A unique chamber tests pilotless aircraft for their ability to function at altitudes exceeding 67,000 ft. Engineers at Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. (Manassas, VA) designed, built, and operate the chamber, called the Ultra-High Altitude Test Facility. Aurora successfully tested its Perseus B drone in the 12- by 7-ft chamber. Ram air coolers, normally mounted under the Perseus wing and on the fuselage's side, were replaced with compact coolers in which liquid fluids cool the engine and turbos instead of the ram air. To simulate the low temperatures at high altitudes, a special low-temperature fluid with a freezing temperature of about -130C was pumped through the coolers. For details, e-mail Ben Russat at email@example.com.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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