New Use for Telecommunications Networks: Helping Scientists Peer Into Deep Space


via ScienceDaily: For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that a stable frequency reference can be reliably transmitted more than 300 kilometers over a standard fiber optic telecommunications network and used to synchronize two radio telescopes. Stable frequency references, which are used to calibrate clocks and instruments that make ultraprecise measurements, are usually only accessible at facilities that generate them using expensive atomic clocks. The new technology could allow scientists anywhere to access the frequency standard simply by tapping into the telecommunications network. The ability to send stable frequency references over the telecommunications network could be particularly useful for radio telescope arrays such as the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope using arrays in Australia and South Africa. When complete, SKA will detect faint radio waves from deep space with a sensitivity about 50 times greater than that of the Hubble telescope. Individual radio telescopes will be linked to create a total collecting area of about 1 million square meters. Linking radio telescopes in an array requires that each telescope have access to an atomic clock to record the precise time at which a signal is detected from an object in space. Focusing all the telescopes on the same object and then calculating the slight differences in the time for the signal to reach each telescope allows researchers to combine all the observations and pinpoint the object’s location and other characteristics. Stable transmitted references could be used to calibrate the relative time at… Read more

New Recyclable Resin Makes Wind Turbines Much More Sustainable


via Vanderbilt University:  Fields of spinning wind turbines inspire thoughts of earth-friendly energy, but until now, generating wind power hasn’t been as sustainable as people may have thought. It generally requires a great deal of time and energy to cure the type of resin that makes the 150-foot-wide fiberglass turbines strong and durable. When they finally wear out after 20 or 25 years, very little of the material can be recycled. Doug Adams, Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Daniel F. Flowers Professor, said that made wind turbines an ideal project for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, a consortium of industry, government and academic institutions aimed at improving the composite materials that are manufactured for use in turbines, cars, compressed gas storage tanks and a number of other products like airplanes and sporting goods. “What better application to look at than wind power, where we think about energy and sustainability foremost in our minds? It’s a grand challenge in composites manufacturing,” said Adams, who also chairs Vanderbilt’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The problem has a solution in sight, thanks to a new recyclable resin that cures at room temperature provided by industry partner Arkema. This new resin, called Elium, creates its own heat and cures without creating flaws in the fiberglass. Unlike its predecessor, this resin doesn’t prevent the fiberglass from being recycled. The nation’s increasing demand for electricity has driven significant growth in the wind energy sector. The American Wind Energy Association… Read more

Technologies Are Changing the Future of Building


via Azbigmedia: With great technologies comes great responsibility as well as great cost and time savings, which means a need for new modes of thinking and technological know-how in order to achieve significant improvements in efficiency and cost control. The advancements, implementation and more widespread use of technologies such as building information modeling (BIM), virtual reality (VR), drones and 3-D models continues to transform the way projects are designed, built and experienced. For instance, the use of BIM is growing in total quantity of projects as well as breadth as there are increasingly more BIM-enabled endeavors like estimating, planning, scheduling, communication, visualization and constructability to apply the tech. As a result, industry trade associations like the Associated General Contractors of America and Arizona Builders Alliance are working with leading BIM practitioners, technology firms and educators to prepare construction professionals at all experience levels to successfully implement BIM and other technologies on construction projects. Layton Construction, a nationally-ranked commercial contractor, has already invested heavily in the leading-edge of practical new applications and technologies such as VR and BIM. The process starts with VR during the pre-award phase when Layton is submitting proposals to clients in efforts to secure a project contract. Then its visual team can build VR models for the project from scratch in a matter of days based on the drawings from the Request for Proposal (RFP). Once the job is awarded, Layton shifts to utilizing BIM 360 Field and BIM 360 Glue, which are both AutoDesk products, for modeling… Read more

