fergus07 writes: Austrian research company IAT21 has presented a new type of aircraft at the Paris Air Show which has the potential to become aviation's first disruptive technology since the jet engine. Neither fixed wing nor rotor craft, the D-Dalus uses four, mechanically-linked, contra-rotating, cylindrical turbines for its propulsion, and by altering the angle of the blades, it can launch vertically, hover perfectly still, move in any direction, and thrust upwards and hence "glue down" upon landing, which it can easily do on the deck of a ship, or even a moving vehicle. It's also almost silent, has the dynamic stability to enter buildings, handles rough weather with ease, flies very long distances very quickly and can lift very heavy loads. It accordingly holds immense promise as a platform for personal flight, for military usage, search and rescue, and much more.
macpacheco writes: Atomic clocks for a long time have been a research lab item, used in production environments only in high budget, ultra performance demanding environments. Their high power consumption, 4U size and weight also didn't help. Chip scale atomic clocks (CSAC) have been a promise for a long time. They're finally here. Typical atomic clocks cost tens of thousands of dollars each, this first generation CSAC costs US$ 1400 in small quantities. 1 cu inch volume (16 cc), 115mW power consumption (down about 1000 fold), and just 35 grams weight, will make them more interesting than current GPS based frequency standard. They're called frequency standard, because 99% of the time someone needs an atomic clock, it's not to actually track time (day, hour, minutes, seconds, milliseconds), its used instead a replacement for quartz crystal oscillators, mainly transmitting and receiving radio signals, synchronizing telecommunications equipment. This atomic clock claims to be about 10000 times more accurate than typical quartz based oscillators. This is very exciting, as it will enable better 4g/WiMax/... base stations, better ultra high speed networking equipment, and will help tremendously in GPS augmentation solutions like WAAS, EGNOS, DGPS. Having an atomic clock on a GPS receiver works like an extra GPS satellite.