Down to the Wire

Aging, brittle wiring within aircraft poses a hidden hazard that emerging technologies aim to address

11 min read
Down to the Wire

down to the wire opener Photo: Pete McArthur

As today's military and commercial aircraft age past their teen years, the many kilometers of wiring buried deep within their structures begin to crack and fray. Once thought to be rare and benign, such faults are found by the hundreds in a typical aircraft. Unlike obvious cracks in a wing or an engine, though, damaged wire is extremely difficult to detect. But the resulting arcing and electromagnetic emissions can be just as deadly: faulty wiring has been blamed for the downing of Swissair 111 near Nova Scotia in 1998 and of TWA 800 off New York's Long Island in 1996 [see Photo]. Indeed, any densely wired system is vulnerable--the space shuttle, nuclear power plants, subways and railroads, even the family car.

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Engineers Are Working on a Solar Microgrid to Outlast Lunar Nights

Future lunar bases will need power for mining and astronaut survival

4 min read
A rendering of a lunar base. In the foreground are rows of solar panels and behind them are two astronauts standing in front of a glass dome with plants inside.
P. Carril/ESA

The next time humans land on the moon, they intend to stay awhile. For the Artemis program, NASA and its collaborators want to build a sustained presence on the moon, which includes setting up a base where astronauts can live and work.

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New camera relies on “metalenses” that could be fabricated using a standard CMOS foundry

3 min read
Black and white image showing different white box shapes in rows

Scanning electron microscope image of the titanium oxide nanopillars that make up the metalens. The scale is 500 nanometers (nm).

NIST

Inspired by the eyes of extinct trilobites, researchers have created a miniature camera with a record-setting depth of field—the distance over which a camera can produce sharp images in a single photo. Their new study reveals that with the aid of artificial intelligence, their device can simultaneously image objects as near as 3 centimeters and as far away as 1.7 kilometers.

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Learn how to accelerate your satellite design process and reduce risk and costs with model-based engineering methods

1 min read
Keysight
Keysight

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