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— Space

NASA to test atomic clock to keep space missions on time

If you thought the Apple watch was something to write home about, take a look at NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC). This miniaturized, ultra-precise mercury-ion atomic clock is described by the space agency as "orders of magnitude more stable than today's best navigational clocks," and is smaller and more accurate than any that's been previously sent into space. In 2016, it will fly on a test mission to demonstrate a technology that NASA sees as key to a number of high-priority Earth-orbit and deep space missions. Read More
— Space

Precision planetary lander technology tested by NASA

In anticipation of more ambitious planetary missions, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, in collaboration with Masten Space Systems in Mojave, California, has recently been testing new landing technologies using an Autonomous Descent and Ascent Powered-flight Testbed (ADAPT). Aimed at developing new systems for landing on Mars and other planets with much greater precision, a new imaging landing system and algorithm were tested using the demonstration vehicle on two successful flights. Read More
— Drones

Insect-inspired eye may allow drones to navigate their environment more naturally

Most modern aircraft, cruise missiles, spacecraft – in fact, almost all flying vehicles – use an accelerometer for flight stabilization. Living creatures that fly, on the other hand, rely on their own innate sense of balance determined by environmental observation and inbuilt organ-based systems. Now French researchers have designed a bio-inspired, sight-based system that could be used in conjunction with accelerometers to vastly increase the autonomous capabilities of drones by endowing them with more natural flying abilities. Read More
— Automotive

Porsche offering retrofit navigation system for classic cars

As cars become more sophisticated, drivers have been able to say farewell to many of the challenges that driving used to hold – from power steering to sat-nav, cars are making it easier than ever to get from A to B. Porsche has decided that owners of its classic cars deserve some of this high-tech help, and has designed a sat-nav system to fit into the dash of cars dating back to the 1960's. Read More
— Drones

Quick look: Parrot drones and 'phones, screens and greens

Though it was surrounded by an absolute ocean of cool technology at the greater Consumer Electronics Show, French electronics manufacturer Parrot managed to stand out with the diversity and breadth of its booth. It showcased the latest drones, aftermarket vehicle infotainment systems, wireless sport-tracking headphones, and even a smart flower pot. Step through the door and experience Parrot's latest, most innovative products for yourself. Read More
— Military

DARPA puts out call for super-agile UAVs

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are the eyes in the skies for soldiers and disaster relief crews, but despite over a century of aviation progress, they still leave a lot to be desired and close quarters are very difficult for them to navigate on their own. To make UAVs more practical in debris-strewn areas, DARPA's Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program aims to develop algorithms that will allow autonomous fliers to negotiate obstacles as easily as a bird of prey. Read More
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