On August 13, comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and ESA’s unmanned Rosetta probe made their closest approach to the Sun. Both are now heading for the outer Solar System, but Rosetta still has secrets to reveal. One is that the comet has a daily water cycle that, according to the space agency, keeps it "alive."
In naval circles, littoral areas are the hotspots for future conflict, but sending ships close to shore is like steaming into a shooting gallery. To provide more protection, the US Navy recently conducted tests off the coast of California of Raytheon's SeaRAM defensive missile system, which fires supersonic, self-guided interceptors against in-coming close-range threats. The tests were carried out by the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) on August 14 as part of a live-fire exercise at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division sea range. During these exercises, Raytheon says that the Coronado detected, tracked, and engaged an inbound target using SeaRAM.
It seems as if the age of the bench-top breakthrough in rocket science is not a thing of the past. Dr Patrick Neumann of the University of Sydney has developed a new ion drive as part of his PhD thesis that is claimed to outperform the best one devised by NASA. According to Neumann, his new drive, which is still in the experimental stage, is more efficient than the latest High Power Electric Propulsion (HiPEP) ion engine and holds the promise of "Mars and back on a tank of fuel."
The US Marine Corps's fleet of amphibious assault vehicles is over 40 years old and instead of fitting them with classic number plates, it's looking for a replacement. At this week's Modern Day Marine trade show in Quantico, Virginia, Lockheed Martin revealed its new candidate Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1. The armored eight-wheel-drive battle wagon can carry up to 13 marines over land or water and incorporates intuitive automatic systems into the design.
Earlier generations of iRobot's Roomba vacuum-cleaners picked up dirt, but they also had a reputation for blundering about in random patterns while relying on contact and infrared sensors to keep them on course and out of harm's way. Seeking something a bit more intelligent, the seventh generation Roomba 980 is the first of the line of hockey puck-shaped robots to include an intelligent visual navigation system that allows it to map out rooms and clean them with greater efficiency.
Dogs may make excellent team mates, but they aren't very good at telling you what they see. Colchester-based Visual Engineering's Cerberus Digital Canine Transmission system is designed take this feedback way beyond barking by providing a high-tech set of eyes that let the handler see what the canine sees.
Boutique German sports car maker Artega has partnered with auto electronics manufacturer Paragon for its latest creation – the all-electric, rear-wheel drive Scalo. Unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the two-seater Artega Scalo harbors some interesting tech both inside and out, including an adjustable rear spoiler and a curved OLED display in the center console.
Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin is claiming the title of the most complicated mechanical watch ever made with its Reference 57260. Boasting 57 complications (the previous record holder had 33) and a wide array of functions, the Reference 57260 contains over 2,800 components, each one hand-decorated by one Master Watchmaker using traditional techniques.
In June, Boeing’s new 737 MAX single-aisle airliner began wing assembly in Renton, Washington. Since then, the first fuselage arrived from Wichita, Kansas, and is now undergoing final assembly, which includes installation of a new advanced winglet designed to improve fuel efficiency.
In 2013, Jaguar took the wraps of its C-X17 concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Now, at the same venue, the same design team has turned that concept into the Jaguar 2017 F-Pace. Combining the sportscar performance of a traditional Jaguar with more room and family-friendly features, the luxury five-seater SUV derived from the F-Type launched not only into the showrooms, but into the Guinness Book of Records.