Weekly Reads 14th May 2022 - Ion propulsion and SIDS

1) Florida startup Undefined Technologies has created a drone that uses ion propulsion (instead of propellers). The drone is called Silent Ventus and you can read about it here

This is a test flight in Dec 2021.

Do you know what else uses ion propulsion?

That's right. the Imperial TIE fighters of the Galactic Empire in the Star Wars universe. TIE is actually an acronym for Twin Ion Engines

On a more serious note, this Real Engineering video illustrates how the ion propulsion works. It's already in use in space vehicles. If it can be used in atmosphere in large scale, it may revolutionize the way we travel.

Firstly, it has lesser moving parts, which reduces the stresses on the components used to build the planes, which means lighter parts can be used in the constructions, less wear-and-tear, less maintenance costs.

Secondly, it is quieter, and may be useful from a military perspective.

#starwars #tiefighter

2) Researchers may have identified the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. The cause seems to be a defect in the part of the brain that controls arousal from sleep and breathing. If the baby stops breathing, this defect prevents the baby from waking up.

This is an important first step in the search for a cure and relief for parents who suffered immense guilt from SIDS. Before this, it was though that the causes could be a cluttered cot or a bad sleeping position, which implies the parents did not do enough to prevent it.

You can read about it here