like a deep blue dot if viewed up close.

DC-DC converters simplify power systems for space RF equipment

July 12, 2013 3:14 pm | International Rectifier | Product Releases | Comments

International Rectifier introduced the radiation hardened ML Series dual output DC-DC power converter platform designed for RF communication equipment such as low noise amplifiers (LNA), receivers and frequency converters used onboard satellites.

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