The weather channel may take to the air--much to the benefit of those of us who fly. Honeywell (Phoenix, AZ) and NASA are joining forces to create a worldwide aviation weather distribution and display network called AWIN, Aviation Weather Information System. There were radio transmissions in the past from ground control, says Dr. Charles Scanlon, senior research scientist for NASA, "but it is hard to put a radar picture into words." Combining digital communication technology with powerful yet small PCs, Scanlon hopes to drastically reduce aviation accidents within the next 10 years. "Weather is a factor in 30% of all accidents," he says. In-situ turbulence and forward-looking sensors will send information to Earth where turbulence maps will be generated and data linked back to the aircraft. All equipment must be flight-hardened, meaning no electromagnetic influences, must withstand so many G-loads of force, and will not catch fire. Initial implementation should be within five years. FAX: (757) 864-2034.
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
Clean diesel continues to be the fuel of choice for transportation authorities in major U S cities, in spite of competitive options aimed at reducing emissions, according to a nonprofit agency that represents diesel engine and equipment manufacturers.
A panel at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas discussing upcoming FAA regulations for non-military drones brought out many of the issues that concern both industry and federal regulators.
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