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Researchers call for marine observation network

April 11, 2013 3:31 am | News | Comments

A comprehensive marine biodiversity observation network could be established with modest funding within five years, according to a recently published assessment from a team led by J. Emmett Duffy of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Such a network, they say, would fill major gaps in scientists' understanding of the global distribution of marine organisms.

Researchers invent better single-photon emitter for quantum cryptography

April 9, 2013 6:31 pm | News | Comments

In a development that could make the advanced form of secure communications known as quantum cryptography more practical, University of Michigan researchers have demonstrated a simpler, more efficient single-photon emitter that can be made using traditional semiconductor processing techniques.

Technique finds software bugs in surgical robots

April 9, 2013 5:08 am | News | Comments

Surgical robots could make some types of surgery safer and more effective, but proving that the software controlling these machines works as intended is problematic. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Johns Hopkins University have demonstrated that methods for reliably detecting software bugs and ultimately verifying software safety can be applied successfully to this breed of robot.

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ORNL microscopy uncovers “dancing” silicon atoms in graphene

April 3, 2013 4:17 pm | News | Comments

Jumping silicon atoms are the stars of an atomic scale ballet featured in a new Nature Communications study from the U.S. Department of Energy(DOE)'s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The ORNL research team documented the atoms' unique behavior by first trapping groups of silicon atoms, known as clusters, in a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon called graphene.

Open Photonics, VTT collaborate on spectral engine technologies

April 3, 2013 3:09 pm | News | Comments

Orlando-based photonics technology acceleration company Open Photonics Inc. and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have announced a partnership to accelerate the commercialization of VTT’s advanced Fabry-Perot visible and infrared spectroscopy and spectral imaging technologies.  

First-ever secure quantum code transmitted through air

April 3, 2013 9:56 am | News | Comments

Physicists in Germany have, for the first time, successfully transmitted secure quantum information through the atmosphere from an aircraft to a ground station. Given the accuracy of the laser- and mirror-based system, which 3 m over a distance of 20 km, the experiment represents an important step towards secure satellite-based global communication.

Another step toward quantum computers: Using photons for memory

April 1, 2013 1:57 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at Yale University have found a new way to manipulate microwave signals that could aid the long-term effort to develop a quantum computer, a powerful tool that would revolutionize information processing through unprecedented speed and power. The researchers created an artificial medium in which photons repel photons, allowing for efficient, non-destructive encoding and manipulation of quantum information.

Acoustic time delay device could reduce size, cost of phased-array systems

April 1, 2013 7:51 am | News | Comments

Radar systems today depend increasingly on phased-array antennas, an advanced design in which extensive grids of solid-state components direct signal beams electronically. Phased-array technology is replacing traditional electromechanical radar antennas because stationary solid-state electronics are faster, more precise, and more reliable than moving mechanical parts. Yet phased-array antennas, which require bulky supporting electronics, can be as large as older systems. To address this issue, a research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a novel device.

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Scientists in Korea develop low-power 60 GHz RF chip for mobile devices

March 31, 2013 6:44 pm | News | Comments

As a possible method for accelerating transmission of large data, researchers are studying the adoption of gigabits per second (Gbps) wireless communications operating over the 60 GHz radio frequency (RF) band. But mobile applications have not been developed yet because the 60 GHz RF circuit consumes hundreds of milliwatts of DC power. A new chip developed at KAIST in Korea, however, consumes as little 67 mW of power thanks to newly developed components.

Apple patents iPhone with wraparound display

March 29, 2013 4:47 pm | by PETER SVENSSON - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple is seeking a patent for an iPhone that has a display that wraps around the edges of the device, expanding the viewable area and eliminating all physical buttons. The patent application reveals that Apple has put some thought into a device that takes advantage of a new generation of displays, which don't have to be flat and rigid like today's liquid-crystal displays, or LCDs.

Better than X-rays: A more powerful terahertz imaging system

March 28, 2013 8:47 am | News | Comments

Low-energy terahertz radiation could potentially enable doctors to see deep into tissues without the damaging effects of X-rays, or allow security guards to identify chemicals in a package without opening it. But it's been difficult for engineers to make powerful enough systems to accomplish these promising applications. Now an electrical engineering research team at the University of Michigan has developed a laser-powered terahertz source and detector system that transmits with 50 times more power and receives with 30 times more sensitivity than existing technologies.

Scientists propose laser system to produce the next LHC

March 28, 2013 8:09 am | News | Comments

An international team of physicists has proposed a revolutionary laser system, inspired by the telecommunications technology, to produce the next generation of particle accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The International Coherent Amplification Network sets out a new laser system composed of massive arrays of thousands of fiber lasers, for both fundamental research at laboratories, such as CERN, and more applied tasks such as proton therapy and nuclear transmutation.

Backpack-sized mini-mapper captures intel in tight spots

March 27, 2013 7:44 am | News | Comments

Engineers have recently developed a portable mapping system—carried in a backpack—that can be used to automatically create annotated physical maps of locations where GPS is not available, such as in underground areas and on ships. The system improves upon algorithms once developed for robots—which are not practical for all environments—and has a built-in allowance for normal human movement, like walking.

