Falls Church, VA. - The push for increased air transportation safety has
prompted much development in high tech systems. Two systems set to ship this
year should improve operating efficiency while minimizing the chance of
disasters such as bombs and collisions.
Ensco Inc., headquartered here, (http://www.ensco.com/products/homeland/ssn/ssn_ovr.htm)
recently teamed up with Endicott Interconnect Technologies of Endicott, NY, (http://www.endicottinterconnect.com/News/newsarticle.html?a=16)
to supply airports with explosive detection. The SureScan system unveiled in
mid-February uses x-rays and computer tomographic (CT) scanning techniques to
quickly scan luggage for evidence of explosives. It can check from 1,000 to
2,000 bags per hour, depending on the model purchased. That's fast enough to
permit 100 % testing, a spokesman says. Bomb detection is also increased while
the number of false positives is lower than with conventional first-pass
techniques, according to Ensco. The 8,500-pound machine, expected to begin
shipping this year, can handle bags weighing up to 75 pounds, moving them on
conveyors at speeds up to 45 feet per minute. When explosives are detected,
alerts are sent to operator monitors via the system's Ethernet interface.
Addressing a vastly different aspect of air safety, Sensis Corp. of Dewitt,
NY, (http://www.sensis.com/docs/128/) is
beefing up production of its Airport Surface Detection Equipment Systems, Model
X. That hardware provides seamless information on ground traffic and airborne
planes in the immediate vicinity of the airport. The FAA recently authorized $35
million for another 11 units, bringing the total that will be deployed in the
U.S. to 34. The system, which the FAA declared ready for U.S. deployment in
October 2003, is also being installed at seven international airports.
Sensis' ASDE-X system blends surface movement radar,
transponder multilateration, and various sensors to show vehicle position, with
planes labeled with flight call signs. Multilateration employs transponders on
planes and other vehicles to detect their position. The combination of three
technologies provides accuracy and quick refreshing of data, which should help
prevent accidents on the ground. Software predicts traffic conflicts and helps
resolve them, as well as helping operators better understand queuing and other
issues related to gate assignments.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.