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Communications

Titus Appel (left) and Steve Sanderson, with their power-over-fiber communications cable

When you want to isolate communications between two devices or locations, a fiber optic link is one of the best ways to go. Under some circumstances, however, you might also want to isolate the transmission of power – in situations where traditional copper wire might prove unsafe or impractical, for instance. That’s why researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are developing a power-over-fiber (PoF) communications cable. It carries not only data, but also optical power.  Read More

The Tak Wak tw700 GPS-smartphone-radio-buddy tracking system

Many modern outdoors folk are conflicted beings that live by diametrically opposed principles. On the one hand, they spend top dollar for the newest, lightest gear on the market to keep their muscles and joints moving freely. On the other, they fill up their featherlight packs and jackets with all kinds of single-function, redundant or just plain unnecessary devices in the name of being "prepared." Getting more function out of a single device is the quickest way to resolve this problem and the tw700 from German company Tak Wak achieves this by blending several of your most important outdoor devices - GPS, walkie talkie, camera and tracking system - into one rugged, waterproof, trail-ready package.  Read More

An international team of researchers has set a world record two-way data rate over long di...

An international team is claiming a data transfer record that puts any home broadband connection to shame. At last month’s SuperComputing 2011 (SC11) conference in Seattle, researchers reached transfer rates of 98 gigabits per second (Gbps) between the University of Victoria Computing Centre located in Victoria, British Columbia, and the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Coupled with a simultaneous data rate of 88 Gbps in the opposite direction the team reached a two-way data rate of 186 Gbps to break their own previous peak-rate record of 119 Gbps set in 2009.  Read More

The DeLorme inReach can be paired via Bluetooth to an Android device, for added functional...

Whether they involve hiking, paddling, pedaling or climbing, multi-day backcountry wilderness trips can be very rewarding. For some of us, however, there’s always that one worry – what if something happens and no one knows where to find us? A cell phone likely won’t do much good, as coverage isn’t available across about 90 percent of the planet. A satellite phone would do the trick, but they tend to be quite expensive. That’s where DeLorme’s new inReach device comes into play ... just think of it as a satellite-enabled panic button.  Read More

GM is developing vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication

Basic car safety systems designed to save lives in the event of an accident like seatbelts and airbags are being supplemented in modern vehicles by increasingly sophisticated preventative technologies such as ABS and lane departure warning systems. The next step in the evolution of collision prevention technology is vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems like that found on the LTE Connected Car and BMW's Vision ConnectedDrivet concepts that would allow vehicles to share information on their relative location and road conditions. GM has recently announced it is testing small, portable devices that create a "wireless safety net" to gather information from other vehicles and infrastructure to warn drivers of potential hazards.  Read More

HIOD One is a Bluetooth communications system designed for cyclists

Whether you have the wind whistling in your ears on the highway, or the sound of scrunching tires coming from beneath you on a singletrack trail, it can often be difficult to hear what other cyclists are saying. While most of us are just content to yell “WHAT?”, Swedish wireless tech company Free2Move has what it thinks is a better idea – it’s HIOD One, a Bluetooth communications system designed specifically for cyclists.  Read More

Conceptual image of the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration that is designed to incre...

Since the dawn of the space age, NASA has been relying on radio communications technology to send and receive data to and from spacecraft. Although it has developed higher data-rate radio frequency systems, data-compression, and other techniques to boost the amount of data that its current RF systems can handle, they can't keep pace with the projected data needs of advanced instruments and further human exploration. To break this bottleneck, NASA is turning to optical communications technology that would use lasers to increase data rates over existing systems by anywhere from 10 to 100 times.  Read More

The concept demonstrator system developed by BAE Systems incorporating Body Wearable Anten...

Reliable communications are almost as critical to the modern soldier as their weapons and ammunition. Conventional whip-antennas are not only cumbersome and conspicuous, but they don't always provide a reliable link between a soldier laying on the ground and one standing up. Meanwhile, the short antenna of a portable radio can mean the signal is masked by the user's body. To provide more reliable, continuous 360-degree radio coverage, BAE Systems has developed a series of Body Wearable Antennas (BWAs) that, like the experimental antenna system recently developed at Ohio State University, sees the antennas weaved into the fibers of a uniform.  Read More

Google and the Bletchley Park Trust have announced a fundraising scheme aimed at restoring...

Search giant Google has teamed up with the Bletchley Park Trust to kick start a fundraising effort to rebuild the records center known as Block C. A Google-supported garden party was held within the grounds of the famous WW2 decoding center last week to start off the restoration fund, which aims to transform the now derelict building into a visitor and learning center.  Read More

Lockheed Martin's HALE-D is launched

With the use of airships for passenger transport decreasing in the early 20th century as their capabilities were eclipsed by those of airplanes – coupled with a number of disasters – they were largely resigned to serving as floating billboards or as camera platforms for covering sporting events. But the ability to hover in one place for an extended period of time also makes them ideal for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance purposes, which is why Lockheed Martin has been developing its High Altitude Airship (HAA). The company yesterday launched the first-of-its-kind High Altitude Long Endurance-Demonstrator (HALE-D) to test a number of key technologies critical to development of unmanned airships.  Read More

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