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David Szondy

Electronics

Smartphone and laser attachment form cheap rangefinder

A team of researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) led by Li-Shiuan Peh has come up with a new infrared depth-sensing system. The new system, which works outdoors as well as in, was built by attaching a US$10 laser to a smartphone, with MIT saying the inexpensive approach could be used to convert conventional personal vehicles, such as wheelchairs and golf carts, into autonomous ones.Read More

Science

Twisting puts the brakes on light in a vacuum

The speed of light is a universal constant, but, according to scientists at the University of Ottawa, not that constant. A team of researchers led by assistant professor Ebrahim Karimi has discovered that twisted light traveling through a vacuum moves slower than the speed set by Einstein's theory of relativity, which has implications for quantum computing and communications.Read More

Electronics

DARPA's latest grand challenge takes on the radio spectrum

One of the most hotly contested bits of real estate today is one you can't see. As we move into an increasingly wireless-connected world, staking out a piece of the crowded electromagnetic spectrum becomes more important. DARPA is hoping to help solve this issue with its latest Grand Challenge, which calls for the use of machine-learning technologies to enable devices to share bandwidth.Read More

Space

Cygnus cargo ship successfully docks with ISS

The Cygnus Orbital ATk Crs-6 mission has docked with the International Space Station (ISS). According to NASA, the unmanned cargo ship was successfully captured by US astronaut and Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra with the assistance of ESA astronaut and Flight Engineer Tim Peake at 6:51 am EDT using one of the station's robotic arms. It was then transferred to the Unity Module, where it docked with one of the Earth-facing ports.Read More

Space

DARPA's satellite repair robot makes house calls

There are over 400 geosynchronous satellites orbiting 22,000 mi (36,000 km) above the Earth. They are a vital part of global communications and represent billions of dollars in investments, but once they break down or run out of fuel, they're so much tin foil. DARPA has released a video outlining the agency's vision of a mobile robotic servicing system designed to rendezvous with and repair ailing telecommunications satellites.Read More

Aircraft

Wraparound jet engine design could put window seats at a premium

If you like the window seat while you fly, then maybe enjoy it while it lasts. Airbus has filed a US patent application for a new multi-fan jet engine design, which has the engine nacelles wrapping around the airplane's fuselage instead of suspended from the wing. Still very much a concept, the design is aimed at improving engine efficiency while keeping overall size down.Read More

Military

British Army's new cannon takes its ammo on the side

The British Army has taken delivery of its first completely new cannon system in 50 years – and it loads sideways. This loading system on the new 40mm Cased Telescoped Cannon System, which was handed over to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Bourges, France by CTA International (CTAI), is claimed to provide more firepower while saving space.Read More

Space

First observed shockwave to shed light on supernovas

As the late Carl Sagan said, "we are made of star stuff." The question is, where did this star stuff come from? The answer may be a bit nearer now that an international team of astronomers has for the first time captured the initial few minutes of a pair of supernovae as they exploded, as well as the first recorded supernova shockwave. According to the scientists, this could give us a better understanding of how many of the elements formed that make up the Earth and us.Read More

Space

Cygnus Orbital ATK CRS-6 cargo mission on its way to the ISS

The Orbital ATK CRS-6 mission is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned Cygnus cargo ship lifted off today atop an Atlas V booster in a spectacular nighttime launch at 11:05 pm EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a three-month mission to deliver about 7,500 lb (3.400 kg) of supplies and experiments to the space station.Read More

Aircraft

Can Boom bring back supersonic flight without the astronomical price tag?

A Denver-based startup company is entering the race to reintroduce supersonic commercial travel with the promise of a 40-passenger airliner that can not only fly faster than Concorde, but at business class prices. Boom Technology says it is using modern engines and materials to develop a supersonic passenger jet that can cruise at Mach 2.2 (1,675 mph, 2,700 km/h), with prices starting at US$5,000 for a return ticket between London and New York.Read More

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