Engineering
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/17/2017

A goal of giving customers more control over production of circuit boards eventually pointed to 3D printing as a solution, according to Voltera co-founder Jesus Zozaya. Now, after a Kickstarter campaign and experimentation to find the right extrusion process, special inks and ability to solder, Voltera has created a printer that allows users to prototype circuit boards for as little as a dollar or two apiece.

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ASME.org
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Voltera
1/17/2017

GE Oil & Gas will use condition-based maintenance powered by digital technology under a 10- to 12-year contract with Transocean for its pressure-control equipment on seven rigs. GE said the technology, which leverages the industrial internet, should allow for greater equipment uptime, with even a marginal improvement leading to substantial gains in oil production.

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Rigzone
1/17/2017

In the not-too-distant future we may be able to use a laser-based technology to set up deflective force fields and, more prosaically, enhance electromagnetic communications by artificially producing various effects that sometimes occur naturally. BAE Systems says its Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens would work by briefly altering sections of the atmosphere to create lenslike structures that boost or change the path of electromagnetic waves, much like mirages in the desert.

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New Atlas
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BAE Systems, Atmospheric Lens
1/13/2017

Robots that whip up hot beverages were among the more pleasing contraptions demonstrated at last week's CES 2017. The three machines had in common large articulating arms, but their specialties in coffee and tea and the types of service they offered varied, although Patrick Holland judged the pour-over coffee from the Denso robot the best of the brews.

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CNET
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Patrick Holland, Denso
1/13/2017

A nearly 12-foot-thick slab of reinforced concrete emerged practically unscathed in a test in which an F-4 Phantom jet fighter on rails was slammed into it at 480 mph. The spectacular demonstration was carried out by Sandia National Laboratories for the federal government to show whether and how a nuclear power plant could withstand such an impact.

1/13/2017

The growing acidity of the oceans as they absorb ever more carbon dioxide, a factor exacerbated in the winter, raises concerns for the most basic marine life. An Antarctic study of the bottom of the ocean's food chain involves a mooring as tall as the Empire State Building submerged at 1,600 feet and equipped with sensors recording temperature, dissolved carbon dioxide, salinity and pH.

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New Atlas
1/12/2017

The Pentagon's lead weapons buyer has approved the next phase for detailed design and construction in the Columbia class submarine program, a key to the future for Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News, Va., shipyard. Separately, Electric Boat President Jeffrey Geiger assured government and business leaders that his company would be up to the demands for expanding the Navy's fleet to 355 ships, amounting to the biggest shipbuilding initiative since the Cold War.

1/12/2017

BAE Systems will be providing facilities and human resources under a $75 million maintenance and modernization services contract with the Navy for the USS San Antonio. The work, scheduled to be done by April 2018 in Norfolk, Va., is to support the San Antonio's docking phased maintenance availability.

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USS San Antonio, BAE Systems, Navy
1/12/2017

After multiple radio and visual warnings were ignored, the USS Mahan fired at four Iranian vessels racing toward the guided-missile destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz. The Iranian boats -- with weapons manned -- turned away in response to the .50-caliber machine gun bursts after coming within 900 yards of the Mahan in one of several such recent incidents.

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USS Mahan, Strait of Hormuz
1/12/2017

High-end warfare is part of the Navy's newly released strategy for its surface force, with a "North Star" guiding goal of being able "to impose localized control of the sea when and where it is required," according to Vice Adm. Tom Rowden. The new vision marks a return to more of a Cold War strategy unseen since the Soviet navy pulled back after the demise of the Soviet Union.