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David Szondy

Good Thinking

Scott Sight mask gives firefighters hands-free thermal vision

A fire is no place to be blind, but firefighters face that prospect every time they enter a smoke-filled building. Thermal imagers can improve the odds, but they're too often handheld and bulky, so Scott Safety has come up with the Scott Sight, a lightweight imaging system integrated into a breathing mask to provide individual firefighters with real-time thermal images.Read More

Space

NASA taps Aerojet Rocketdyne for new space propulsion system

In anticipation of future deep-space missions, NASA has awarded a US$67 million, 36-month contract to Redmond, Washington-based Aerojet Rocketdyne to design and develop an Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS). Based on previous ion thrusters like prototype NEXT and the Dawn mission to the asteroid Ceres, the new propulsion system could used to supply a future manned Mars mission.Read More

Wearables

HYT H1 Ghost watch combines mechanics and hydraulics

Upmarket Swiss watchmaker HYT has come up with a watch that should be impossible to read due to the lack of an hour hand, but isn't. In the latest iteration of the company's hydrological horology, HYT's H1 Ghost has a sub-dial for counting off minutes and another for seconds, but the hour hand has been replaced by a retrograde complication that displays the hours via a liquid-filled tube.Read More

Aircraft

World's largest commercial aircraft engine fired up for the first time

The world's largest commercial aircraft engine has been started up for the first time at GE Aviation's Peebles Test Operation in Ohio. According to GE, ground testing of the GE9X development engine will enable data to be gathered on the engine's overall and aerodynamic performance, mechanical verification, and aero-thermal system validation leading up to flight testing and certification before entering service at the end the decade.Read More

Aircraft

DARPA VTOL X-plane takes flight in miniature

It may look like a backwards airplane with a collection of fans for wings, but a miniature test version of DARPA's Vertical Take-off and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) took to the skies recently. According to the builder, Aurora Flight Sciences, the subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) prototype of the LightningStrike successfully completed a series of takeoff, hover, and landing maneuvers at an undisclosed US military base.Read More

3D Printing

Boeing proposes 3D printing "ice" for aircraft certification

In another potential aerospace application for 3D printing, Boeing has filed an application with the US Patent Office for a way to make artificial "ice." The company isn't planning on making novelty ice cubes for the first class passengers (yet), but has come up with a way of printing plastic and composite shapes that can be tacked onto the wings and other surfaces to simulate icing conditions. According to Boeing, this will help to streamline and reduce the cost of the aircraft certification process.Read More

I christen thee RRS Boaty McBoatface?

Last month, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) invited the public to help name its new £200 million (US$284 million) polar research ship. When voting closed on the weekend, the winner by a considerable margin was "RRS Boaty McBoatface," but there are doubts the words "I christen thee RRS Boaty McBoatface" will actually be muttered.Read More

Space

ExoMars opens its eyes en route to the Red Planet

ESA has confirmed that the ExoMars 2016's Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) mothership has opened its "eyes" and sent back its first test images. Launched on March 14 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the joint ESA/Roscosmos mission to Mars was over 83 million km from Earth on April 7 when it transmitted a picture of random section of sky near the southern celestial pole as part of its commissioning process.Read More

Drones

When drones and pork collide

In a display of true awesomeness, researchers from the Drone Research Lab at Denmark's Aalborg University have built a catapult that fires hobby drones at a pork roast. This display of porcine projectile piercing is not only high on the list of conversation starters, it also has the serious goal of finding out more about the safety hazards posed by the tiny aircraft to people and property.Read More

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