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Radar

A team of astronomers combining radio data from the Green Bank Telescope, West Virginia, and data from the radar transmitter at the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, have compiled a stunning new view of Venus. Often described as Earth's twin due to its similar proportions, capturing high quality images of the inhospitable planet has traditionally been a challenging prospect thanks to extreme atmospheric conditions. However, by combining observations from the instruments to create a more complete picture of Venus, astronomers can begin to observe how this enigmatic celestial object evolves over time. Read More
A new driverless vehicle that should soon be available for the public to use has been unveiled in the UK. The Lutz Pathfinder is an autonomous pod that is designed to drive on pavements and in pedestrianized areas. Once successfully trialed, the pods will transport people around the city of Milton Keynes. Read More

Even when a crowdfunding project doesn't meet its financial goal, it can still turn out to be a success. A case in point is iKubu Ltd's Backtracker, a car-detecting low-power radar system for bicycles. Although the South African startup's fund-raising campaign on Dragon Innovation didn't work out, electronics giant Garmin has now bought the company. Read More

BAE Systems is in the process of developing and testing a next-generation radar system for the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Captor E-Scan, fitted in the nose-cone of the fighter, boasts a number of improvements over other Active Electronically Scanned Arrays (AESAs), including a wider field of regard and the provision of advanced electronic warfare protection. Read More
Sentinel-1A, the first of a planned fleet of ESA satellites central to the European Commission's Copernicus environmental monitoring program, has begun its operational life. Following the completion of its commissioning and transfer to the team in charge of its operation, users now have access to data from the satellite, which will provide all-weather, day and night radar imaging for land and ocean services. Read More
Trucks today are big and getting bigger, and even with cameras and superior spatial awareness, the operators of these leviathans can never be totally aware of potential collision hazards, especially when turning. To help alleviate this problem, Daimler, the truck division of Mercedes-Benz, has introduced a radar-based system that alerts the truck driver of imminent collision danger from anywhere on the entire unobservable portion of the vehicle. Read More
Earlier this month, we first heard about a radar system for cyclists, known as the Backtracker. In a nutshell, it emits radar pulses to the rear of the bike, then warns the rider when it detects vehicles approaching from behind. Although it's not yet commercially available, I recently had the chance to try out a pre-production review unit. It definitely shows promise, but could perhaps use one tweak. Read More
Cycling on the highway can definitely be a risky business. If riders are distracted or have the wind in their ears, vehicles rapidly approaching from behind can be almost right on top of them before being noticed. Gadgets such as mirrors and rear-view cameras can help, although riders still have to think to check them. The Backtracker, however, uses a radar signal to automatically alert cyclists whenever a car is closing in on them. Read More
Today's ships are equipped with radar systems that let them identify other ships from a distance, and while that works well enough for collision avoidance, those systems aren't the greatest at detecting small watercraft ... such as the low-slung skiffs often used by pirates. That's where WatchStander comes in. It's a radar system that's designed to pick out such boats, and then deter their crews before they can attack. Read More
Despite being in orbit for less than two months, the ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite is already showing its worth in the humanitarian sphere by aiding with relief efforts in the Balkans, where flood waters are estimated to have killed dozens, leaving thousands more displaced. Read More
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