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  • Popular Mechanics - March 2014 USA


    内容提示: Hack your commute p. 96 Get Started: 3d PrintinG p. 76MusTang reBorn p. 46 PoPMeCh’s Movie TeCh aWards p. 54easy gadgeT Fixes p. 88issueMarCh2014 i g n i t i o n / Features on the cover m a r c h 2 0 1 4photograph by stefan marjoramP o P u l a r m e c h a n i c s . c o m / m a r c h 2 0 1 4 01The 1000 MPH Car Does Not Exist—Yet ......................... 68Not content to own the land speed record of 763 mph, a British team shoots for 1000 mph or more. Behold, the making of the ...

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    Hack your commute p. 96 Get Started: 3d PrintinG p. 76MusTang reBorn p. 46 PoPMeCh’s Movie TeCh aWards p. 54easy gadgeT Fixes p. 88issueMarCh2014 i g n i t i o n / Features on the cover m a r c h 2 0 1 4photograph by stefan marjoramP o P u l a r m e c h a n i c s . c o m / m a r c h 2 0 1 4 01The 1000 MPH Car Does Not Exist—Yet ......................... 68Not content to own the land speed record of 763 mph, a British team shoots for 1000 mph or more. Behold, the making of the world’s fastest car. By Andrew englishThe Bloodhound ssC’s euroJet eJ200 turbofan engine.The Armageddon Club ...................................... 80As more nations develop nuclear-strike capability, a ready U.S. arsenal becomes more crucial. PopMech gets a rare ringside seat at an ICBM test launch—and meets the elite cadre of airmen who turn the keys. By Joe pAppAlArdoGetting Started in 3D Printing .................... 76About 5 minutes ago, or so it seems, 3D printers were novelty machines for making plastic toys. Now that they’ve sparked a new manufacturing trend, it’s time to learn how to use one. By lee h. goldBergillustrator graham hutchings worked with the Bloodhound ssC’s 3d CAd files to create popMech’s March cover image of the land-speed challenger. WeekendTech ..................................... 88One bad tumble can bust up a gadget. But with a little tech know-how, you can do your own repairs and save big. Digital Clinic Online P2P payment systems are prolifer-ating. Which one is for you?Auto ..................................... 96Take the guesswork out of your commute with driving apps to plan your route, save money on gas, and avoid dreaded traffic snarls.Car Clinic Prolonging battery life and other auto fixes.Home ................................. 100As incandescents disappear, our LED guide helps you pick the best bulbs for your home. Tool Test Eight right-angle drills, three top picks.Home Clinic Make your outlets more USB-friendly. A Brief History of . . . Firefighting ............................................................................................. 110An epic tale with ancient Greeks, Ben Franklin, and a cartoon bear.Ignition ............................. 04Letters, Complaints, Events Tech Watch ...................... 11News, Trends, BreakthroughsUpgrade ............................ 27Gear, Tools, GadgetsAuto Intel ......................... 43Test Drives, Top Tech, Hot Rides02 M A R C H 2 0 1 4 / P o P u l A R M e C H A n i C s . C o M i g n i t i o n / departmentsColumnsSecond Annual CinemaTech Awards .......................... 54Movies drive tech innovation. PopMech picks the year’s best in special effects and other visual artistry. By ADAm SAvAgeTroubled Waters .......................................................................... 58Vacationing on the high seas is all fun and games, until it’s not. Read this before you book a cruise. By KAlee THompSonThe Design-It-Yourself Revolution ................................ 62A custom ax for $850? Impossible—unless you turn to Moniker Guitars, the innovative Austin, Texas, startup. By CHriS rAymonDThe Case for Biomass ........................................................... 66Solar gets much of the attention in the alternative-energy debate. It’s time for wood to receive its due. By JAmeS B. meigSBecause triangles are sexier than boxes. p. 50 ®® Payroll. Guaranteed accurate, so you can avoid penalties. You have enough on your mind, let us worry about your small business payroll. With Intuit Payroll, you can pay employees with just a few clicks. Or let Intuit take care of everything from setup to payroll taxes with our full-service solution. And, no matter which option you go with, if you have any questions, there’s free live expert support.Don’t worry about payroll. Worry about the new guy using your favorite coffee mug.Intuit Payroll30-Day FREE Trial | Online Demo | Live Support | IntuitPayroll.comFrom the maker of i g n i t i o n?