Category Archives: Software & Hardware

Prototype Air Traffic Tool Ready for Airborne Workout

(l to r) Jason McMahon, Helmuth Eggeling and Scott Nyberg — lead test pilots from Honeywell Aerospace’s Flight Ops engineering organization – take part in final checkouts of the ATD-1 technologies and flight plans.
Credits: NASA / David C. Bowman

It’s time to fly.

After years of research and laboratory work, a full airborne demonstration of new technology and procedures aimed at improving air traffic flow into busy airports is on schedule to take off this month over Washington State.

The system is called Flight Deck Interval Management, or FIM, and its key benefit is that it will help air traffic controllers and pilots more precisely manage and safely shorten the time, or interval, between airplanes landing on a runway.

Honeywell test pilot Jason McMahon interacts with the prototype software that provides speed guidance for maintaining more efficient spacing between aircraft. Credits: NASA / David C. Bowman

Flight tests of the cockpit technology will begin as early as Jan. 20 and involve a trio of aircraft required to give FIM a workout by flying multiple runs of three categories of traffic scenarios, with tests possible through as late as Feb. 28.

Final preparations for the demonstration are underway, with all planning sessions and dress rehearsals on the ground complete, and the participating aircraft and flight crew will be deploying to Seattle within the week.

A flight readiness review that will lead to a final “go” for the tests to begin is scheduled for Jan. 19.

“All the pilots that are going to be flying the FIM operations have gone through the training modules and simulations. The equipment is all set and we’re ready to go,” said Sheri Brown, ATD-1 project manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia.

ATD-1 is short for Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration-1, a coordinated effort involving NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and industry to develop and evaluate new technologies and procedures related to aircraft scheduling and airport arrivals.

The research is intended to help airplanes spend less time in the air, save money on fuel, and reduce engine emissions – all the while improving schedule efficiency to help passengers arrive at their destination on time and avoid missing connecting flights.

NASA’s Roy Roper (r) conducts the coordination between Langley’s air traffic ops lab and the pilots in a Boeing 757 simulator.
Credits: NASA / David C. Bowman

FIM is the final piece of a suite of aircraft arrival technology developed under ATD-1.

Two other NASA-developed technologies from ATD-1 – Traffic Management Advisor with Terminal Metering and Controller Managed Spacing – together were delivered to the FAA in 2014 as a single tool known as Terminal Sequencing and Spacing (TSAS).

Information provided to air traffic controllers from TSAS will be combined with NASA-developed software that is at the heart of FIM. The result is guidance that directs pilots to fly at a certain speed and maintain a more precise spacing with an aircraft flying ahead of them all the way down to the runway.

“It’s a very simple ‘follow the leader’ operation that is easy to execute by the flight crew,” Brown said.

The flight test will take place about 120 miles due east of Seattle over Grant County International Airport. All anticipated flight operations have been fully coordinated ahead of time with all involved FAA air traffic control facilities.

Honeywell’s Boeing 757 test aircraft will be used during the ATD-1 flight test campaign.
Credits: Paul Bowen Photography

During the course of the flight tests, researchers hope to complete some 80 runs involving three major flight scenarios: flying at a cruise altitude of 35,000 feet, descending from cruise altitude all the way down to the airport, and making a final approach beginning about 15 minutes before touchdown.

The plan is to fly about five-and-a-half hours each weekday, testing up to five test scenarios during each daily sortie.

“We can adjust the plan as needed based on weather, any technical problems we might encounter or if we are delayed by other air traffic as we fly to and from our Seattle-based home fields,” said Brian Baxley, NASA’s flight test lead stationed at Langley.

The trio of aircraft involved in this ATD-1 shakedown of FIM includes a Boeing 737 provided by United Airlines and two airplanes provided by Honeywell. One will be a Boeing 757 while the second will be a business jet, either a Dassault Falcon 900 or an Embraer 170.

Honeywell’s aircraft will base out of Boeing Field in Seattle, while the United aircraft will call Seattle-Tacoma International Airport home between test flights.

The Honeywell 757 and United 737 will be equipped with the FIM system in its cockpits, where its pilots will “follow the leader” during test runs behind the Honeywell business jet, which will provide its speed and position information to the other aircraft.

If all goes well with the demonstration, the entire FIM system – including software and hardware – will be turned over to the FAA by the fall of 2017, where the FAA will continue to evaluate and test it before making a decision to certify its use.

