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Signature Analysis of Single Molecules Using Their Noise Signals

Signature Analysis of Single Molecules Using Their Noise Signals

Signature Analysis: Scientists Discover Unique Noise Signatures in the Single Molecules

When we think of noise then it is seen as an unwanted sound in the environment which is useless for us. Quite incidentally noise is not just limited to the environment and organism but it is even found in the electronics in the form of the low-frequency random fluctuations. But in the scientific world noise is an interesting thing to study and understand it using noise signature analysis when it is emitted from the nanoscale electronics. This has even brought the possibility of creating such devices which can operate solely using the noise.Over the years scientists have found that materials having a high surface to volume ratio are best suited candidates to study the noise in nanoscale electronics. One such prime candidate for this job is carbon nanotubes. As the name suggests the carbon nanotubes are made up of rolled sheets of grapheme which are spread in hexagonal network. This particular design language ensures that the carbon nanotube structure has a thickness of just one carbon atom thereby making it the best suitable option for generating noise and studying it’s signature analysis at the same time.

The team behind this signature analysis

This signature analysis experiment has been a collaboration of Japanese researchers from the Osaka University wherein they wanted to explore ability of the single molecules through studying their affect to the noise. This signature analysis experiment was specifically limited to the carbon nanotube based nanoscale devices as stated earlier. This team built simple devices which had carbon nanotube bridging the two electrodes. Later on these devices were exposed to quite different yet large molecules which helped in detecting the unique noise signals. This particular experiment helped in understanding the properties of the molecules and how they interacted with the noise signature analysis tests.

They found that the each signal generated from this experiment by different molecules showcased their varied absorption rate. When this noise is absorbed by the molecule then it resulted in creating a trap state within the carbon nanotube and thereby changed its conductance.

Future applications of noise signature analysis

The heightened sensitivity of the carbon nanotube based devices was so high that it helped scientists in studying as well as detecting varied unique noise signature even from a single molecule with ease. The noise signature analysis gave them the ability to characterize the single molecules in different manner which brings further exciting applications for it in future. It can be utilized in developing highly sensitive nanoelectronics in future which will be finding huge usage in the sensors and most importantly in the neuro and the biosensor based devices.

One of the lead scientists on this project named Megumi Aksai Kasaya has stated that the noise signature analysis process has made it easier for them to identify molecular activity of the materials using the noise signals. Currently they are working on developing carbon based devices in order to illustrate how it has been made possible to detect single molecule by assessing their unique noise signatures.

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First Battery Free Cellphone Makes Calls by Harvesting Ambient Power

First Battery Free Cellphone Makes Calls by Harvesting Ambient Power

First Functional Battery free Cellphone – Zero Power

A cellphone that needs no battery which is a primary jump forward in moving beyond chargers, cords and dying phones has been considered by the scientists of University of Washington.

On the contrary the phone tends to gathers the few microwatts of power it tends to need from ambient radio signals or light. Their project is inclined to recognise speech, motivate the phones and then adjust between up link and down link conversations, in real time.

Their system is said to elevate transmission as well as reception of speech and at the same time harvest power that empowers the battery-free cellphone to function constantly. Skype calls had also been made by the group by   utilising the battery-free phone, representing that the model made of commercial, off-the-shelf component could obtain as well as convey speech and communicate with a base station.

The new technology is said to be detailed in a paper which has been published on July 1 in the Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies.

Co-author Shyam Gollakota, a junior professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the UW had stated that they have built what they believe is the first functioning cellphone which tends to consume almost zero power.

Convert Analog Signals into Battery Power

For the purpose of accomplishing really low power consumption desired for running a phone by harvesting energy from the environment, they had to fundamentally rethink how these devices are designed.

It is said that the team of UW computer scientists and electrical engineers had wiped out a power-hungry step in utmost current cellular transmissions converting analog signals which tend to convey sound into digital data which a phone can comprehend. This process tends to consume plenty of energy that has been difficult in designing a phone which could be dependent on ambient power sources.

The battery-free cellphone instead is inclined to take benefit of tiny vibrations in the microphone or speaker of the phone that takes place whenever a person seems to talk in a phone or listens to a call.

The components are linked to an antenna which tends to convert that motion into alterations in standard analog radio signal emitted through a cellular base station and this process is needed to encode speech patterns in reflected radio signals in a manner that utilises practically no power.  In order to convey speech, the phone is said to utilise vibrations from the microphone of the device to encode speech patterns in reproduced signals.

