Friday, June 28, 2013

Future Technology - Car Design Concepts

Number 10 - Organically grown cars:
Biome, the new Mercedes-Benz concept, could merit an entire Top 10 feature itself.  We’ll limit ourselves to highlights, like its bio-fiber cloth body. The plan calls for panels harvested from organically-grown, genetically-modified trees. Cool stuff in theory, but even our horticultural illiterate imaginations question the ramp-up time and sheer volume needed for full production without depletion. Our guess is by 2050, adaptation could include trim pieces and limited body panels on existing models for better weight distribution and a lowered center of gravity.

Number 9 - Transparent instrument panels:
OLED technology is currently an expensive tech with unique applications, but as with most technology, the cost goes down exponentially with time. The Kia Pop concept takes a unique approach to the dashboard with a transparent OLED panel that gives a better range of vision (obviously - you can see through it) than other dashboards. This is the kind of technology that is usually exhibited on halo models first and then trickles down to mass-produced compacts and sedans. Given the rapid improvement in OLED technology, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this tech in new cars by 2015.

Number 8 - Electric rickshaw:
This seems the result of a Mercedes designer with Seinfeld on the brain. Kramer and Newman’s idea of the homeless pulling rickshaws has evolved into the Maybach DRS concept for personal transportation. We should probably be grateful it wasn’t based on "The Contest" episode. Anyway, this "urban sombrero" seems like a nice blend of personal city transportation and isolation. On the other hand, it would be a two-wheeled coffin if a taxi ran a red light and T-boned you. While corporate lawyers fret over this, don’t expect to see one before 2075.

Number 7 - Vegetable-based components:
Honda’s Air concept is not the only air-powered idea out there, but its vegetable-based body panels give new meaning to “organic design.” Reduced weight would be a major benefit, especially when combined with other weight-saving features like airless urethane tires and glass-reinforced seating panels. These would be great technologies to see on any Honda or Acura model, just probably not on the Air itself (too bad, because it looks like it’d be a blast to drive and the division desperately needs a sports car). If Honda can refine the practice for optimal strength and shape retention, we’d expect to see at least limited production use among existing vehicles by 2030.

Number 6 - Turbine-electric hybrid power:
Jaguar’s C-X75 super-car concept, like the marque’s current lineup, is stunning. What sets this car apart from the rest of the brand -- and most other automobiles -- is revolution in design. An electric motor is at each wheel, drawing from a central lithium-ion battery pack. The C-X75’s party pieces are twin gas turbines. Summon their power and Jaguar claims 3.4-second 0-60 mph blasts and a 205 mph top end. If they can find a way to dissipate the turbines’ massive heat without melting cars behind the C-X75 in traffic, we’d love this car or a green version of the XK to employ this tech by 2025.

Number 5 - Pure oxygen emissions:
Another future vehicle tech highlight of the spacey-but-cool Mercedes Biome is not what it has, but what it doesn't have: nasty emissions. In this case, all it spews back into the atmosphere is pure oxygen. It’s almost as if the trees used in the car’s body panel construction live on. As hopeful as we are -- and as much as they’d dig it in Los Angeles -- we can’t imagine it in production Benzes before 2050.

Number 4 - Energy-producing body panels:
The world is full of odd couples, incomprehensible pairings that somehow seem to work. Toyota believes enough in such matches that they’re putting their name on it: the Nori (Japanese for seaweed). And unlike Audi's unintended French double-entendre with the E-tron, Toyota’s naming is deliberate. Seaweed is used in the conjoined carbon fiber body/chassis, which is also embedded with solar panels. The combined body and chassis format is incredibly strong and light, and with the addition of the solar cells, actually generates supplemental power. We doubt the Nori will be parked next to Corollas in dealer showrooms, but we bet a derivative of this technology could reach future Prius models by 2020.

Number 3 - In-wheel magnetic drive system:
Future vehicle tech suggests tomorrow’s electric vehicles will feature multiple motors, even one at each wheel. Concepts like Jaguar’s aforementioned C-X75 have this, but the Nissan iV is unique. Look beyond the spider silk and ivy composite body (hence, the iV name) and witness the concentric hub-less motors in each wheel. This patented Nissan technology also handles steering and suspension duties. Weight and moving parts are cut down in the process -- very good things indeed. The 2035 street-date mentioned in the vehicle description seems plausible for the feature, even if the iV itself does not.