Source: NASA



Fast track control accelerates switching of quantum bits

From laptops to cellphones, today’s technology advances through the ever-increasing speed at which electric charges are directed through circuits. Similar advances can happen in the emerging field of quantum technology by speeding up control over quantum states in atomic and nanoscale systems.

An international collaboration among physicists at the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, McGill University and the University of Konstanz recently demonstrated a new framework for faster control of a quantum bit—the basic unit of information in yet-to-be created quantum computers—in findings published online Nov. 28 in Nature Physics. Their experiments on a single electron in a diamond chip could create quantum devices less prone to errors when operated at high speeds.

Intricately shaped pulses of light pave a speedway for the accelerated dynamics of quantum particles, enabling faster switching of a quantum bit. (Image by Peter Allen.)

To understand the experiment, one can look to the ultimate setting for speed in classical dynamics: the oval racetracks at the Indianapolis 500 or Daytona 500. To enable the racecars to navigate the turns at awesome speeds, the racetrack’s pavement is “banked” by up to 30 degrees. That inward slope of the pavement allows the normal force provided by the road to help cancel the car’s centrifugal acceleration, or tendency to slide outward from the turn. The greater the speed of the racecar, the greater the bank angle required.

“The dynamics of quantum particles behave analogously,” said Aashish Clerk, professor of theoretical physics at McGill University. “Although the equations of motion are different, to accurately change the state of a quantum particle at high speeds, you need to design the right track to impart the right forces.”

Clerk, together with McGill postdoctoral fellows Alexandre Baksic and Hugo Ribeiro, formulated a new technique to enable faster quantum dynamics by deftly absorbing detrimental accelerations felt by the quantum particle. These accelerations, unless compensated, would divert the particle from its intended trajectory in the space of quantum states, similar to how the centrifugal acceleration deflects the racecar from its intended racing line on the track.

David Awschalom, professor in spintronics and quantum information at University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering, realized the new theory could be used to speed up the diamond-based quantum devices in his labs, following discussions with members of his own group and Clerk’s group. However, just as constructing the banked speedways presented challenges in civil engineering, executing the control sequences envisioned by Clerk and co-workers presented experimental challenges in quantum engineering.

Building the quantum fast track required shining intricately-shaped, synchronized laser pulses on single electrons trapped at defects inside their diamond chips. This experimental feat was achieved by lead author Brian Zhou, a member of Awschalom’s group, along with group members Christopher Yale, F. Joseph Heremans and Paul Jerger.

“We demonstrated that these new protocols could flip the state of a quantum bit, from ‘off’ to ‘on,’ 300 percent faster than conventional methods,” said Awschalom, also a senior scientist at Argonne. “Shaving every nanosecond from the operation time is essential to reduce the impact of quantum decoherence,” he explained, referring to the process by which quantum information is lost to the environment.

University of Konstanz Prof. Guido Burkard and postdoc Adrian Auer joined members from the Awschalom and Clerk groups to examine the data from the experiments. “What is promising for translating these techniques beyond the laboratory is that they are effective even when the system is not perfectly isolated,” said Burkard, a leading expert in diamond-based quantum systems.

The researchers anticipate their methods can be further applied for fast and accurate control over the physical motion of atoms or the transfer of quantum states between different systems, and convey benefits to quantum applications, such as secure communications and simulation of complex systems.

Source: ANL


Anthropological project refines 3-D modeling

As evidenced by the pop culture phenomenon Pokemon Go, augmented reality is here. But imagine using an application to see an ancient Maya city brought to life in vivid 3-D while virtually walking through a modern-day archaeological site in Honduras.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln anthropologist Heather Richards-Rissetto is pushing that technology a step closer to reality with a new research project in procedural modeling, which uses computer code to take data from sources such as photogrammetry, topographical maps or geographical information to rapidly produce 3-D models.

A virtual tour allows users to maneuver through the World Heritage site of Copan, in western Honduras, and interact with 3-D artifacts.

The project earned funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the first phase will be completed this year. The university will host a website with final source code, step-by-step workflows and a prototype 3-D visualization tool for beta testing. All will be free and available.