Convert Programmed Radio Signals – Sound Vibration

To obtain speech, it converts programmed radio signals to sound vibration which are picked up by the speaker of the phone. In the model device, the user presses a button in order to switch between these two `transmitting’ and `listening’ modes.

The team established that the prototype could perform basic phone functions in transmitting speech as well as data and receiving user input through buttons, by utilising regular components on printed circuit board. The researcher had been in a position of getting inward calls, dial out and place callers on hold with the battery-free phone by utilising Skype.

Faculty chief Joshua Smith professor in the Allen School as well as the UW’s Department of Electrical Engineering had commented that `the cellphone is the device they depend on presently and if there was one device you would want to be able to use without batteries, it is the cellphone.  The proof of concept we have developed is exciting presently and we think it could impact the daily devices in the near future’.

The team had designed a custom-based station for the purpose of transmitting and receiving the radio signals.  However the same technology possibly could be integrated into standard cellular network infrastructure or Wi-Fi routers which is now generally utilised in making calls.

Ambient Energy Sources for Battery

Co-author, Vamsi Talla, who had been a former UW electrical engineering doctoral student as well as Allen School research associate, had stated that `you could imagine in the future that all cell towers or Wi-Fi routers could come with our base station technology embedded in it. And if each household has a Wi-Fi router in it, they could get battery-free cellphone coverage everywhere’.

The battery-free phone tends to yet need a small volume of energy in order to perform some kind of processes.  The prototype tends to have a power budget of 3.5 microwatts. The researchers of UW had established how to yield this small quantity of energy from two dissimilar types of sources.

The battery-free phone model is said to operate on power got together from ambient radio signals, which has been transmitted by a base station up to about 31 feet away. The device was capable of communicating with a base station which had been 50 feet away by utilising power harvested from ambient light with a tiny solar cell which had been approximately the size of a grain of rice.

A lot of other battery-free technologies which tend to depend on ambient energy sources, such as the temperature sensors or an accelerometer, conserve power together with intermittent operations.

Streaming Video – Battery-Free Cellphone

They are said to take a reading and thereafter tend to `sleep’ for a minute or two when they have harvested adequate energy for performing the next task.  In contrast, a phone call is said to need the device for operation on a continuous basis for as long as the conversation seems to last.

Bryce Kellogg, co-author, a UW electrical engineering doctoral student had commented that one cannot say hello and wait for a minute for the phone to go to sleep and harvest adequate power to keep on transmitting which has been the biggest challenge.  The amount of power one can really collect from ambient radio or light is on the order of 1 or 10 microwatts.

Hence a real-time phone operation tends to be really hard in achieving without developing a completely new approach for transmitting and receiving speech. The research team then planned to aim on making some enhancement on the operating range as well as encrypting conversation on the battery-free phone, in order to make them safe and sound.

The team is said to be working on streaming video over a battery-free cellphone as well as make some additions of visual display feature to the phone utilising low-power E-link screens.

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15 ‘OK Google’ Commands You will Want to Try ASAP

15 ‘OK Google’ Commands You will Want to Try ASAP

15 Cool OK Google commands to try out

When Google launched its awesome digital assistant with the Pixel devices last year then it left everyone amazed by its sheer quality and functionality. However Google has brought a huge number of upgrade to the Assistant by infusing capability to control more number of devices as smart speakers, applications and others with new OK Google commands. Here are top 15 OK Google commands which you should try out with your Android or iPhone device.

