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Fraunhofer

Micrograph of the 240 GHz transceiver chip, which measures only 1.5 x 4 mm (Photo: Sandra ...

If you thought 5G wireless was fast at one Gbit/s, how does 40 Gbit/s sound? That's the new wireless data transmission record set by a team of engineers in Germany using integrated solid state mm-wave transceivers. This data transmission rate was demonstrated over a distance of 1 km (0.6 miles) and it is hoped that such links could be used to close gaps between optical networks in rural areas at a fraction of the cost of installing optical fiber.  Read More

Scientists in Germany have developed a protective glove that warns lab workers of toxic su...

Laboratories that deal with dangerous chemicals devote a lot of time and money to ensuring the work environment is safe. Since many toxic substances lack a noticeable smell or color, the trick is finding a detection method that alerts employees to their presence as quickly and clearly as possible. Scientists at the the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies may have found a simple answer to that problem in the form of a protective glove that immediately changes color when it comes into contact with hazardous materials.  Read More

Cars and lasers, together again (Photo: pop culture geek)

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques have come up with a car-mounted laser scanner the size of a shoe box, that can survey the contours of road surfaces at speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph). The system detects potholes and other road damage in need of repair. According to the Institute, the Pavement Profile Scanner (or PPS) has surveyed 15,000 km of road since mid-2012, in which time it has proven cheaper, faster and more accurate than existing systems which require hefty attachments to the carrier vehicle.  Read More

The new batteries were developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technol...

Technology has advanced markedly since the dawn of the silicon age, but our portable gadgets and gizmos are still largely held back by the limitations of their power source. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden report progress in this regard, with the development of a new longer-lasting lithium-sulfur battery that has the potential to outperform lithium-ion batteries, at a lower cost.  Read More

Some of Fraunhofer's printed thermoelectric generators, wrapped around a sample component

Thermoelectric materials, putting it simply, are able to generate electricity via differences in temperature. If thermoelectric felt were used to make a jacket, for instance, it could generate a current using the temperature gradient between the warm interior and cold exterior of the garment. Like many such promising technologies, however, the cost of thermoelectrics is something of an issue ... although thanks to a new process developed at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology, that might not be the case for much longer.  Read More

Fraunhofer's W-band radar is equipped with a three-channel antenna with dielectric lenses ...

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) have developed a lightweight, compact radar that can “see” through non-transparent materials and whiteout snow conditions. The compact radar operates at frequencies of 75 to 110 GHz in the millimeter range W-band of the radio spectrum. Radars at this frequency can not only identify small objects up to three kilometers (1.8 miles) away, but they can also penetrate all manner of non-transparent, dielectric, and non-metallic materials, such as clothing, plastic surfaces, paper, wood, snow and fog.  Read More

AiQ's BioMan fabric monitors vital signs such as heart rate, respiration and skin temperat...

Wearable electronics like headphones and watches have long been a common inclusion in many an active person's tech cache. Such devices roll the function of electronics into a comfortable, ergonomic package that can travel far distances at fast speeds. The next generation of wearable electronics will become even more wearable and functional, shedding some of the bulky casing and integrating directly into clothing. From smart socks to hot jackets, the future of technology is molding itself around your body.  Read More

Washed up dead seaweed known as Neptune balls is being converted into building insulation ...

If you live near the Mediterranean Sea, you might be familiar with little balls of seaweed that regularly wash up on the beach. These come from the Posidonia oceanica plant (better known as Neptune grass), and are generally thought of as a nuisance. Now, however, Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology is involved in a project that’s converting the little balls into high-quality building insulation.  Read More

The biometric “on-card comparison” system compares a signature against one stored on the c...

If you watch a handwriting expert authenticate a signature, they will talk about echoes of the process of signing one's name – darker or lighter lines reveal pressure variations, the shape of the loops reveals the shaking of the hand, and the flow of the ink shows if the signature was laid down without hesitation. These echoes of the act of writing make a signature far more revealing than a simple squiggle on paper. Now researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) have created a credit card that contains a thorough description of these signature traits, which can be used for instant authentication.  Read More

German researchers have developed a special handle for surgical tools that lights up to wa...

New technology may be ushering in the age of robotic surgery, but there is still a role for cutting-edge electronics to play in augmenting a surgeon's natural talents. The latest example of this comes from Germany, where researchers have proposed a way for doctors to operate using their own standard instruments by developing a special handle that fits on most surgical tools and lights up to indicate when enough pressure has been used during a procedure.  Read More

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