Travelers and air-traffic controllers alike truly owe Heinz Erzberger a "thank you." As an expert in the area of trajectory optimization, flight mechanics, controls, and automation concepts and algorithms for the air traffic control system, Heinz Erzberger recently designed the Center-TRACON Automation System (CTAS), which the Federal Aviation Administration has adopted as its terminal area air traffic automation system. CTAS was conceived and is being prototyped at the NASA Ames Research Center. The system inaugurates a new approach to air traffic control, called human-centered automation, that combines the skill of controllers with computer-generated advisories. Early production versions of CTAS tools are installed at air traffic control facilities serving the Denver, Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles airports, and FAA plans to install CTAS at more than 20 sites nationwide. To date, CTAS demonstrates improvements in both capacity (up to 13%) and delay savings (an average of 2 minutes per flight). The tools in CTAS benefit air traffic controllers by reducing stress and workload, and benefit air travelers by reducing delays and increasing safety.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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