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GD European Land Systems creates coasting stage for common assurance and calamity alleviation

Zoltán Tűndik

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General Dynamics European Land Systems employees in Germany pose in front of the "PoBo" multifunctional, modular floating platform, designed to assist with civil protection and disaster release.
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General Dynamics European Land Systems-Bridge Systems (GDELS-Bridge Systems) announced on the 28th of January that it has been awarded a contract to develop a multifunctional, modular floating platform known as Pontoon Boat, or PoBo.

The project was awarded under the Innovation Programme for the Support of Diversification Strategies of Defense Companies in Civil Security Technologies, or DIVERS.  DIVERS is a program launched by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWI), with VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH as the responsible project executing agency.

“The PoBo is a modularly configurable floating device,” said Sascha Wahlster, head of civil activities for GDELS-Bridge Systems.  “It can be used to assemble heavy-duty transport, working, diving and recovery platforms or bridges.”

“By means of specially developed propulsion systems and supported by drone based underwater sensors, safe, semi-autonomous driving in flooded and unmapped areas will be made possible,” said Wahlster.

The PoBo will be developed to be ergonomically friendly, and will have a mobile virtual reality system to conduct fast and cost-effective training.

GDELS-Bridge Systems, the market leader in military floating bridges is a part of the newly-established General Dynamics European Land Systems–Deutschland.  The company, which employs 400 people, has been developing and producing these systems in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, for 65 years.

“Essential for the success of our application was the integration not only of existing long-standing cooperation partners such as the Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme e.V. (Development Centre for Ship Technology and Transport Systems, DST) in Duisburg and the Bremen-based company szenaris specialized in learning programs and simulations for digital learning,” said Christian Kauth, Managing Director of GDELS-Bridge Systems.  “Through our collaboration in the Science and Innovation Alliance Kaiserslautern (SIAK) and the Commercial Vehicle Cluster (CVC), many new cooperation approaches have emerged.”

“Consequently, the integration of the Institute for Robotic Systems at Kaiserslautern University of Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) into the project developed,” Kauth said.  “The decisive factor, however, was that we were able to win the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) in close cooperation with national fire brigades and police authorities as a project partners, as this is the only way to successfully develop a system that optimally supports relief, rescue and security forces in their challenging tasks worldwide.”

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Aerospace

NASA’s Landmark Twins Study Reveals Resilience of Human Body in Space

Betty Tűndik

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Photo Source: nasa.gov - twins study
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Results from NASA‘s landmark Twins Study, which took place from 2015-2016, were published Thursday in Science. The integrated paper — encompassing work from 10 research teams — reveals some interesting, surprising and reassuring data about how one human body adapted to — and recovered from — the extreme environment of space.

The Twins Study provides the first integrated biomolecular view into how the human body responds to the spaceflight environment, and serves as a genomic stepping stone to better understand how to maintain crew health during human expeditions to the Moon and Mars.

Retired NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and his identical twin brother Mark, participated in the investigation, conducted by NASA’s Human Research Program. Mark provided a baseline for observation on Earth, and Scott provided a comparable test case during the 340 days he spent in space aboard the International Space Station for Expeditions 43, 44, 45 and 46. Scott Kelly became the first American astronaut to spend nearly a year in space.

“The Twins Study has been an important step toward understanding epigenetics and gene expression in human spaceflight,” said J.D. Polk, chief Health and Medical Officer at NASA Headquarters. “Thanks to the twin brothers and a cadre of investigators who worked tirelessly together, the valuable data gathered from the Twins Study has helped inform the need for personalized medicine and its role in keeping astronauts healthy during deep space exploration, as NASA goes forward to the Moon and journeys onward to Mars.”

Key results from the NASA Twins Study include findings related to gene expression changes, immune system response, and telomere dynamics. Other changes noted in the integrated paper include broken chromosomes rearranging themselves in chromosomal inversions, and a change in cognitive function. Many of the findings are consistent with data collected in previous studies, and other research in progress.

The telomeres in Scott’s white blood cells, which are biomarkers of aging at the end of chromosomes, were unexpectedly longer in space then shorter after his return to Earth with average telomere length returning to normal six months later. In contrast, his brother’s telomeres remained stable throughout the entire period. Because telomeres are important for cellular genomic stability, additional studies on telomere dynamics are planned for future one-year missions to see whether results are repeatable for long-duration missions.

A second key finding is that Scott’s immune system responded appropriately in space. For example, the flu vaccine administered in space worked exactly as it does on Earth. A fully functioning immune system during long-duration space missions is critical to protecting astronaut health from opportunistic microbes in the spacecraft environment.

A third significant finding is the variability in gene expression, which reflects how a body reacts to its environment and will help inform how gene expression is related to health risks associated with spaceflight. While in space, researchers observed changes in the expression of Scott’s genes, with the majority returning to normal after six months on Earth. However, a small percentage of genes related to the immune system and DNA repair did not return to baseline after his return to Earth. Further, the results identified key genes to target for use in monitoring the health of future astronauts and potentially developing personalized countermeasures.

“A number of physiological and cellular changes take place during spaceflight,” said Jennifer Fogarty, chief scientist of the Human Research Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “We have only scratched the surface of knowledge about the body in space. The Twins Study gave us the first integrated molecular view into genetic changes, and demonstrated how a human body adapts and remains robust and resilient even after spending nearly a year aboard the International Space Station. The data captured from integrated investigations like the NASA Twins Study will be explored for years to come.”

