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Radar

Bicycles Review

Review: Backtracker radar system for bikes

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

Bicycles

Backtracker radar system warns cyclists of approaching cars

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

Military

WatchStander is made to keep the pirates at bay

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

Science

Two research groups create active invisibility cloaks

Sometimes everything can seem to happen at once. The new game in town is active invisibility cloaks (AIC), which use electronics and antennas to generate a cloaking field to hide an object. Two types of active cloaks have just been revealed (excuse the pun). While being impressive feats of technology, such cloaks could easily be defeated in practice.Read More

Science

Dolphins inspire a new bomb-detecting system

Chances are, you know that dolphins use sonar to locate and stun prey underwater. You might also know that they create "bubble nets," in which they trap fish inside a ring of air bubbles that they blow while swimming in a circle. With all those distracting bubbles suspended in the water, though, their sonar needs to work in a special way in order to pick out the fish. Scientists have copied that sonar system, to create a type of radar that could differentiate between ordinary objects and things like explosive devices. Read More

Science

FINDER detects heartbeats beneath 30 feet of rubble

Sniffer dogs and fiber optic cameras may soon be getting some assistance, when it comes to locating people trapped beneath debris. The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has joined forces with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to create a microwave radar-based system known as Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response – or FINDER. The new technology is able to detect a human heartbeat buried up to 30 feet (9 meters) under assorted rubble. Read More

Military

Office of Naval Research uses UAVs to study radio propagation

Radio has come a long way since Marconi bashed a telegraph key and radar is a miracle compared to when it was just a squiggle on a cathode tube, but despite a century of advances, they’re still prone to the same problems as the first pioneers encountered. For five days in July, the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Research Vessel (R/V) Knorr made a survey in the waters off Virginia Beach, Virginia using ScanEagle UAVs to study the effect of oceanic and atmospheric changes on radar and radio waves with the aim of producing more secure military communications and improve the ability of radar to detect hostile craft.Read More

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