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And the winner is… ‘Colouring water’ -- Courtesy of M.A. Richardson – click to enlarge

And the Winner is… Colouring Water

May 27, 2015 2:26 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

‘Colouring Water’ — a photograph by Michael Angelo Richardson from the Netherlands — has won the top prize in the Sentinel-2 Colour Vision photo competition. Richardson will receive a trip to the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), the European Space Agency (ESA)’s operations center in Darmstadt, Germany, as a guest at the VIP event on the night of the Sentinel-2A launch. The satellite is scheduled for liftoff on a Vega rocket...

Intelligent Handheld Robots Have the Skills

May 26, 2015 3:52 pm | by University of Bristol | News | Comments

What if handheld tools know what needs to be done and were even able to guide and help...

New Technology could Fundamentally Change Future Wireless Communications

May 20, 2015 2:06 pm | by University of Bristo | News | Comments

Radio systems, such as mobile phones and wireless Internet connections, have become an integral...

Journey to Space in a Vacuum Chamber

May 20, 2015 9:07 am | by NASA | News | Comments

When you need to test hardware designed to operate in the vast reaches of space, you start in a...

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Now, engineers and physicists at the University of Pennsylvania have shown how liquid crystals can be employed to create compound lenses similar to those found in nature. Taking advantage of the geometry in which these liquid crystals like to arrange them

Liquid-crystal-based Compound Lenses work like Insect Eyes

May 19, 2015 5:01 pm | by University of Pennsylvania | News | Comments

Compound eyes found in insects and some sea creatures are marvels of evolution. There, thousands of lenses work together to provide sophisticated information without the need for a sophisticated brain. Human artifice can only begin to approximate these naturally self-assembled structures. Taking advantage of the geometry in which liquid crystals like to arrange themselves, researchers can grow compound lenses with controllable sizes.

Autonomous Car Prototype Folds, Shrinks, Drives Sideways

Recap: The Week's Top Stories — May 8-14

May 15, 2015 2:34 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

In case you missed it, here's another chance to catch this week's biggest hits. Writing like a genius; the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity; imaging fascinating, wild and unpredictable thunder; a car prototype that folds, shrinks and drives sideways; a high-efficiency laser system to remove space debris from orbit; and more are among the latest top stories.

Optibit took home both grand prizes from the 2015 MIT Clean Energy Prize. Shown here are (from left) Optibit team members Mark Wade and Alex Wright; Penni McLean Conner of Eversource; and Optibit team member Chen Sun. Courtesy of Michael Fein

Optical-chips Team Develops Way to Integrate Fiber Optics into Computer Chips

May 14, 2015 2:09 pm | by Rob Matheson, MIT | News | Comments

A team that aims to drastically boost the efficiency of computing with silicon chips took home both grand prizes at MIT’s CEP competition. They developed a way to integrate fiber optics — glass or plastic components that can transmit data using light waves — into computer chips, replacing copper wires that rely on electricity. Using light can drop energy usage about 95 percent in chip-to-chip communications and increase bandwidth tenfold.

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In what marks a significant step forward for artificial intelligence, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have demonstrated the functionality of a simple artificial neural circuit. For the first time, a circuit of about 100 artificial synapses was proved to p

Important Step in AI: Making Computer Brains More like our Own

May 12, 2015 2:06 pm | by Sonia Fernandez, UC Santa Barbara | News | Comments

In what marks a significant step forward for artificial intelligence, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have demonstrated the functionality of a simple artificial neural circuit. For the first time, a circuit of about 100 artificial synapses was proved to perform a simple version of a typical human task: image classification.

EO Smart Connecting Car 2 prototype Courtesy of Dipl.-Inform. Timo Birnschein, DFKI GmbH

Autonomous Car Prototype Folds, Shrinks, Drives Sideways

May 12, 2015 8:44 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

A team of German software developers and designers, along with electronics and construction engineers, has developed an innovative design for a new type of electric smart “micro car.” Now in its second-phase, the prototype is able to convert from “traditional driving” to driving sideways in just seconds, with each wheel powered by its own motor. The two-seater also can shrink from eight feet to less than five feet in length.

A super-wide field-of-view telescope, developed by RIKEN’s EUSO team, will be used to detect objects.

Space-based System will clear the Skies of Space Junk

May 11, 2015 10:46 am | by RIKEN | News | Comments

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal combines a super-wide field-of-view telescope, developed by RIKEN’s EUSO team, which will be used to detect objects, and a recently developed high-efficiency laser system, the CAN laser, that will be used to track space debris and remove it from orbit.