Number 2 - Interchangeable carbon fiber body panels:
Co-winner of the L.A. Auto Show Design Challenge with the Cadillac Aera, the Smart 454 WWT (Weight Watch Technologies) overplayed the cutesy card with endless references to their Smart Granny Robots (SGRs) knitting the carbon fiber body and chassis. Carbon fiber itself is not new, though you’ll pay dearly for a car with any significant amount. Smart aims to make it affordable and features interchangeable body panels to reconfigure the car as needed or desired. If Smart survives and crash testing passes, we bet this could be yours by 2020.

Number 1 - Air propulsion:
There’s nothing wrong with making internal combustion engines more efficient, and efforts to advance EVs are commendable too. Cadillac (yes, Cadillac) goes further still with air propulsion, as proffered on the Aera (Aero + Era). The 2+2 lightweight won the L.A. Auto Show Design Challenge, due in no small part to its style and air propulsion, leading to a theoretical range of 1000 miles on compressed air before refueling. As much as we love today’s hedonistic CTS-V cars, we’d really love to try a Cadillac with the Aera’s future vehicle tech by 2030.

Source: Askmen


Other posts:
Solar Electric Scooter - Future Technology
Little about the Google Self Driving Car

Ten Fastest SuperComputers in the World
Top 10 Smartphones in the World

Monday, June 24, 2013

About SPARRSO - Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization, BD

SPARRSO was established in 1980 as an autonomous multisectoral R & D organization of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh which acts as the centre of excellence and national focal point for the peaceful applications of space science, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) in Bangladesh. SPARSO advises the Government in all matters relating to space technology applications and policy. Keeps close collaboration with national, regional and international organizations, institutions and agencies. It also disseminates research results, satellite data and information to the relevant public, autonomous and private agencies for their development and policy making activities. Also performs advisory expert services on request.

History and Background:
Space Technology applications in Bangladesh started in 1968 through the establishment of APT ground station in the then Atomic Energy Centre. This station was put under SARC of the BAEC In 1972. Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) Programme was taken up in Bangladesh with the advent of American ERTS and it was renamed as (BLP) Bangladesh Land sat Programme with the renaming of the programme by NASA. SPARRSO was created in 1980 by merging SARC and BLP. The National Assembly passed an act in 1991 creating this organization. It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Defense.

Objectives of SPARSO:
  • To apply space and remote sensing technology for surveying   natural resources and monitoring the environment and natural hazards in the country for attaining sustainable development.
  • To establish broad based space & remote sensing data acquisition, processing and dissemination system in the country.
  • To act as the national focal point for space and remote sensing activities in the country and to provide the Government with relevant information for deciding  national, regional and inter- national policy issues.
  • To establish regional & international cooperation & collaboration for the peaceful uses of space science and technology.

Facilities Available in the Organization:
  • Meteorological satellite ground station.
  • Image processing and GIS facilities.
  • Advanced cartography laboratory.
  • Advanced photographic laboratory.
  • Advanced hardware maintenance laboratory.
  • Trained Manpower.

AS per the information’s provided on the official web portal of SPARRSO, the activities are:

Agricultural research: 
  • Survey and monitor the agricultural crops.
  • Estimation of major crop yield: rice, wheat etc. particularly the winter crops
  • This forecast is used to plan the food situation in the country and helps attain food security. The role of SPARRSO in this regard has been commended by the Government. Vegetation indices are calculated for the entire country.

Disaster monitoring:
  • Satellite data on cloud formations in the region is received hourly and any impending disaster like depression, cyclone, floods etc are reported to the Govt. and also to BMD, BWDB, BAF and other relevant agencies. Cyclones of 1970, 1985 and 1991 were monitored.   Floods of 1987, 1988, 1998 and 2004 were monitored.
Environment study:
  • Climate change, Global warning, EL-Nino, Monsoons and Ecology.

GIS applications:
  • Digital map production on user required themes.
  • Land use / Land cover Maps of different ecological zones.
  • Coastal Afforestation Map.
  • Administrative Unit Map.
  • Accretion and Erosion Map.
  • Infrastructure Map of different Upazila.
Forestry sector:
  • Prepared forest cover map of Bangladesh.
  • Completed monitoring of Coastal Mangrove Afforestation of the Department of Forest in two phases under World Bank assistance.
  • Conducted survey of Modhupur Sal forest & other forests.
  • Performed Timber Volume Inventory of Sundarban forest.