For years Richards-Rissetto and other scholars have built 3-D digital models of centuries-old structures to explore primitive cultures. Their efforts have mostly stayed locked away on computer servers thanks to disparate software, large file sizes and inconsistencies in the way data sets are organized. These issues all but stop widespread dissemination and reuse of the models.

Richards-Rissetto will lead a multi-disciplinary team of anthropologists and computer scientists to tackle these problems of making the models accessible and reusable. The team will develop best practices for database structures, tutorials for scholars, and source code for executing procedural models in open source software, making the models replicable for others and enhancing scholarly research.

“Creating 3-D models brings to light things you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise,” she said. “It is a creative academic research endeavor. It leads you to new questions and answers that you wouldn’t be able to get at any other way.”

Richards-Rissetto, assistant professor of anthropology and fellow in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at Nebraska, will use her own procedural modeling and research into ancient Maya culture as the online pilot database.

“The whole idea is to make these data reusable so that other scholars can use the models to explore and reinterpret and visualize other Maya cities, or Roman architecture or whatever it may be,” said Richards-Rissetto. Other scholars will continue to refine the processes and programming.

Richards-Rissetto said she hopes that the project will allow more technological advances in modeling so that one day 3-D models are readily accessible to the public.

“Projects like these bring together new partnerships that lead to new avenues of research,” she said. “In the humanities, we look at human behavior and that’s complex. Those complexities add challenges to the technical side and that breeds creativity and innovation because we’re asking for things that haven’t been done before.”

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Software System Labels Coral Reef Images in Record Time

Computer scientists at the University of California San Diego have released a new version of a software system that processes images from the world’s coral reefs anywhere between 10 to 100 times faster than processing the data by hand.

This is possible because the new version of the system, dubbed CoralNet Beta, includes deep learning technology, which uses vast networks of artificial neurons to learn to interpret image content and to process data.

A screenshot of the CoralNet website. Credit: UC San Diego

CoralNet Beta cuts down the time needed to go through a typical 1200-image diver survey of the ocean’s floor from 10 weeks to just one week—with the same amount of accuracy. Coral ecologists and government organizations, such as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, also use CoralNet to automatically process images from autonomous underwater vehicles. The system allows researchers to label different types of coral and whether they’ve been bleached, different types of invertebrates, different types of algae—and more. In all, over 2200 labels are available on the site.

“This will allow researchers to better understand the changes and degradation happening in coral reefs,” said David Kriegman, a computer science professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego and one of the project’s advisers.

The Beta version of the system runs on a deep neural network with more than 147 million neural connections. “We expect users to see a very significant improvement in automated annotation performance compared to the previous version, allowing more images to be annotated quicker—meaning more time for field deployment and higher-level data analysis,” said Oscar Beijbom, a UC San Diego Ph.D. alumnus and the project’s manager and founder of CoralNet.

He created CoralNet Alpha in 2012 to help label images gathered by oceanographers around the world. Since then, more than 500 users, from research groups, to nonprofits, to government organizations, have uploaded more than 350,000 survey images to the system. Researchers used CoralNet Alpha to label more than five million data points across these images using a tool to label random points within an image designed by UC San Diego alumnus Stephen Chen, the project’s lead developer.

“Over time, news of the site spread by word of mouth, and suddenly it was used all over the world,” said Beijbom.

Source: UC San Diego

From Tinder to Linkedin, If Social Media were to make their own “Spectacle”

Technology has a way of making our lives more connected, efficient and memorable. The newly launched Snapchat Spectacles will make recording memories easier, as well as provide a way to capture memories from our perspective in a cool and stylish way. Tech geeks have been raving about the spectacles ever since it was announced, and with its affordable price, limited stock and futuristic edgy look, who wouldn’t want a pair for themselves?

Innovation is the mother of necessity, and it’s a known fact that in the tech industry, you must innovate or die. In this modern age where almost everything has been done, it’s hard to come up with new ideas. Not all innovations by tech companies bring success (such as Google with Google Glass, Facebook with Slingshot and Microsoft with Zune). In 2010, a research proved that every year, 95% of new products introduced fail.

