Awesome to the MAX!!!


University of Reading a key component in India’s advanced weather satellite

V214 Transfert Lanceur en ZL le 24/07/2013Precision optical components developed by the Infrared Multilayer Laboratory at the University of Reading installed on the INSAT-3D meteorological satellite have just been launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from the Spaceport in French Guiana. The infrared optical filters form a key part of the imager and sounder on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) INSAT-3D meteorological satellite, comprising a six channel imaging radiometer designed to measure radiant and solar reflected energy from areas sampled on the Earth and a nineteen channel high resolution infrared sounder to measure vertical temperature profiles, humidity, surface and cloud top temperatures, and ozone distribution.

INSAT-3D is one of three satellites under development by ISRO exclusively to improve domestic weather forecasting and track cyclones and monsoons originating from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

The filters project, led by Dr Gary Hawkins at the University of Reading together with NDC Infrared Engineering Ltd., have been responsible for the design and manufacture of the narrow-bandpass infrared filters defining the spectral band definition of the instrument. The payload instruments are required to operate for a lifetime of 7 years after launch.

INSAT-3D Liftoff

About the Laboratory

The , part of the School of Systems Engineering, is exclusively engaged in the research, development and supply of specialist high-quality infrared optics; ranging from coatings for single optical components, to the complete spectral design and manufacture of coatings for complex infrared space-flight atmospheric sensing and ground based astronomical instruments.

The laboratory has established and maintained a long heritage of research, and an internationally renowned reputation as experts at the forefront of thin-film engineering of optical coatings for deployment in state-of-the-art astronomy and planetary remote-sensing instrumentation. The laboratory has been actively involved with projects for development of unique infrared optical components for instruments including ESA’s Living Planet EarthCARE Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI), ESA GMES Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), NASA/ESA JWST Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) and the ISRO SAC Indian National Satellite System (INSAT-3D) radiometer programmes. These missions are destined to provide global observations of land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring for use in meteorological theories on climate change, and the study of astrophysical properties of stars and other planetary objects.

Further information:

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Sébastien Loeb smashes the Pikes Peak record

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb of France set the racing world ablaze Sunday when he obliterated the overall race record in the 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. In his first appearance in the “Race to the Clouds,” Loeb maneuvered through the 12.42-mile course in 8:13.878, more than a minute-and-a-half faster than the previous race record of 9:46.181 set by Rhys Millen last year.

“I felt really good in the car, and I pushed it hard from the start to the finish,” Loeb said. “I made no mistakes, and I felt the race was really good. To drive a car like this and race up here (to the top) is what makes this special. It’s amazing.”

Driving a Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak in the Unlimited class, Loeb averaged 87 miles per hour while setting the record. Millen was a distant second with a time of 9:02.192 in his 2013 Hyundai PM580T, and Jean-Philippe Dayraut of France also topped the previous record with a time of 9:42.740 while driving a 2011 Mini Countryman.

Paul Dallenbach finished in 9:46.001 in his 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe to also eclipse last year’s record and win the Time Attack class.

As expected, with the entire course now being a paved track, numerous records fell at the historic race.


E3 2013 – Xbox One game previews and trailers

All the best, most coolest Xbox One game previews and trailers from E3 2013

Forza Motorsport 5


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E3 2013 – Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo Presentations

Missed all the video game goodness, catch up here:


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Xbox One Reveal

Here it is, the Xbox One unveil.

Check out the Xbox One FAQ for further information: Xbox One: Your Top Questions Answered


IllumiRoom – the future of Xbox?

IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept system that augments the area surrounding a television with projected visualiza­tions to enhance traditional gaming experiences. We investigate how projected visualizations in the periphery can negate, include, or augment the existing physical environ­ment and complement the content displayed on the television screen. Peripheral projected illusions can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new physical gaming experiences. Our system is entirely self-calibrating and is designed to work in any room. We present a detailed exploration of the design space of peripheral projected illusions and we demonstrate ways to trigger and drive such illusions from gaming content. We also contribute specific feedback from two groups of target users (10 gamers and 15 game designers); providing insights for enhancing game experiences through peripheral projected illusions.

Microsoft Research


Xbox: A New Generation Revealed


“On Tuesday May 21st, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment. On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on Xbox LIVE and If you are in the US or Canada, you can also watch the broadcast on Spike TV.”

“On that day, we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future. Then, 19-days later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games.”

Source: Major Nelson


Thor: The Dark World

Iron Man III and now Thor II, comic book superhero films to the Max this year!!!

Marvels “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvels “Thor” and “Marvels The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.


RUSH – Official International Trailer (2013)

Well if you don’t count Iron Man III, this is definitely my most anticipated film of 2013.

Two-time Academy Award winner Ron Howard, teams once again with fellow two-time Academy Award nominee, writer Peter Morgan, on “Rush,” a spectacular big-screen re-creation of the merciless 1970s rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The epic action-drama stars Chris Hemsworth as the charismatic Englishman James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as the disciplined Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda, whose clashes on the Grand Prix racetrack epitomized the contrast between these two extraordinary characters, a distinction reflected in their private lives.


Unreal Engine 4 “Infiltrator” Demo

I don’t really keep up with PC gaming much these days, but this tech demo caught my eye.