Honda and its S-Dream streamliner achieved one of the more impressive speed feats at the Bonneville Salt Flats this year. Honda modified a 660 cubic centimeter, kei-car-size engine from the crankshaft up with a new cylinder block, pistons and valves to churn out more than three times the engine's normal power and push the S-Dream well past 200 mph.
Nanoscale particles make up a coating about one-tenth of a millimeter thick that reduces metal-on-metal friction in engines and boosts fuel efficiency by about 3%. The development by Daimler engineers and Heller Brothers machinists competing for the 2016 German Future Prize also cancels the need for parts made of special alloys, making for smaller and lighter engines.
A Cornell University team is preparing a cubesat for moon orbit with the goal of self-propulsion using only water as fuel. The lower portions of the tiny satellite's L-shaped halves will hold tanks containing water that will be electrolyzed into its component gases and jetted out in bursts every 30 to 60 minutes.
The US Navy's EA-18G electronic attack jet, usually powered by biofuel JP-5, was used to test an advanced biofuel made of converted soy and canola oils that doesn't require mixing with petroleum. An engineer and test pilot of the so-called Green Growler didn't notice a difference in the jet's performance compared with petroleum JP-5.
The old web of radar systems that tracks aircraft flights is being replaced in New Zealand by a satellite-based system. The automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast network will provide a more detailed picture of flights across the country, updating every second rather than radar's five-second intervals.
The Office of Emergency Management in New York City recently sent out a push-text notification to residents alerting them to a manhunt for a suspected terrorist, the first use of the emergency-alert system that asked residents to help law enforcement authorities. This article explains how the geotargeting system works and how agencies decide when to use it.
Waze is installing beacons in tunnels to allow drivers to continue to receive its maps when GPS signals die. A Waze engineer -- who missed a turn to an airport because he went through a tunnel -- came up with the solution, which also supports other digital mapping services provided by Google and Apple.
An experiment with microparticles at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, accidentally produced a way to add sound to holograms without elaborate speaker setups. The method involves 3D printing of a hologram plate and sending ultrasound waves through the plate into either a gas or liquid.
From the first moon landing to 3D-printed satellites, 2016 Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame inductee John Celli has seen a lot in his engineering career. He reflects on the past and points to the future of satellite technology, including further gains in 3D printing, cost reduction and better packaging to produce satellites that can perform more flexibly in orbit.
Engineers working with weapons hardware for the Pentagon are having a hard time keeping it secure, said Kirsten Baldwin, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for systems engineering. She asked contractors to "help us translate IT and cybersecurity methods into a hardware weapons environment" during a recent cybersecurity summit, noting what's being done with the Joint Federated Assurance Center.
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