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Communications

— Space

Royal Academy of Engineering says UK better prepared for solar superstorm

By - February 12, 2013 5 Pictures
Britain is better prepared for a solar superstorm than many countries, including the United States. The Royal Academy of Engineering has released a multi-disciplinary report on space weather’s impact on Britain, as part of the UK National Risk Assessment. The declassified portion of the assessment shows the level of UK preparedness in the face of severe solar storms, and outlines the dangers Earth faces from superstorms and how to avoid or mitigate damage. Read More

Sun will cause pause in Mars exploration in April

NASA is taking an enforced holiday of sorts in April as it suspends Mars exploration missions for 17 to 21 days. This isn't due to budget cuts, but rather because Mars will be in conjunction with the Sun during April, which will make direct communications with the probes difficult, if not impossible. Read More
— Space

NASA sends Mona Lisa to the Moon

By - January 21, 2013 9 Pictures
High art recently met high tech as NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) received an image of the Mona Lisa via laser. Traveling about 240,000 miles (386,000 km), the image was sent to the probe in lunar orbit using a laser beamed from NASA’s Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) station at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland as a demonstration of lasers as a deep-space communications tool. Read More

Boeing to upgrade survivor locator devices for U.S. Airforce

Boeing has been awarded contracts worth US$13.6 million to upgrade the U.S. Air Force’s Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL) radio and the CSEL ultrahigh frequency (UHF) base stations that support it. The purpose of the contract is to bring the personal survival radio and the CSEL network in line with the latest Information Assurance standards to protect them against jamming and other interference by hostile forces. Read More
— Science

ISS astronauts control robot on Earth via "interplanetary internet"

By - November 14, 2012 5 Pictures
The internet has changed a great deal of modern society, and now it promises to change space exploration as well. In late October, International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams used a NASA-developed laptop aboard the station to control a LEGO Mindstorm robot, located at the European Space Agency (ESA) European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Using a “space internet,” she was able to control the robot in real time despite being in orbit at an altitude of 230 miles (370 km). Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Casio device lets scuba divers converse underwater

By - November 13, 2012 2 Pictures
Ordinarily, if scuba divers want to talk to one another underwater, they have to wear special full-face masks that leave their mouths unobstructed by the regulator. Such masks are pricey and a bit cumbersome, however, so they’re usually only used by professional divers. Today, however, Casio announced the development of a new type of underwater voice communications device that works with plain old “eyes-and-nose-only” dive masks. Read More
— Automotive

Volvo joins the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium

By - November 6, 2012 5 Pictures
Automakers such as Honda, GM, Audi, BMW and Daimler have already done it, now Volvo has too – it’s joined the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium. The aim of the project is to establish a standard system that would allow vehicles to wirelessly communicate with one another, regardless of make or model. If the system works as planned, it should reduce accidents, improve traffic flow, and just generally make driving a more enjoyable experience. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

"Like-A-Hug" concept makes Facebook warm and cuddly

By - October 8, 2012 1 Picture
The internet allows us to communicate more easily than ever, but however many Facebook friends you have, there’s no substitute for a real hug – or at least there wasn’t until recently. Like-A-Hug is a concept social media vest which reacts to Facebook "likes" and posts on your wall, inflating to give you a “hug” on every such interaction. Wearers of the vest can embrace themselves in order to cause another person sporting a Like-A-Hug vest to get a hug, too. Read More
— Science

Bi-Fi: New cell-to-cell communication process could revolutionize bioengineering

By - September 30, 2012 2 Pictures
The internet has revolutionized global communications and now researchers at Standford University are looking to provide a similar boost to bioengineering with a new process dubbed “Bi-Fi.” The technology uses an innocuous virus called M13 to increase the complexity and amount of information that can be sent from cell to cell. The researchers say the Bi-Fi could help bioengineers create complex, multicellular communities that work together to carry out important biological functions. Read More
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