Unsafe At Any Airspeed?

Cellphones and other electronics are more of a risk than you think

15 min read
Image of an airplane.
Image: Peter Dawson; Photo Manipulation: Laura Hoffman

image of airplane Image: Peter Dawson; Photo Manipulation: Laura Hoffman

Is it safe to use cellphones on airplanes? The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) thinks it may be. In December 2004, the agency began soliciting comments on proposed regulations that would allow airline passengers to use cellphones and other electronic devices. To be sure, it acknowledges that a sister agency, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has ultimate authority regarding regulations that govern airline safety. Yet a July 2005 report by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee, which held hearings on the matter, noted: “The FCC hopes to issue a final ruling in 2006, stating that its ultimate objective is to allow consumers to use their own wireless devices during flight.”

Keep reading... Show less

Stay ahead of the latest trends in technology. Become an IEEE member.

This article is for IEEE members only. Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Mayo Clinic Researchers Pump Up Wearable ECG Functions With AI

Single-lead ECG can detect ventricular dysfunction

3 min read
A closeup image of a person about to touch an apple watch screen showing a health app with their finger.
Istockphoto

–Mayo Clinic researchers have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm that can detect weak heart pump functioning from a single-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) on the Apple Watch. They say early results indicate it is as accurate as a medically-ordered treadmill stress test, but could be performed anywhere.

The single-lead AI algorithm was adapted from an existing algorithm that works by analyzing ventricular pumping data from a 12-lead ECG already in clinical use under an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Dr. Paul Friedman, chair of the clinic’s department of cardiovascular medicine, said the new technology could signal a new era for patients for whom making repeated trips to a hospital or cardiologist’s office are, at the least, inconvenient, and possibly health-threatening.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

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.

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.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

Take the Lead on Satellite Design Using Digital Engineering

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

1 min read
Keysight
Keysight

Win the race to design and deploy satellite technologies and systems. Learn how new digital engineering techniques can accelerate development and reduce your risk and costs. Download this free whitepaper now!

Our white paper covers:

Keep Reading ↓ Show less