Fisheries sector:
  • Small & large water bodies were mapped for Fisheries Resources Survey Project of the Department of Fisheries.
  • Updated Inventory of Inland Waters of three Districts.
  • Shrimp farming studied in Satkhira, Chokoria and in the coastal region.
  • Model on Suitable Site Selection of Shrimp farming using R/S and GIS in Coastal Areas.
Water resources:
  • Prepared drainage pattern map of Bangladesh.
  • Determined morphological changes of the Major rivers and Mapped small & large water bodies of the country and provided support to NWMP & FCD projects.
  • Detected nature of fluvial Changes in the Jamuna: confluence movement, bank erosion, channel movement and island characteristics.
  • Kaptai Lake and Hail haor studied.
Oceanography, Coastal environment study and many others.

source of the content and all the images of this post: SPARRSO. For further details please visit the web portal. Thanks a lot.

other posts in this blog:
Bangladeshi Robots in NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition - for better Business and Social Connect
Khan Academy - An International Digital Classroom
Rushanara Ali - MP for Bethnal Green and Bow
Forward your Business / Product to the Next Step - YOUNIVERSITY Ventures - Place to Learn Dance
Monica Ali and the Brick Lane

Friday, June 21, 2013

Top 10 Smart Mobile Phones in the World

Top 10 best Smart Mobile Phones in the world as on May, 2013:

10: Nokia Lumia 920:

What's better than a top Windows Phone 7 handset? A Windows Phone 8 one, and we've got no qualms about telling you this is the best Windows Phone out there. Simplicity is the key here, the Lumia 920 does the basics well, from contact integration and calling, to web browsing and messaging. The camera is market-leading, and offers excellent performance from low-light to jumpy videos. The 8MP camera on the back of the Lumia 920 is actually one of the best we've used, and for anyone looking to get a top end camera phone: you need to seriously consider this Nokia, although the HTC One is encroaching on its territory. The 4.5-inch display is also a good'un, crisp and clear it makes watching movies, surfing the web or Facebook stalking an enjoyable experience, thanks to the PureMotion HD technology on offer.

9: HTC One S:

There are few phones we play with where we think that we have the complete package and would happily give five stars. The HTC One S would have had five stars had it not been for the 16GB memory cap and non-HD screen. Of course, it's getting on a bit in smartphone terms now, but it goes ahead of the HTC One X+ thanks to a) a lower price, b) a new Jelly Bean update and a design that we think betters even the HTC One. It's micro-arc oxidization and we challenge you to find one person who owns this phone who doesn't love the feel of the back. It's not got a superbly high resolution screen, the internal memory isn't good enough for many and it probably won't go above Jelly Bean in terms of software. But let's not get caught up with negativity here: if you're not bothered about a massive memory (which most people aren't), you probably can't do much better now for a mid-range phone. The HTC One S is a beautiful handset blessed with beautiful capabilities and is available at very palatable price points.

8: Nokia Lumia 520:

The Nokia Lumia 520, much like its big brother the Nokia Lumia 620, is a jack of all trades and a master of none - although it really manages to make a good fist of everything it tries, for the price. It looks good, it's got a decent screen both in terms of size and resolution, it rarely stutters or slows down, it's great for calls and messaging, reasonable for media and okay for photos. To achieve a lower price point the 520 has had to strip away a few things - there's no NFC, compass, camera flash or front facing camera here. But on the other hand it's also got a bigger screen, a larger battery, a sleeker, slimmer, lighter build and the same processor and RAM as the Nokia Lumia 620, so in many ways it's actually better. Combine that with a lower price tag and we reckon that this just might be the best entry level Windows Phone 8 handset that you can buy and certainly the best value.

7: Samsung Galaxy S3:

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 now launched, the S3 has predictably fallen down the rankings thanks to there being a better phone to recommend. But don't worry: the S3 is still a wondrous phone: it's got every kind of feature we could ask for and more, and raised the bar once again in terms of what consumers should be expecting in terms of battery life, processor speed and media management. Would we recommend you buy one if you're hankering for a spot of Samsung? Yes, but only if you're trying to save money, as the S4 is a much better version of this phone indeed. Price isn't the only reason the Samsung Galaxy S3 is worthy of consideration though. Smart Stay, Super AMOLED HD screen, up to 128GB storage, Music Hub, removable battery, quick camera... we're getting tired listing all the great things it does. The design didn't impress us as much as when we first laid eyes on the S2, but that's the only big issue we could find - and it's proven popular enough for MILLIONS of you to have bought it thus far, showing that it's still a cutting edge smartphone for some. With Android 4.2 on the way as well, there's still life in this once-leading phone - just make sure you check out the S4 first.

