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Spectrum, IEEE

Issue 7 • Date July 2000

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Displaying Results 1 - 10 of 10
  • Electrical injuries. engineering, medical, and legal aspects [Books]

    Page(s): 12
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Are power lines unsafe?

    Page(s): 21 - 23
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  • Microprocessors: the off-beat generation

    Page(s): 44 - 49
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    Three innovative processors across the full range of performance are targeted toward applications in powerful supercomputing, multimedia broadband communications and programmable logic View full abstract»

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  • Made-to-order power

    Page(s): 50 - 55
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    The author describes how, when circuit and device designers jointly tailor power electronics systems to a specific application, performance and reliability can benefit at little or no cost View full abstract»

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  • Analyze jitter to improve high-speed design

    Page(s): 62 - 67
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    The authors describe how, in order to overcome timing jitter-the nemesis of high-speed design engineers-its source must be known. They detail how, to divine its source, thousands of signal observations must be collected and scrutinized to uncover flaws View full abstract»

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  • The tether solution [space propulsion, electrodynamic tether]

    Page(s): 38 - 43
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    Current-carrying wire tethers are promising a cheap and reliable means and propelling spacecraft. The electrodynamic tether is a current-carrying wire that harnesses the force exerted by Earth's magnetic field. The propellant-free device could one day have several uses: to transfer working satellites to new orbits; remove defunct satellites from orbit; keep the International Space Station aloft, and even power missions to the outer planets. The technology may also be used aboard the Russians' Mir space station. An important test of the electrodynamic tether will take place in December 2000. NASA's US $7 million Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS) experiment will show that an 11 kg, 5 km-long, 1.2 mm-diameter aluminum wire can rapidly remove a rocket's upper stage from orbit. The author describes basic principles of electrodynamic tether thrusters. The Earth's magnetic field exerts a force on and accelerates the wire and hence any payload attached to it. The direction of current flow through the tether, either away or towards the Earth, determines whether the magnetic force will add to or subtract from the tether's orbital energy, and therefore raise or lower its orbit View full abstract»

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  • The multifaceted Richard W. Sonnenfeldt

    Page(s): 56 - 61
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  • Welcome to the real world

    Page(s): 70 - 72
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  • The virtual surgeon [virtual reality trainer]

    Page(s): 26 - 31
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    Rapid improvements in computing power have opened the way for desktop virtual reality trainers that incorporate realistic graphics and, in some cases, the sense of touch. Affordable commercial simulators, for instance, are now available for practising such tasks as threading flexible endoscopes down a virtual patient's throat or manipulating the long surgical instruments used in laparoscopy. Companies and universities are also developing systems that simulate more complex procedures, such as suturing tissue and inserting a catheter into a vein using laparoscopic tools. These VR trainers can be adjusted to the user, to pinpoint areas of weakness, and they can be used at any time, without the need for supervision. What's more, they prepare the student psychologically for surgical tasks, because complications can be simulated in a safe manner. They can also give objective scores of a student's ability. Indeed, studies show that computer based training simulations are at least as good as standard training methods View full abstract»

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  • Saving Mir with a rope trick

    Page(s): 32 - 37
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    Using a fabled “skyhook” of engineering folklore (known as firefly), Russia's ailing Mir space station may soon lift itself by its own bootstraps into a higher, more stable orbit. That feat, though, is raising fears at NASA that the development of its supposed replacement, the International Space Station (ISS) will be upset. At present, Mir is orbiting without a crew. The last two cosmonauts to visit the station returned to Earth in June 2000. The next crew is set to go up in November 2000, according to MirCorp, the private consortium that agreed to lease the station for commercial purposes. What's more, in an effort to add years to the station's lifespan, cosmonauts will begin testing a new propulsion technology some time later this year or next. The heart of the new technology is an electrodynamic tether, a long thin wire that will attach to Mir and draw electrons from Earth's ionosphere. As with an electric motor, this current-carrying wire will experience a force as it passes through Earth's magnetic field, a force that will, it is hoped, stabilize Mir's altitude View full abstract»

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