Sci/Tech

DARPA Seeks to Remove Communication Barrier Between Humans and Computers

on Tuesday, 24 February 2015. Posted in Computers, Sci/Tech

Paul Cohen: "Because humans and machines have different abilities, collaborations between them might be very productive."

DARPA Seeks to Remove Communication Barrier Between Humans and Computers

The lifelong human imperative to communicate is so strong that people talk not only to other people but also to their pets, their plants and their computers. Unlike pets and plants, computers might one day reciprocate. DARPA's new Communicating with Computers (CwC) program aims to develop technology to turn computers into good communicators.

Sensors Detect Icing Conditions to Help Protect Airplanes

on Thursday, 19 February 2015. Posted in Aerospace, Sci/Tech

“Our goal is to improve the tools and data that controllers and dispatchers need to make tactical decisions,” says Aerospace Engineer Andrew Reehorst, who leads Glenn’s icing remote sensor program.

Sensors Detect Icing Conditions to Help Protect Airplanes

When ice accumulates on the surface of an aircraft during flight, it distorts the smooth flow of air necessary to stay aloft. The result is a reduction in lift, which can lead to stalls and crashes. Knowing about hazardous icing conditions in advance helps pilots, air traffic controllers and airline dispatchers navigate airplanes and passengers away from danger.

Robots Learn to Perform Tasks by “Watching” Youtube Videos

on Friday, 30 January 2015. Posted in Computers, Sci/Tech

DARPA program advances robots’ ability to sense visual information and turn it into action.

Robots Learn to Perform Tasks by “Watching” Youtube Videos

Robots can learn to recognize objects and patterns fairly well, but to interpret and be able to act on visual input is much more difficult. Researchers at the University of Maryland, funded by DARPA’s Mathematics of Sensing, Exploitation and Execution (MSEE)program, recently developed a system that enabled robots to process visual data from a series of “how to” cooking videos on YouTube. Based on what was shown on a video, robots were able to recognize, grab and manipulate the correct kitchen utensil or object and perform the demonstrated task with high accuracy—without additional human input or programming.

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Captures Best-Ever View of Dwarf Planet

on Tuesday, 27 January 2015. Posted in Space, Sci/Tech

Carol Raymond: "Data from this mission will revolutionize our understanding of this unique body. Ceres is showing us tantalizing features that are whetting our appetite for the detailed exploration to come."

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Captures Best-Ever View of Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has returned the sharpest images ever seen of the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken 147,000 miles (237,000 kilometers) from Ceres on Jan. 25, and represent a new milestone for a spacecraft that soon will become the first human-made probe to visit a dwarf planet.

NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Discuss Plan for Launching American Astronauts from the U.S. in 2017

on Friday, 23 January 2015. Posted in Space, Sci/Tech

This initiative returns the American industry to the forefront of human exploration technology and operations and ends the nation’s sole reliance on Russia for crew transportation to the space station.

NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Discuss Plan for Launching American Astronauts from the U.S. in 2017

NASA, Boeing and SpaceX will hold a news briefing on NASA Television at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston at noon EST (11 a.m. CST) Monday, Jan. 26, to highlight key development activities, test plans and objectives for achieving certification of two American crew transportation systems.

NASA’s Chandra Detects Record-Breaking Outburst from Milky Way’s Black Hole

on Tuesday, 06 January 2015. Posted in Space, Sci/Tech

Gabriele Ponti: "Such rare and extreme events give us a unique chance to use a mere trickle of infalling matter to understand the physics of one of the most bizarre objects in our galaxy."

NASA’s Chandra Detects Record-Breaking Outburst from Milky Way’s Black Hole

Astronomers have observed the largest X-ray flare ever detected from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This event, detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, raises questions about the behavior of this giant black hole and its surrounding environment.

Pay Dirt: Turning Deadly Chemical Agents Into Harmless Soil

on Wednesday, 10 December 2014. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

Tyler McQuade: "ACDC aims to develop technologies that reverse the process and return the chemical compounds to their safe, natural state in the environment, without creating hazardous waste in the process."

