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David Szondy

Military

Solid lubricant smooths the way for reduced weapon maintenance

One the most tedious yet vital tasks of the foot soldier is personal weapon cleaning and maintenance. Under field conditions, it has to be done daily and failure to do so can literally mean the difference between life and death. To reduce this task and make the weapon more durable and reliable, the US Army Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey is developing a Durable Solid Lubricant (DSL) that replaces the more conventional wet lubricants.Read More

Electronics

Cool Runnings: Lockheed using microscopic drops of water to chill chips from the inside

Every year, electronic components shrink a bit more, allowing engineers to create more powerful and sophisticated chips. Unfortunately, these chips also generate a lot of heat, so novel cooling systems are needed to keep them running. As part of DARPA's ICECool-Applications research program, Lockheed Martin is developing a way of cooling high-powered microchips from the inside using microscopic drops of water.Read More

Automotive

BMW looks to the future with shape-shifting Vision Next 100 concept

BMW's Vision Next 100 concept car might look like someone came to the tires and got a bit confused, but there is definite method to what seems like automotive madness. Developed as a celebration of the BMW Group's centenary, the Vision Next 100 is the company's attempt to take a long-term look at what the car of tomorrow might look like after autonomous drive technology has fundamentally changed automotive design.Read More

Aircraft

DARPA's unmanned X-Plane packs electric fans aplenty for vertical take-off and landing

If there was a competition for the oddest looking aircraft, then DARPA's VTOL Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) would have to be in the running for the main prize. With a modularized, cellular wing design that looks like a flying set of cupboards, the unmanned aircraft is a hybrid of fixed-wing and rotary wing technologies designed to create a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that boasts greater range and speed capabilities.Read More

Materials

Carbon nanotubes shown to protect metals against radiation damage

An international team of scientists led by MIT has discovered that adding small amounts of carbon nanotubes to metals makes them much more resistant to radiation damage. Though currently only proven in low-temperature metals like aluminum, the team says that the ability of the nanotubes to slow the breakdown process could improve the operating lifetimes of research and commercial reactors.Read More

Aircraft

Boeing creates self-cleaning, germ-zapping lavatory for airliners

One of the drawbacks of flying is that you're sharing the lavatory with a couple of hundred people of unknown hygiene standards, and the thing won't be properly cleaned again until the plane touches down. To make the airborne germaphobe a bit more comfortable and the facilities more hygienic, Boeing has created a self-cleaning airliner lavatory that uses non-touch technology and ultraviolet light that's claimed to kill 99.99 percent of germs in three seconds.Read More

Space

SES-9 mission launch successful, but Falcon 9 landing less so

After successfully delivering a satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, SpaceX attempted to land its Falcon 9 booster on a seabarge, the "Of Course I still Love You," in the Atlantic Ocean. The video feed cut out at the last instant, keeping everyone guessing as to the fate of the unmanned first stage rocket, but SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has now confirmed in a tweet that the landing attempt was unsuccessful.Read More

Automotive

Spherical tire takes autonomous cars sideways into the future

As autonomous cars move closer to the showroom, it's clear that they'll be more than just conventional vehicles minus the driver. It means rethinking every major system down to the tires. At the 86th Geneva International Motor show, Goodyear has taken the wraps off two concept tires designed for the autonomous cars of tomorrow – including a spherical tire that allow cars to drive sideways and one that can sense road conditions and adapt to them.Read More

Space

Orion's solar panels readied for Moon mission

When NASA's Orion capsule made its maiden flight in 2014, it was easy to forget that only half of the spacecraft actually went into orbit. A dummy version of the European Service Module (ESM), which is still undergoing development, sat behind the the unmanned capsule as it lifted off from Cape Canaveral. That development has just passed a major milestone according to the main contractor, Airbus Defence and Space, with a model of the ESM's solar array performing "flawlessly" in a deployment test this week.Read More

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