Increasing Use of Radar Tests Spectrum Authorities

The FCC in particular needs to make radar regulation more friendly to innovators

12 min read
A technician works on a Doppler weather radar’s parabolic antenna, which is situated within a large tiled dome.
Dishing Out Waves: A technician works on a Doppler weather radar’s parabolic antenna, which is situated within a large tiled dome.
Photo: Brownie Harris/Corbis

During the 1930s, with Europe preparing for war, the British government badly needed a way to detect the approach of enemy aircraft. It got one, thanks to a bookish-looking engineer named Robert Watson-Watt, who devised and successfully tested a primitive radar system in 1935. By the time of the Battle of Britain in 1940, a chain of radar stations along England’s eastern and southern coasts was providing enough warning of incoming Luftwaffe bombers to allow civilians to find shelter underground and Royal Air Force pilots to scramble their fighters into the air. King George VI recognized Watson-Watt’s accomplishments with a knighthood in 1942. Some historians even credit the engineer with Britain’s survival during those terrifying times.

Some 15 years later, when Watson-Watt was in his 60s and I was in my teens, he spoke at my Canadian high school. The best part of the talk for us was his story about having been pulled over in a radar speed trap. He read us a poem he had composed while waiting for his case to be called:

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

One of the crucial elements for a functioning lunar base is a power supply. Sandia National Laboratories, a research and development lab that specializes in building microgrids for military bases, is teaming up with NASA to design one that will work on the moon.

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Trilobite-Inspired Camera Boasts Huge Depth of Field

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 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.

Five hundred million years ago, the oceans teemed with horseshoe-crab-like trilobites. Among the most successful of all early animals, these armored invertebrates lived on Earth for roughly 270 million years before going extinct.

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Modern System Level Design for Aerospace & Defense

Join this webinar series to learn the most important aspects of modern system-level design for RF and microwave applications in aerospace and defense

1 min read
Keysight
Keysight

More than ever, aerospace and defense companies must lower costs, accelerate their R&D, and reduce risk, all while simultaneously maintaining a high level of mission readiness. Register for this free webinar now!

Keysight is addressing these design challenges for RF and microwave applications, particularly for aerospace and defense applications.

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