6: Samsung Galaxy Note 2:

Many (including us, we admit) were not convinced when the original Samsung Galaxy Note launched. Who on earth would want something so big to make their calls and surf the internet, even with a glorified stylus? Cue awkward silence. Millions of you, it would appear. The Galaxy Note sold by the bucket load  so how do you follow that up? With something better, of course - the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Faster, stronger, better looking, and more functional, the Galaxy Note 2 is better connected than ever, and thanks to that increased screen size (up to an eye-bulging 5.5-inches), is, among many things, a quality media player. Samsung has achieved something special here, because it has made the Galaxy Note 2 bigger than the original, but pulls it off so that you don't notice it too much and anyway, it's the features that make it so amazing. Air View, Multi-window, a dock that can turn it into a fully-fledged computer - it's all here, people, and while the Galaxy S4 builds on top of it nicely, for the larger-screened range this is the king.

5: Google Nexus 4:

Google and LG have worked together to bring to market a fantastic offering, one that even Apple fans can't help but coo over when they hear the price. The fact of the matter is that this is a handset with world class specs – yet it's at a cost you'd expect to get a budget phone for. Sure, there are a few things that could have been done better, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. The Nexus 4 is beautifully designed with a stunning display and rocking the latest version of Android. It has more connectivity than a telephone exchange and even excels in the simple matter of making calls. We're not fans of the lower memory allowance, and it's not got the best screen on the market, and there will be a few that see stock Android 4.2 as too stripped-down to consider it a valid phone OS choice; more a platform for the big hitters to build on. But that doesn't mean it's not a fantastic handset - it would have competed even without the insanely low price tag.

4: iPhone 5:

Did you see this one coming? The iPhone 5 now behind three other Android phones in the rankings? Some think it should be higher, some think lower - it depends on your level of Apple love. Never has a company polarized opinion in the smartphone world like Apple - and with the iPhone 5, so many are quick to decry it while others know it to be the smartphone they've been waiting for. And let's make no bones about it: this is a stunning phone, with a gorgeous two-tone finish, a high-res screen that's been extended to four inches and an efficient yet powerful core. The iOS 6 update is a good one, and while some feel it to be ageing slightly, many see it as doing exactly what they want... and given Apple has built it smartphone reputation on simplicity, this makes sense. However, it's not all cookies and cream for Apple, as it's ditched the Google Maps app for something that's not as slick or well-stocked in its own Maps app, which had some issues at birth. However, it's certainly picked up more recently, and you can just download Google Maps anyway if you don't want to take the risk. The main problem we have with this phone, spec list aside, is the fact the iPhone 5 is STILL very expensive... we're not sure how such sky high prices can be charged when equivalent smartphones are available on the market.

3: Sony Xperia Z:

Sony's new handset is most definitely the most impressive the firm has launched either in its current guise or as Sony Ericsson. The latest handset should always be the best, obviously, but the Xperia Z is a real, real step forward. You can see the Sony influence throughout the handset as it oozes quality and build from the large screen, which fits close to the edges of the bezel, to the intelligent camera that allows you to snap some really premium photos without needing to fiddle about with the settings. And it's water and dust resistant too, which makes it excellent for general life business. There's a certain freedom that comes from knowing that the heart-stopping moment of your phone falling in a pint of beer is gone for good. It's also packing a microSD card slot in an impossibly thin chassis, for which we laud the phone even higher. Add to that the Bravia Engine 2, which can upscale standard definition movies and bring your content to life, and you've got a real match winning phone in your hands. There will be an outcry from many that wonder how it's managed to climb above the iPhone - we deliberated for a long time between the two, but the fact is that spec for spec, the Xperia Z beats the iPhone 5 down. It's not all about the numbers though, which is why the fact the Xperia Z uses those specs so well - a crisper video experience, a more powerful camera, being waterproof, expandable memory - gives it the boost it needed to enter the top three.

