Tech Universe: Monday 01 August

By Miraz Jordan

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have created a tunable acoustic diode-a device which removes the need for earplugs by blocking unwanted sounds from reaching you. Photo / Thinkstock
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have created a tunable acoustic diode-a device which removes the need for earplugs by blocking unwanted sounds from reaching you. Photo / Thinkstock

UNBLOCK YOUR EARS: Wish your neighbours would stop playing dire music when you're trying to enjoy some peace and quiet? Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have shown for the first time how to transmit sound in an audible frequency range in only one direction. This technology could allow your dire music to reach the ears of your neighbours while blocking theirs from reaching you. The system is sensitive to small variations in conditions and can operate at different frequencies. There are so many uses for this. PhysOrg has the science.

UNDER THE GUN: The Shadowhawk UAV is around 2.5 metres long, weighs 16 Kg and can cruise at over 50 Kph. For military purposes this drone helicopter can film and track subjects, using various imaging devices. It can carry grenade launchers or a 12 gauge shotgun with laser targeting. Keep an eye on the sky at all times. Vanguard Defense are the manufacturers.

See the video here.

PRINT YOUR PLANE: Aeronautical engineers in the UK recently tested out a 1.5-metre-wingspan 3D printed drone aircraft with a successful 10 minute flight. The aircraft body, including moving parts, was created from hard nylon in a 3D printer. The airframe used a strong geodetic structure originally used in World War 2 but that is too costly using normal manufacturing processes. This plane's parts took 2 days to design and another 5 days to print. Is it recyclable when the plane develops a fault though? New Scientist has more.

HALE BLIMP: Lockheed Martin's HALE-D is a high altitude long endurance demonstrator blimp designed to operate up to around 20,000 metres high. It has a big solar array on its upper surface for power. At that height it can be used for surveillance, communication, observing weather and similar tasks. The skies are becoming very crowded. Lockheed Martin reveals the details.

SHARP TARGETING: The US Navy's Mk 38 Mod 2 Tactical Laser System, developed by Boeing, combines an M242 machine gun capable of firing 175 rounds per minute, with a solid-state high-energy laser weapon module. The laser makes targeting highly accurate and is a weapon in its own right. Point and shoot. More from Boeing.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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