#@*&%!Email popularmechanics@hearst.comOnline editor Andrew Moseman traveled to Miami to try out Qualcomm’s next-gen stadium tech—and to watch the Patriots’ QB Tom Brady throw a game-losing pick. Also in Florida, senior news editor Joe Pappalardo witnessed advanced bots in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge, as they drove cars, climbed ladders, and more. Associate tech editor Davey Alba and other members of the PopMech team traveled to Las Vegas for the 2014 CES. We saw scads of cutting-edge technology, including 3D-printing gear, automotive tech, and lots of new phones and tablets. We’re still recovering. We’re really busy in MarCH MARCH 17: Game Developers Conference, San Francisco • TEDActive 2014, Whistler, British Columbia • MARCH 29: The 26th Annual IEEE Software Technology Conference, Long Beach, Calif.What We’re Up to (PoPMech News & eveNts & staffers oN the sceNe) CompLAInTS DEpArTmEnT Time for Popular Mechanics to get back to the basics. That is why I subscribed in the first place. Bill Rovan, lincolnTon, Ga.04 m a r c h 2 0 1 4 / P o P u l a r m e c h a n i c s . c o m talk to UsWhat YoU Said(aboUt oUr DeceMber/JaNUarY issUe aND More)We read all your comments, tweets, and letters. Now we know thatyou love sci-fi as much as we do. Edited by Darren OrfIn our December/January issue we let the real experts—actual scientists—pick the Top 10 sci-fi movies, got high on airships, provided a succinct guide to the private space industry, and more. ● In “Mosaic Theory,” columnist Glenn Harlan Reynolds explored how license-plate scanners can plot a car’s movement. One reader proposed a side step. “There is a simple and widely used means to prevent your license plate from being tracked: the bicycle,” Mitchell Small writes. ● Readers agreed with the choices in “The 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies Ever,” with a few exceptions. “How can you not give Forbidden Planet a mention?” Pat Bowen of Palatka, Fla., writes. Pat has a point: The famous space romp influenced many filmmakers. ● Our story about the Aeroscraf gave reader Paul Pepe of Massapequa, N.Y., a lif. “The possible uses of the Aeroscraf boggle the imagination,” he writes. Indeed, the age-old dream of airships holds new power to inspire. Snail mail 300 West 57th st., new York, nY 10019Subscribe subscribe.popularmechanics.com1-800-333-4948 The future has arrived in outdoor power equipment.husqvarna.comCopyright © 2014 Husqvarna AB (publ). All rights reserved.Available on select Husqvarna tractor and zero-turn models.We asked customers what they would like to see on future riding mowers, the results were always the same. “Make it easier to start”, “if something is wrong, tell me somehow”, “can you make it more secure around my children?”The new SmartSwitch™ ignition brings the convenience of one touch starting, real time feedback and “key-less” security to lawn equipment. No more complicated starting procedures, lost keys or concerns of leaving unattended.Scan here with your smartphone to see the SmartSwitch™ in action.Get the free mobile app at http://gettag.mobi PUBLISHED BY publisHeD by H e a r s t C o m m u n i C at i o n s , i n C . H e a r s t M a g a z i n e s D i v i s i o nFrank A. Bennack, Jr.ExEcutivE vicE chairman How close are scientists to creating artificial intelligence? Steven E., 10, Weston, Mass.Artificial intelligence exists insofar as computers can recognize and respond to patterns. But Google research director Peter Norvig says computers lack insight to “handle the broad range of tasks that people can.” — Darren Orf tHe Kid wANts to KNow Are you a kid with a question? Ask Darren! Email popularmechanics@hearst.com.Michael Kuntz PublishEr national DirEctor, intEgratED salEs Estee Cross ExEcutivE DirEctor, grouP markEting Lisa BoyarsFinancE DirEctor Don Perri Advertising Sales OfficesnEw Yorkaccount managEr Stephen Acunto, Jr. 212/649-2902account managEr Alex Gleitman 212/649-2876assistant Jennifer Zuckerman 212/649-2875los angElEscaliFornia salEs managEr Anne Rethmeyer 310/664-2921account managEr Amy Suprenant 949/610-0458intEgration associatE Michelle Nelson 310/664-2922chicago miDwEst DirEctor Spencer