Unforeseen problems continue to bug the Phoenix Mars Lander, but engineers are hopeful obstacles can still be overcome. A robotic scoop finally deployed, capturing Martian polar soil, but the material clumped on a screen and only a few particles passed into analysis equipment.
The team operating the Lander developed a technique for sprinkling soil from a tilted scoop while it is being vibrated by a motorized rasp. Previously, the soil was just dumped. The rasp had been designed to scoop up a subsurface sample of ice, a mission that is still planned.
"This is good news," says Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis, lead scientist for the robotic arm. According to Arvidson, Martian soil clumps because of extremely fine particles filling in gaps between coarser, sand-size particles, perhaps with a material that cements particles together. Another strategy: Future soil samples may be chopped and scraped with blades on the scoop.
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
While many larger companies are still reluctant to rely on wireless networks to transmit important information in industrial settings, there is an increasing acceptance rate of the newer, more robust wireless options that are now available.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.