2017’s Top Ten Tech Cars: Infiniti QX50

The world’s first variable compression-ratio engine

1 min read
Infiniti QX50
Photo: Infiniti

Infiniti QX50Beauty Lies Within: An engine that can vary its compression ratio at will forms the technological heart of the Infiniti QX50.Photo: Infiniti

This Year’s
Winning Autos

We tend to eschew concept cars for our Top Ten list on the grounds that anyone can build a prototype and float pie-in-the-sky claims. But the QX50is an exception, and for more than its energetic crossover design. First, this Infiniti is real, and its technology is coming to showrooms soon, including the first variable compression-ratio engine ever. The new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine can adjust its piston stroke to vary compression from about 8:1 to 14:1, heightening efficiency at the lower range and performance up top.

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Landsat Proved the Power of Remote Sensing

The Earth-imaging satellites have amassed a half-century of data on crops, borders, and war zones

6 min read
A satellite image shows vegetation in red tones and urban and rocky areas in grays and whites.

The first image captured on 25 July 1972 by the first Landsat satellite shows the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Robert Simmon/USGS/NASA

On 18 September 1969, U.S. President Richard Nixon addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations. It was a difficult time in global politics, and much of his speech focused on the war in Vietnam, disputes in the Middle East, and strategic arms control. Toward the end, though, the speech took a curious and hopeful turn, as Nixon rhapsodized about the unifying potential of international cooperation in space exploration. As an example, he noted the United States was in the process of developing new satellites to survey Earth’s natural resources.

Three years later, on 23 July 1972, NASA launched what would be the first Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS). It gave scientists, land managers, policymakers, and others an unprecedented view of their planet. The program has since launched eight more satellites. Renamed the Landsat program in 1975, it is now celebrating its 50th anniversary of imaging the Earth.

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Graphene Tattoos Measure Blood Pressure Continually

Ultralight sensors could work for days

3 min read
photo illustration of forearm and hand with graphene tattoos inked on the forearm and a traditional blood-pressure monitor with armband cuff is in the image background

Graphene tattoos placed over the two major arteries in the wrist monitor blood pressure nonstop by measuring the impedance of electrical current through tissue.

University of Texas at Austin

Blood pressure measurement hasn’t changed much since the invention of the inflatable cuff-based sphygmomanometer in 1881. People can use the device to give readings a few times a day, but that’s not enough to give a holistic view of cardiovascular health.

New electronic tattoos made of graphene continuously read blood pressure for days. The ultrathin, light sensors could allow monitoring of a patient’s blood pressure while they go about their daily activities.

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Electromagnetic Simulations in Automotive Industry

Learn how an electromagnetic simulator can be applied to various scenarios in the automotive industry

1 min read
WIPL-D Logo
WIPL-D

This whitepaper shows several examples of how WIPL-D electromagnetic simulator can be applied to various scenarios in the automotive industry: a radar antenna mounted on a car bumper operating at 24 GHz, 40 GHz, and 77 GHz, an EM obstacle detection at 77 GHz, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication at 5.9 GHz. Download this free whitepaper now!