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David Szondy

Space

New imaging technique provides "drone's eye" view of Mars

University College London (UCL) has released images of the Martian surface with five times the resolution of anything previously sent back from Mars orbit. The images come courtesy of the new Super-Resolution Restoration (SRR) imaging technique developed by a UCL research team, which takes images from spacecraft orbiting Mars and stacks and matches them to create new, more detailed images of the Beagle 2 lander, ancient Martian lake beds, and the tracks of the NASA MER-A rover.Read More

Military

DARPA awards Ground X-Vehicle Technology contracts as it swaps agility for armor

The days of tanks as giant steel behemoths may be numbered with DARPA awarding eight development contracts for its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program. The awards to Carnegie Mellon University, Honeywell International, Leido, Pratt & Miller, QinetiQ, Raytheon BBN, Southwest Research Institute and SRI International are aimed at creating a smarter, faster generation of armored vehicle that replaces steel with speed and agility.Read More

Energy

Giant wave-riding platform design puts solar power out to sea

Sea-based wind farms are becoming a common sight in many parts of the world, but why not floating solar power stations? Engineers at the Vienna University of Technology foresee a future where platforms 100 m long and covered with solar panels float on even heavy seas thanks to a new floatation system called Heliofloat. Still under development, Heliofloat uses flexible, open-bottom floats that are capable of standing up to rough seas that would destroy such a platform sitting on conventional tanks.Read More

Aircraft

Maiden flight for Japan's X-2 stealth fighter prototype

NASA isn't the only one with X-Planes. Japan is developing it's own experimental aircraft to test an airframe, engines, and other advanced systems and equipment for fifth-generation fighter aircraft for the country's self-defense forces. The project's primary contractor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has conducted the successful maiden flight of the X-2 advanced technology demonstrator jet, the first Japanese-built warplane to incorporate stealth technology.Read More

Aircraft

Solar Impulse 2 breaks records by reaching California

Last night, Solar Impulse 2 completed the Pacific Ocean crossing leg of its round-the-world flight. According to the Solar Impulse organization, the aircraft with founder and chairman Bertrand Piccard at the controls touched down in a night landing at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California on April 23 at 11:44 pm PDT after a flight time of 62 hours and 29 minutes from Kalaeloa Airport, Hawaii.Read More

Robotics

Big-i robot butler learns from its masters

It may look like a one-eyed trash can, but Nxrobo calls its Big-i a "personal robot butler." Combining the features of domestic robot, home automation, and personal assistant that learns and adapts to its owner's behavior, the multi-function automaton was recently unveiled at Pepcom DigitalFocus in New York by its inventor, Dr Tin Lun Lam.Read More

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

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