J. Huffman 312/984-5191account managEr Rikka Runyon 312/251-5355assistant Yvonne Villareal 312/984-5196DEtroitrEgional DirEctor John Irvine 248/614-6120assistant Toni Starrs 248/614-6011hEarst magazinEs salEs, llcDallas Patty Rudolph 972/533-8665 Pr 4.0 mEDiaDirEct rEsPonsE aDvErtising salEs managEr Brad Gettelfinger 212/649-4204 account managEr John Stankewitz 212/649-4201classiFiED aDvErtising rEPrEsEntativEKathleen Gleason 888/473-0788; Fax: 708/352-4094 klassmark Digitalnational Digital account managEr Cameron Albergo 212/649-2901managEr Amanda MarandolaIntegrated MarketingsEnior markEting DirEctor Barbara Serino crEativE DirEctor Glen Fuenmayorart DirEctor George Garrastegui, Jr. markEting DirEctor Jason GrahamassociatE markEting DirEctor Bonnie Harris sEnior markEting managEr Amanda LuginbillassociatE markEting managEr Kirsten KubiakAdministrationaDvErtising sErvicEs DirEctor Regina WallaDvErtising sErvicEs coorDinator Aiden LeeExEcutivE assistant to thE PublishEr Ilona BilevychProductiongrouP ProDuction DirEctor Karen Otto grouP ProDuction managEr Lynn Onoyeyan ScaglioneassociatE ProDuction managEr Karen NazarioCirculationconsumEr markEting DirEctor William CartersEnior vicE PrEsiDEnt & Publishing DirEctor, mEn’s grouP Jack EssiggrouP markEting DirEctor, mEn’s grouP Jill MeenaghanJaMes B. Meigs EDitor-in-chiEF; EDitorial DirEctor, mEn’s Enthusiast grouP ExEcutivE EDitor David DunbarDEsign DirEctor Michael LawtonDEPutY EDitor Jerry Beilinsonmanaging EDitor Michael S. CainEditorialsEnior EDitor, automotivE Michael Austin sEnior EDitor, homE Roy Berendsohn sEnior EDitor, nEws Joe Pappalardo associatE EDitors Jennings Brown, Andrew Del-ColleassociatE EDitor, homE David AgrellassociatE EDitor, tEchnologY Davey AlbacoPY chiEF Robin Tribble rEsEarch DirEctor David Cohenassistant to thE EDitor-in-chiEF Theresa BreenwEst coast EDitor Ben StewartsPEcial ProjEcts EDitor Joe BargmannEDitorial intErn Will Dietrich-EgensteinerArtsEnior art DirEctor Peter HerbertassociatE art DirEctors Kristie Bailey, R. Scott WellsintEractivE DEsignEr/illustratorAnthony VerducciPhotographyDirEctor oF PhotograPhY Allyson TorrisiassociatE Photo EDitor Devon BavermanEditorial Board of AdvisersBuzz Aldrin (aPollo 11 astronaut) Shawn Carlson (sociEtY For amatEur sciEntists) David E. Cole (cEntEr For automotivE rEsEarch) Saul Griffith (othErlab) Thomas D. Jones (nasa astronaut) Dr. Ken Kamler (microsurgEon) Gavin A. Schmidt (nasa goDDarD institutE For sPacE stuDiEs) Amy B. Smith (mit) Daniel H. Wilson (roboticist) Wm. A. Wulf (national acaDEmY oF EnginEEring)Senior Correspondents Davin Coburn, Alex Hutchinson, Erik Sofge, Logan Ward, Jeff Wise PYrotEchnics & ballistics EDitor William GurstellemYthbusting EDitors Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage garagE ProPriEtor Jay LenorEsiDEnt contrarian Glenn Harlan Reynolds Productionassistant managing EDitor Natalie NeuschImagingDigital imaging sPEcialist Ken PeccaPopularMechanics.comonlinE DirEctor Angela DiegelonlinE EDitor Andrew MosemanonlinE ProDucEr Carl DavisPopular Mechanics InteractiveProDucEr Jeff ZinnContributing Editors Andrew English, John Galvin, Jim Gorman, Chris Grundy, Carl Hoffman, John Pearley Huffman, Dan Koeppel, Fred Mackerodt, Joe Oldham, Barbara S. Peterson, Elizabeth Svoboda, Kalee Thompson, Joseph Truini, James Vlahos, Basem Wasef, Kevin A. Wilson, Barry WinfieldContributing Photographers & Illustrators Chris Buck, Jamie Chung, Philip Friedman, Christopher Griffith, Dennis Kleiman, Martin Laksman, Mark Mahaney, Axel de Roy, Dan Saelinger, Sarah Shatz, Vladimir Shelest, Josh Simpson, Art Streiber, Dan Winters, Reed YoungSpecial Projects Team Tova Carlin, Annette Deinzer, Jack Dylan, Sarah Fecht, Darren Orf, Paula Rackow, Chris Raymond, Alyson Sheppard, Janet Stafford, Katrina ZookSteven R. SwartzPrEsiDEnt & chiEF ExEcutivE oFFicEr William R. Hearst IIIchairmanDavid CareyPrEsiDEntGilbert C. MaurerPublishing consultantJohn P. LoughlinExEcutivE vicE PrEsiDEnt & gEnEral managErEllen LevineEDitorial DirEctorMichael ClintonPrEsiDEnt, markEting & Publishing DirEctorMark F. MillerPublishingconsultant06 m a r c h 2 0 1 4 / P o P u l a r m E c h a n i c s . c o m i g n i t i o n / mastheadsince 1902 ONE PILL EACH MORNING. 24 HOURS. 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Not for immediate relief. † Source Healthcare Analytics ProVoice™ Survey, Jan 2005 – Mar 2013. ^ Symphony Health ProVoice™ Survey, Jan 2005 – Mar 2013.