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David Szondy

Military

US Army researchers patent limited-range bullet to reduce chances of collateral damage

Safer munitions may seem like a contradiction in terms, but modern designers put a lot of effort into creating weapons that do the least unintentional harm after or if they fail to do their job. A case in point is a new limited-range bullet invented by Brian Kim, Mark Minisi, and Stephen McFarlane at the US Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC). Recently awarded a US patent, the proof-of-concept bullet disables itself after flying a preset distance.Read More

Space

Solar sails to help keep pole-sitting satellites in their place

Pole sitting was a fad in the United States in the 1920s, but ESA is putting a modern orbital spin on the practice. Investigating advanced orbital mechanics, the space agency has concluded that it's possible to build a hybrid solar-sail/electric-propulsion satellite that could hover over either of the Earth's poles by balancing the pull of the Earth and the Sun.Read More

Energy

High-temperature photovoltaics and electrochemical cell combine to advance solar power

Despite continual improvements in efficiency, silicon-based solar cells are hampered by the fact that they only deliver power when the sun is shining and that their efficiency falls off markedly at temperatures over 100° C (212° F). To address these limitations, scientists at TU Wien in Vienna have combined perovskite-based solar cells that work at high temperatures with an electrochemical cell that allows the energy from ultraviolet light to be stored chemically.Read More

Space

NASA declassifies Apollo 10 "space music" ... in 1973

NASA recently released evidence buried for decades showing that astronauts on the Apollo 10 lunar mission in 1969 heard strange "space music" that seemingly defies explanation – or did it ... and does it? Many news services have picked up on the story and claim that the "space music" incident is only now being made public, but NASA disagrees. According to the space agency, the audio and transcripts from the mission have been available in the National Archives since 1973 and the explanation of the event is quite down to Earth.Read More

Robotics

Ibex extreme mobility agribot goes where no farm robot has gone before

Farms tend to conjure up images of flat prairies crammed with corn, but a surprising amount of farmland is situated on hillsides that are difficult to get to or maintain. To help keep these high fields clear for livestock, UK-based technology firm Ibex Automation is starting fully autonomous field trials in England's Peak District of its extreme mobility agricultural robot that can maneuver around steep dairy and sheep pastures as it identifies and destroys weeds.Read More

Physics

Fifth-dimensional black hole could cause general relativity to break down

We like to think of the physical universe as being governed by immutable laws, but maybe they're not quite as concrete as we imagine. A team of physicists at the University of Cambridge have run computer simulations that show that a five-dimensional, ring-shaped black hole could violate Einstein's general theory of relativity by creating a naked singularity, which would result in the equations behind the theory breaking down.Read More

Music Review

Review: Pioneer XDP-100R-S puts hi-res audio in your pocket

Playing high-definition audio on a standard player is a bit like playing a state-of-the-art 1950s vinyl stereophonic record on a wind up Victrola – you can do it, but it just won't be the same as on the Hi-Fi. In an effort to create a portable player that does justice to hi-def digital playback and streaming, Pioneer came up with its XDP-100R. We recently got our hands on one, slapped on the headphones, and cranked some tunes to see what it could do.Read More

Aircraft

NASA wants to bring back X-planes to test new aviation technologies

The American X-planes were part of the romance of the heyday of post-war aviation with test pilots like Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in the X-1 and a rival corps of astronauts flew into space in the X-15. As part of a 10-year plan proposed by the Obama administration, NASA Aeronautics' New Aviation Horizons program wants to revive the X-planes for the 21st century as demonstrators for emerging, greener flight technologies.Read More

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