New high-tech airships are rising in Southern California Worldwide Aeros is building a blimp-like aircraft in a Word War II-era blimp… (Don Bartletti, Los Angeles…) Not since the waning days of World War II have the mammoth wooden blimp hangars at the former military base in Tustin seen as much airship manufacturing work as they do today. Inside the 17-story structures that rise above southern Orange County, Worldwide Aeros Corp. is building a blimp-like airship designed for the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world. "Nobody has ever tried to do what we're doing here," Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said of the 265-foot skeleton being transformed into the cargo airship. "This will revolutionize airship technology." PHOTOS: Next-generation airships Residents of Southern California are no strangers to airships. The federal government is buying blimps, zeppelins and spy balloons, and many of these new-generation hybrid "lighter than air" aircraft are taking shape across California.
Crazy Hoverbike is Capable of Flying to 10,000 Feet Even though this crazy hoverbike hasn’t yet left the inventor’s neighborhood, the high-flying invention has some amazing potential. Designed by Australian Chris Malloy the bike is capable of traveling at speeds of up to 173mph at 10,000 feet. It could potentially travel even higher, but then users would have to carry oxygen. Classified as an ultralight, users won’t be required to have a pilot’s license to ride it, but might we need traffic lanes at 10,000 feet if it does take off? The 1170 cc hoverbike engine is air-cooled and runs on regular unleaded fuel (if only it ran on algae… that would be cool!) In an urban context, the hoverbike would be an absolute nightmare. + Hoverbike
A smart-object recognition algorithm that doesn’t need humans (Credit: BYU Photo) BYU engineer Dah-Jye Lee has created an algorithm that can accurately identify objects in images or video sequences — without human calibration. “In most cases, people are in charge of deciding what features to focus on and they then write the algorithm based off that,” said Lee, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. “With our algorithm, we give it a set of images and let the computer decide which features are important.” Humans need not apply Not only is Lee’s genetic algorithm able to set its own parameters, but it also doesn’t need to be reset each time a new object is to be recognized — it learns them on its own. Lee likens the idea to teaching a child the difference between dogs and cats. Comparison with other object-recognition algorithms In a study published in the December issue of academic journal Pattern Recognition, Lee and his students demonstrate both the independent ability and accuracy of their “ECO features” genetic algorithm.
Army lets air out of battlefield spyship project Near the height of the Afghanistan war, the Pentagon spent $297 million on a seven-story blimp-like aircraft — as long as a football field — that would hover over the war zone for weeks at a time, beaming back crucial intelligence. But as the military wound down its presence in the Middle East, plans for the unmanned floating spy center deflated. The aircraft fell behind schedule, became 12,000 pounds ...
This doohickey turns your normal bike into an electric bike Try not to think about how its name sounds like masturbation. Buying an electric bike is kind of a commitment — it can cost as much as a cheap car, weigh as much as a small boar, and be troublingly similar to riding an artificially intelligent Pegasus-android that could destroy you at any moment. On the other hand, conversion kits are often heavy and unattractive. In a Kickstarter that’s actually cool, some Lithuanian guys have invented a gadget you plop on your bike that turns your steel steed electric — without the weight and cost of an e-bike. When your thighs hit noodle state, the Rubbee can take over for up to 15 miles, driving your bike at up to 15 miles per hour. If you want your own Rubbee, donate to the Kickstarter, which has raised $64,000 of its $96,000 goal so far.
Proposed Satellite Would Beam Solar Power to Earth PASADENA, Calif. — An energy-hungry Earth is in need of transformational and sustainable energy solutions, experts say. For decades, researchers have been appraising the use of power-beaming solar-power satellites. But the projected cost, complexity and energy economics of the notion seemingly short-circuited the idea. Now, a unique new approach has entered the scene, dubbed SPS-ALPHA, short for Solar Power Satellite via Arbitrarily Large PHased Array. Mankins provided a detailed overview of the power-beaming concept here during the 2012 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts meeting March 27-29. The NIAC is under the wing of NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist, which is providing a technology and innovation focus for the space agency. Huge platforms Last August, Artemis Innovation Management Solutions was selected for a NASA NIAC award to dive into the details of what Mankins labels "the first practical solar-power satellite concept." Megawatts of power Mass production
Worldwide Aeros Aims to Turn Blimps Into Cargo Craft Inside a decommissioned military hangar in Tustin, Calif., about 30 miles south of Los Angeles, sits what at first glance looks like the world’s biggest Mylar balloon. Closer inspection reveals a skeleton of carbon tubes clothed in a silver skin dubbed the Aeroscraft. It’s Igor Pasternak’s shot at proving to the world that helium-filled airships, long ago eclipsed by planes, have a bright future in commercial cargo. “What we’re doing is revolution,” says Pasternak, who started Worldwide Aeros in his native Ukraine and then moved the company to Los Angeles in 1993. Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Since they’re light and can take off and land vertically, Pasternak’s airships—the industry’s preferred term—could be an energy-efficient way to bring big loads to out-of-the-way places without first having to build a runway or a road. Its success hinges on a design solution to a problem that’s plagued lighter-than-air craft since their early-1900s heyday. So far, the U.S.