  1. Play your favorite podcasts by simply asking the Google Assistant and you can even control the playback as well volume with your voice. Say, OK Google, Play’.
  2. Google can tell you jokes and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Just say, OK Google, Tell Me a Joke’.
  3. Stay updated with latest news and headlines from all across the world by saying ‘OK Google, Tell Me the News’.
  4. If you missed a major game or wonders who won last night then you can get the sports news, score, schedules and even the team standing by simply asking the assistant. Say, OK Google, Did [Team Name] Win?’.
  5. One of the handiest features is the ability to set timers for wide array of tasks like cooking, painting, studying or anything else without even touching the phone. Simply say, OK Google, Set a Time for [state a task].
  6. If you love watching shows on your TV wither through Chromecast, Netflix or any other streaming service then this command will help a lot. Say OK Google, Play [Show name] on My TV.
  7. If you conscious about the calories intake then assistant will be of great help in finding the right amount by saying ‘OK Google, How Much Sugar is in a [Name of the food, meal or drink]’.
  8. For those who love to cook their meal then Google Assistant can help in providing the step by step guidance of the popular food dishes and cocktails. Simply say OK Google, Let’s Make [Food or Drink name].
  9. Shopping on ecommerce sites is based on clicks Google Assistant is set to empower you with voice controlled buying experience. Say OK Google, Buy [Product Name]’.
  10. If you are looking forward new language or to translate text or phrases from other languages then you can do it without the need of typing anything. Just say ‘OK Google, Translate [text or phrases].
  11. Getting up on right time might be a difficult task for some. Google Assistant is just trying to help those by making it easier to set alarms by simply saying ‘OK Google, Set an Alarm’.
  12. For those who dabble with the stocks then Google Assistant can play a key role in checking the stock prices instantly through voice. Simply say the command 0K Google, What’s the Stock Price of [Stock/Company name]’.
  13. Perform basic unit conversions by saying the command OK Google, How Many Cups in a Quart?’.
  14. If you have a smart home with smart lighting solutions then you can dim the lights by voice command. Say ‘0K Google, Dim the Living Room Lights’.
  15. If you are baffled by an unknown word then get to know the meaning by finding its definition as well as learn how to spell them correctly. Say 0K Google, What Does [word] Mean’.
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The Hidden Signs That Can Reveal Fake Photos

The Hidden Signs That Can Reveal Fake Photos

Fake Photos and Its Associated Troubles

The trouble regarding the doctored photos have been very common these days. The time has surpassed when one could solely rely on pictures. It has become imperative to judge the basis the pictures before deriving to a conclusion. Fake Photos are the most common phenomenon, which is taking place these days. There are certain software that can readily create fake photos, in a manner, in which you cannot figure out the authenticity of the photo.

BBC has projected an entire report on the incident of fake photos. In 2012, they published a guide book which depicted all the know-hows of a fake photo. Doctored images are a very ancient phenomenon. It showed its roots since the evolvement of photography.

A very famous nuisance of a fake photo that anybody can relate to is of the US President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait, in which his face is attached to the body of another politician. This composite picture the turned the whirlwind of doctored photos, and these days the field of photo editing and digital cameras has worsen the matter.

You must be thinking that what are the plausible ways of notifying a fake photo? Well, it is an undenying fact that, you cannot figure out that whether the picture is real or fake by just glancing at it once. If a photograph is taken in front of a mirror then you can easily judge its authenticity. You will find that in a fake photo the alignment being projected in the mirror is wrong, whereas, in an un-composite photograph the alignment would be absolutely the same.

Another way to figure out a doctored photo is suggested by several famous forensics. They have said that if one can figure out the source of light in the photograph then authenticity of the photograph is proved and if the situation is opposite then the truth is not what it seems like.

One more way is to check whether the shadow and the propagation of the source of light coincides with each other or not. If the shadow of the image does not match the source of light then undoubtedly the photograph is doctored. Thus, judging a photos authenticity is tough but not impossible. Yes it is difficult to judge the photograph in one shot, but these small and quick experiments can surely help you to delve out the reality of the picture.

With the enhancement of technology, creating duplicate or fake photos is no longer a tough task. Several software are available, but you can also test the integrity of the photo presented to you. If creating duplicates is easy then figuring them out is also is. So, never come to a conclusion by looking at a picture. Test the authenticity of the photograph and then take the decision as deceiving someone with the help of a fake photo is no longer, rather it has emerged as an art. So, think before you leap is the apt proverb to associate to in such situations.

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Hands on With Google Visual Search for Android

Hands on With Google  Visual Search for Android

Google Visual Search: Google Launches for Mobile Phones and Real-Time Search on the Internet

Google’s search has been the focus of the company since Google was founded – and Google is still using the most energy on its development. Today the search engine specialist in California has presented two particularly innovative extensions to the Search tool family: a “Google  Visual Search” baptized visual search for mobile devices and a “Latest Results” function for real-time results.Google Google Visual Search (Labs) is a new  search application for mobile devices with Android operating system, which allows to search with images instead of with words. The application detects objects captured with a mobile camera and provides corresponding search results. For example, you can use Google Google Visual Search to locate unknown places by means of a photograph or to search further information about the objects in an illustrated time article. Especially when traveling, this search is a practical service. Business cards can be saved quickly and information about attractions can be called up immediately.

How Google Google Visual Search compares parts of an image with Google Image Search. If a match is found, the application prints keywords that relate to the founded image. Google Visual Search currently detects several million objects. These include places, famous art works and company logos. To search for places, you do not even need to take a photo. After turning on Google Visual Search, the mobile phone is held in the direction of the desired location. Google Visual Search uses the GPS function and the device compass to identify the location and display its name in the camera’s viewfinder. For example, click on the name of the company for more information. From now on, Google Visual Search is available worldwide in English and can be downloaded as a free application in the Android market.

