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Weather

One of Prof. Mohseni's 'hurricane drones'

When we think of aircraft that study hurricanes, most of us probably either picture powerful manned airplanes that fly straight through them, or perhaps unmanned drones that fly safely over them. The University of Florida’s Prof. Kamran Mohseni has something else in mind, however. He’s developing tiny unmanned aircraft – and submarines – that will be swept up with the hurricane, gathering data on the strength and path of the storm as they go.  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 Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera, or MASC, is able to capture 3D photos of individual snow...

Falling snow can play havoc with radar systems, so the more that we know about the manner in which snow falls, the better that those systems can be equipped to compensate for it. That’s why for the past three years, researchers from the University of Utah have been developing a device known as the Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera – or MASC. Using three cameras and two motion sensors, it captures 3D photos of snowflakes in free-fall.  Read More

The Hail Protector inflates to protect against hail damage

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, approximately 250,000 cars are damaged by hail every year in the U.S. alone. The average cost of repair comes in at just over US$3,100, so what’s a person to do to protect their vehicle when rain takes the form of ice sculpted golf balls? The obvious solution – airbag the car.  Read More

The Rukus XL unveiled at CES 2013 joins Eton's Rukus line

At CES Unveiled, we had the chance to sit down with Etón, a company that builds products for entertainment and safety that can rely on hand cranks or solar power to keep them running. In addition to the FRX series and the Rukus and Rukus Solar it was also spruiking at last year's show, the company is displaying its new ZoneGuard series alongside a couple of additions to its Rukus line and the new BoostSolar Mobile Charging Solution.  Read More

The Nebula 12 concept produces indoor clouds based on the current weather forecast data ob...

Zurich’s Micasa Lab, the team responsible for the iRock and Cocoon 1, has developed yet another off-the-wall concept with the Nebula 12. Like the art of Berndnaut Smilde, the Nebula 12 concept produces indoor clouds, but Micasa Lab has gone one step further by using meteorological data so that it provides a representation of the forecast weather.  Read More

Wind patterns in Gale Crater, with Curiosity's position marked by an X (Image: NASA/JPL-Ca...

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now sending back weather reports and radiation measurements. Using the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) instrument built by Spain’s Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB), the nuclear-powered robot has been taking measurements of atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind speed and other factors to better understand the Martian environment in hopes of finding out whether life could still exist on the Red Planet.  Read More

Space shuttle Enterprise after Hurricane Sandy passed – the inflated display pavilion has ...

Although there is as yet no official confirmation, it appears that the Space Shuttle Enterprise, recently moved to a permanent home in New York City, was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.  Read More

A PNIPAM mat, shown on the right, keeps a model house cooler than a mat made from conventi...

We're used to the thought of humans sweating to cool down, but what about buildings? Researchers at ETH Zurich have applied the biological cooling mechanism to the task of keeping a building cool, and in the process have hit upon a novel and inexpensive method of cooling houses which could prove useful for homes in both developed and emerging nations.  Read More

The first of the two Global Hawks, coming in for a landing in Virginia last Friday (Photo:...

There’s only so much that we can learn about hurricanes by looking at them from the ground, or by observing them using distant satellites. Aircraft, on the other hand, give researchers an aerial view of the weather systems, while also allowing for direct measurements of variables such as temperature and humidity – the one catch is, would you want to be in a plane that was circling over a hurricane? Probably not. That’s one of the reasons why NASA is using Global Hawk UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to study hurricanes off the east coast of the U.S.  Read More

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