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Communications

— Space

Scientists look at communicating with hypersonic vehicles using plasma resonance

By - June 18, 2015 1 Picture

Returning spacecraft hit the atmosphere at over five times the speed of sound, generating a sheath of superheated ionized plasma that blocks radio communications during the critical minutes of reentry. It's a problem that's vexed space agencies for decades, but researchers at China's Harbin Institute of Technology are developing a new method of piercing the plasma and maintaining communications.

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Google Tone sings to share with nearby devices

Tools like email and instant messaging have made it easy for us to share information with people around the world. It can still be overly complicated to share something with people in the same room as us though. Google Tone allows users to share URLs with computers that are within earshot.

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— Space

NASA to test atomic clock to keep space missions on time

By - April 30, 2015 3 Pictures
If you thought the Apple watch was something to write home about, take a look at NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC). This miniaturized, ultra-precise mercury-ion atomic clock is described by the space agency as "orders of magnitude more stable than today's best navigational clocks," and is smaller and more accurate than any that's been previously sent into space. In 2016, it will fly on a test mission to demonstrate a technology that NASA sees as key to a number of high-priority Earth-orbit and deep space missions. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Wearable AWIRE radio delivers quick, accessible two-way communications

By - April 14, 2015 7 Pictures
Mobile phones are great, but they're not ideal for every communications needs. When you're skiing down a mountain, the last thing you want to do is carve to a stop, dig around your triple-layer winterwear for your phone, and answer just to hear your buddy tell you he's waiting in the lodge – which is where you were skiing down to to meet him. The AWIRE wearable two-way radio promises to deliver that type of conversation in mere seconds so you can get on with your life. It also pairs with your smartphone to route calls and music directly to your ears. Read More
— Military

DARPA strengthens lines of communication with digital close air support system test

By - April 10, 2015 3 Pictures
Since the First World War, airplanes have acted as Close Air Support (CAS) for infantry, though it's been a rocky marriage marked by poor communications and difficult teamwork. DARPA's Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) project aims to improve coordination between air and ground forces by means of a digital system that works up to seven times faster than regular paper maps and voice radio instructions, and with greater accuracy. Read More
— Military

DARPA looks at "system of systems" to maintain US air superiority

By - April 1, 2015 4 Pictures
Modern warfare is a constant arms race of measures and countermeasures, but with development cycles taking decades and costing billions of dollars, it's not uncommon for military technology to become obsolete by the time it's deployed. To address this dilemma, DARPA's System of Systems (SoS) Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE) program aims at replacing monolithic weapon systems with a more flexible cross-platform approach. Read More
— Telecommunications

Periscope turns any iPhone user into a live broadcaster

By - March 26, 2015 1 Picture
Not all that long ago, to call yourself a broadcaster you needed the blessing of station executives and a pretty smile. But communications technology is advancing so quickly that anybody with an internet connection can now share their perspective with the world. Twitter and Facebook brought this idea into the mainstream with text, photos and emails and now new players are arriving to take things in almost-scary new directions. Launched today, the Periscope live video app can turn anybody with an iPhone into a citizen journalist, whether they be streaming the scene of a disaster-zone or coming at you live from the breakfast table. Read More

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