Shade umbrella provides power source for chargers

December 1st, 2009

Problem: Charging portable electronics outdoors is often inconvenient, or even impossible, as electrical outlets are not always accessible. Solution: The SOLARBrella™ from SKYShades shields customers from the sun while simultaneously providing a power source to charge electronics such as cell phones, laptops or other small portable devices. The umbrella features Power Plastic®, a lightweight film […]

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Versatile VersaUV printer

December 1st, 2009

Problem: Several pieces of equipment may be needed to offer customers a variety of printing services. Solution: Roland DGA Corp. offers the VersaUV LEC-330, a 30-inch, roll-to-roll LED-UV inkjet printer and cutter, an all-in-one device for seamless workflow and efficiency. Capable of printing on a range of substrates including labels, decals, POP displays and posters, […]

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Shade system auto-extends based on sun’s intensity

December 1st, 2009

Problem: Retractable awnings save energy, but may require regular attention to maintain maximum efficiency. Solution: The Sunis WireFree™ RTS Sun Sensor from Somfy Systems automatically extends awnings, solar screens or blinds using Radio Technology Somfy® (RTS) based on the intensity of the sun. The sensor is powered by a solar cell, providing energy savings while […]

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Welander solves design problems for fabric structures

December 1st, 2009

Mark Welander uses his penchant for simplicity and accuracy to solve fabrication dilemmas. By Sigrid Tornquist “When you’re trying to get information, try to find the bull’s-eye,” says Mark Welander, MFC, owner of Fabricon in Missoula, Mont. “You need to have accuracy and good information when going into a project—without it, you’re going to have […]

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New biosuit acts as ‘second skin’ for astronauts

December 1st, 2009

[MIT] Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A. Space pioneers may go to Mars wearing skintight space suits developed by Dr. Dava Newman and the Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) Research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Mass. With support from the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts and Trotti & Assoc. Inc., Cambridge, Mass., the BioSuit is being […]

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Orion exploration vehicle undergoes testing

December 1st, 2009

[Airborne Systems North America] Santa Ana, Calif., U.S.A. NASA has taken a major step toward building the next crew exploration vehicle by completing the Orion Project’s preliminary design review (PDR), which evaluated the vehicle’s capability to support three types of missions: flights to the International Space Station, weeklong missions to the moon and missions to […]

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Flying inflatable aeroshell

December 1st, 2009

[ILC Dover] Frederica, Del., U.S.A. NASA’s Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE) passed a test launch this fall with flying colors after extensive testing was completed. ILC Dover, working with NASA Langley Research Center, designed and manufactured the IRVE inflatable from silicone-coated, high-temperature fabric and a covering of ceramic fabric. The IRV is patterned and manufactured […]

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U2 fabric stage makes world tour

December 1st, 2009

Dublin’s U2, recognized worldwide for its driving yet melodic musical vision, launched the band’s “360° World Tour” in June 2009 on a fabric-clad stage that rocks around the clock. The stage system resembles a giant steel-trussed spider clad with PVC-coated polyester blackout fabric. No matter where concert goers sit, even if the venue is a […]

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Long-lasting phosphorescent pigments

December 1st, 2009

Add energy to phase-change materials such as phosphors, and they glow in the dark. The challenge for scientists has been to produce long-lasting phosphorescence in specific hues. Now, the University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc., Athens, Ga., and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, have illuminated the field with a patented portfolio of […]

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Geotextile reef prevents beach erosion

December 1st, 2009

Bournemouth, a seacoast town in southern England, craved the wave; it’s a surfing destination and tourist draw. To improve wave quality, prevent beach erosion and increase marine habitat, Bournemouth’s beachfront revitalization plan included Europe’s first artificial reef, completed in October by Amalgamate Solutions and Research (ASR) Ltd., Venice Beach, Calif., and Raglan, New Zealand, a […]

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