The first of The Planetary Society's two LightSail spacecraft will ride to space aboard an Atlas V rocket in May 2015. The mission is a shakedown cruise designed to test out the CubeSat's critical systems. In 2016, the second LightSail spacecraft will pig

Solar-powered Sail could Revolutionize Satellite Control and Movement

May 11, 2015 8:32 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Last September, Cal Poly's CubeSat team and The Planetary Society unfurled a solar-powered sail that some believe could revolutionize satellite propulsion. This was a deployment test and key milestone for the LightSail project. Among those present was Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society. Lightsail is a Planetary Society initiative with the goal of demonstrating effective use of solar sails for satellite control and movement.

A sunset shot of the HASP payload prior to release from the launch vehicle

The High Altitude Student Platform: Fostering Excitement in Aerospace

May 8, 2015 8:23 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

The major goals of HASP are to foster student excitement in an aerospace career path and to help address workforce development issues in this area. HASP provides a space test platform to encourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellite payloads and other space-engineering products. By getting the students involved with every aspect of the program, HASP hopes to enhance technical skills and research abilities.

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Trajectory of Alan Shepard's Historic Flight -- Courtesy of NASA – click to enlarge

Trajectory of Alan Shepard's Historic Flight

May 7, 2015 10:59 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Fifty-four years ago on May 5, 1961 only 23 days after Yuri Gagarin of the then-Soviet Union became the first person in space, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard launched at 9:34 a.m. EDT aboard his Freedom 7 capsule powered by a Redstone booster to become the first American in space. His historic flight lasted 15 minutes, 28 seconds.

A main goal of the Young Mind Awards program is to stimulate interest in engineering at an earlier age, and bring a greater awareness that a career in this field can be rewarding while solving real-world problems.

2015 Young Mind Awards Program Accepting Entries through May 31

May 7, 2015 8:15 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

The Young Mind Awards, a global student competition that showcases design engineering and R&D excellence, is now accepting entries in five award categories. Designed to “challenge and inspire promising future engineers,” the program is open to middle and high school students, as well as undergraduates.

10-Engine Electric Plane Prototype Takes Off -- Courtesy of NASA Langley/David C. Bowman – click to enlarge

10-Engine Electric Plane Prototype Takes Off

May 6, 2015 12:38 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

A team at NASA's Langley Research Center is developing a concept of a battery-powered plane that has 10 engines and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft. The prototype, called Greased Lightning or GL-10, is currently in the design and testing phase. This photograph captures the GL-10 prototype taking off in hover mode like a helicopter.

“An impressively geeky debut…the technical details keep the story relentlessly precise and the suspense ramped up. And really, how can anyone not root for a regular dude to prove the U-S-A still has the Right Stuff?”

The Martian: From Self-Published Blog to Major Motion Picture

May 6, 2015 9:38 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

The Martian is Weir’s first novel. He started the book in 2009, researching it to be as realistic as possible based on existing technology, and posting it to his blog chapter by chapter. The story unfolded over the course of several years, but Weir has stated that he knows the exact date of each day in The Martian.

Chris Evans, left, as Captain America/Steve Rogers, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor, in a scene of the new film, "Avengers: Age Of Ultron." The movie releases in the U.S. on May 1, 2015. (Jay Maidment/Disney/Marvel via AP)

'Avengers' Stars Wary of Artificial Intelligence

April 28, 2015 2:46 pm | by Ryan Pearson, AP Entertainment Writer | News | Comments

The cast of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" may battle out-of-control artificial intelligence on-screen but, in real life, they're not so sure about cutting-edge technology. AP talked with the cast about what they embrace and fear in today's high-tech landscape: ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.: I feel you have to embrace it. You know, there's always that shadow play that goes on ... But look, it took over a while ago...

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Water, CO2 and green power - these are the ingredients for Audi e-diesel.

Audi Succeeds in Making Diesel Fuel from Carbon Dioxide and Water

April 28, 2015 10:03 am | by Audi | News | Comments

Audi has taken another big step in the development of new, CO2 neutral fuels: A pilot plant in Dresden has started production of the synthetic fuel Audi e diesel. After a commissioning phase of just four months, the research facility in Dresden started producing its first batches of high‑quality diesel fuel this month. The only raw materials needed are water and carbon dioxide.

Another dimension: Professor Marc in het Panhuis (left) and Ph.D. student Shannon Bakarich are building objects using 4D printing, where time is the fourth dimension.

4D Printing, where Time — actually Shape Shifting — is the 4th Dimension

April 24, 2015 2:01 pm | by University of Wollongong | News | Comments

Just as the extraordinary capabilities of 3D printing have begun to infiltrate industry and the family home, researchers have started to develop 3D printed materials that morph into new structures post production, under the influence of external stimuli, such as water or heat — hence the name, 4D printing.