Pay Dirt: Turning Deadly Chemical Agents Into Harmless Soil

DARPA seeks portable system that turns stockpiles of chemical warfare agents into dirt or other safe organic compounds without generating hazardous waste

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Clues to How Water Helped Shape Martian Landscape

on Tuesday, 09 December 2014. Posted in Space, Sci/Tech

Michael Meyer: "Knowledge we're gaining about Mars' environmental evolution by deciphering how Mount Sharp formed will also help guide plans for future missions to seek signs of Martian life."

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Clues to How Water Helped Shape Martian Landscape

Observations by NASA’s Curiosity Rover indicate Mars' Mount Sharp was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years.

Boeing Completes First Milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew Transportation Systems

on Thursday, 04 December 2014. Posted in Space, Aerospace, Sci/Tech

Boeing Commercial Crew Program Manager John Mulholland: "It's crucial for us to achieve our 2017 goal, and the plan we've put in place will get us there."

Boeing Completes First Milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew Transportation Systems

NASA has approved the completion of Boeing’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station from the United States under a groundbreaking Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract.

Darpa-funded Inflatable Robotics Helps Spark Idea For Silver Screen Star

on Thursday, 13 November 2014. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Make-believe soft robot in Disney’s newest movie has roots in real-world robotics research.

Darpa-funded Inflatable Robotics Helps Spark Idea For Silver Screen Star

The giant, balloon-like inflatable robot named Baymax in Disney’s Big Hero 6 has its roots in real-world research conducted by iRobot Corporation, Carnegie Mellon University and Otherlab under DARPA’s Maximum Mobility Manipulation (M3) program. The film’s co-director, Don Hall, has said he was inspired to cast Baymax as an air-filled, soft robot after he saw an inflatable robotic arm on a visit to Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. Carnegie Mellon’s work in soft robotics has been supported by DARPA and the National Science Foundation.

Two Technologies Pursued for Orbital Servicing and Asteroid Close Approach

on Tuesday, 04 November 2014. Posted in Space, Sci/Tech

Tony Yu: "A need exists for long-to-short range, low-cost, reliable multifunctional imaging lidars, not only for asteroid rendezvous and planetary rovers, but also for satellite servicing."

Two Technologies Pursued for Orbital Servicing and Asteroid Close Approach

Building, fixing, and refueling space-based assets or rendezvousing with a comet or asteroid will require a robotic vehicle and a super-precise, high-resolution 3-D imaging lidar that will generate real-time images needed to guide the vehicle to a target traveling at thousands of miles per hour.

NASA’s Long-Lived Mars Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

on Tuesday, 29 July 2014. Posted in Space, Sci/Tech

John Callas: "But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance."

NASA’s Long-Lived Mars Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover.

Watershed Rehabilitation Funding to Repair Dams in 26 States

on Monday, 21 July 2014. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

Jason Weller: "Families, businesses and our agriculture economy depend on responsible management of dams and watersheds, and we are continuing to provide that support to these communities."

Watershed Rehabilitation Funding to Repair Dams in 26 States

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today[July 18, 2014] announced that communities across the nation will benefit from a $262 million investment to rehabilitate dams that provide critical infrastructure and protect public health and safety. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller and Representative Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, were in Oklahoma to recognize the importance of this announcement to agriculture and communities nationwide.

NASA Honors Historic First Moon Landing, Eyes First Mars Mission

on Tuesday, 15 July 2014. Posted in Space, Sci/Tech

NASA marks the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing this month while it takes the steps needed for America's next giant leap to send astronauts to Mars.

NASA Honors Historic First Moon Landing, Eyes First Mars Mission

NASA marks the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing this month while it takes the steps needed for America's next giant leap to send astronauts to Mars.

NASA Aeronautics Makes Strides to Bring Back Supersonic Passenger Travel

on Wednesday, 18 June 2014. Posted in Aerospace, Sci/Tech

Peter Coen: "Lessening sonic booms -- shock waves caused by an aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound -- is the most significant hurdle to reintroducing commercial supersonic flight."

NASA Aeronautics Makes Strides to Bring Back Supersonic Passenger Travel

The return of supersonic passenger travel may be coming closer to reality thanks to NASA’s efforts to define a new standard for low sonic booms.

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