Popular Mechanics Breakthroughs

Popular Mechanics just unveiled this year’s Breakthrough Award recipients. The Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards honor people and companies whose work will transform the world in years to come. It is not surprising, then, that the military and aerospace (mil/aero) community is well represented among innovators who are advancing science and technology.

This year’s honorees include several military and aerospace personnel that continue to push the bleeding-edge of their industry headlong into the future. The winner of the Breakthrough Leadership Award is Peter Diamandis, the entrepreneur, engineer, and physician behind the XPRIZE Foundation (which has the tagline “making the impossible possible”) and co-author of Abundance: The Future is Better than you Think. He joins elite alumni, including Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Geonomics Engineer J. Craig Venter, and Film Director James Cameron.

Also of little surprise, NASA’s Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory made the list, honoring John Grotzinger, of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); James Erickson, also of NASA JPL; and their teams. “The Curiosity program proved that it is possible to deliver heavy payloads to Mars and collect valuable samples, helping lead to the discovery that ancient Mars would have been habitable for simple microorganisms,” according to the Popular Mechanics staff.

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) caught the attention of the entire mil/aero community this year, and also turned heads at Popular Mechanics. The 2013 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards recognizes Capt. Jaime Engdahl and Don Blottenberger, both of the U.S. Navy; Carl Johnson and Tim Kesecker of Northrop Grumman Corp.; and their teams. “The X-47B is the first UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to land safely on the deck of an aircraft carrier without a human pilot. Its technology may lead to more accurate autopilot systems in private and commercial aircraft, as well as safer self-driving cars,” recognizes the Popular Mechanics staff.

This mil/aero geek, a longtime and avid reader of Popular Mechanics, continues this discussion of Breakthrough Award winners in the next installment.

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Posted October 28th, 2013, by

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About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping. J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

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Commented on October 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm
By Well-deserved Recognition « J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

[…] Popular Mechanics this month announced the recipients of its 2013 Breakthrough Awards. This year’s list honors innovators in the military and aerospace (mil/aero) community, including engineers at NASA JPL, Northrop Grumman Corp., and more. […]

[…] and upgrade (RMU) of currently fielded military platforms, including manned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), ground combat vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), and ships and unmanned undersea […]

Commented on December 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm
By UAS Go Global « J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

[…] the U.S., among the hottest UAS platforms are the popular General Atomics Predator and novel Northrup Grumman X-47B. The U.S. military has relied heavily on Predator aircraft since […]

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