‡ Pharmacy Times Surveys, Acid Reducer/Heartburn Categories, 2006 – 2013. ** P&G calculation based on Nielsen ScanTrack FD+, 2004 – 2013.© Procter & Gamble, Inc., 2013 PHC-12535 ABLE GUYRLARRY THE CAACTUAL USER PoPularMechanics.coMOn popmech.com, learn how to set up a wireless sound system in your home, see eight quick DIY upgrades, and read these great stories:Drone hate Amazon’s proposal to deliver packages by unmanned aircraft is just the latest drone announcement to spark paranoia and fear. Why are we so afraid of these machines?popularmechanics.com/amazondroneexoskeletons Wearable exoskeletons will revolutionize manufacturing, healthcare, and the military. Say hello to the prototypes and new models that will make it all happen.popularmechanics.com/knowexoskeletonsvalet secrets Who tips better, a Ferrari owner or a Nissan owner? Which city loves its Lamborghinis? We talked to valets at some of America’s hottest hotels and restaurants to find out.popularmechanics.com/valetconfessions08 m A r c h 2 0 1 4 • P O P U L A r m E c h A N I c S . c O mAutomotive Science technology home how-to centrAl videoi g n i t i o n / on the webon the ipad: kids’ top projects12 greAt buildSThe editors of Popular mechanics have compiled our best DIY projects for kids, with plans, step-by-step directions—and extra photos never seen in print. Download our iPad app, then click on the Specials tab. Follow PoPMechFor plenty more from our editors, follow Popular Mechanics on: Facebook facebook.com/popularmechanics Twitter @PopMech Tumblr popmech.tumblr.comDownload Now!P R O M O T I O NTHE ONE STOP SHOP FOR THOSE WHO KNOW IT. ALL.BANNED GEMSTONE NOW 100% LEGALGet 100 carats of historically dangerous amethyst for under $40! In Ancient Rome, Tyrian purple was a color reserved for the Emperor alone. 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Love it.™GoPro App ®USA Consumers: www.falken.rapid-rebates.com/Consumer/USA • Canada Consumers: www.falken.rapid-rebates.com/Consumer/CANFor additional information, please visit the following link:Follow us on facebook.com/falkentireCASHBACK Prepaid Visa® Card *By mail with the purchase of 4 ZIEX ZE950 Tires. Valid March 1st to April 30th, 2014.Introducing, the All-season Tire with Dynamic Range Technology (DRT). To Learn More about DRT, Visit Falkentire.com/ZE950 69 124 241 32 16m21m26m470 851 1700 66m83m33m42m52m3100 6000 11,000 22,000 41,000 105m130m170m210m270m 63,000 330m420m82,000 670m 180,000 110,000 140,000 840m 290,000 530m490,000 840,000 1.4 million 2.4 million 4.1 million 7 million 12 million 1.0km1.3km1.7km2.1km20 million 35 million 59 million 100 million 10.6km6.7km8.4km2.7km3.3km4.2km5.3kmAvg. Impact Frequency (years)Object DiameterTechFEB. 15, 2013Chelyabinsk event, RussiaExploded in an airburst with the force of about 500 kilo-tons of TNT, 20 to 30 times more than that released from the atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima.JUNE 30, 1908tunGuska event, Russia80 million trees knocked down over an area of 830 square miles.66 MILLION YEARS AGOChiCXulub event, MeXiCOIt is widely accepted that this asteroid, which left a crater 112 miles in diameter, was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.Hazardous asteroids are 10 times more likely to hit Earth than previously thought, accord-ing to new research by Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario. The physicist crunched 20 years’ worth of data on meteor airbursts instead of using only telescopic sur-veys and lunar-crater data to make the new assessment. He also studied videos from last year’s blast in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Here‘s what the threat looks like. — sARAH FECHTWhat it Means: While an asteroid the size of the one that killed off the dinosaurs occurs about once every 100 million years, a smaller but still very destructive event could happen every 32 years. P O P U l a R mECHaNICs.COm / maRCH 2014 11 data visualization by ben wIllersWatc hNEWStRENDSBREAKtHROUGHSEdited by JENNINGS BROWNAvg. Impact Frequency (years)Object DiameterThe Asteroid Threat T EC H WATC H / BIG IDEASPhotograPh by DFKI/DaNIEL KÜhN (INForM), PhILIP FrIEDMaN (booK)12 M a r C h 2 0 1 4 / P o P u L a r M E C h a N I C s . C o M Rise From the Surface123Prototypes form in an instant, far more quickly than in 3D printing. Medical