2: Samsung Galaxy S4:

All change at the top! Samsung managed to hold off HTC at the top in 2012, but this year the supreme styling of the HTC One proved too strong against a phone that's a slightly-better-version of its predecessor. Well, that's not really fair - it's only in looks that it's too similar, and sadly that was one of the biggest issues most users had with the S3. It's not the world's biggest smartphone crime, but it's enough to keep it from the top spot. There's a lot, a lot, to love with the Samsung Galaxy S4 though: whether it's a powerful camera, a brilliant screen, a long-lasting battery or just a fluid experience, there's everything you could want in a smartphone right here. The cost is a tad higher than on other smartphones, but thankfully still cheaper than iPhone level. If only it was made out of something a little more premium.

1. HTC One:

Well, here's something of a shock if you're a Samsung fan – after nearly two years of dominance, the Korean brand has fallen from the top spot. It's nothing to do with the quality of the S4 – an outstanding phone in anyone's book – but more the fact HTC has managed to bring out a smartphone that's worthy of any user's consideration. The supreme aluminium chassis, the Full HD screen and the simplified version of Sense 5.0 sitting on top of Android Jelly Bean means it's a pleasure to use and recommend this handset. The new innovations are also pleasingly more than just marketing gimmicks; Zoe functionality allows the creation of delightful video highlight reels, and the Ultrapixel camera means you've got a much wider range of shots available thanks to being stunning in low light. The only reason this isn't a five star phone is the slightly off-key battery, which can leak juice if you're power-creating videos or watching reams of video, but for day to day use it will be acceptable for most. We've also got high hopes a recent software update could have solved this little conundrum as well, meaning you could see another five star phone enter the fray shortly.

Thanks a lot. Click to read the about the list Top 11 to 20 Mobile Phones.
source: techradar

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Top 20 Best Smart Mobile Phones - from 11 to 20

Which on is the best mobile phone in the world? which will be the best one for you? Before buying any handset, these are the most common question's that usually appear in our mind. This post is the First Part of a review post of the present Top 20 Smart Mobile Phones in the world up to May, 2013. Take a look at the pics, this could help you a little. The list started from the number 11 to 20. Click on the 2nd part link below to see the best from 1 to 10.

20. Huawei Ascend G330:

The Ascend G330 is a solid performer. It's smooth in use, has the power to run even the most demanding apps very well, and although not hugely exciting to look at and hold, the display's clear and bright enough to elevate it above some of the tattier budget models. And it's definitely more capable than the old Ascend G300, with hardly any glitches when downloading/updating apps and navigating the phone at the same time. It delivers a great smartphone experience for the money with hardly any obvious compromises.

19. Samsung Ativ S:

Thanks to an excellent build, good specs, beefy storage and an open body design, the Ativ S is an excellent WP8 option. While Windows Phone 8 is definitely wanting in the app department, it's still a rich enough eco-system for many, and the sleek lines of the Ativ S remind us nicely of other high-end Samsung phones. Samsung has really one-upped the competition by including a removable battery, and more importantly, microSD storage. One of our biggest complaints with the HTC 8X was its paltry 16GB of space and lack of removable storage.

18. Motorola Razr HD:

Motorola might not be anywhere near the sharp end of the smartphone market these days (or, indeed, ever) but it still makes a half-decent fist of a mid-range smartphone. While this phone lacks in some areas (let's be honest: a dual core processor doesn't get anyone's heart racing any more, despite being able to handle most tasks you can throw at it) it still has a clear screen, a simple OS and a really strong battery at its heart. Many will be taken by the almost stock Android platform it uses, and the fact it's got an additional HDMI port means it's easy to sync your phone up to a big screen. It doesn't cost the earth, which is a key consideration as well in these financially-addled times - although you can get a Galaxy S3 for the same money.

17. Sony Xperia S:

We used to love the Xperia Arc S - but we're a fickle bunch, and now Ericsson has been cast aside, we're all over the new brand like a cat on a fresh set of curtains. The Xperia S almost has too many positive points to list, with a HD screen, 12MP camera and dual-core processor all combining to make one of the finest smartphones of 2012. As you will gather from our review, the Sony Xperia S has both a quality screen and a dual-core processor that never slows down - plus that 12MP camera is still more than half-decent. Sony has also very kindly bundled lots of software with the Xperia S out of the box, which saves you having to dash to Google Play as soon as you turn on to grab vital apps. Battery life is the only slight wobble (if you don't mind a plastic casing), but it will generally last a day under normal conditions, and that's a solid enough benchmark for us.