“Sometimes a picture says more than 1000 words,” says Shailesh Nalawadi, a product manager for Google Visual Search. “With many search queries, it is easier and more sensible to search for a picture, and not just through the use of text input, especially when it comes to mobile use. Google Visual Search still shows the potential of the children’s shoes, A future in which the visual search is just as normal as pointing a finger to an object is quite conceivable. ”

In addition to Google Visual Search, Google has introduced the introduction of a “Latest Results” feature at With this new feature, which is also available in other languages, search results are brought to life by a dynamic stream of real-time content from the entire Internet. Immediately after performing a  Search, users can now track updates of people on popular sites such as Twitter or Friendfeed in real-time. This also applies to headlines from news and blog posts that have been published just seconds before. All these updates are classified so that “Latest Results” always lists the most recent results that are relevant to the search.

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Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future

Hydrogen: Fuel of the future

Heavy Duty Trucks – Fuelled by Hydrogen

In Trondheim, Norway, heavy weight automobiles will be driving from place to place powered by hydrogen developed from solar power and emitting pure water vapour as `exhaust’.  Hydrogen technology will not only transform road transport but will also permits ships and trains to run emission-free.  The role of Norway as a pioneer in the field of hydrogen technology began over a century ago at a waterfall where in the steep mountain valley of Rjukan, an engineer and a business acknowledged the prospective of the Vemork hydroelectric power station as a means of ensuring food production for an increasing population.

Kristian Birkeland and Sam Eyde needed to construct a factory in order to manufacture Norwegian fertilizers giving it a brand name of Norsk Hydro. An architecturally innovative hydrogen factory had been constructed next to the power station and after the completion of the same in 1929; it had become an attraction for the tourist between the steep mountains of Rjukan.

Thereafter most of the Norwegian hydrogen research had been done in different laboratories at Gloshaugen in Trondheim.  Towards 1951, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology – NTNU, known as the Norwegian Institute of Technology – NTH then, had established its own electrochemical engineering institute.

Top Secret Hydrogen Technology in Progress

The research committee is said to have contributed in playing an important role in what has turned out to be a major Norwegian electrochemical industry.

Presently, top secret technology is in progress, behind closed doors at SINTEF which is being funded by various Norwegian together with international industrial companies inclusive of the suppliers of electrolysis technology for the purpose of hydrogen production.

NTNU and SINTEF recently had won a contract with a manufacturer of fuel cell electric vehicles which tends to run on hydrogen, emitting water vapour.Since 1980s they had been working in developing fuel cell technology and in recent years, at SINTEF, the research and development activities had contributed to some major inventions.

Vice-President Marketing, Steffen Moller-Holst at SINTEF had commented that fuel cells had already become competitive in some niche markets. He further stated that that in Japan, 150,000 fuel cells had been installed in household in order to generate power and heat and in U.S. over 10,000 H2-powered forklifts have been operating in warehouses together with distribution centres.

Focus on Transport Segment

He and his research colleagues have been actively working in implementing H2 technology in Norway with their focus on the transport segment.  Presently the project portfolio of SINTEF includes heavy-duty trucks, ferries and forklifts. Moller Holst had stated that in Germany, the first fuel cell train had already undergone trials and Norway is one of the several European countries which is now speculating on hydrogen-powered trains based on the conclusion of a study carried out by SINTEF for the Norwegian Railroad Administration.

Advanced countries in Asia have taken the lead in commercializing fuel cells to control passenger cars. Presently Japanese and Korean car manufacturers are the world leaders in technological changeover initiated by the challenges of global warming. According to Moller-Holst, since 2010, SINTEF had been involved in 20 hydrogen-related EU-subsidized projects and around half of it still tends to be running.  This had made SINTEF a substantial player in a European environment.

The main investment is done by Japanese for hydrogen and its good news for SINTEF researchers who are already closely involved with some of the main players in the country.The reason for Japan to invest in hydrogen is that over 90% of the energy demand of the country is presently covered by imported fossil energy sources and hence the Japanese are not interested only in hydrogen as a fuel for transport but for stationary power generation also.

Wind Farms/Photovoltaic Power Plants

To reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, they have agreed with Australia to import hydrogen from 2020. Moller-Holst had stated that SINTEF had been involved scientifically as well as politically, in promoting Norway as a hydrogen supplier to Japan established on their extensive energy resources.

