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Nanowire Clothing Traps Heat

Scientists have developed a novel nanowire coating that can both generate heat and trap the heat from our bodies better than regular clothing.The researchers developed lightweight, breathable mesh materials that are flexible enough to coat normal clothes. When compared to regular clothing material, the special nanowire cloth trapped body heat far more effectively. Because the coatings are made out of conductive materials, they can also be actively warmed with an electricity source to further crank up the heat. The research team calculated that their thermal textiles could save about 1,000 kilowatt hours per person every year.SourceAlso: See other Materials tech briefs.

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New Climate Measurement Instrument to Operate from Space Station

NASA’s Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) team designed and built a new cloud and aerosol measurement instrument. The instrument will measure clouds, volcanic ash plumes, and other aerosols from aboard the International Space Station for up to three years. CATS will be the first to use three-wavelength laser technology to measure aerosols in order to improve the accuracy of climate change models.

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Forensic Tracers Identify Contamination in Water

Duke University scientists have developed new forensic tracers to identify coal ash contamination in water and distinguish it from contamination coming from other sources. The tools can be used by regulatory agencies to monitor the environmental effects of coal ash, and determine whether it has or hasn’t impacted the environment. Previous methods to identify coal ash contaminants in the environment were based solely on the contaminants’ chemical variations. The newly developed tracers provide additional forensic fingerprints that give regulators a more accurate and systematic tool. The tracers, which have been tested both in the laboratory and the field, are based on the distinctive isotopic and geochemical signatures of two elements, boron and strontium, found in coal ash effluent. The U.S. EPA has submitted a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget to restrict coal ash disposal into the environment and, for the first time, establish federal regulations to govern how the ash is stored and disposed. Source:

Posted in: Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing, Test & Measurement, Monitoring, News

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Technology Diagnoses Brain Damage from Concussions, Strokes, and Dementia

New optical diagnostic technology developed at Tufts University School of Engineering promises new ways to identify and monitor brain damage resulting from traumatic injury, stroke, or vascular dementia in real time and without invasive procedures.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Photonics, Fiber Optics, Optics, Medical, Diagnostics, Test & Measurement, Measuring Instruments, Semiconductors & ICs, News

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New Serenity Payload Detects Hostile Fire

Two government-developed sensors are working together to increase the security of deployed soldiers. The Firefly and Serenity sensors employ government developed algorithms, software, and hardware to locate hostile fire around a base. The technology, a joint effort between the Army Aviation Research, Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, and the Army Research Lab, referred to as ARL, has been under development for more than a decade.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Optics, Sensors, Detectors, Defense, News

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Researchers Create New Test Station for Missile Warning System

The AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) helps protect Army aircraft from attack by shoulder-launched missiles and other threats. To keep this defensive system operating at maximum effectiveness, the Army periodically updates the software on the more than 1,000 AN/AAR-57 units in use around the world.

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Studies Look at Long-Term Aging of Electronics in Nuclear Weapons

Sandia National Laboratories is studying how environments, including radiation that originates from a nuclear weapon itself, could affect the performance of electronics in the W76-1 warhead as they age. Sandia, which is responsible for most non-nuclear components in U.S. nuclear weapons, is helping replace W76 warheads in the nation’s stockpile with a refurbished version under the W76-1 Life Extension Program (LEP). The ballistic missile warhead is carried on the Trident II D5 missile aboard Ohio-class Navy submarines.

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