16. Motorola Razr i:

Motorola's done a good job with the Razr i. It's taken a line that refuses to die quietly, injected it with a little bit of pizzaz and thrown it right out there for all and sundry. The fact that you can expand the storage by up to 64GB makes this an attractive option. And it's an easy phone to use without too much customization to confuse Android newbies. Plus, it works well as a phone, with good signal, and provides you with a top notch, fast internet service. And let's not forget about that screen: with the edge to edge display, it really pops and fizzes in the palm, with the Super AMOLED display impressing.

15. Samsung Galaxy S2:

This former number one phone in the world continues to slide down the rankings, despite still being a decent piece of hardware. That's not to take anything away from a cracking phone that is getting to a really low price these days, but it's nothing compared to its successor (and subsequent sequel). Make no mistake - this is still a great phone, thanks to the Ice Cream Sandwich update, and the design has moved from cool to iconic pretty quickly. On top of that the Jelly Bean update is rolling out apace for this ageing phone, which means for the money you can buy it for, it's still a decent choice. Don't go for a two year contract though - you could end up using a phone that's nearing hald-a-decade old. What we love about the Samsung Galaxy S II is the sheer amount of stuff that's packed in under the chassis - but more important is the way Samsung has used all that tech to create a phone that just works near-flawlessly.

The dual-core 1.2GHz processor, the Super AMOLED plus screen and the excellent sonic performance of the media player are still good enough for use, if you're not bothered about bleeding-edge speed. Recording in 1080p is a nice touch (given that it actually works most of the time) and the camera is more than enough to take great shots in a short space of time - although we suggest you check out the phones higher in this list for more powerful snappers. In short, be it internet browsing, navigation, media, or social networking- the Samsung Galaxy S2 is still more than good enough for all those functions in one phone.

14. Sony Xperia T:

The Sony Xperia T took over from the Sony Xperia S as the Japanese company's new flagship device, but borrows the design found on the popular, but now aging Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and Arc S. Now the Xperia Z has emerged as the first 'true' Sony phone, there's no doubt this handset's time in the sun is setting, but as 007's phone of choice it still one to check out, thanks to sweet design and innards. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, with a 4.6-inch display boasting Sony's Bravia TV technology and on the back of the handset you'll find the 13MP camera – one of this phone's best features. Jelly Bean is being delivered for this phone in the near future too, so you won't end up with last year's software if you still fancy spending on Sony. That being said, when compared with the earlier Sony Xperia S, or some of the other flagship Android handsets, the difference is negligible.

13. HTC One X+:

The HTC One X was an odd handset - not in the design (lovely) or the features (top-end) - but that it's seen as a 'renaissance' phone for the firm, despite its success in such a short time. It took that design, threw out the bits that don't work and had another go... while adding a '+' on the end to show it's all new and shiny. It's addressed storage concerns and improved web browser efficiency and the always reliable HTC keyboard – although the battery is still a bit of a sore point. Obviously now the HTC One has popped up, this phone is much less relevant than it once was... but camera and design aside it's not a million miles away from the impressive force of the One. The beefed up processor along with the Android 4.1 and Sense 4+ UI updates makes the One X+ an even slicker, smoother and more powerful customer than its older brother. The already excellent HTC keyboard has once again been given further improvements making it even better and for the first time we didn't feel the need to download an alternative from Google Play- kudos HTC - and LOOK! It comes in red and black with 64GB of storage.

12. BlackBerry Z10:

BlackBerry is back - there's no doubt about that after the huge launch of the BlackBerry Z10 and it's new BB10 operating system. The lateness of said launch caused some to question the relevance of the phones, but there's no doubt it's still a phone that ticks a lot of boxes. The BlackBerry Z10's Peek function, interesting camera features and ability to offer you a work and life balance, which will appeal to a lot of people who struggle to carry around two handsets when the office won't let you bring the iPhone in. The Z10 has a quality finish as well as a clever interface, and the expandable storage, removable battery and Adobe Flash support are all small wins for the Z10 and will help as it tries to stand out in a crowded market.