Ct scans, 3D maps, and architectural designs morph as new data is input. this is the “radical atoms” vision of Massachusetts Institute of technology’s tangible Media group, which believes that, in many cases, physical is better than digi-tal. In November 2013 graduate students Daniel Leithinger and sean Follmer presented the first step of this vision. the inForM is a shape-shifting surface that captures movement and forms with an overhead sensor, then renders those forms in motion remotely and simultaneously through a motorized, Pinscreen-like device. as the ½-inch-wide pins—there are 900 of them—move up and down in unison, they can create an interactive 3D model of objects anywhere around the world. — DARREN ORF Simon Garfield, JoUrnaliST and aUThor How have digital maps changed the way we see our place in the world?A: always a little blue dot in the middle of every map. but often that map is only 2 inches by 3 inches on your phone screen, which means that we get a very limited view of what’s around us. We look at the world in a very egocentric way when we can travel across the country without really knowing how we got there because we’re just following gPs. We lose a grander scale of our place in the world and how significant we are. When we look at the maps on our phones, we think, oh, this is amazing. I’m at the center of the world! but, of course, we are not at all. Step 1: An Xbox Kinect sensor captures movement, which is then re-created via a custom circuit board with a microcontroller that operates 900 motors. Step 2: Long cable linkages connect the motors to pins, reducing friction.Step 3: Each linkage connects to one of 900 ½-inch-wide pins. HOW IT WORKS60-SecOnd GenIuStoday we are — AS TOLD TO ALySON ShEppARD PhotograPh by HARRY GOULD HARVEY IV (LS3)There’s a robot following Marine Pfc. Marcus Beedle through the woods at Fort Devens, Mass. The quadruped, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3), does this by using flickering lasers and stereoscopic cameras in its head to fixate on a pattern of thick bands strapped to the Marine’s backpack. The robot also traces the path Beedle takes by tracking a navigation device strapped to his right boot. LS3 can pick its own way through rough terrain or tramp directly in its master’s footsteps. “Follow-the-leader is our bread and but-ter,” says Kevin Blankespoor, VP of controls and autonomy at Boston Dynamics (purchased by Google in December 2013), the creator of LS3. Beedle and a squad of Marines from the 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment, are the first to take this robotic pack mule for squad-level testing. PM is the only media out-let on hand for this historic meet-up of Marine and machine. Officials from the Marine Corps War fighting Lab, DARPA, and Boston Dynamics developed the LS3 to go where tracked and wheeled vehicles can’t go—over rocks, up and down steep inclines, and through woods and swamps. The idea behind the LS3 is for Marines to use it to take supplies to their secured positions. LS3 is made for war zones, but it is not viewed as a weapon. It’s just a mule—though some Marines would like to see that change. “We’d love a machine gun on it,” says 1st Lt. Alex Hurran. — JOE PAPPALARDOLEMUR JPL unveiled the latest generation of what it’s calling the world’s first climbing robot. The JPL/NASA LEMUR IIB uses 750 tiny claws on each of its four arms to firmly latch on to a rock sur-face. The primate-like machine could provide the anchor for asteroid-mining bots or drills operated by astronauts. — MICHAEL BELFIORE CHEETAH A cheetah copes with its high center of gravity by whipping its tail to coun-teract the torque of sudden turns. Dima, a big-wheeled robot built at the University of Cape Town, uses the same ap-proach with a tail that swings overhead and away from sharp turns. The result: Its rollover-free turn speed more than doubles, from 7 mph in a tailless version to 17 mph. — ALEX HUTCHINSONThe Marines Meet Their Robot Muleother Biomimic BotST EC H WATC H / InTeLLIGenT MachIneS T EC H WATC H / biomimicry PhotograPhS by getty ImageS20 m a r C h 2 0 1 4 / P o P u l a r m e C h a n I C S . C o m mechanical engineer Justin Jaworski was inspired—and scared—when a great gray owl suddenly flew at his face during a visit to a bird sanctuary. the experience made him wonder how the animal could approach so silently. using mathematical