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29
Mar
2016

Reaching for the stars: How lasers could propel spacecraft to relativistic speeds

In a bold but scientifically sound proposal, NASA-funded research has laid out a roadmap toward spacecraft ...

How do you send man-made probes to a nearby star? According to NASA-funded research at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), the answer is simple: assemble a laser array the size of Manhattan in low Earth orbit, and use it to push tiny probes to 26 percent the speed of light. Though the endeavour may raise a few eyebrows, it relies on well-established science – and recent technological breakthroughs have put it within our reach.

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Category: Space

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29
Mar
2016

Brain-like supercomputing platform to explore new frontiers

The 16-chip IBM TrueNorth platform Lawrence Livermore will receive later this week

In the old days, it was common to hear a computer chip referred to as an "electronic brain." Modern chip designs are now making such labels even more apt. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is set to take receipt of a brain-inspired supercomputing platform developed by IBM Research. The first-of-a-kind system is based on a neurosynaptic computer chip known as IBM TrueNorth, and can process the equivalent of 16 million neurons and 4 billion synapses while consuming just 2.5 watts of power.

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Category: Computers

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29
Mar
2016

Great Barrier Reef suffers through worst coral bleaching event on record

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its most severe coral bleaching event on record

Scientists have warned that global warming is hurting Australia's Great Barrier Reef, but a new study has brought to light just how far along the damage might already be. An aerial survey of more than 500 coral reefs making up the system has revealed that almost all have suffered severe bleaching, with the researchers labeling it the worst mass bleaching event in the World Heritage Site's history.

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Category: Environment

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29
Mar
2016

Flying electric scooter aces 46-minute maiden test flight

Thomas Senkel flies Skyrider One on its maiden test flight at La Palma in the Canary ...

The German physicist behind the Evolo manned multicopter and the Volocopter 2-seater has just taken his first flight aboard another remarkable aircraft: a flying electric scooter. Thomas Senkel flew his Skyrider One prototype for some 46 minutes in the idyllic surroundings of the Canary Islands, marking what he believes is the first electric, road-registerable two-wheeler to take to the sky.

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Category: Aircraft

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29
Mar
2016

Lockheed Martin begins probing Space Fence’s radar tech at new test facility

Lockheed Martin will test its Space Fence radar technologies at the New Jersey facility

An overhaul of the system that tracks space junk orbiting the Earth has taken another stride forward, with Lockheed Martin opening a new test site for its Space Fence system. The New Jersey facility will be used as a testbed for the radar array's new technologies, which are expected to boost our awareness of orbital debris by a factor of 10 once they enter operation.

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Category: Space

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29
Mar
2016

Acura MDX gets sport hybrid system, gets a new beak

Acura is trying to give itself a new identity with this car

Honda's luxury offshoot looking to sharpen its identity amidst the huge number of luxury brands out there with the new Acura MDX. Setting the MDX apart from the crowd is a new sport hybrid powertrain and a new grille, which was previewed on the Precision Concept in Detroit and is expected to slowly work its way across the rest of Acura's range.

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Category: Automotive

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28
Mar
2016

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge review: Next-level low-light photography and so much more

The camera in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge is just one of many top-notch features

We can't decide if the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are incredibly easy or incredibly hard to review. They get so many things right that it's easy to sing their praises, but because they're so good and polished, lacking the kinds of gimmicks that used to define Samsung phones, they almost make for a boring review (after all, problems and conflict are the root of all storytelling). We'll do our best to keep things interesting, despite the lack of drama in these two near-perfect flagships.

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Category: Mobile Technology

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28
Mar
2016

Mars drone tech sniffs out methane leaks on Earth

A JPL mini methane gas sensor is flight tested on a small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) ...

Natural gas pipelines stretch for thousands of miles across entire continents and inspecting them for potentially dangerous leaks is a full-time, never-ending job. To take some of the pressure off, NASA is testing a quadcopter equipped with a miniature methane gas sensor originally designed for testing the Martian atmosphere. The space agency says that the exceptional sensitivity of the equipment makes it possible to monitor many miles of pipeline at a time from the air.

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Category: Space

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