The transport in fact has not been the only segment wherein H2 tends to play an important role.  All over the globe there are countries organising an increased number of wind farms as well as photovoltaic power plants.

But it is possible neither at all times to utilise all the wind power which tends to be generated when it is windy nor from the sun when it is sunny.  Surplus electricity needs to be stockpiled, making producing of hydrogen an appealing alternative. Moller-Holst had informed that the German industrial giant Siemens had concluded that hydrogen seems to be the best storage option for energy capacities over 10 GWh.

Over 30% of the power generation is covered by wind and solar sources in Germany and pilot testing of hydrogen as a storage medium is well in progress. He is convinced that to meet emission targets, considering several applications are essential inclusive of goods transport by road, rail and ship.

None of the technology can contend with it when it comes to emission-free long-haul transport.  Hence Norway’s largest food wholesaler, ASKO is focusing in having its first hydrogen-powered delivery trucks on the roads by 2018.

Hydrogen – Good Option

In doing so, it tends to be the first carrier in Europe with a small fleet of heavy-duty hydrogen vehicles where SINTEF had assisted in initiating and has also worked closely with this effort.  Anders Odegard the project manager works at Department of Sustainable energy Technology of SINTEF.

Odegard informed that the use of batteries powering heavy duty trucks could be expensive.  They would also be large and heavy that the payload capacity of the trucks would be significantly reduced and that they need to obey the laws of physics, respecting material related constraints.

We can say without a doubt that electrical drive trains would be replacing conventional mechanical fossil-based propulsion in the future and batteries will become very important in every transport segments.  But hydrogen tends to be progressively a good option if vehicles tend to be heavier having longer distance to cover. Presently NTNU and SINTEF are contributing decision support to TrenderEnergi as a part of evaluation of the company on the prospect of generating hydrogen from the surplus wind energy according to Moller-Holst.

Moreover, several other stakeholders all over Norway are also making same valuations regarding hydrogen production.  This comprises of Glomfiord at hydroelectric power plant which had been a Gemini plant to that at Rjukan and is said to be the cradle of the industrial boom developed close to a century back when Norsk Hydro had begun producing hydrogen for fertilizers.

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Stanford Discovery Lead to Sustainable Source of the Fuel Additive Ethanol

Stanford Discovery Lead to Sustainable Source of the Fuel Additive Ethanol

New Viable System of Making Ethanol

In United States several, cars and trucks tend to run on a mixture of 90% gasoline and 10% Ethanol which is a renewal fuel produced mainly from fermented corn.  However, producing 14 billion gallons of ethanol used yearly by the American drivers needs millions of acres of farmland. According to a recent unearthing by the scientists of Stanford University has led to a new viable system of making ethanol without the need of corn or any other crops.

The technology tends to have three basic components, namely water, carbon dioxide and electricity which are delivered through a copper substance.  The results had been published in Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences.  Thomas Jaramillo, study principal investigator, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Stanford and of photon science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, had commented that one of their long range aims was to produce renewable ethanol in a manner which does not impact the global food supply. He added that copper is said to be one of the few substances which could produce ethanol at room temperature. One could only feed it electricity, water and carbon dioxide and it can make ethanol.

Diverse Facets of Copper – Affect Electro Catalytic Performance

The issue is that it also tends to make 15 other compounds at the same time inclusive of lower-value products such as methane and carbon monoxide.  Segregating these products would be expensive together with plenty of energy.  Scientists would prefer to design copper substances which tend to selectively convert carbon dioxide into higher-value chemicals and fuels, such as ethanol and propanol with less or no by-products. However the clear understanding of how these substances tend to really work need to be known and it is here where the recent discovery tends to come in.

The Stanford team for the PNAS study chose three samples of crystalline copper called copper (100) copper (111) and copper (751).  Scientists tend to utilise these numbers to define the surface geometries of individual crystals. Though the main differences by way of their atoms seems arranged on the surface, copper 100, 111 and 751 tend to appear virtually identical according to an associate staff scientist at SLAC and co-lead main author of the study, Christopher Hahn.  He informed that the essence of the work was to comprehend how these diverse facets of copper seem to affect electro catalytic performance.

Novel Method Ethanol – Growing Single Crystal-Like Copper

The scientists in their earlier studies had developed individual crystal copper electrodes about 1-square millimetre in size.  Hahn together with his co-workers at SLAC had created a novel method of growing single crystal-like copper over large wafers of silicon and sapphire for this study.  This system led to films of individual form of copper with a surface of 6-square centimetre, which was 600 times bigger than usual single crystals.