modeling and wind-tunnel experiments, he showed that the owl’s wing is designed for stealth attack. Jaworski says that elements of the wing could be replicated to mitigate noise. here are three fields that could benefit from silent owl technology. — S.F.Studying owl wingS could inSpire new noiSe-canceling tech. Quiet as a FeatherAirplAnesOwls have flexible and porous feathers along the trailing edge of the wing that appear to mute the sound of airflow off the back of the wing, the same place where much of an aircraft’s noise is generated. Models have suggested that a flex-ible and porous trailing edge made of Mylar could reduce the roar off an air-craft’s wing tenfold.Wind Turbines Owl wings cut down on the noise of air moving over them, called turbulence. The leading edges of an owl’s primary feathers are serrated, which breaks up air turbulence into smaller currents that cause less noise. A similar comblike design could help eliminate the whooshing sounds of wind turbines.submArines The barbed fibers of an owl’s down interlock with other feathers, creating a dampening buffer between the rough surface and the air flowing over it. Jaworski is working with the Office of Naval Research to apply similarly smooth, porous surfaces to submarine hulls to try to cut down noise without creating drag. 1-888-375-7905 ProgressiveCommercial.comCall for a Free QuoteFind an AgentWherever your business takes you, we’re there to help.At Progressive Commercial Auto, we know your business depends on your vehicle. For over 40 years, we’ve been offering Commercial Auto insurance designed specifically for small business owners. And with 24/7 live support and expert claims representatives, we get you back on the road fast. On the road with you. Now that’s Progressive. Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. & affiliates. 12B00197.F (12/13) T EC H WATC H / future of Air Defenseillustration by DAN MORISON22 M A R C H 2 0 1 4 / P o P u l A R M e C H A n i C s . C o M higher quality Fiber lasers have near-perfect beam quality, which is a measure of how much energy can be focused in one area. Endurance will combine dozens of fiber-laser beams into one with superb beam quality.Four years ago the Airborne laser Test Bed, a modified 747 that shoots lethal photons, destroyed a ballistic missile in flight by blasting it with a chemical laser. But after its test demonstration, the Pentagon moth- balled the plane because of its $100-million-a-year price tag. still, the dream of flying laser weapons won’t rest in the boneyard if DARPA has anything to do with it. The agency is researching fiber-optic lasers as an alternative to massive chemical lasers. lockheed Martin and northrop Grumman were awarded contracts to build a prototype for a classified program called endurance. instead of blowing up a missile, this system will target optically guided missiles. The program can take advantage of lightweight lasers on drones because it takes less power to scorch optics than to melt a rocket casing. This technology could protect combat aircraft or counter terrorist threats to commercial airlines. — OLIVIA KOSKILaser-Drone WarsA. Combatants fire surface-to-air missile at a 747. B.The drone fires a laser beam at the missile. C. The laser strikes the missile’s optics. D. The missile is deflected.ABCDMature The telecom boom of the ’90s accelerated fiber-optic tech. When the industry went bust in 2001, fiber com-panies found a new market: high-power fiber lasers for manufacturing. That means they’re designed to be reliable.efficient The material of most high-power fiber lasers has a high quantum efficiency; the wavelength of light energizing the laser is close to that of the laser’s output color. Fewer photons are wasted, and the system weighs less.WHY FIBER? 