An atlas of the bumblebee brain

The buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris is one of the most common bumblebee species in Europe. It is not only active in nature as a pollinator—humans also use it in greenhouses and foil tunnels to get good harvests ...

Moths' flight data helps drones navigate complex environments

The flight navigation strategy of moths can be used to develop programs that help drones to navigate unfamiliar environments, report Ioannis Paschalidis at Boston University, Thomas Daniel at University of Washington, and ...

NASA's Mars helicopter testing enters final phase

NASA's Mars Helicopter flight demonstration project has passed a number of key tests with flying colors. In 2021, the small, autonomous helicopter will be the first vehicle in history to attempt to establish the viability ...

Too many airplane systems rely on too few sensors

The apparent connection between fatal airplane crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia centers around the failure of a single sensor. I know what that's like: A few years ago, while I was flying a Cessna 182-RG from Albany, New ...

NASA's Mars helicopter completes flight tests

Since the Wright brothers first took to the skies of Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina, Dec. 17, 1903, first flights have been important milestones in the life of any vehicle designed for air travel. After all, it's one thing ...

Image: Magnetometer boom built for ESA's mission to Jupiter

A test version of the 10.5-m long magnetometer boom built for ESA's mission to Jupiter, developed by SENER in Spain, seen being tested at ESA's Test Centre in the Netherlands, its weight borne by balloons.

Smoother and safer flying

Flying through a patch of severe and unexpected turbulence is an unforgettable, unsettling and sometimes painful experience for tens of thousands of passengers each year.

Image: Made for Mercury

On 6 March 2018, the BepiColombo engineering model was delivered to ESA's mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

Maths for midges that pull 10g

Midges move with ferocious randomness, frequently subjecting themselves to accelerations of more than 10g, well beyond the limit of fighter pilots, as they duck and dive in swarms that still retain an almost paradoxical cohesiveness ...

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