Photokina 2014 highlights

Ice

The NB 508 (aka the Baltika) crashes through the ice side-on (Image: Arctech Helsinki Ship...

Given that icebreakers clear a path for other ships by traveling through the ice head-on (or sometimes butt-on), then in order for one of them to clear a wider path, it would have to be wider and thus larger overall ... right? Well, Finland’s Arctech Helsinki Shipyard is taking a different, more efficient approach. It’s in the process of building an asymmetric-hulled icebreaker that can increase its frontal area, by making its way through the ice at an angle of up to 30 degrees.  Read More

The ON-WINGS system being lab-tested

On most aircraft ice-detection systems, the sensors can’t be located right on the aerofoil surfaces that most need to be kept ice-free – the addition of a protruding sensor would ruin their aerodynamics. Now, however, UK-based GKN Aerospace has announced the new ON-WINGS system. It mounts completely flush with the skin of the aircraft, allowing it to be integrated directly onto wings, rotor blades, or anyplace else that needs to be kept sleek and free of ice.  Read More

NASA's high altitude ice cloud test rig being readied for action (Photo: NASA)

About once a month on average, an incident is reported in which turbofan jet engines flying at high-altitude lose power. The pilots report that there is little if any bad weather that might explain the power loss and although uncommon, this fault is potentially disastrous. The culprit is called ice crystal icing, and NASA scientists are making progress in understanding the problem using a world first test facility that creates an artificial ice cloud similar to that encountered by planes at high altitudes.  Read More

The GT-R captures Russia's ice speed record

The Nissan GT-R really didn't need a new speed record to remind us that it's a lotta car for a little buck – we remember that every time we look at its specs. But, in conjunction with LAV Productions company, Nissan went ahead and brought a specially outfitted GT-R to one of the coldest, least hospitable places on earth – Siberia – and returned with a new ice speed record.  Read More

PinPin design studio has created an impressive suite entitled ‘Beam Me Up’ as part of the ...

The Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden has once again opened its doors for a spectacular twenty-third season. Located 2010 km north of the Arctic Circle, the winter hotel is constructed entirely of ice and snow and features artist designed suites which this year include a UFO-inspired creation from PinPin design studio.  Read More

Ultra smooth SLIPS (Slippery Liquid Porous Surfaces) developed at Harvard University could...

Although advances in refrigeration technology means we don’t need to defrost the freezer as often as we used to, many of us are still forced to carry out the task on a regular basis lest we find the frosty walls closing in to claim that tub of ice cream. Now a team from Harvard University has developed ultra smooth slippery surfaces that prevent ice sheets from developing by allowing even tiny drops of condensation or frost to simply slide off. As well as keeping freezers frost-free, the technology could be used to prevent ice build up on metal surfaces in wind turbines, marine vessels, and aircraft.  Read More

Nestle is using research on ice crystals from an avalanche research center in Switzerland ...

Ice cream and avalanches are two subjects that usually only fit together in a child's dreams, but Nestle is now looking at how research on one could help in making the other. The food company recently teamed up with an avalanche research center in Switzerland to study how ice crystals grow within ice cream as it sits in the freezer. Typically these crystals dilute the flavor of the ice cream while also making it harder to scoop and eat. By using the center's equipment and research with their own products, Nestle hopes to develop a method for slowing the ice growth and produce a creamy dessert that will retain its taste and texture much longer.  Read More

Unavailability is an achingly simple piece of design, functioning as a folding fishing hut...

Simply called Unavailability, this achingly simple piece of design is a one-man wooden-framed fold-up fishing hut with chicken wire-mesh walls that can be packed with ice by the user to keep out the wind while letting in light.  Read More

The Korkers Ice Jack is the heaviest winter boot in the line

Snow, slush, glop, black ice, slick ice, chunder ... no matter how grippy and surefooted your winter boot outsoles are, one of those surfaces is sure to have you grabbing desperately at the air as your backside prepares for a bruising. That’s especially true if the sole doesn’t include any type of metal traction cleats or bars. Korkers attempts to provide the perfect traction in all situations by offering an interchangeable outsole system with its boots. You can adjust your soles for snow, ice and more ice.  Read More

The photovoltaic panels and concrete panels (background) being used in the experimental so...

When it comes to keeping airport runways clear of ice, there are several options, including the use of chemical, thermal, electric and microwave technologies. All of these methods can be expensive, as they require either a considerable amount of electricity, or a number of human workers. Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas, however, are developing a new system that would use the freely-available power of the Sun to keep runways from freezing up.  Read More

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