When Will We Have Unmanned Commercial Airliners?

Unmanned planes dominate the battlefield, yet airliners still have pilots—and copilots

12 min read
When Will We Have Unmanned Commercial Airliners?
Illustration: Sean McCabe

Time was when a uniformed man would close a metal gate, throw a switch, and intone, “Second floor—men's clothing, linens, power tools…” and the carload of people would glide upward. Now each passenger handles the job with a punch of a button and not a hint of white-knuckled hesitation. The first automatic elevator was installed by Otis Elevator Co. in 1924; the things became common in the 1950s.

And back in the day, every train had an “engineer” in the cab of the locomotive. Then robo-trains took over intra-airport service, and in the past decade they have appeared on subway lines in Copenhagen, Detroit, Tokyo, and other cities.

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Carbon-Removal Tech Grabs Elon Musk’s Check

Millions poured into XPrize effort to pull CO2 out of the sky

7 min read
A computer rendering showing Project Hajar sited in the Al Hajar mountains in Oman, capturing 1000 tons/year of CO2.

London’s Mission Zero Technologies has developed an energy-efficient way of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequestering it into the dominant rock (peridotites) of the upper part of the Earth’s mantle.

mission zero/44.01

Stretching across the northern coasts of Oman and the United Arab Emirates loom the vast jagged peaks of the Al Hajar mountains. The craggy outcrops are made mostly of a rock called peridotite, which absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and turns it into solid minerals. The mountains could store trillions of tonnes of human-made CO2 emissions, but the natural carbon-mineralization process works at a glacial pace.

London startup 44.01 has found a way to speed it up. For this endeavor, 44.01 is teaming up with another London startup, Mission Zero Technologies, which has developed an energy-efficient method to capture CO2 from air. Called Project Hajar, it plans to pull 1,000 tonnes of CO2/year from air at a demonstration facility in Oman, injecting some 3–4 tonnes/day into the peridotite rocks. A 120 tonne-capacity pilot plant will come online in the first half of 2023.

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What Is Wi-Fi 7?

Great capacity, less latency—here's how IEEE 802.11be achieves both

4 min read
A purple circle with the number 7 in the middle. Curved purple lines radiate out from the circle to the left and right.
Shutterstock

New generations of Wi-Fi have sprung onto the scene at a rapid pace in recent years. After a storied five-year presence, Wi-Fi 5 was usurped in 2019 by Wi-Fi 6, only for the latter to be toppled a year later in 2020 by an intermediate generation, Wi-Fi 6E. And now, just a couple years later, we’re on the verge of Wi-Fi 7.

Wi-Fi 7 (the official IEEE standard is 802.11be) may only give Wi-Fi 6 a scant few years in the spotlight, but it’s not just an upgrade for the sake of an upgrade. Several new technologies—and some that debuted in Wi-Fi 6E but haven’t entirely yet come into their own—will allow Wi-Fi 7 routers and devices to make full use of an entirely new band of spectrum at 6 gigahertz. This spectrum—first tapped into with Wi-Fi 6E—adds a third wireless band alongside the more familiar 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands.

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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
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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!

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