The researchers in order to compare electro catalytic performance, placed the three large electrodes in water exposing them to carbon dioxide gas, applied a prospective in order to generate electric current.  When the team had applied a particular voltage, the electrodes made of copper – 751 seemed to be more selective to liquid products like ethanol and propanol than those made of copper – 100 or 111.

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Google releases new TensorFlow Object Detection API

Google releases new TensorFlow Object Detection API

Google is launching its New TensorFlow Object Detection system. The Internet company has announced this in a blog contribution. Generally, the tensorflow uses the technology in applications like Google Photos and Google translators as well as for features such as search and intelligent answers. Now the new tensorflow object detection system uses the technology to detect objects in photos.

In general, the smattering of models consists of this sort of detection API include the intense origination supported coiled neuronic networks (Neural Network are the groups of algorithms that are constructed according to a human brain in order to recognize recurring patterns and then to label them. The recognized patterns are translated into mathematical vectors. All information from the real world, such as images, sound, text or timelines, is taken into account. Neural networks help to classify new information on the basis of similarities and group them into model groups over several levels. Labels help to identify these groups.


Examples: Spam, No spam, Satisfied customer, Unsatisfied customer, Purchased link, Unsold link) as well as efficient models which are predestined to work on little sylphlike gadgets. The single shot detector called MobileNets is honed to run in real-time on a phone. In detail, the program for the object recognition requires an exact specification and must know which of the individual settings (features) to be searched for in an image. In order to find only a certain type of object, a developer specifies the algorithm that extracts features from an image.

For example, for facial recognition, several features are defined which make up a human face. Usually the light-dark differences (hair cascades), which give the machine a template for the search. If the algorithm finds a certain number of matches with this template in an image, the image is classified as TRUE. Support vector machines (SVM) are usually used to classify the found features. OpenCV is a well-known library that summarizes many such object recognition procedures. For example, face detection can be implemented without great effort.

The most demanding area in image analysis is object classification. It requires an algorithm that is robust enough to recognize all features of an object, regardless of the background. And this is now achieved by Google with its New TensorFlow Object Detection system. This wonderful system can detect Face, Object, and even a Landmark. The new system is designed to be more flexible and easier to use, and more powerful than the first generation of machine learning software.

Google believed that the machine-learning community – anyone from academic researchers to engineers to hobbyists – can exchange ideas much more quickly by working on the code rather than just reading research reports. TensorFlow uses the computing power of CPUs as well as GPUs and runs on desktops, servers, and mobile devices. In some tutorials and flow charts, Google explains how the system works. TensorFlow is intended to simplify the implementation of software for machine learning.This, in turn, might speed up research on machine learning and ultimately will make the technology work better for everyone.

Other companies like Facebook or Microsoft are also working on the development of machine learning. Facebook has provided its tools for machine learning and artificial intelligence already in January of the open source community.


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Engineers Design Drones That Can Stay Aloft For Five Days

Engineers Design Drones That Can Stay Aloft For Five Days

Economical UAV Design of Drones

When natural calamity may take place, it often disturbs the smooth functioning of phone and internet services over the affected locations. Drones tend to provide assistance in situation like these. Autonomous aircraft tends to provide some sort of assistance to these areas by means of providing communications payload offering short-term telecommunication coverage to those in need.

But these types of unpiloted aerial vehicles – Drones tend to be expensive and could be useful in the air for a couple of days as in the case with most of the autonomous surveillance vehicles run by the U.S. Air Force.  Provision of sufficient and insistent reporting would need a relay of numerous aircraft landing as well as refuelling all the time.

Moreover operational cost of thousands of dollars per hour for each vehicle would also be essential. But now a team of MIT engineers have developed a much economical drones design which tends to hover for longer period of time in providing a wide range of communication assistance.   The researchers have planned, constructed and verified a drones alike to a thin glider with a 24-foot wingspan which can carry 10 to 20 pounds of communication equipment flying at an altitude of 15,000 feet.

Drones _1

Drones Controlled by 5-Horsepower Gasoline Engine

With just under 150 pounds in weight, the vehicle is controlled by a 5-horsepower gasoline engine which according to the researchers has the potential of keeping itself aloft for over five days which is longer than any gasoline-powered autonomous aircrafts, remaining in flight. Its results will be presented by the team at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Conference in Denver, Colorado.

