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Category: Aerospace Engineering

Tiny, fast, accurate technology on the radar

The new device is compact: it fits into a 10-centimeter box, weighs less than 150 grams and is powered by a 5V battery. Credit: KAUST A tiny, portable radar device could allow visually impaired people, or unmanned moving devices to detect objects in real time. Radar technology has been used for decades in aviation, defense and speed-camera technology. Now, a team at KAUST, in collaboration with scientists at the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, have created a compact, low-cost…

Embracing papercuts | Dropbox Tech Blog

We’ve all seen “helicopter parents,” hovering over their kids to catch them at the slightest inclination they might fall. We swear we’d never do that, that we’d give our kids room to grow and learn from mistakes. Then we become tech leads and turn into the worst kind of “helicopter leaders.” I was certainly guilty of micromanagement. It started with code reviews, commenting on every minor issue I could find. Hey, just setting a high quality bar. Then it moved to second-guessing…

What Earth’s gravity reveals about climate change — ScienceDaily

On March 17, 2002, the German-US satellite duo GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) were launched to map the global gravitational field with unprecedented precision. After all, the mission lasted a good 15 years — more than three times as long as expected. When the two satellites burnt up in the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018, respectively, they had recorded the Earth’s gravitational field and its changes over time in more than 160 months.…

Hubble peers at cosmic blue bauble — ScienceDaily

Globular clusters are inherently beautiful objects, but the subject of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, Messier 3, is commonly acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful of them all. Containing an incredible half-million stars, this 8-billion-year-old cosmic bauble is one of the largest and brightest globular clusters ever discovered. However, what makes Messier 3 extra special is its unusually large population of variable stars — stars that fluctuate in brightness over time. New variable stars continue to be…

A Jetsons future? Assessing the role of flying cars in sustainable mobility — ScienceDaily

In the 1960s animated sitcom The Jetsons, George Jetson commutes to work in his family-size flying car, which miraculously transforms into a briefcase at the end of the trip. A new study of the environmental sustainability impacts of flying cars, formally known as electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or VTOLs, finds that they wouldn’t be suitable for a Jetsons-style short commute. However, VTOLs — which combine the convenience of vertical takeoff and landing like a helicopter with the efficient…

Astronomers find evidence of a planet with a mass almost 13 times that of Jupiter — ScienceDaily

In the past three decades, almost 4,000 planet-like objects have been discovered orbiting isolated stars outside the Solar System (exoplanets). Beginning in 2011, it was possible to use NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope to observe the first exoplanets in orbit around young binary systems of two live stars with hydrogen still burning in their core. Brazilian astronomers have now found the first evidence of the existence of an exoplanet orbiting an older or more evolved binary in which one of the…

Researchers tap rare pristine air to reveal pollution’s impact — ScienceDaily

Five years ago, researchers spent three hours packed aboard a steamy Gulfstream-1 research aircraft as it zig-zagged between pristine air over the Amazon rainforest and polluted air nearby. It was like a trip back (and forth) through time, as scientists weaved between the two vastly different settings, snagging air samples characteristic of today’s industrial environment as well as samples of unpolluted air, like that before the industrial age. An international team of scientists led by Manish Shrivastava of the U.S.…

Saturn’s rings coat tiny moons — ScienceDaily

New findings have emerged about five tiny moons nestled in and near Saturn’s rings. The closest-ever flybys by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveal that the surfaces of these unusual moons are covered with material from the planet’s rings — and from icy particles blasting out of Saturn’s larger moon Enceladus. The work paints a picture of the competing processes shaping these mini-moons. “The daring, close flybys of these odd little moons let us peer into how they interact with Saturn’s rings,”…

Data flows from NASA’s TESS Mission, leads to discovery of Saturn-sized planet — ScienceDaily

Astronomers who study stars are providing a valuable assist to the planet-hunting astronomers pursuing the primary objective of NASA’s new TESS Mission. In fact, asteroseismologists — stellar astronomers who study seismic waves (or “starquakes”) in stars that appear as changes in brightness — often provide critical information for finding the properties of newly discovered planets. This teamwork enabled the discovery and characterization of the first planet identified by TESS for which the oscillations of its host star can be measured.…

Pioneering medical drone program takes off in North Carolina

A pioneering use of drones to fly blood samples across a North Carolina hospital campus launched Tuesday in the latest move to expand their roles in business and health care. The short trips between WakeMed buildings in Raleigh mark the first time the Federal Aviation Administration has allowed regular commercial flights of drones carrying products, according to UPS and drone company Matternet, which partnered with the hospital on the program. “This is a turning point, and it’s an historic…