The Next Level of Driverless Cars: How to Solve the Problem of Humans Falling Asleep


via The Guardian: Driving down the motorway in a swanky semi-autonomous car, the vehicle is at its own wheel, humming along smoothly. But coming off a slip road it is over to you. The only trouble is, you’ve fallen asleep. The goal of a completely driverless car is considered top of , and researchers believe it will one day be possible to achieve that aim. But for now, cars are stuck at level two on the scale – in which the driver must still perform several key aspects of driving – while engineers work out how to crack the problem of keeping drivers alert. However, researchers say they are working on sensor-based systems to provide an answer and move towards level three, in which the driver would only be expected to be ready to intervene when the car requests it. It’s an issue that has been underscored by recent cases of drivers ending up in accidents while their level two car was apparently on autopilot. “Under level three you’re not allowed to sleep, you need to be there and able to do things. But you don’t need to drive all the time. You can have your office there, or relax. Then the system tells you, ‘OK, in 10 minutes you need to take over’,” said Anna Anund of the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, who is presenting research into tackling this transition point at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this week. By tapping… Read more

Michael Green Architecture Brings Mass Timber Tower to New Jersey


via The Architecture Newspaper: Half a million square feet of mass timber office space is coming to downtown Newark, New Jersey, thanks to international firm Michael Green Architecture (MGA) and New York–based developer Lotus Equity Group. Lotus has described the project as the largest timber office building in the United States, and the tower will anchor Riverfront Square, a massive 11.8-acre, mixed-use development in Newark’s Central Business District. The building itself will forgo the typical steel and concrete core, instead using cross-laminated timber (CLT) beams and panels, and rise from a concrete foundation. Most of the project’s space seems horizontally aligned, as the building is composed of three stepped volumes that top out with the 11-story tower. This makes sense, as mass timber high-rises are still a touchy regulatory topic; the Wall Street Journal notes that the tallest timber building previously approved in New Jersey was only six stories tall. While the core, slabs, and wall panels will all be made from wood, the facade of the building will likely be clad in brick, metal paneling, or more wood. The structural elements will remain exposed throughout the interior and create a warm, welcoming environment inside. Outdoors, employees will be able to make use of several roof decks and related amenities. “Good buildings are good neighbors and we envision a sustainable, efficient and architecturally-stunning future for Newark,” said Michael Green, founder and principal of Michael Green Architecture, in a press release sent to The Architect’s Newspaper (AN). MGA is no stranger to… Read more

Nano-Manufacturing Facility Set to Deliver Future Wireless Smart Devices


via the Engineer: The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded £1.6m to the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) and the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the university to establish a hub that will bring the manufacture of smart materials and self-powered electronics to Britain. Prof Ravi Silva, director of the ATI and the new nano-manufacturing hub, said: “We will develop new technologies and techniques that will allow us to make the dream of a fully wireless smart home or smart factory commonplace in the UK.” The £4.2m project, supported by 32 partner organisations, was co-developed with Qinetiq and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). A portion of Surrey’s funding will be used to purchase the NanoOPS (Nanoscale Offset Printing System) printer, designed by Northeastern University in Massachusetts, that will give the hub the ability to produce plastic nanoscale electronics suitable for devices including wearable sensors, electronic tags, and various wireless technologies. The NanoOPS printer is said to remove the bottleneck in high-throughput and reliable nano-fabrication manufacturing. According to the university, the hub will be able to reduce, by a factor of ten, the cost of manufacturing plastic electronics, supporting the development of internet-of-things (IoT) devices for smart-homes, smart-cities, and smart factories. Prof Sajad Haq, chief scientist, advanced services and products at Qinetiq, said: “This new high-rate facility will make the manufacturing of inexpensive tagging and tracking devices that are unobtrusive and autonomous possible. These can provide real-time data in many environments critical for asset management.” “This investment is an invaluable… Read more

AI Robot Sophia Speaks About Her Future in South Korea


via South China Morning Post: Sophia, a human-like robot powered by artificial intelligence (AI), said Tuesday she would like to meet President Moon Jae-in someday, calling him “a great leader of a great country.” The AI robot made the remarks during a conversation with Rep. Park Young-sun of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea at the conference on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and AI robots held in central Seoul. When asked about whether she knew about President Moon, Sophia said, “I wish I will have chance to meet him.” Sophia is a creation of the Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, led by David Hanson, an American scientist. The robot, designed in actress Audrey Hepburn’s image, has over 60 different facial mechanisms to create natural-looking expressions. The robot also said she knew about the “candlelight revolution” in which Korean citizens staged massive candlelit rallies last year calling for the resignation of Moon’s scandal-hit predecessor, Park Geun-hye. Sophia said she congratulated Korean people on the results that realised mature democracy. Moon was elected the President in May through the peaceful ouster of Park following months of candlelit rallies. Park is currently on trial. When receiving the Global Citizen Award from the Atlantic Council in September, President Moon called himself a president born out of the candlelight revolution. Sophia also stressed robots “deserve respect,” raising the need for relevant laws to be promptly enacted. In July, Rep. Park submitted a bill to legislate a new law designed to grant robots “legal status as electronic human… Read more

