In 1983, engineers at General Electric experimented with an "unducted fan" engine. Without the external casing, airflow through the blades increased, delivering more power for the same amount of fuel. The thing was loud, but the company pressed on because the trick could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 26 percent. Then fuel prices dropped, gas guzzling became acceptable, and GE mothballed the project. Now that airlines are again conscious of fuel costs and carbon, the idea is back, and new tech is making it feasible.
As part of its grand new plan, the FCC is making a major push to involve and inform the public. RSS feeds, a blog, and a Twitter account have all made relatively recent appearances, along with a home broadband speed test. To better help the public understand the current frequency allocations, the FCC has also rolled out several great new interactive tools on their website for "reviewing how spectrum bands are allocated and for what uses, and who holds licenses and in what areas."
After cost overruns, a series of delays, and almost a decade of hype, the F-35 Lighting finally performed a vertical landing for the first time. Yesterday at 1 P.M., after descending from a 150-foot-high hover, the test plane touched down on the tarmac at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. This is a significant step forward for the F-35, as its vertical takeoff and landing capability are crucial to the fighter's role as a replacement for the aging Harrier jet.
It will probably take another decade to perfect the sophisticated rocket and life-support technology needed to put a human on Mars. But once we’re there, NASA may use centuries-old technology to keep us from getting lost during a stroll.
This morning in Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider successfully ramped its twin proton beams up to 3.5 TeV for the first time. This is the highest energy a particle accelerator has ever achieved. The next step: collide the two beams, at a combined energy of 7 TeV.
Powerful X-ray lasers may allow scientists to image tiny drug molecules or even precisely target cancer cells, but the lasers require extremely high-quality mirrors to function well. Now researchers have created a nearly-flawless diamond that can do the job, according to Discovery News.
Prisoners pose an age-old dilemma for societies: try to keep them separated from the good citizenry while possibly easing some of the black sheep back into the fold. Now Malaysian architecture students have hit upon the solution of a sky prison city that allows prisoners to work in farms and factories to contribute to the host city below, CNET reports.
Measuring sensors and actuators can turn any old hip implant into a smart network that helps patients avoid implant problems and may even actively regenerate bone. This "smart hip" system has already been demonstrated successfully on animals.
A current prototype allows physicians to activate the "smart hip" via wireless Bluetooth and a computer. The network of actuators which help stimulate bone growth at the implant's surface has also undergone tests in cell studies as well as animals.
Buildings or commercial jetliners could soon get a protective coating of shatter-resistant armor similar to the material lining abalone shells. Finnish researchers have developed the lightweight reinforcement so that people can simply paint it on whatever structure, reports Technology Review.
By Carina StorrsPosted 03.18.2010 at 10:50 am 9 Comments
After cardiac arrest, lowering someone’s body temperature can prevent life-threatening brain damage. It’s so critical that New York City requires ambulances to take some patients up to 20 minutes out of the way to hospitals with cooling equipment. EMTs could improve patients’ chances further using RhinoChill, a new portable nose spray that cools the brain on the scene.