Part of the record-setting one-year mission, the NASA Twins Study incorporated 10 investigations to advance NASA’s mission and benefit all of humanity. Scott participated in a number of biomedical studies, including research into how the human body adjusts to known hazards, such as weightlessness and space radiation. Meanwhile, Mark participated in parallel studies on Earth to help scientists compare the effects of space on a body down to the cellular level. The findings represent 27 months of data collection.

The Twins Study helped establish a framework of collaborative research that serves as a model for future biomedical research. Principal investigators at NASA and at research universities across the nation initiated an unprecedented sharing of data and discovery. Supported by 84 researchers at 12 locations across eight states, the data from this complex study was channeled into one inclusive study, providing the most comprehensive and integrated molecular view to date of how a human responds to the spaceflight environment. While significant, it is difficult to draw conclusions for all humans or future astronauts from a single test subject in the spaceflight environment.

“To our knowledge, this team of teams has conducted a study unprecedented in its scope across levels of human biology: from molecular analyses of human cells and the microbiome to human physiology to cognition,” said Craig Kundrot, director, Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Application Division at NASA Headquarters. “This paper is the first report of this highly integrated study that began five years ago when the investigators first gathered. We look forward to the publication of additional analyses and follow-up studies with future crew members as we continue to improve our ability to live and work in space and venture forward to the Moon and on to Mars.”

The unique aspects of the Twins Study created the opportunity for innovative genomics research, propelling NASA into an area of space travel research involving a field of study known as “omics,” which integrates multiple biological disciplines. Long-term effects of research, such as the ongoing telomeres investigation, will continue to be studied.

NASA has a rigorous training process to prepare astronauts for their missions, including a thoroughly planned lifestyle and work regime while in space, and an excellent rehabilitation and reconditioning program when they return to Earth. Thanks to these measures and the astronauts who tenaciously accomplish them, the human body remains robust and resilient even after spending a year in space.

For more information about the NASA Twins Study, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/twins-study

 

SOURCE: NASA

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Aerospace

Cubic’s Trafficware Upgrades City of Cupertino with Central Transportation Management System

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB) today announced that Trafficware, which operates within its Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division, was selected by the city of Cupertino, Californiato deliver its ATMS Transportation Management System to manage traffic across the city. The agreement includes services to install as well as integrate existing and new intersection traffic controllers citywide.

As the world’s most advanced central management system, ATMS distinguishes itself by offering intelligent, data-rich intersection management and the most complete set of functionalities across its two dozen modules. It is the only system of its kind with a business intelligence layer. The system incorporates a flexible architecture, supporting multiple manufacturers’ devices as well as integration with other transportation systems.

ATMS brings traffic network data into a single repository for a real-time, 360-degree view of network traffic operations and is a powerful performance and engineering tool that features capabilities developed from direct input from hundreds of ATMS customers from all over the world.

“Trafficware has been fortunate to be the technology provider of choice for innovative cities such as Cupertino,” said Jeff Spinazze, vice president of sales – Trafficware, Cubic Transportation Systems. “We are pleased that Cupertino is joining Silicon Valley ATMS customers, such as Palo Alto and Santa Clara County as well as the three dozen others across California, and we welcome them into the Cubic family.”

The City of Cupertino will be able to leverage its investment for years after its implementation. ATMS is a platform for Smart Cities technology and future expansion into connected/autonomous vehicles; SynchroGreen adaptive signal control; transit signal priority for buses; and Internet of Things (IoT) edge technologies to measure and improve the overall flow of traffic. It is designed to scale as an agency expands its specific needs.

Cubic’s Trafficware has more than 300 major ATMS installations with equipment deployed at more than 50,000 intersections globally. Cities such as HoustonJacksonvilleOklahoma City, New Haven, Orlando and Cairo, Egypt rely on the ATMS system for complex transportation networks as do the states of New YorkLouisiana and South Carolina and some of the largest counties in the U.S.

 

SOURCE Cubic Corporation

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Aerospace

SpaceChain opens operation in the United Kingdom to explore opportunities in Europe’s commercial space ecosystem

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: interplanetary.asu.edu
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Singapore-based SpaceChain has expanded its operations to the United Kingdom to leverage Europe’s advanced space technologies and to drive economic development through SpaceChain’s satellite infrastructure and blockchain technology.

SpaceChain UK Limited will be based in Harwell, Oxfordshire at the Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC), an independent innovation and technology company created by Innovate UK.

To kick off its new business venture, SpaceChain collaborated with SAC to host a workshop that explored the benefits of blockchain technologies and its applications for the commercial space industry. Attended by more than 60 professionals from all over the UK, the workshop introduced the potential of a community-based space platform.

“Last year, I travelled to the UK about six to seven times. During those visits, I met a lot of potential partners from various UK-based space companies and learned more about the ecosystem there. From tracking satellites to building new rockets, the UK has played a vital role in the development of the space industry and we see more opportunities on the horizon,” said Zee Zheng, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of SpaceChain.

SpaceChain has already partnered with several UK-based companies, including: Open Cosmos, a microsatellite platform designed to manage the process of bringing satellite services to businesses; NanoAvionics, a nanosatellite mission integrator that delivers new generation satellite buses and propulsion systems; and Alba Orbital, a pioneer in the development of PocketQube satellites.

Heading the new UK office as Director is SpaceChain’s Chief Commercial Officer Nick Trudgen. A native of the UK, Trudgen speaks fluent Mandarin and specializes in UK-China trade and investment, with a focus on space, satellite, and telecommunications.

“We are very excited to explore the UK space ecosystem and bring the next generation of institutional grade blockchain services to existing and future satellite infrastructure. We have also received positive feedback from the entities we have met and we’re looking forward to working more closely with our partners in the UK,” said Trudgen.

 

SOURCE SpaceChain

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