News

UAVs to Play Critical Role in Precision Agriculture

Researchers are investigating how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used commercially in agriculture. Their size, cost and capabilities make UAVs useful for a wide range of jobs. Mississippi State University researchers are already using these vehicles, and many others are examining their potential applications, including flying a camera on a drone to get instant aerial views of research fields.

A flyover could identify problem spots in extremely large fields, and then researchers, crop consultants, or farmers could go to the identified areas and examine them carefully to make proper diagnoses. The information gathered by soil-moisture sensors could be compared to the information that could be gathered by drones.

Technology already exists to allow producers to make very specific chemical applications to their fields with farm equipment. UAVs can help them target these applications even more precisely.

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Posted in: News, News, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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Army Equips Stryker Unit With New Communications Technology

The Army's Stryker vehicle, designed to quickly move soldiers into a combat zone, is swift and mobile. Now its communications equipment will be, too.

Posted in: News, Communications, Wireless, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Smaller Lidars Could Let UAVs Conduct Underwater Scans

Bathymetric lidars – devices that employ powerful lasers to scan beneath the water's surface – are frequently used to map coastal waters. At nearly 600 pounds, the systems are large, heavy, and require costly, piloted aircraft to carry them. But a team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has designed a new approach that could lead to bathymetric lidars that are much smaller and more efficient than the current full-size systems. The new technology, developed under the Active Electro-Optical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AEO-ISR) project, would let modest-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) carry bathymetric lidars.

Posted in: News, Defense
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New Device Measures How Birds Take Flight

It's quite easy to look at a bird and deduce that it flies by flapping its wings, but understanding exactly how a bird generates lift has long eluded scientists. Now engineers at Stanford have developed a device that precisely and humanely measures the forces generated by a bird's wings while in flight. The work promises to answer many mysteries of bird flight, providing aid in the design of innovative and efficient unmanned aerial vehicles, known as UAVs or, more recently, drones.

Posted in: News, Defense
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Magnetic Field Lines Made Visible in 3-D and Real Time

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a high-resolution magnetic line camera to measure magnetic fields in real time, which is particularly useful for quality assurance during the manufacture of magnets. Read more at https://articles.sae.org/13706.

Posted in: Articles, News, Aerospace, Defense, Cameras, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Measuring Instruments
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MIT Provides Yeast a Different Environment for Ethanol Tolerance

Ethanol and other alcohols can disrupt yeast cell membranes, eventually killing the cells. In research funded by the MIT Energy Initiative and the U.S. Department of Energy, researchers at MIT and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research found that adding potassium and hydroxide ions to the medium in which yeast grow can help cells compensate for that membrane damage. Read more at https://articles.sae.org/13609.

Posted in: Articles, News, Aerospace, Defense, Energy, Medical
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'Reman' Engine Market Steady, but Complexity Challenges Production Efficiency

High-tech design causes time to remanufacture engines to nearly triple and adds to cost, while used engines remain a competitive factor. However, Purdue University data shows remanufacturing is far more energy efficient than installing a new powerplant. Read more at https://articles.sae.org/13703.

Posted in: Articles, News, Aerospace, Defense, Energy Efficiency, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Going Off-Road With Hard-Carbon Lithium-Ion Battery Technology

EnerDel’s second-generation Mobile Hybrid Power System (MHPS) was delivered in May to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Research and Development Center in Champaign, IL. It offers a reduction in diesel fuel consumption of up to 70% “in most use cases as demonstrated by the military.” The MHPS-80, as delivered to USACE-ERDC, features an onboard 15-kW charging generator, an 80-kW·h lithium-ion battery system, power inverter, and dc input for wind and solar energy. Read more at https://articles.sae.org/13540/.

Posted in: Articles, News, Aerospace, Defense, Batteries, Power Management, Energy Efficiency, Solar Power
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Racecar with Composite-Intensive Suspension Gets Track Tested in 2015

A racecar fitted with a prototype rear suspension will compete in the Sports Car Club of America's 2015 season as a proof-of-concept demonstrator for using thermoplastic composite suspension components in future light-duty vehicle production applications. Read more at https://articles.sae.org/13523.

Posted in: Articles, News, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Nvidia Chipset to Enable Greater Autonomy

Powerful visual computing processors for dashboard displays are now taking on safety-critical driver-assistance functions. Read more at https://articles.sae.org/13314.

Posted in: Articles, News, Aerospace, Defense
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