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Brian Dodson

Brian Dodson

From an early age Brian wanted to become a scientist. He did, earning a Ph.D. in physics and embarking on an R&D career which has recently broken the 40th anniversary. What he didn't expect was that along the way he would become a patent agent, a rocket scientist, a gourmet cook, a biotech entrepreneur, an opera tenor and a science writer.

— Good Thinking

Roadless wheel concept adjusts to all terrains

By - November 6, 2013 14 Pictures
Graduate student Ackeem Ngwenya has combined the 6000 year-old wheel with modern materials to develop a new type of all-terrain wheel assembly that switches from narrow to wide tread at the turn of a screw. His Roadless wheel system, while envisioned for rural applications in his native Malawi, has the potential to be as big a change to road (and off-road) transport as was the introduction of anti-lock braking. Read More
— Science

Lasers point to the future of uranium enrichment

By - November 5, 2013 2 Pictures
With the world’s first laser enrichment plant having received a construction and operating license from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2012, the stage has been set for a radical change in the industry. So how does laser enrichment work, and what commercial benefits, along with proliferation concerns, does this new process present compared to current methods? Read More
— Urban Transport

Development company for Hyperloop emerges from stealth mode

By - November 1, 2013 7 Pictures
Well, Elon Musk can relax now. Having previously announced his intention to at least build a Hyperloop demonstrator, he now appears relieved to leave that task to HTT (Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc). HTT is an engineering startup company operating under the wing of California-based JumpStartFund. It has developed basic organization and operational plans, as well as having established key partnerships to help navigate a path to a working Hyperloop. Read More
— Computers

MIT's 110-core Execution Migration CPU chip moves instructions to the data

By - October 29, 2013 4 Pictures
A 110-core CPU chip has been developed by computer scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The chip is based on a new architecture in which instead of bringing data across the chip to the core that happens to want it, you move the program to the core where the data is stored. In practice, this new architecture reduces the amount of on-chip data exchange tenfold, along with the heat and infrastructure demanded by conventional chip architecture. Read More
— Space

First glide test of Dream Chaser spacecraft successful, but ends in a flip

By - October 28, 2013 3 Pictures
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) carried out the first gliding approach and landing test of their Dream Chaser spacecraft at Edwards Air Force Base on October 26. The vehicle dropped from its carrier aircraft at 11:10 am, and carried out gliding and landing maneuvers flawlessly. However, the left landing gear door did not function, causing the test spacecraft to flip on landing. Read More
— Science

TWI reveals handheld 5 kW laser torch

By - October 25, 2013 3 Pictures
To address the challenges encountered in decommissioning a nuclear facility, the UK-based firm TWI has since 2009 been developing laser tube-cutting methods for the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It has now demonstrated a 5 kW fiber laser projector, configured rather like a rifle, that can be wielded by a single person. Read More
— Space

Gaia launch delayed over dicey components

By - October 24, 2013 6 Pictures
The Gaia mission to map a billion stars in the Milky Way has been delayed for about two months by the European Space Agency. Problems in X-band transponders used in other satellites have begun to appear, and the ESA has decided to replace those modules prior to launching. The likely blastoff date will be in late December of this year. Read More
— Space

World View Enterprises near-space balloon flights to begin in 2016

By - October 24, 2013 8 Pictures
The newest entry in the fledgling space (or near-space) tourism sector will see passengers take a balloon ride to an altitude of 30 km (18.6 mi) from where they will be treated to a spectacular view of the Earth. World View Enterprises has now obtained US Federal Aviation Administration approval for its proposed balloon experiences, which will cost US$75k, and are projected to begin in 2016. Read More
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