Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Electromagnetic

The new RF circulator could revolutionize microminiature communications devices (Photo: Co...

In the world of electronic components, there are many devices out there that do their job well and reliably, but are almost never heard of – even though they may be vital to equipment that plays a role in our technology-driven lives. The radio frequency (RF) circulator is just such a device: it has simply done its job as a nondescript box of gubbins buried in radio communications systems, quietly directing radio frequency signals to the places they should go. Now researchers at the University of Texas have given the RF circulator a makeover. Not only is the new prototype smaller, lighter, and cheaper, it's also claimed to be easily adapted to different frequencies on the fly, which is something the old style circulator cannot do.  Read More

Rosetta has picked up a mysterious 'song' from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (Image: ESA...

On the eve of the planned first landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the unmanned Rosetta orbiter carrying the Philae lander has recorded a "song" emanating from the comet. The electromagnetic melody was detected by the probe’s Rosetta Plasma Consortium, which is a suite of five instruments used to study 67P.  Read More

The Veloloop mounts on the non-drive-side chain stay

If you're a regular bicycle commuter, then you've no doubt experienced the following scenario: you're the only vehicle going in your direction at a controlled intersection, and the light is red, but it won't change to green because the traffic sensors embedded in the asphalt can't register your presence. Well, that's where the Veloloop comes in. It's designed to make those sensors think that your bike is a car.  Read More

An F/A-18C Hornet is launched from a test runway using EMALS (Image: US Navy)

A fighter plane taking off from a strike carrier is a dramatic sight – not the least because of the woosh and plume of steam as the catapult blasts the aircraft into the air. In a few years, such launches may still be dramatic, but they’ll also be a bit quieter and very plume-free. That’s because the US Navy has completed testing of its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS); clearing it for use on the new Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carriers.  Read More

A new technique can detect terahertz waves at room temperature quickly and accurately (Ima...

Researchers at the University of Michigan have found a way to accurately detect electromagnetic waves in the terahertz range by first converting them into sound. The advance opens up new applications ranging from tighter airport security to safer medical imaging.  Read More

​Gene Wess, an Exelis Geospatial Systems engineer, with the long-wave infrared hyperspectr...

Hyperspectral imaging is a bit like super-vision. With it, you can not only see what’s there, but what it’s made of, which is a good thing if you’re looking for bombs, gas leaks, and smuggled nuclear material. Defense and information systems specialist Exelis has announced the successful test of a new airborne long-wave infrared (LWIR), hyperspectral (HSI) sensor that can be aimed in multiple directions and is capable of detecting explosives, gases and dangerous chemicals.  Read More

'La Fenice' makes both traditional Italian espresso and American filter coffee and uses up...

A team of young Italian coffee aficionados has come up with a new concept for a coffee machine, which they claim to be the world's first electromagnetic induction coffee maker. Dubbed "La Fenice," the fully functional prototype makes both traditional Italian espresso and American filter coffee and uses up to 80 percent less energy than most other coffee machines.  Read More

The technology is also built into Kohler's new Cimarron Touchless Toilet

When it comes to things that the germ-conscious want to avoid touching, toilet flush levers likely occupy the top spot. Kohler evidently realizes this, as it now offers a retrofit kit that allows buyers to flush their existing toilet without touching it.  Read More

Lunecase runs off of electromagnetic energy emitted by the iPhone

Smartphone cases are so common that you can pick one up at the supermarket checkout stand, so for one to stand out, it needs something more than a print of a cartoon kitten. Built by Concepter, a company based in Kiev, Ukraine, the Lunecase is s a batteryless, wireless phone case that not only interacts with an iPhone, but also powers itself from the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the device.  Read More

The technology could allow antennas to fit seamlessly into the skins of aircraft and other...

Anyone who’s ever needed a pair of thick eyeglasses has a firm idea that lenses are the one thing where form follows function. However, BAE Systems and Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science in London have put paid to that idea with a flat lens that works like a conventional curved lens, yet without any reduction in bandwidth performance. Using a combination of composite metamaterials and transformational optics for the first time, they have created a lens that's able to bend electromagnetic waves, yet isn't bound by its shape for its function.  Read More

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