Broadcasters who use satellites can’t accept shutdowns, even when they happen only twice a year during eclipses. The Optus D3 satellite made by Orbital Sciences Corp. will use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries from Saft for power when the spacecraft is blocked from the sun during two eclipses. The two rechargeable Saft lithium ion 180W/hour average cells trim weight in half compared to alternative technologies studied by Orbital, letting the company add more critical payload equipment. It carries 32 transponders that will provide Ku-Band direct television broadcasting services to Australia and New Zealand after 2009.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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.