News

Are Airships the Future of Aviation?

Researchers from the University of Lincoln, UK, have completed a three-year study of stratospheric passenger airships designed to provide a future sustainable air transport network. The Multibody Advanced Airship for Transport (MAAT) project aims to position airships as the solution for future air transportation that is safe, efficient, cheap, and environmentally friendly.

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Unmanned Aircraft Inspect Energy Pipeline

A fixed-wing unmanned aircraft was used to inspect an energy pipeline route with a piloted chase plane following behind to ensure safety beyond the ground observers' sight line. The flight was a step toward making aerial inspections of energy pipelines safer and more economical. The test aircraft was equipped with a special sensor package to identify threats to pipeline integrity.

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Assisted Steering for Efficient Turning of Electric Vehicles

Scientists are developing a new assisted steering concept for electric vehicles. In conventional vehicles, the internal combustion engine not only accelerates the car, but also supplies onboard assist systems with energy, such as the assisted steering system, which reduces the strain on the driver at the wheel. In electric vehicles, this energy comes from the battery, and also reduces the range as a result. In this case, the steering system is assisted in an energy-efficient manner by intelligent control of the drive torques transmitted to the individual wheels.

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New Technology May Double Radio Frequency Data Capacity

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers has invented a new technology called full-duplex radio integrated circuits (ICs) that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio. Up to now, this has been thought to be impossible; transmitters and receivers either work at different times or at the same time but at different frequencies. The Columbia team, led by Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Harish Krishnaswamy and funded by the DARPA RF-FPGA program, is the first to demonstrate an IC that can accomplish this.

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Innovative Army Tool Enhances Electronic Warfare Capabilities

Beginning with the early stages of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, the Army has steadily increased its electronic warfare (EW) capabilities from both a manpower and equipment standpoint. In particular, significant progress has been ongoing since the Army reestablished its EW corps and set up the Project Manager Electronic Warfare office in 2009 to provide materiel solutions that protect soldiers from radio-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and provides them with an accurate and complete understanding of their environment across the electromagnetic spectrum.

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New CMOS Device Could Cut Costs of Night Vision, Thermal Imaging

Engineers at The University of Texas at Dallas have created semiconductor technology that could make night vision and thermal imaging affordable for everyday use.

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Scientists Unlock Secrets of Super Solar Power Perovskites

The best hope for cheap, super-efficient solar power is a remarkable family of crystalline materials called hybrid perovskites. In just five years of development, hybrid perovskite solar cells have attained power conversion efficiencies that took decades to achieve with the top-performing conventional materials used to generate electricity from sunlight. Now researchers at the University of Utah, in collaboration with the University of Texas at Dallas, have uncovered some of the secrets behind the amazing material’s performance.

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Talking Drone Converses With Air Traffic Controllers

Researchers have developed and demonstrated an autonomous capability that would allow a drone to verbally interact with air traffic controllers. The development is a critical step towards the full integration of unmanned aircraft systems – or drones – into civil airspace. Drones need to be able to fly safely alongside other airspace users without causing disruption to air traffic management.

The majority of air traffic control services are provided to aircraft by voice radio – aircraft controllers speaking directly to pilots. Using the new system, an air traffic controller can talk to, and receive responses from, a drone just like they would with any other aircraft.

The project brings the safe and seamless operation of UAVs within civil airspace one step closer. The new system enables a drone to respond to information requests and act on clearances issued by an air traffic controller.

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Researchers Develop New Maritime Target Detection System

SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific has developed RAPIER® full motion video (FMV), a maritime target detection, tracking, and identification solution that quickly and automatically analyzes video, alerts analysts of important targets, and outputs target information.

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DOD-funded Technology Lets Muscles Control Prosthetic Hand

After years of intense research and support from Defense Department agencies and a private foundation, a Marine who lost his right hand in Afghanistan is testing new technology that could change everything in the years ahead for someone who loses a limb. The implantable myoelectric sensor system, or IMES, was developed by the California-based Alfred E. Mann Foundation. Now in clinical trials for Food and Drug Administration approval, thanks to 31-year- old Marine Corps Staff Sgt. James Sides, the system lets a patient with sensors, or electrodes, implanted into forearm muscles intuitively control the movements of a prosthetic hand.

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