11. LG Optimus 4X HD:

If it hadn't been for the Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X, there is no doubt about it – the LG Optimus 4X HD would be one of the best phones out there, once upon a time. Its specs are fantastic. The trouble is, LG has released this handset just too late, which means it doesn't offer anything mind-blowing or really that alternative.However, it's a media powerhouse, has sleek lines and has power in spades - plus a better battery than the One X, with the same chip set. In summary, we do recommend it – it's a cracking piece of kit. And if you can get it on a good deal (of which there are many right now), we say 'go for it', but there's no real reason to pick this over a Samsung Galaxy SIII, an HTC One X or even a One S, with the last option impressing hugely on the design front.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Commercial Space Transportation - Crew Program

The three commercial space companies working with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) may have very different spacecraft and rocket designs, but they all agreed on the need for the United States to have its own domestic capability to launch astronauts. 

"Today, there are nine humans on orbit," said Ed Mango, CCP's program manager, at a National Space Club meeting in Cape Canaveral, Florida "All of those folks got there on a vehicle that did not have a U.S. flag on it. We, and the people in this room, and the people at this table, need to fix that."

Mango was joined by partner representatives from The Boeing Company, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Space Exploration Technologies Inc. (SpaceX) to discuss the future of commercial space. "We pay one of our partners, the Russians, $71 million a seat to fly," Mango said. "What we want to do is give that to an American company to fly our crews into space."

Since the dawn of space exploration, Florida's Space Coast has been the iconic site of launching men and women aboard American rockets. During the meeting, all three partner representatives said they plan to bring the work associated with commercial space activities back to the area. "It was incredibly important for us, from a business-case standpoint, to not only locate our launch services here, but also our manufacturing, refurbishment and turnaround operations - essentially having the entire team co-located here in Florida," said John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Boeing's Commercial Programs.

Boeing's CST-100 is on track to take up residency this summer in one of Kennedy Space Center's former orbiter processing facilities. Space Florida, the state's aerospace economic development agency, is continuing to modernize the facility to accommodate commercial space operations. Current plans call for Boeing, along with SNC, to launch their spacecraft a few miles away from Kennedy, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

"This is the Space Coast. It is the transportation hub. There's land, sea, air and space and it all happens right here in Brevard County," said Dan Ciccateri, SNC's chief systems engineer. "It is key for that to continue into commercial crew space." During the meeting, Ciccateri also shared SNC's plans to use the center's Shuttle Landing Facility as the primary runway for the Dream Chaser spacecraft.

SpaceX already is launching its NASA-contracted cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station atop the Falcon 9 rocket and uncrewed version of its Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The company also is planning to launch satellite missions from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. "It's to be seen what future markets will come from the Commercial Crew Program," said Adam Harris, vice president of government sales for SpaceX. "My kids, who are two boys, seven and three, want to see the United States fly to space. And I think that is what inspires folks and I think that's the reason that this is a great program."

Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle:
This spacecraft will serve as the primary crew vehicle for missions beyond low Earth orbit. The Orion MPCV is capable of conducting regular in-space operations (rendezvous, docking, extravehicular activity) in conjunction with payloads delivered by the Space Launch System for missions beyond low Earth orbit. The spacecraft also has the capability to be a backup system for International Space Station cargo and crew delivery.

Designating Orion as NASA's Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle provides our nation with an affordable solution for multiple mission capability by continuing the technology innovations and spacecraft development the NASA-industry team has accomplished. By designing for challenging deep space missions, the MPCV/Orion team has already passed rigorous human rating reviews and other critical milestones required for safe, successful human space flight. With a proven launch abort system and its inherent design to provide the highest level of safety for the crew during long-duration missions, the MPCV is poised to take on increasingly challenging missions that will take human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit and out into the cosmos.

Image below: Workers moved the Orion ground test vehicle (GTA) from the Operations and Checkout Building to the Launch Equipment Test Facility on May 13. Lockheed Martin workers uncovered the GTA to prepare it for the second series of pyrotechnic bolt tests at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Space Launch System - SLS:
The Space Launch System (SLS) Program will develop a heavy-lift launch vehicle to expand human presence to celestial destinations beyond low Earth orbit. This launch vehicle will be capable of lifting the Orion MPCV to asteroids, the moon, Lagrange points, and ultimately for missions to Mars. It will also serve as a backup launch system for supplying and supporting the International Space Station cargo and crew requirements not met by other available launch vehicles.

The image below: An artist rendering of the various configurations of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The flexible configuration, sharing the same basic core-stage, allows for different crew and cargo flights as needed, promoting efficiency, time and cost savings. The SLS enables exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit and support travel to asteroids, Mars and other destinations within our solar system

The image below: An expanded view of an artist rendering of the 130-metric-ton configuration of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., shows the many different elements of the rocket design. Used primarily to launch heavy cargo, this two-stage vehicle will be the largest rocket ever built and will enable exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit, supporting travel to asteroids, Mars and other deep space destinations.