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Magnetic nano-droplet discovery presents telecom opportunity

March 20, 2013 5:06 pm | News | Comments

A team that includes researchers from Sweden has successfully created a magnetic soliton, a spin torque-generated nano-droplet that could lead to technological innovation in such areas as mobile telecommunications. This construct was first theorized 35 years ago and scientists have long believed that they exist in magnetic environments, but until now they had never been observed

Project aims to manage traffic in California using data

March 19, 2013 10:56 am | by Gordy Slack, CITRIS | News | Comments

Two California urban areas have the dubious distinction of being tied for second-worst traffic in the country. Commuters spend 61 hours per year being stuck in traffic in the Bay Area and in Los Angeles. A new project called Connected Corridors, led by University of California, Berkeley, is developing new technologies that will help Caltrans gather and analyze traffic data to make real-time whole-system traffic management recommendations

NASA’s first laser communication system ready for launch

March 15, 2013 10:33 am | by Dewayne Washington, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center | News | Comments

The space terminal for the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), NASA's first high-data-rate laser communication system, was recently integrated onto the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. LLCD will demonstrate laser communications from lunar orbit to Earth at six times the rate of the best modern-day advanced radio communication systems.

Researchers find German-made spyware across globe

March 13, 2013 5:28 pm | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Canadian research center said Wednesday that it had identified 25 different countries that host servers linked to FinFisher, a Trojan horse program which can dodge anti-virus protections to steal data, log keystrokes, eavesdrop on Skype calls, and turn microphones and webcams into live surveillance devices. This finding doesn't necessarily mean those countries' governments are using FinFisher, but it is an indication of the spyware's reach.

Steganography is no laughing matter

March 12, 2013 3:47 pm | News | Comments

Encrypting a message with a strong code is the only safe way to keep your communications secret, but it will be obvious to anyone seeing such a message that the sender is hiding something. Steganography, on the other hand, can hide a secret message in plain sight, using binary numbers, for example. Researchers, however, now suggest that instead of using a humdrum text document and modifying it in a codified way to embed a secret message, correspondents could use a joke to hide their true meaning.

New NIST time code to boost reception for radio-controlled clocks

March 8, 2013 3:31 pm | News | Comments

NIST is changing the way it broadcasts time signals that synchronize radio-controlled "atomic" clocks and watches to official U.S. time. This new time broadcast protocol will not only improve the performance of new radio-controlled clocks and watches, but will encourage the development of new timekeeping products that were not practical with the old broadcast system because of local interference.

Computer scientists use music to lure students to STEM majors

March 8, 2013 10:27 am | News | Comments

In effort to show students the opportunities available in science-based career paths, Jennifer Burg and her colleagues at Wake Forest University decided to use music projects to help students in lower-level classes latch onto highly technical concepts in digital media. Making music is the main objective, but Burg’s ultimate goal is to get them to understand how the underlying technology works—and to love it so much they decide on a STEM career.

Curiosity sleeps as solar blast races toward Mars

March 7, 2013 9:47 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

NASA’s Martian rover hunkered down Wednesday after the sun unleashed a blast that raced toward Mars. While Curiosity was designed to withstand punishing space weather, its handlers decided to power it down as a precaution since it suffered a recent computer problem. While the hardy rover slept, the Opportunity rover and two NASA spacecraft circling overhead carried on with normal activities.

White House: Cell phone unlocking should be legal

March 5, 2013 10:07 am | News | Comments

An Obama administration adviser says the White House believes smartphone and tablet users should be allowed to unlock their phones and use the devices on the network of their choosing. The administration's opinion on the matter also goes for tablets, since they are becoming similar to smartphones.

Smart “stickers” let you find things by phone

March 1, 2013 10:43 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Jimmy Buchheim's Davie, Fla.-based company, Stick-N-Find Technologies, wants to give people a way to find things, whether it's keys, wallets, TV remotes, or cat collars. There's no real trick to sending out a radio signal and having a phone pick it up. That's been done before. What makes Buchheim’s Stick-N-Find practical is a new radio technology known as Bluetooth Low Energy, which drastically reduces the battery power needed to send out a signal.

Companies struggle to popularize mobile money

March 1, 2013 10:25 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

At the world's largest cellphone trade show in Barcelona this week, the 70,000 attendees are encouraged to use their cellphones—instead their keycards—to get past the turnstiles at the door. But very few people took the chance to do that. The process of setting up the phone to act as a keycard proved too much of a hassle. It's a poor omen for an industry that's eager to have the cellphone replace both tickets and credit cards.

Connecting the quantum dots

February 26, 2013 12:51 pm | News | Comments

Recent research offers a new spin on using nanoscale semiconductor structures to build faster computers and electronics. Literally. Researchers have revealed a new method that better preserves the units necessary to power lightning-fast electronics, known as qubits. Hole spins, rather than electron spins, can keep quantum bits in the same physical state up to 10 times longer than before, the report finds.

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