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February 11, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Dryden facility takes flight to new heights
    The Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility near Edwards Air Force Base in California is home to some of the most imaginative and advanced aircraft on the planet. Some are experimental and others perform missions for NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency, such as the ER-2, which can fly above 98% of the atmosphere so that "often we can simulate a near space environment from it," said Randal Albertson, deputy director of NASA’s Airborne Science Program. BBC (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Energy 
  • Enhanced Geothermal Systems creating useful energy reservoirs
    The next big step in geothermal is creating artificial reservoirs that can be tapped for useful energy where natural reservoirs never existed. The Enhanced Geothermal Systems technology -- which injects ground-up plastic into previously hydrosheared deep rock formations -- also keeps costs down. The Denver Post (2/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hydrokinetics takes many forms to tap oceans' energy potential
    The technology of hydrokinetics takes a number of forms, including piston devices, floating cylinders linked by hydraulic joints and, most commonly, turbine devices that tend to be more economical. Different devices work best in differing environments, but all are now beginning to capture some of the billions of watts of energy that the Electric Power Research Institute estimates could eventually provide about a quarter of future U.S. energy needs. (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • New generation of lighter-than-air craft takes shape
    The U.S. military is slowly getting back into lighter-than-air craft, with the cutting-edge technology behind a $35 million prototype undergoing early flight tests in California. The 230-foot Aeroscraft has a frame of carbon fiber and aluminum covered in mylar and holds the potential for unparalleled capacity and efficiency in air transport. The Oakland Tribune (Calif.) (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bombardier's TrackSafe taps RFID for rail safety
    RFID technology is the key to Bombardier Transportation's TrackSafe system, which has won one of 15 Innovation Awards from the Institution of Engineering and Technology. TrackSafe employs RFID to alert both track workers and train operators to potential hazards. "TrackSafe has the potential to have a major social impact because on a global scale it would improve both trackside worker safety and urban transportation productivity," the IET judging panel said. (2/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Mars rover completes first interplanetary drilling
    In the first-ever penetration of the Martian surface, NASA's Curiosity rover drilled a sample of bedrock 2.5 inches deep, which it will analyze for any traces of a wet and possibly life-sustaining environment earlier in the planet's history. "The most advanced planetary robot ever designed is now a fully operating analytical laboratory on Mars," said John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. (2/9) , Reuters (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Esri Australia launches project to map government GIS use
    Esri Australia will lead a research project to discover how local governments in Australia are using GIS technology. Governments are using GIS for planning, for managing assets, for building applications and more. Researchers say they hope to pinpoint developing trends in GIS using the study. (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & Development 
  • The young CEOs who are out to change the world
    A new generation of founder CEOs are shaking up the way we work, play and shop, and Fortune's editors have profiled 11 of the biggest trailblazers. The list includes former Apple designer Tony Fadell, who sells smart thermostats; Belcampo founder Anya Fernald, who is figuring out ways to scale up the sustainable-food movement; and Perry Chen, whose Kickstarter website helps other visionaries bootstrap their big ideas. CNNMoney/Fortune (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASME News 
  • ASME launches Energy Forum
    The Society has launched a new year-long multimedia series -- ASME Energy Forum -- to explore the technical aspects and workings of energy sources and related technologies. Hydrokinetics is the focus of the first ASME Energy Forum installment, which consists of a webinar on Thursday, Feb. 14, plus related content on and in Mechanical Engineering magazine. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. ... The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them."
--George Bernard Shaw,
Irish playwright

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