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Science

— Science

Lockheed Martin shrinks the telescope

After 400 years, the original telescope design is getting a major upgrade. Part of a DARPA funded project, Lockheed Martin's Segmented Planar Imaging Detector for Electro-optical Reconnaissance (SPIDER) telescope replaces the large primary lenses used in refracting telescopes with an array of tiny ones that allow the instruments to shrink by a factor of 10 to 100.

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— Materials

Self-cleaning, anti-glare windows inspired by moth eyes

A revolutionary new type of smart window developed by University College London (UCL) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) could cut window-cleaning costs in tall buildings while reducing heating bills and boosting worker productivity. Partially inspired by the reflective properties of moth eyes, this smart window is said to be self-cleaning, energy-saving, and anti-glare.

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— Medical

New pulse-tracking tech does away with wearable sensors

Keeping an eye on one's heart rate is a big part of fitness tracking, with wearables from the Apple Watch to dedicated chest straps delivering the feature to users. But what if you could get the benefits of heartbeat sensing without even having to strap on a piece of tech? A team of researchers from the Kyoto University, together with Panasonic, is working on making that dream a reality, utilizing millimeter-wave radar tech and a specially-designed algorithm.

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— Energy

Lithium-ion battery warms itself in cold environments to maintain performance

Extreme temperatures can seriously compromise the performance of lithium batteries. We've seen a number of developments promising to reduce the risk of them overheating and catching fire, but at the other end of the scale, freezing temperatures aren't too friendly either, often leading to substantial power loss. In an advance that could have ramifications for everything from electric vehicles to space exploration, researchers have built a lithium battery that warms itself up to battle the winter chill.

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— Space

First high speed laser communication satellite set for launch

Space-based laser communications are moving out of the testing phase and into orbit as the first satellite in the European DAta Relay System (EDRS), or SpaceDataHighway, prepares for launch at the end of January. Likened to having a fiber optic cable in space, the 1.8 Gigabit per second system is a joint public–private partnership between Airbus Defence and Space and ESA that will act as a relay system between ground stations, satellites, and aircraft.

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