But the failure of a mistimed valve is way more catastrophic than that of a misfiring injector or spark plug. Even if an electrically actuated valve system was to be used in production I'd expect it either to be supported by a backup mechanical system or to be designed never to interfere with the volume occupied by a piston. In the first case the electronic valve would be an additional cost only justified on high performance engines, in the second case it would affect the performance negatively. Perhaps this could work with sleeve valve engines?
Something that can barely puncture through the skin of a missile takes a whole 747 to carry. I think something more reliable would be a detection system that pinpoints the origin coordinates and automatically signals the laser's origin to someone on the ground. With current GPS and mapping systems should be possible to get sub meter accuracy. A quick response drone could also be dispatched to take pictures to document the nature of the offender, for when he's then brought to court.
What I wonder is, since it is already landing on a relatively small spot, why can't they set up the ship to catch it and prevent it from toppling over? A system of cables like the one used for catching the Ryan X-13 Vertijet should not be impossible.
I was about to suggest exactly the same. You can do any sort of stuff on the Beetle, from fitting a Porsche engine in it, to replacing the entire front half with that of a chopper bike, to cutting the engine in half to use it on a microlight. And it will just run forever.
Brandano writes: Coming straight from the ESA livestream ( http://new.livestream.com/esa/... ) , the Philae lander that left the Rosetta probe earlier today headed for the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has landed, and is currently sending telemetry back to its control station.
Time and time again your forecasts about legal disputes have been falsified in court. How can you still offer your allegedly unbiased opinion as an expert on patent law and still keep a straight face? Aren't you perhaps confusing what you (or your sponsors) wish the body of the law is with what it actually is?