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Video: Ford Sensors to Ease Pothole Shock, Scanner Can Detect Suicide Vests and more!

08 March 2016

Ford Sensors to Ease Pothole Shock

Ford engineers have developed a "pothole mitigation strategy" for the 2017 Fusion V6 Sport that uses a computer-controlled shock absorber system to reduce the jarring effect and vehicle damage associated with driving on a poorly sealed road. Onboard computers analyze multiple signals collected from 12 high-resolution sensors—adjusting the dampers every two milliseconds for the best vehicle response in every situation. When the edge of a pothole is detected, the car’s computer adjusts the dampers to their stiffest settings so the wheel doesn’t fall as far into the pothole. Because the tire and wheel don’t drop as far, they don’t strike the opposite side of the pothole as harshly. The rear suspension can respond, as a signal from the front wheel provides a warning to the rear wheel well before it reaches the pothole. According to the American Automobile Association, pothole damage costs U.S. drivers approximately $3 billion a year.

Scanner Can Detect Suicide Vests

R3 Technologies is developing a way to prevent suicide attacks by detecting concealed bombs before they go off. The company's CBD-1000 uses X-band radar to detect metallic and nonmetallic explosives as well as ball bearings, glass, nails, ceramics, rocks and other materials frequently used as shrapnel in suicide vests. The CBD-1000 is the size of a cereal box, weighs about 13 pounds and is mounted on a tripod. It is electric or battery powered and works with embedded software. The device uses a spread spectrum, stepped continuous wave radar to bounce a signal off a subject. The software analyzes both horizontal and vertical polarized signals to determine the presence of a potential threat. If the person is not carrying a threat, the return signal is in the same polarity as when it was transmitted. By contrast, a threat will rotate the polarity of the signal, and it comes back differently. The scan takes about 1.3 seconds from 9 feet away.

Hydrogen Battery for UAV Devices

The Scottish Association for Marine Science has completed a test flight of an unmanned aerial vehicle powered by a hydrogen-electric system that could enable longer flight times than those available from current technologies. The system is based on a solid, lightweight hydrogen storage material developed by Cella Energy that is capable of releasing hydrogen when heated. A gas generator using this material, when combined with a fuel cell, creates electrical power while weighing considerably less than a lithium ion-battery. Cella is designing larger versions of the system that will have three times the energy of a lithium-ion battery of the same weight.

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