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Transmission

Artist's concept of LADEE entering lunar orbit (Image: NASA)

NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) experiment made history yesterday as it beamed data back to Earth from lunar orbit at previously unheard of speed for a space mission. Operating from the LADEE lunar orbiter, the LLCD used lasers to transmit data to Earth at 622 megabits per second (Mbps) as a demonstration of a technology that NASA hopes will one day not only keep up with the communications demands of future missions, but also greatly enhance their capabilities.  Read More

The research took place at the German Aerospace Center (Photo: DLR)

For the first time, quantum cryptographers have successfully transmitted a quantum key from a fast-moving object – a Dornier 228 turboprop. The experiment involved sending a secure message from the aircraft to a ground station via laser beam, and can be considered a significant step toward the creation of a network of “unbreakable” satellite data transmissions.  Read More

Ford and GM are developing a new generation of transmissions

Over the course of the past several years, German manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen has introduced 8- and 9-speed transmissions. Vehicle models from the likes of Chrysler and Land Rover have made use of the new hardware, touting fuel economy gains and other advantages. Now, the other two major Detroit auto manufacturers are teaming up to develop 9-speed transmissions of their own, and they're taking it one step further: 10-speed transmissions.  Read More

The Pinion P1.18 sealed gearbox for bikes is an alternative to derailleurs or hub transmis...

Rear derailleurs are problematic, particularly on mountain bikes. They get bent, they get gunked up, and they’re exposed to the elements. While sealed hub transmissions lack these problems, not all of them have axles that are strong enough for multi-terrain use, they add revolving weight, and that weight is added in the back of the bike – not low and in the middle, where you want it. German company Pinion has developed what it claims is something better ... a sealed gearbox located adjacent to the bottom bracket.  Read More

The Range Rover Evoque, with the world's first 9-speed gearbox

Land Rover has announced that it will demonstrate the world's first nine-speed automatic transmission for a passenger car at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The ZF HP9 9-speed gearbox has a higher top gear in a more compact design, in order to fit in the same space as conventional 6-speed transmissions. According to Land Rover, it will also provide smoother gear shifts with improved accelerations and lower fuel consumption.  Read More

Honda's new continuously variable transmission is coming to mid-sized cars

Honda has long championed the continuously variable transmission (CVT) and while this has in the past been largely a technology suited to small cars and even scooters, the Japanese car giant is now thinking bigger.  Read More

Muscle cars may have been built on manual transmission technology, but automatics have cau...

The 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 - the most powerful production Camaro ever - will make use of the latest iteration of TapShift technology. This automated transmission option allows drivers to move through gears using paddle shifters. The updated 2012 TapShift system creates faster shifts, that make the automatic Camaro quicker to 60 mph ( 96.5 km/h) than the manual version. While the transmission choice for a muscle car as fast and powerful as the ZL1 would traditionally have been obvious in the past (manual all the way), GM's updated TapShift technology makes a strong case for the automatic.  Read More

Oerlikon Graziano has come up with an innovative a range of transmissions, including a mec...

In a move that should see the humble agricultural equipment of the future both cleaner and more efficient, Oerlikon Graziano - a supplier to the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini - has come up with an innovative a range of transmissions, including a mechanical continuously variable transmission (CVT) for small tractors. Released at Agritechnica in Germany last month, these new drive-trains are claimed to provide higher road speeds and be easier to operate so that the equipment can get to its work site much quicker without the need for a float or trailer.  Read More

Toyota's GT 86

Toyota will be officially showing its GT 86 sports car in Tokyo, after several years of concept cars and redesigns and extensive collaboration with Subaru, which will sell an almost identical car. The compact 2+2 sports car is an incredibly important release from the world's largest auto manufacturer, which is hoping to bolster its reputation by creating a superb handling, driver-focused, low center of gravity, beautifully balanced with excellent power-to-weight ratio. The front-mounted 197bhp Subaru 2.0-litre flat-four has rear wheel drive, goes on sale mid-2012 and is expected to sell below GBP30,000 in the UK to "those for whom driving is a passion, not a necessity."  Read More

Honda announces next generation motorcycle engines with outstanding fuel economy and useab...

In a raft of announcements, Honda has developed a highly fuel-efficient, very torquey 700cc twin cylinder engine with a second-generation Dual Clutch Transmission which it will show in three different motorcycle designs at the EICMA 2011 International Motorcycle Exhibition in November in Milan, Italy. The motor will also be paired with a manual six-speed transmission in at least one of those bikes and as it delivers better than 3.7 l/100km and its motor is designed for on-road usability, it is almost certainly the first bike designed for western markets to take advantage of the world's coming gas crisis. Also on display will be Honda's new 125 engine which will be used in its 125cc scooters around the world starting next year and contains an idle-stop system and delivers 25% better fuel economy than current generation scooter engines. Both the 700cc and 125cc engines contain considerable technological wizardry to achieve their goals.  Read More

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