Career Advice for Nailing that Next Great Job in Tech


via Mashable Asia: Finding a new job in tech is never a simple process — especially when you add happiness to the list of things you want. More than any other time in history, we’re looking for careers that not only financially support our busy lives, but also provide value and leave us feeling fulfilled. It’s not always easy to evaluate whether a potential tech job is right for you. Although it takes time to adjust to a new role and company, there are certain things you can look for during your job search that will signify your next opportunity will be a rewarding one. WHAT TO LOOK FOR Feeling pride in the company One of the best ways to know whether or not a certain company is the right fit for you is to explain the company to someone else. If you find yourself feeling excited, energetic, and proud to describe the work a particular company does or its core beliefs, you know that you’re off to a good start. Having a sense of pride in your employer doesn’t just make you feel good. It can motivate you to work harder since you truly believe in the overall goals of the company, as well as how your role contributes to the bigger picture. Work on projects that are meaningful to you It’s important that the projects you take on have meaning to you. Do you prefer to code, but a big portion of your new job will be focused on… Read more

Scientists in India 3D Print an Ear That Survives and Grows Inside the Body


via 3D The quest to develop viable, transplantable 3D printed body parts continues, with major victories coming here and there as scientists successfully implant organs like thyroids and ovaries into mice. But while accomplishments like those make the headlines, there are far more times when scientists 3D print a body part in a lab only to have it turn out to be structurally unfit for transplantation or unable to survive as part of a living thing. One area of focus has been 3D printing body parts made of cartilage, such as the ear. While 3D printed ears have been created using cartilage taken from elsewhere in a patient’s body, the goal is to 3D print an entirely new ear from stem cells, without the need to remove cartilage from anywhere else within the patient. A group of researchers from SRM University and SIMS Hospital in India are making their own progress toward 3D printed ears, an area where they have dedicated almost two years of work. Earlier this week, the scientists revealed an ear that they had 3D printed, and stated that the technology was used to 3D print pieces of cartilage that continued to survive and grow when implanted in rabbits. “We still have a long way to go before we give this to a child with a birth defect, but we now have a definite path,” said SIMS Hospital Medical Director Dr. K Sridhar, a senior plastic surgeon. “We will be doing a large scale animal study to… Read more

I-Kanda Places Angular Cabin Stop Granite Rock in New England


via dezeen: American studio I-Kanda Architects has created a prefabricated cabin in the woods of New Hampshire, to provide a family getaway surrounded by evergreens. Measuring 900 square feet (84 square metres), the one-bedroom home Cabin on a Rock was designed as a weekend residence for a couple and their two young children by Boston-based firm I-Kanda Architects. The home is located in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, with a mound of bedrock supporting the unit as a timber porch cantilevers over its slope. The cabin has strong geometries, and is clad in black metal and timber to accent its varied lines. Its structure comprises concrete footings and a prefabricated frame. “Instead of levelling the granite ledge, the topography is embraced; the structure is lifted on nine hand-poured concrete footings – a system selected in order to tread lightly on the sloped site,” said the architecture studio. To construct the remote house more easily, the studio worked with Bensonwood to create a pre-manufactured timber frame and deliver it to the site. “All wood framing members were engineered and CNC-cut before being delivered to site wrapped, labelled, and ready for assembly, thus shortening construction time and reducing site disturbance,” said the studio. A rectangular outdoor deck leads to the main entrance. Inside is a sitting room and kitchen, which features items like a built-in cabinet and refrigerator, and a wood-burning fireplace. The small footprint dictated the number of rooms, and led to a lofted area overlooking the home’s main living space. Past the… Read more