The team is headed by R. John Hansman, the T. Wilson Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and Warren Hoburg, the Boeing Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics.  Hansman together with Hoburg are the co-instructors for Beaver Works project for MIT, student research collaboration between MIT and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

As a part of a Beaver Works capstone project, they had worked with MIT students in designing a long-duration Drones, usually a two-or three semester course enabling MIT students to design a vehicle meeting definite mission specification and to build and test their design.

The U.S. Air Force, in the spring of 2016 had approached the Beaver Works collaboration with the intention of designing a long-duration drones powered by solar energy.  At that point of time it was assumed that an aircraft fuelling by the sun would probably remain in flight indefinitely.

Solar-Powered High Altitude Aircraft – Continuous Internet Access Rural/Remote

Others comprising of Google had experimented this concept, designing solar-powered, high altitude aircraft in delivering continuous internet access to rural as well as remote areas of Africa.  However when the team had reconsidered the idea and had analysed the issue from various engineering point of view, they realised that solar power for long-duration emergency reply was not the solution.

A solar drones vehicle would probably be operational during summer but in winter, especially if one is far away from the equator and the nights seem longer with not much sunlight during the day, it would be difficult.  Then the issue of being loaded with more batteries would come up which would give rise to additional weight and make the plane bigger.

Hansman informed that for the mission of disaster relief this would only be a solution to disaster which tend to take place in summer at low latitude.  After showing the problem utilising GPkit which is a software tool created by Hoburg enabling engineers in determining the optimal design decisions or dimensions for a vehicle with certain constraints or mission need, the researcher arrived at their conclusions.

Technique of Hoburg Drones

This system is not exceptional among preliminary aircraft design tools but different from these tools, that take into consideration the various constraints, the technique of Hoburg enables the team to consider about 200 constraints as well as physical models at the same time and fits them together in creating an ideal aircraft design. Hansman commented saying that this gives us all the information needed to draw up the airplane.

Moreover it also states that for every one of these hundreds of parameters, if one of them is changed, how much would that influence the performance of the drone plane? If one changes the engine a little, it will make a great difference and if the wingspan is changed, would it display an effect? After defining through their software valuations that a solar-powered drones would not be practical for at least long duration usage in any area of the world, the team implemented the same modelling for a gasoline powered aircraft.

Eventually they came up with a design which had been expected to remain in flight for longer than five days at an altitude of 15,000 feet in up to 94th percentile winds at any latitude.  A prototype UAV was built by the team in the fall of 2016 after the dimensions determined by the students utilising the software tool of Hoburg.

Special Contemplations

In order to maintain the vehicle lightweight, they utilised materials like carbon fibre for the wings and fuselage.  Kevlar was used for the tail and nosecone which accommodates the payload. The UAV had been designed by the researchers to be taken apart easily and stored in a FedEx box which could be shipped to any disaster area and reassembled rapidly.

In spring the prototype was refined and a launch system was developed by the students, in the fashion of a simple metal frame to fit on a classic car roof rack. The UAV is placed atop the frame as a driver fast-tracked the launch vehicle up to rotation speed, the optimal take-off speed of the drone. At that point of time, the remote pilot tends to angle the UAV headed for the sky mechanically releasing a clasp and permitting the drones to launch.

The UAV took off effectively in its preliminary tests and landed safely. According to Hoburg there are special contemplations which need to be made for testing the vehicle over numerous days like having sufficient people in monitoring the aircraft over a long period of time. Hoburg had stated that there are few aspects to flying for five straight days and that they are quite confident that they have the right fuel burn rate and right engine where they could fly it for five days.

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Technology News

Using Radar Technology to Increase Wind Turbine Efficiency

Using Radar Technology to Increase Wind Turbine Efficiency

Ground-Breaking Radar technology Scanner

The segment of wind energy in electricity blend is gradually progressing around the world and is accompanied by an increasing need for efficiency together with high quality wind turbine with – Made in Germany seal.  The centrepiece of wind turbine is the rotor blades with their production and maintenance in consideration to rigorous testing procedures.

Due to the Radar technology, their ground-breaking radar scanner from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, flaws in material composition of wind turbine blades can be identified now with better accuracy and visualized in a cross-sectional view wherein the cost in production and operation is saved. Wind power has now turned out to be a vital part of a globally friendly power supply.


About 50 gigawatts equal to 12% of the overall power in Germany is being generated by more than 28,000 wind turbines with an ascending tendency. The global wind power capacity, as per Global Wind Energy Council, will quadruple to 2,110 gigawatts towards 2030 creating 20% of the global electricity supply.  Hence it is more significant for this market growth that wind turbines tend to be adequately efficient, more reliable as well as more durable.

