Reducing fuel consumption and emissions is a goal even in the world of espionage. AeroVironment Inc. is designing an unmanned aircraft that runs on liquid hydrogen-power. Its Global Observer will fly at an altitude of 65,000 ft for up to seven days. The high altitude, long endurance aircraft is being built for the U.S. Special Operations Command, which teamed up with other military to provide $57 million for three aircraft. AeroVironment recently picked Rockwell Collins to design the drone's navigation system. Rockwell's Athena 411 incorporates solid-state gyros and accelerometers, magnetometer, a GPS receiver and air data sensors into a single small unit.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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