Engineers at OregonHeart are beginning with the established technology of a shuttling pump invented by Richard Wampler to develop what they hope will be the holy grail of artificial hearts -- a device that's compact, durable and inexpensive enough to serve as a permanent heart replacement. The new heart is also Wampler's concept and employs a highly reliable rotary blood pump.
Metamaterials, which have properties that go beyond what they're made of, have come a long way since last year with greater variability in functionality. Researchers at Harvard University have created a general framework that will allow engineers to more readily develop multifunctional metamaterials suited to different tasks.
Cockroaches equipped with electronic sensors and tiny backpacks to guide them remotely can be used to explore the wreckage in disaster areas and may soon be able to uplink information to hovering drones. Researchers at North Carolina State University believe swarms of the roaches could provide enough data to piece together a complete picture of the disaster zone.
In the Coast Guard's largest-ever vessel procurement order, MAN Diesel & Turbo will be installing 28/33D STC engines as replacements aboard the service's 13 Famous class and 14 Reliance class cutters. The 360-foot cutters will each be powered by two of the engines, each generating 7,280 kW at 1,000 rpm.
China has declared a three-week training mission for its only aircraft carrier a success, with the 60,000-ton Liaoning having "achieved all targets set for it." Observers regard the carrier, its mix of aircraft and accompanying vessels as a key indicator of how China plans to enforce its various offshore territorial claims.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said US shipbuilders are now fully up to the task of providing the vessels that will bring the Navy to its 355-ship goal. Mabus credited the types of ships being built, the builders' "hot" production lines and the investments they've made in infrastructure and worker training.
The USS Gerald R. Ford is "99% complete" and sea trials will begin in March for it, the first in the Navy's new class of aircraft carriers. Problems with the ship's advanced systems and technology delayed completion beyond the original September 2015 date, while costs have risen to $12.9 billion from the expected $10.5 billion.
A new mine-hunting mission package incorporating pulsed lasers for 3D imaging and small, modular Airborne Mine Neutralization Systems is nearing completion. The Airborne Laser Mine Detection System from Northrop can be flown by smaller helicopters, allowing it to be deployed on the Navy's littoral combat ships.
It didn't take long for the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw to free the 1,000-foot freighter James R. Barker from ice in the St. Mary's River, which flows between lakes Superior and Huron. Video shows the Mackinaw moving back and forth to widen a channel in the ice next to the freighter.
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