Weak Points of – Unplanned Operation/Maintenance

Weak points in blade production for instance according to industry experts could result in unplanned extra operation and maintenance cost resulting in many hundred thousand euros for the complete service life of the turbine. In order to upsurge the efficiency as well as the reliability of wind turbines, Fraunhofer IAF invented a material scanner to check the quality of rotor blades.  Utilising Radar Technology, flaws in the material composition of the wind turbine blades could be detected in even greater detail.


The rotors being the central component of all wind turbines are usually equipped with three blades wherein they convert wind into rotational energy and then into electricity.  Similar to the wings on an aircraft, the blades are said to be subjected to massive external loads and hence needs to be designed to be tremendously tough.


The blades of the modern wind turbine are said to be constructed from glass fibre and carbon fibre reinforced plastics – GFRP/CFRP, in order that they can absorb elastically the wind energy from strong blast of air without breaking. For an individual blade, around 100 sheets of glass fibre webbing is covered over each other, shaped and thereafter glued together with epoxy resin.  At this stage of production, quality control is needed.

Dedicated Software of Radar Technology

According to Dr Axel Hulsmann, coordinator of radar project and group manager of sensor systems at the Fraunhofer IAF, the problem is in layering the glass fibre sheets flat before they are glued which is without developing undulations and folds as well as avoiding the formation of lumps of rein or segments of laminate that does not set while applying the epoxy.

These types of flaws together with delamination or fractures could be detected on a large-scale utilising infrared thermography.  Hulsmann has mentioned that their material scanner allows defects to be identified with greater precision with the possibility of depth resolution with radar technology also in places where ultrasound system tends to fail. At the central of the material scanner it tends to be a high frequency radar that seems to operate in the W band between 85 and 100 GHz with a very few watts of transmitting power.

Dedicated software is then utilised in processing the transmitter and receiver signals, visualizing the measurement effects.   Hulsmann notes that this enables them to generate a cross-sectional view of the blade, wherein defects can be noticed in the millimetre range making their material scanner considerable more accurate than conventional methods.

Indium Gallium Arsenide Semiconductor Technology

The radar segment depends on indium gallium arsenide semiconductor technology and is very light as well as compact due to its monolithically integrated construction wherein various components together with functions are integrated in an individual chip.

It measures 42 x 28 x 79 mm and is approximate the size of a pack of cigarettes weighing just 160 grams. Moreover it tends to have lower power consumption for around 5 watts and is fixed with an integrated microcontroller that is said to emit measurement signals through an internet boundary.  With further developments the frequency range of the module will extend to 260 GHz in the so-called H band.

This will tend to multiply the bandwidth of the radar module from 15 GHz to more than 60 GHz.  Though the resolution of the rotor blade cross-section tends to be very high already their focus is to enhance it still further according to Hulsmann. In the near future, beside the usage in the production of rotor blades, the Fraunhofer IAF material scanner could also have a role in maintenance wherein it could be utilised in classifying flaws like those resulted through the impact of bird.

Water/Gel – Coupling Agent of Radar Technology

The routine testing of the rotor blades presently is mostly performed by hand where an expert tends to knock on the blade with a hammer and knows from the tone whether there are any faults in that section.  A mechanical resolution, supplemented by radar technology could greatly reduce the downtime of wind turbines thus saving costs according to Hulsmann.

This is mostly correct for the manual maintenance of offshore wind turbine which needs to be reached by boat and on some occasions on rough seas which is time consuming procedure. Other testing technologies like ultrasound solutions tend to be very difficult to integrate into maintenance process.

Water or gel needs to be used as a coupling agent since every air pocket between the sensor as well as measured part stifles the ultrasound signal to a considerable extent.  While this involves definite side effects, however it is possible while checking for defects at the time of rotor blade production.  On application of water or gel to wind turbine blades that are 100 meters in the air tends to be very complex.

Since it permits for non-contact remote sensing, radar is said to be the optimal solution in this case as per Hulsmann. Contribution from Fraunhofer IAF for radar scanner could contribute to the enhancement of innovative material inspection in the other industries also, for instance in the aircraft industry. In innovative aircraft, the wings in particular of Boeing 787 Dreamliner or the Airbus A 350 are built mainly out of lightweight composite material.  Hullsmann has commented that in the aircraft industry, as in the case of plastics industry, a precise and rapid defect test at the time of production as well as maintenance tends to save costs, preventing damage due to material fatigue.

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