Assuming nothing went awry when NASA's Phoenix mission descended onto Mars in May, a meteorological station provided by the Canadian Space Agency is now acquiring, processing and transmitting temperature and pressure data back on Earth. Recording the daily weather of the martian northern plains lets scientists understand the martian climate and geology, which will help them answer the age-old question: Did life ever exist?
Sunlight in the martian polar region is even weaker than at its equator, so the battery- and solar-powered systems must feature extremely efficient power management. Radiation-tolerant RTAX-S FPGAs from Actel Corp. are among the components that let this one-of-a-kind instrument meet these requirements.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
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.
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