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Digital Radio Takes to the Road

Radio broadcasting is being remade: satellite digital radio plays for a fee to moving vehicles, and terrestrial digital radio waits in the wings

16 min read
Illustration: Pierre-Yves Goavec
Illustration: Pierre-Yves Goavec

While the transition of television to a digital technology with its improved picture and sound quality has been a much publicized and controversial process, television's venerable ancestor, radio, has stayed in the background. But this year, in the United States, radio broadcasting is making its own digital leap. Two start-ups are introducing a new type of radio broadcast--subscription-based digital audio sent from satellites. With satellite digital audio radio services (SDARS), as they're called, listeners will be able to tune in to the same radio stations anywhere in the United States.

SDARS differs from so-called digital music services, in which direct broadcast satellite or cable system operators provide digitized and compressed audio over their networks, both because of its programming and because SDARS can be received in a moving car, where much of today's radio listening takes place; existing digital audio services cannot. (A different form of satellite digital radio, from WorldSpace Corp., Washington, D.C., is currently serving parts of Africa and Asia. It started service in 1999, and is less optimized for mobile use.)

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Make IEEE Your Home Base

The association offers networking opportunities and professional development programs

3 min read
group of young people smiling at the camera

These IEEE members connected with each other at this year's IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, held in London.

IEEE

The word home evokes a sense of belonging and welcoming. IEEE aims to create a similar feeling by offering services for members at every stage of their career and by building a community among them.

IEEE President and CEO K.J. Ray Liu is committed to making IEEE the professional home for members. As he announced in his March column in The Institute, he’s doing that by “examining ways in which the organization could evolve to best meet the needs of all technical professionals in the years ahead.”

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Home Heating With Hydrogen: Ill-Advised as it Sounds

Several studies reveal serious drawbacks

3 min read
Two white boilers mounted on a wood wall, with pipes and tubes.

An old central heating boiler (L) and a hydrogen boiler inside the Hydrogen Experience Center in the Netherlands.

Sem van der Wal/ANP/Getty Images

Hydrogen, if it comes from splitting water with renewable electricity, has its role as a climate-friendly energy source. It could help decarbonize challenging sectors like heavy industry, shipping, and aviation.

But hydrogen makes absolutely no sense for heating homes and buildings, according to a new review of several international studies. It is simply much too expensive and inefficient for that purpose, says Jan Rosenow, Europe director at the Regulatory Assistance Project, an energy think tank in Brussels, who authored the commentary published in the journal Joule.

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Get the Rohde & Schwarz EMI White Paper

Learn how to measure and reduce common mode electromagnetic interference (EMI) in electric drive installations

1 min read
Rohde & Schwarz

Nowadays, electric machines are often driven by power electronic converters. Even though the use of converters brings with it a variety of advantages, common mode (CM) signals are a frequent problem in many installations. Common mode voltages induced by the converter drive common mode currents damage the motor bearings over time and significantly reduce the lifetime of the drive.

Download this free whitepaper now!

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