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Category: Computer Engineering

Image: Drone antenna test

Credit: ESA–G. Porter, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO This 6 m-wingspan unmanned aircraft is supported in mid-air within ESA’s Hertz radio-frequency test chamber, as if suspended in flight, to check it can maintain contact with its controller through satellite links. The drone, developed by Barnard Microsystems Ltd of the UK, has been fitted with a steerable array antenna in its wing to keep contact with the Inmarsat constellation. This is the focus of ESA’s ESTARR project – Electronically Steered Antenna Array…

Mobile control with facial gestures

Test person with EarFS prototype controlling the mobile phone using facial gestures. Credit: © Photo Fraunhofer IGD Mobile devices play an increasingly important role in our lives; in some situations, though, they cannot be adequately managed and even accepting a call is a real challenge. In a study, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD in Rostock, Germany have evaluated which alternative control concepts are suitable to supplement the conventional use of mobile devices. EarFieldSensing (EarFS), the…

Defect-free coatings for silicon spheres

Inside the ALD coating plant at the Fraunhofer IST: the coating chamber for three-dimensional objects. Credit: © Photo Fraunhofer IST The prototype kilogram – to which all scales are calibrated to – is losing weight. International efforts are striving to redefine the base unit for measuring mass and, in future, redefine the kilogram on natural constants. For this purpose, the Avogadro experiment determines the number of atoms in almost perfect silicon spheres. Fraunhofer researchers have recently succeeded in homogeneously coating…

Three little tools: mmsum, mmwatch, mmhistogram

In a recent blog post, my colleague Marek talked about some SSDP-based DDoS activity we’d been seeing recently. In that blog post he used a tool called mmhistogram to output an ASCII histogram. That tool is part of a small suite of command-line tools that can be handy when messing with data. Since a reader asked for them to be open sourced… here they are. mmhistogram Suppose you have the following CSV of the ages of major Star Wars characters…

Bridges in Austria often exceed expectations

Patrick Huber and Tobias Huber, performing experiments. Credit: Technische Universität Wien Assessing old bridges using modern standards is no mean feat. Studies conducted by TU Wien show that many bridges are actually significantly more stable than might be expected, often rendering costly restoration work unnecessary. Deciding which bridges need to be restored in the near future and which are still in good condition can have extremely expensive repercussions. Many of the prestressed concrete bridges in Central Europe were constructed in…

Update on The Yield Curve

From the New York Times: “That is probably not what most people want to hear — stock investors especially. In the first half of the year, after all, stocks have performed spectacularly. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index returned 9 percent through June, churning out gains so regularly that it may seem churlish to note that clouds are appearing on the horizon. Yet like a long-range forecast about a possible storm, an old and trusted financial indicator is telling us that…