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The PM-sponsored event challenged 12 finalists to design and build innovative woodstoves that are cleaner-burning, more efficient, easier to operate, and more affordable than the smoke-belching boxes of old. Woodstock soapstone’s ideal steel Hybrid took the $25,000 grand prize after six days of testing on the national Mall in Washington, D.C. However, there was plenty of innovation to go around, proving that man’s oldest technology can still be cutting-edge. — DAVID AGRELLTWICE BURNED smoke from a chimney is simply unburned fuel. efficient stoves are inherently cleaner because they com-sume more matter before it leaves the firebox. Both the win-ning stove, Wood-stock soapstone’s ideal steel Hybrid, and runner-up lopi Cape Cod [1] draw exhaust gases into a second-ary chamber where temperatures can reach 1800 F—hot enough to incinerate all particulates. The Wittus Twinfire, also a runner-up, achieves a similar effect by drawing hot gases from the fire into a lower chamber.NEW CONCEPTS Before the decathlon, Team Mulciber—a group of fire- protection-engineering students at the university of Mary-land—had never built a stove. unencumbered by centuries of design habits, they created an innovative stove [2] that features a pressurized combus-tion chamber, an automation system, a custom catalyst and a self-cleaning particulate filter, and a coaxial chimney stack that forces hot air back into the firebox, where it continues the combustion process. The stove’s emissions were so low, they were almost unmeasurable.SMART RETROFIT outdated stoves can be retrofit to be more efficient. Those with advanced mechani-cal skills can install smartstove, which adds computer- controlled automation to almost any noncat-alytic stove that has manual draft controls. A more low-tech solu-tion is the intensiFire firebox insert [3], an affordable spherical device that recaptures heat before it disap-pears up the chimney stack.SET AND FORGET incorrectly operated stoves waste fuel, damage stacks, and pollute neighbor-hoods. one-third of the Wood stove Decathlon finalists used automation sys-tems to help improve combustion within the stove. HWAM’s Autopilot stove [4], which ranked first in innovation, incorpo-rates a thermocouple and an oxygen sensor to analyze the fire’s performance and then automatically adjust air vents for a more complete burn. fiReRELATEDWhybiomassbeats solarP. 66 PROMOTIONGet all three for only $5 a month... subscribe now: deal1.hearstmags.comPopular Mechanics Trusted information and useful advice for your home, your car, and your life — plus the very latest in technology, engineering, digital privacy, tool tests, and more. Road & Track Your complete guide to everything automotive, where you’ll gain insider access to the world’s finest high performance and luxury vehicles.Car and Driver In-depth reviews on foreign and domestic cars, comparison and performance tests, award-winning writing, and stunning photography.Got a new iPad?Then now is the perfect time to treat yourself to all three magazines for just $5 a month!If you received an iPad® over the holidays, or even if you didn’t, you’ll want to take advantage of the opportunity to get our best price on the digital editions of your favorite magazines:Apple, Inc. is not a participant or sponsor of this promotion. Apple, the Apple logo, iPad, and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Zero to 60in 2.8 seconds.Zero to 360°in 2.5 seconds.The Cub Cadet RZT® S went toe-to-toe with Josef Newgarden’s other high-performance ride at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And while the car averaged more than 220 mph, the RZT S zero-turn rider ran circles around it. Pulling zero-turns in just over two seconds, cornering obstacles nimbly and delivering a beautiful cut every time. And off the track, it takes on straightaways and steep banks like nothing else on earth; making a spin on the RZT S almost as much fun as a lap at Indy. Looks like Josef’s next pit stop just may be his local Cub Cadet dealer.ELECTRIC ZERO-TURN RIDERJosef Newgarden, Champion IZOD Indy Car Series DriverSarah Fisher Hartman Racing Team www.sfhracing.comRZT S Zero-Turn Rider725cc, V-Twin OHV engine © 2013 Cub CadetW I N N E R PhotograPh by Eric HElgasP o P u l a r m e c h a n i c s . c o m / m a r c h 2 0 1 4 27 →Robo Rodsthe anki drive learns to think on its own as you play. beware your toy overlords. upgradeGEARTOOLSGADGETSEdited by JENNINGS BROWN best vs budgetu p g r a d e illustration by martin laksman28 M a r c h 2 0 1 4 / P o P u l a r M e c h a n i c s . c o M hamilton khaki field mechanical, $395convince your coworkers you’re the safari type with this hand-some hamilton, which has a super-hard sapphire-crystal face that keeps its guts dry up to 164 feet underwater. The tough band will keep the ticker secure during bumpy subaru rides. in fact, it’ll last until the next ...


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