Artist Concept of SLS on Launchpad, the Space Launch System, or SLS, will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment and science experiments to Earth's orbit and destinations beyond. Additionally, the SLS will serve as a back up for commercial and international partner transportation services to the International Space Station.

Ground Systems Development and Operations Program:
Building on five decades of launch and processing excellence, the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program is transforming Kennedy Space Center into a multi-user spaceport capable of accommodating a wide array of government and commercial space activities. Existing infrastructure and facilities are being modernized to support processing and launch of multiple vehicles, from NASA's next-generation rockets and spacecraft to those developed by commercial and other companies.

Imagine a spaceport of the future, where a variety of space vehicles are preparing for launch or departing Earth on missions to expand humanity's reach into space. At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, formerly known as the 21st Century Ground Systems Program, is propelling this vision forward, leading the center's transformation from a historically government-only launch complex to a spaceport bustling with activity involving government and commercial vehicles alike.

The program's primary objective is to prepare the center to process and launch the next-generation vehicles and spacecraft designed to achieve NASA's goals for space exploration. To achieve this transformation, program personnel are developing the necessary ground systems while refurbishing and upgrading infrastructure and facilities to meet tomorrow's demands. This modernization effort keeps flexibility in mind, in order to accommodate a multitude of government, commercial and other customers.

The image below: At Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the view from a fish-eye lens reveals nearly all of the crawler track panels on the pad's surface have been removed. The concrete surface beneath the panels and the catacomb roof below will be inspected for water damage and repaired.

Image below: At Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, construction workers continue to remove the flame trench deflector that sits below and between the left and right crawler-way tracks. Launch Pad 39B is being refurbished to support NASA’s Space Launch System and other launch vehicles. The Ground Systems Development and Operations, or GSDO, Program office at Kennedy is leading the center’s transformation to safely handle a variety of rockets and spacecraft.

For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program and its aerospace industry partners, visit:

Thanks a lot for reading this post.

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Bangladeshi Robots in NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bangladeshi Robots in NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition

NASA's Fourth Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition, held on May 20-24, 2013 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Florida. From Bangladesh, total Five teams (3 real and 2 virtual teams!) participated in this event:
  • Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology - BUET
  • Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology - CHUET
  • Military Institute of Science and Technology - MIST

Virtual Teams:
  • Islamic University of Technology - IUT
  • North South University - NSU

Two team from Bangladesh got the prize in the category of Luna Worldwide Campaign Award. In the competition the BUET team managed to collect 10.4kg lunar regolith in the first round. While in the second round, MIST team qualified to the competition managing 22.6kg lunar regolith, the results of the category was as follows:
  1. First Place - Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST)
  2. Second Place - Kirori Mal College- Cluster Innovation Centre, University of Delhi
  3. Third Place - Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)
In the competition the Grand Prize was the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence, the results is as follows:
  • First Place - Iowa State University in collaboration with Nebraska Indian Community College & Wartburg College
  • Second Place - West Virginia University in collaboration with Bluefield State College
  • Third Place - The University of Alabama in collaboration with Shelton State Community College

The Lunabotics Mining Competition is a university-level competition designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). There is particular relevance to NASA’s recently announced mission to find an asteroid by 2016 and then bring it to Cis-Lunar space, the technology concepts developed by the university teams for this competition conceivably could be used to mine resources on Asteroids as well as Mars. Robotic miners, just like these, will allow us to take samples at the returned Asteroid and give us valuable information to prepare for other deep space missions. The challenge is for students to design and build a remote controlled or autonomous excavator that can collect and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of regolith simulant (aggregate) within 10 minutes. Regolith exists not only on Earth’s moon, but also on most planetary bodies such as Asteroids, Moons of Mars and Mars itself. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the simulant, the weight and size limitations of the robot, and the ability to control it from a remote control center. The scoring for the mining category will require teams to consider a number of design operation factors such as dust tolerance and projection, communications, vehicle mass, energy/power required, and full autonomy.

Below are the images of the Robots made by the Bangladeshi students, participated in the last third and fourth NASA's Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition:

Mechatron from BUET:

Robomist from MIST:

Chondrobot-2 from BRAC University (third annual competition):

IUT team and their Robot:

NSU team and their Robot:


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