OceanGate, Boeing Research and Technology and the University of Washington
Whether your 9,800 feet below the sea or 12 miles above the Earth, technology is beautiful. This week we look at amazing images from new technology being developed in the space in between.
With Elon Musk and his SpaceX team and James Cameron diving deep into the ocean, exploration seems to be going mainstream. To that end, a new submersible being developed could take a person to 9,800 feet below the sea. The Cyclops, being developed by OceanGate, Boeing Research & Technology, and the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington, will be constructed from carbon fiber and have a 7-inch-thick hull able to withstand 4,300 psi (300 bar) of water pressure. Look for it in 2016.
Titan Aerospace unveiled designs for the world’s first solar-powered atmospheric satellite capable of staying aloft for five years. The Solara 50 would fly 12 miles high, allowing the sun to charge its batteries. It could be used for a variety of applications, from environmental monitoring to delivering mobile communication signals to remote areas.
Not your average timepiece, this atomic clock, which keeps time using ytterbium atoms, is officially the world's most accurate clock. The clock relies on about 10,000 rare-earth atoms cooled to 10 millionths of a degree above absolute zero and can make extremely accurate measurements in rapid time.
Engineers at BAE Systems and UK Sport have developed a high-tech wheelchair wheel that will give British paralympic athletes such as Shelly Woods a racing advantage. Among other features, the new design reduces air drag and friction with the track.
Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab have developed new 3-D printing software that makes it possible to print an object from different materials with varying textures. To date, most 3-D printers are only able to print an object out of one kind of material.
This week, researchers replicated a number of historic California earthquakes including the 7.2-magnitude Cape Mendocino earthquake of 1992, the 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake in 1994 and the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. The tests were conducted on a four-story wood-frame building using the world's largest outdoor shake table at the University of San Diego California.
Courtesy Natalie Kuldell/Massachusetts Institute of Technology
By genetically engineering harmless bacteria, bioengineer Chris Voigt and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to culture a photograph in a Petri dish. The bacteria are designed to produce a black pigment when it's dark and stay transparent under red light. The result is a living black-and-white image.
In Germany, digital-printing techniques is making precision agriculture easier. Benedikt Grob, a Royal College of Art graduate, used custom software, GPS tracking and a high-tech tractor to map and then sow two different kinds of seeds. Oat seeds were planted in 85 percent of the ground and then wildflowers were planted in the remaining 15 percent of soil for an ecologically balanced field that could give farmers more bang for their buck.
PureTemp / Entropy Solutions
Entropy Solutions used phase-change materials to create innovative coffee mugs that keep beverages at 160 degrees for several hours -- double what an insulated thermos can do. Unlike other phase change materials out there, these use vegetable oils as the base chemical and as a result are not toxic or flammable. Not only are they safer, they’re also biodegradable.
The world's first 3-D printed structure is up. Named Echoviren, the 10ft x 10ft x 8ft pavilion is located in a redwood forest at Project 387, an artists' residency program in California. Architects from the Smith/Allen studio built the structure by first designing and printing 585 individual biodegradable plastic components, and then assembling them over a period of just four days. That's a different approach than building one stand-alone building from a single, large printer.