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  • Man-machine interaction: comprehensive assessment of user states / 2016

    Hey human, how are you doing?

    Research News / 1.8.2016

    The interaction of man and machine is particularly important for air traffic controllers. A software from Fraunhofer FKIE assesses user states and human performance and passes this information on to the computer.
    © Photo Fraunhofer FKIE

    The interaction of man and machine is particularly important for air traffic controllers. A software from Fraunhofer FKIE assesses user states and human performance and passes this information on to the computer.

    Machines are taking over more and more tasks. Ideally, they should also be capable to support the human in case of poor performance. To intervene appropriately, the machine should understand what is going on with the human. Fraunhofer scientists have developed a diagnostic tool that recognizes user states in real time and communicates them to the machine.

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  • New institute management appointed: Dr. Peter Knott and Prof. Dirk Heberling to jointly head up Fraunhofer FHR in Wachtberg
    © Photo Uwe Bellhäuser

    As of August 1st, 2016, Dr. Peter Knott (right) and Prof. Dirk Heberling (left) are the joint heads of the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR.

    On August 1st, 2016, Dr. Peter Knott and Prof. Dirk Heberling step in as joint heads of the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR. Together, they are taking over from Prof. Joachim Ender, who is retiring after successfully leading the institute since 2003.

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  • Improved aircraft comfort / 2016

    No more dry mucous membranes when flying

    Research News / 1.8.2016

    Vortex ring generator prototype. The plan is to integrate the system into the back of passengers’ seats.
    © Photo Fraunhofer IBP

    Vortex ring generator prototype. The plan is to integrate the system into the back of passengers’ seats.

    Hovering at around 20 percent, the relative humidity in aircraft is kept very low to keep condensation from building up in the cabin. The downside for passengers and the crew is that this dries out the mucous membranes. Now a vortex ring generator will direct humidified air to passengers, increasing the humidity of the air they breathe without causing the overall relative humidity to skyrocket.

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  • Mobile communication of the future / 2016

    Power amplifiers for 5G made of gallium nitride

    Research News / 1.8.2016

    The power amplifier of the Fraunhofer IAF transmits at a frequency of 5.8 gigahertz. This frequency is needed for the new 5G mobile radio standard. The centrally placed gallium nitride (GaN) semi-conductor circuits are the central part of the packaged power amplifier.
    © Photo Fraunhofer IAF

    The power amplifier of the Fraunhofer IAF transmits at a frequency of 5.8 gigahertz. This frequency is needed for the new 5G mobile radio standard. The centrally placed gallium nitride (GaN) semi-conductor circuits are the central part of the packaged power amplifier.

    The wireless data transmission via mobile communication is reliable and affordable. However, data volume per user is rising exponentially. Causes are not only the continuously growing number of smartphones, but also trends as car-to-car (C2C) or machine-to-machine (M2M) communication – cars and machines need to communicate in high speed with each other. From 2020 the 5G mobile standard is aiming to transmit data rapidly and energy-efficiently. For that purpose Fraunhofer is developing new power amplifiers based on the semiconductor gallium nitride.

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  • Assistance systems for autonomous driving / 2016

    Camera-based technology tracks people in car interiors

    Research News / 1.8.2016

    Assistance systems will soon be able to detect what vehicle occupants are doing – an important feature for autonomous driving, for example.
    © Photo Fraunhofer IAO

    Assistance systems will soon be able to detect what vehicle occupants are doing – an important feature for autonomous driving, for example.

    When it comes to parking assistance or detecting pedestrians, modern cars can analyze their environment with high precision. But so far, what’s going on inside the car is less analyzed. Not so with a new type of system: it recognizes the number and size of the people inside the car and where they are focusing their attention. In this way, it provides the basis for novel assistance systems, such as those for autonomous driving.

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  • Sterile insect technique / 2016

    New strategies against mosquitoes and other pests

    Research News / 1.8.2016

    In 2014, the spotted-wing drosophila vinegar fly, Drosophila suzukii, caused massive crop failures to cherries, raspberries, plums and grapes in many parts of Central Europe.
    © Photo Marc F. Schetelig

    In 2014, the spotted-wing drosophila vinegar fly, Drosophila suzukii, caused massive crop failures to cherries, raspberries, plums and grapes in many parts of Central Europe.

    South America is fighting a battle against tiger mosquitoes that transmit yellow fever, dengue fever and the Zika virus. In Central Europe, wine and fruit growers fear another year of massive crop failures due to a type of vinegar fly known as the spotted-wing drosophila. Since the success rate of conventional methods continues to fall, researchers from Fraunhofer and the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen are developing new species-specific strategies that keep pests under control without resorting to environmental toxins.

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  • Developing future technologies together with the public / 2016

    How we want to live in 2053

    Research News / 1.7.2016

    Storytelling, creative methods and prototyping: Shaping Future is an original participatory foresight methodology that draws from both design know-how and the social sciences. In a multi-staged co-ideational process, laypersons  – people with a non-professional interest in technology – develop original notions of prospective human-machine cooperation and articulate their ideas in a variety of original formats.
    © Photo Fraunhofer IAO

    Storytelling, creative methods and prototyping: Shaping Future is an original participatory foresight methodology that draws from both design know-how and the social sciences. In a multi-staged co-ideational process, laypersons – people with a non-professional interest in technology – develop original notions of prospective human-machine cooperation and articulate their ideas in a variety of original formats.

    As part of the “Shaping Future“ research project, Fraunhofer researchers have developed an original participatory foresight methodology with which laymen can describe their future technology requirements and share them with scientists. Initial results show that people want to have technologies that improve their mental and physical capabilities, protect their privacy and store and transport emotions.

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  • Healthy eating / 2016

    Seaweed instead of salt

    Research News / 1.7.2016

    From the seaweed species Ascophyllum nodosum ...
    © Photo Fraunhofer IVV

    From the seaweed species Ascophyllum nodosum ...

    Salt (sodium chloride) is an essential nutrient, but one that is often present in surprising quantities in industrially processed foods. Consuming too much sodium puts strain on the heart, stomach and kidneys. Fraunhofer researchers show how seaweed, which has a naturally salty taste, has the potential to replace salt.

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  • Corporate Knowledge Transfer / 2016

    Better quality control with digital assistance systems

    Research News / 1.7.2016

    The honing machine at VW’s plant in Salzgitter. Experts from the Fraunhofer IFF in Magdeburg have developed a digital assistance system for quality inspection and integrated it in the production process.
    © Photo Fraunhofer IFF

    The honing machine at VW’s plant in Salzgitter. Experts from the Fraunhofer IFF in Magdeburg have developed a digital assistance system for quality inspection and integrated it in the production process.

    Errors can be spotted early and resources can be saved when many individuals share knowledge in a company. This is the case with a honing machine used to hone crankcases at VW’s engine plant in Salzgitter: A digital assistance system developed by Fraunhofer researchers will enable significantly more workers to ensure the quality of honing in the future than now.

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  • Data visualization: Doctors and software working hand in hand / 2016

    New insights for personalized cancer treatment

    Research News / 1.7.2016

    Visual analytics: Software developed by Fraunhofer IGD displays patient information so that doctors can quickly obtain new insights for treatment.
    © Photo Fraunhofer IGD

    Visual analytics: Software developed by Fraunhofer IGD displays patient information so that doctors can quickly obtain new insights for treatment.

    Doctors increasingly work with large quantities of digitized patient data – and yet the insights it contains often remain unexploited. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a software program that allows doctors to extract information from multiple patient files to quickly obtain new pointers for the treatment of prostate cancer.

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