Snapchat’s innovative spectacles are an example of how social media is steadily becoming part of our daily lives. Will more social media platforms follow in Snapchat’s footsteps? If other social media platforms release their own fashion products, what would they be like? Here are some of our imaginative ideas (and wishes) for the next social media platform that meets with fashion and technology:

Tinder Match Bracelet

We are all eager to find that special someone who we can cuddle with at night, hold our hands in the movies, be fat together, or to just simply meet and have a good time with. It’s both devastating and embarrassing when you meet someone in a coffee shop and you’re not able to say hi or start a conversation. With Tinder (and your fingers crossed), that special someone might have an account and swipe right on your profile!

Tinder can be made easier with a Tinder Match Bracelet! While spending time at your favorite place, it will notify you of potential date candidates around. Everyone from co-workers in your office building to people working out at the gym will just be a swipe away. Avoid the heart break for knowing that he (or she) is taken, by only focusing on the available candidates.

Choosing ‘Yay!’ or ‘Nay’ is as easy as pressing the little button on both sides of its screen. With its simple design, the bracelet can be a good match for your outfit of the day as well. Finding your next date has never been easier (and fancier)!

LinkedIn Pinector

It’s finally time to go into the world and find a job. Networking takes a lot of time and effort, but LinkedIn is the ultimate solution for this problem. People can connect to who they want to (recruiter or potential customer) in just a click. In the past, going to a job fair or conference to connect with the right people was a dull task; no one really looked forward to. Have you ever wished that you could use LinkedIn to find the exact person you wanted to talk to in the first place? Yes? We introduce to you LinkedIn Pinector! The newest product from LinkedIn that’s going to change networking forever.

Just attach the LinkedIn Pinector to your tie or pocket and it’ll start to roll. Before getting into the fair, set up the filter on your smartphone of who you would like to meet, whether by job title, field of interest, or even specific company name. The 5-megapixel camera will detect a person face, match it with your interests and send a push notification to your phone. Simple as that, you can approach the person right away with the right information!

Tweet Ring

One of the most popular social applications, Twitter gained its popularity as a unique platform which allows its users to upload posts only within 140 characters. People nowadays are bombarded by a lot of information; thus, they need to digest the information in the most efficient and concise way possible. Twitter is the only answer!

Imagine you’re facing an exciting situation in your life and you want to spread the story, but picking up and unlocking your phone is going to take too much of your precious time. Twitter introduces its latest technology, the Tweet Ring.

The Tweet Ring is made from black palladium, which is ensured to have reliable and consistent grading. With its sleek design, anyone can wear the Twitter Ring! It can detect its user’s voice as well and translate into text. The result? Super instant tweets!. The default color will be blue, it will turns red while you are recording and green once it’s tweeted.

Not to worry, we know you’re just as obsessed with hashtags as we are. Simply say “hashtag” to the ring and it will just type as you wish. Have fun with the Tweet Ring!

Spotify Earrings

Spotify has quickly become one of everyone’s must have applications. Spotify gives you access to a world of music where you can listen to your favorite artists and albums.

In September, Apple launched its latest technology, Airpods, the wireless headphone that wowed people across the globe. What you didn’t know is that Spotify introduced their Spotify Earrings right after. Spotify knows how Airpods drop and fly away when you do extreme activities like running, exercising and dancing your a** off, so it introduced Spotify Earrings to the world. You can wear them anytime and anywhere without having to worry about losing them.

Spotify knows that people always ask their friends what the name of the song currently playing in the café or on the radio is. The solution to that problem is finally here! In addition to its ergonomic design, Spotify Earrings can detect and identify a song as well. Spotify also use the newest technology to hear music called “Bone conduction” that delivers music through your ear lobule, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds. Life is music, Life is fun, with Spotify Earrings on you 24/7.


You know us, we love to copy what our competitor does, we just – do it better.

Instagram will go head to head with Snapchat’s spectacle, by introducing Insta-Spactacle. Coming with a retro unisex design, Instagram steps up its game by adding features where you can swipe and choose a filter before recording or taking a photo with the tiny button on the right.

Taking an opposite stance to Snapchat where ‘less is more’, Instagram offers a high quality camera on their spectacles with 12 MP, phase detection auto focus and face/smile detection. A spectacle with the quality of the iPhone 7 camera! What are you waiting for? Capture and share the world moments!

Dear CEOs of the companies mentioned above, we can’t wait for your next move on how you’ll incorporate your social media platforms with fashion and technology!

(Psst, innovate quickly before your social media platform turns into history.)

This Article was made by the creative team of iPrice Group from Thailand and Indonesia