Power networks and cancer treatment are two of the applications for the dynamic, scalable algorithms that Frank E. Curtis has developed. Courtesy of Ryan Hulvat

Algorithms: Finding Optimal Balance in the Face of Uncertainty

April 21, 2015 12:20 pm | by Kurt Pfitzer, Lehigh University | News | Comments

Curtis writes algorithms that enable computers to solve large-scale continuous optimization problems. He is collaborating with researchers at Argonne through a five-year Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy. In a three-year single-investigator project for the NSF, Curtis has developed algorithms that solve large-scale continuous optimization problems in less than a quarter of the time required by conventional methods.

Original Seven: The Mercury Astronauts -- Courtesy of NASA – click to enlarge

Original Seven: The Mercury Astronauts

April 17, 2015 12:38 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

This group photo of the original Mercury astronauts was taken in June 1963 at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), now Johnson Space Center, in Houston, TX. Now known as the "Original Seven," the astronauts are, left-to-right: Cooper, Schirra, Shepard, Grissom, Glenn, Slayton and Carpenter.

One of the new drones of the UZH research group Courtesy of UZH

New Technology Making Drones Safer and Smarter

April 8, 2015 3:27 pm | by University of Zurich | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Zurich have unveiled new technology enabling drones to recover stable flight from any position and land autonomously in failure situations. It will even be possible to launch drones by simply tossing them into the air like a baseball or recover stable flight after a system failure. Drones will be safer and smarter, with the ability to identify safe landing sites and land automatically when necessary.

The UCLA Biomechatronics Lab develops a language of touch that can be "felt" by computers and humans alike. Courtesy of the National Science Foundation

Artificial Haptic Intelligence: Giving Robots the Human Touch

April 7, 2015 4:56 pm | by Miles O'Brien, NSF | News | Comments

Researchers are designing artificial limbs to be more sensational, with the emphasis on sensation. They have developed a language of touch that can be "felt" by computers and humans alike. The engineers and students are constructing a language quantified with mechanical touch sensors that interact with objects of various shapes, sizes and textures.

Experimental Wing Tests Electric Propulsion Technologies -- Courtesy of Joby Aviation – click to enlarge

Experimental Wing Tests Electric Propulsion Technologies

April 7, 2015 11:22 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology project researchers at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center are performing ground testing of a 31-foot-span, carbon composite wing section with 18 electric motors. The LEAPTech project will test the premise that tighter propulsion-airframe integration, made possible with electric power, will deliver improved efficiency and safety, as well as environmental and economic benefits.

Researchers have accomplished a new step forward in electronics that could bring brain-like computing closer to reality. Courtesy of Rolff Images

Memristors Mimic Brain Function

April 7, 2015 10:44 am | by Amanda Morris, Northwestern University | News | Comments

Researchers are always searching for improved technologies, but the most efficient computer possible already exists. It can learn and adapt without needing to be programmed or updated. It has nearly limitless memory, is difficult to crash, and works at extremely fast speeds. It’s not a Mac or a PC; it’s the human brain. And scientists around the world want to mimic its abilities.

Pushing the Boundaries of Propelling Deep Space Missions -- Courtesy of NASA, Michelle M. Murphy (Wyle Information Systems, LLC) – click to enlarge

Pushing the Boundaries of Propelling Deep Space Missions

April 2, 2015 8:46 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center are advancing the propulsion system that will propel the first-ever mission to redirect an asteroid for astronauts to explore in the 2020s. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission will test a number of new capabilities, like advanced Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), needed for future astronaut expeditions into deep space, including to Mars.

Figure d (left) shows a representative x-y projected brain vasculature image through an intact skull. Figure e shows a representative enhanced x-z projected brain vasculature image. Figure f shows photoacoustic microscopy of oxygen saturation of hemoglobi

Photoacoustic Method allows Rapid Imaging of Living Brain Functions

April 1, 2015 12:11 pm | by Beth Miller, Washington University in St. Louis | News | Comments

Researchers studying cancer and other invasive diseases rely on high-resolution imaging to see tumors and other activity deep within the body's tissues. Using photoacoustic microscopy, a single-wavelength, pulse-width-based technique, they were able to see blood flow, blood oxygenation, oxygen metabolism and other functions inside a living mouse brain at faster rates than ever before.

Testing the reins in a smoke filled area Courtesy of Sheffield Hallam University

Robot Guide Dogs could be Firefighters’ Eyes

March 26, 2015 10:59 am | by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) | News | Comments

Firefighters moving through smoke-filled buildings could save vital seconds and find it easier to identify objects and obstacles, thanks to revolutionary reins that enable robots to act like guide dogs. The small mobile robot — equipped with tactile sensors — would lead the way, with the firefighter following a meter or so behind holding a rein. The robot would help the firefighter move swiftly in ‘blind’ conditions.

Expedition 43 Soyuz Rolls Out for Launch -- Courtesy of NASA/Bill Ingalls – click to enlarge

Expedition 43 Soyuz Rolls Out for Launch

March 26, 2015 9:12 am | by NASA | News | Comments

The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on March 25, 2015. NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, and Russian Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 28.

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