LithiumSulfur is the Next Battery Breakthrough

first_imgStay on target Additive Breakthrough Makes EV Batteries Suck Less in the ColdThe Battery in This Phone is Five Times Bigger Than Yours Technological progress is always being limited by something. Maybe a certain type of glass is too expensive. Maybe there’s just too much conflict over these conflict minerals. Or maybe researchers have become too tired to make phones curved for no reason.But you can always count on batteries to be one of tech’s biggest bottlenecks. As devices become more powerful they either drain more power faster or have to find new ways to become more efficient. Not too mention thinner mobile devices place limits on how big a battery can be. It leads to situations like putting bulky battery cases on phones to get more than a day’s worth of charge. The Nintendo Switch’s specs may be leaps and bounds better than past Nintendo handhelds but the battery life sure isn’t.Fortunately, tech can always be improved eventually, and batteries are no different. Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas have developed promising new next-generation battery technology. The secret? Lithium-sulfur.You’re probably already familiar with recharging lithium-ion batteries. But we’re currently running up against their limitations. They can only hold so much energy, energy that is barely enough for modern tech. So we need something new.By adding sulfur to lithium the result is a battery that’s cheaper, lighter, more environmentally friendly and most importantly able to hold between three and five times the charge as lithium-ion by itself.However, other issues with the combination have made the tech tough to pursue. Lithium-sulfur batteries break down since sulfur isn’t great at being stable or conducting electricity. And you need a battery you can depend on.What the researchers have managed to do is coat the lithium-sulfur with a super thin metallic layer of the element molybdenum. This mitigates many of sulfur’s weakness like conductivity and stability. Through this process, lithium-sulfur batteries work and can theoretically be manufactured and used on a commercial scale.So when you start seeing new phones brag that they use long-lasting lithium-sulfur batteries, maybe pay attention, as long as we know they don’t also blow up.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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Boeing Unveils Wingman Drone That Could Fly Alongside Fighter Jets

first_img Boeing has partnered with Australia’s military to develop a combat drone — almost as big as a fighter jet — to support manned aircraft on dangerous missions.The Boeing Airpower Teaming System, known as “Loyal Wingman” and unveiled at the International Airshow at Avalon, Australia on Wednesday, is designed to “complement and extend airborne missions through smart teaming with existing military aircraft,” according to a Boeing press release.BREAKING NEWS: Check out our new smart, reconfigurable unmanned aircraft that will protect & project airpower! #TheFutureIsBuiltHere #AirpowerTeamingRead more about the Boeing Airpower Teaming System: https://t.co/Gabz4x9oBv pic.twitter.com/K1Nnvc0jl6— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) February 26, 2019The  craft will provide fighter-like performance, measure 38 feet long and will be able to fly more than 2,000 nautical miles. With integrated sensor packages onboard, Loyal Wingman will protect piloted aircraft, supporting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions and electronic warfare, said Boeing.Artificial intelligence will also allow the craft fly independently or in support of manned aircraft while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft.The Loyal Wingman is designed to protect piloted aircraft and carry out radar jamming and surveillance missions. (Photo Credit: Boeing)“With its ability to reconfigure quickly and perform different types of missions in tandem with other aircraft, our newest addition to Boeing’s portfolio will truly be a force multiplier as it protects and projects air power,” said Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Boeing Autonomous Systems.According to the Wall Street Journal, Australia wants the drone to protect warplanes such as the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter, which is also a key aircraft for the U.S.  The project is Boeing’s largest investment in a new unmanned aircraft program outside the United States.A prototype is expected to take its first flight in 2020, Boeing said.More on Geek.com:NASA Astronoaut Eric Boe Pulled From Boeing’s Starliner Test FlightYou May Soon Be Able to Fly Drones Over a Crowd, At NightUK Airports Invest Millions in Anti-Drone Tech Climate Activists Use Drones to Shut Down Heathrow Airport Next MonthUPS Wants to Bring Drone Deliveries to U.S. Hospitals Stay on targetlast_img read more

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