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Low-Temperature Supercapacitors

Electrolyte compositions are designed to extend the low-temperature operational limit. An effort to extend the low-temperature operational limit of supercapacitors is currently underway. At present, commercially available non-aqueous supercapacitors are rated for a minimum operating temperature of –40 °C. A capability to operate at lower temperatures would be desirable for delivering power to systems that must operate in outer space or in the Polar Regions on Earth.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Ground Facility for Vicarious Calibration of Skyborne Sensors

This is an automated facility that generates Web-accessible data. An automated ground facility, for vicarious radiometric calibration of airborne and spaceborne sensors of visible and infrared light has been established. In the term “vicarious calibration,” “vicarious” is used in the sense of “in place of another,” signifying “in place of laboratory calibration.” Vicarious calibration involves the use of ground truth in the form of measurements by ground-viewing radiometers, a Sun- viewing photometer, and meteorological instruments positioned in a ground target area. Typically, the target is a dry lakebed or other relatively homogeneous area. (The value of a relatively homogeneous target is that it minimizes effects of errors of registration between the target and the fields of view of sensors.) The measurement data are processed by a radiative- transfer computer code to estimate spectral radiances at the position of a sensor known to be overhead at the time of the measurements. These radiances can be compared with the sensor readings to calibrate the sensor.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Optical Pressure-Temperature Sensor for a Combustion Chamber

This compact sensor would withstand the harsh combustion environment. A compact sensor for measuring temperature and pressure in a combustion chamber has been proposed. Heretofore, independent measurements of high pressures and temperatures in combustion chambers have not been performed. In the original intended application, the combustion chamber would be that of a rocket engine. Sensors like this one could also be used to measure temperatures and pressures in other combustion chambers and other, similar harsh settings. There could be numerous potential applications in the aeronautical and automotive industries.

Posted in: Briefs

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Exclusive Interview With the Director of Westinghouse

Westinghouse is a fascinating new feature-length documentary about the life and times of George Westinghouse, one of America's greatest inventors, entrepreneurs, and industrialists. Listen to our interview with the writer and director, Mark Bussler, as he discusses this "forgotten giant" -- his amazing legacy, greatest inventions, and competition with Thomas Edison, which culminated in the Battle of the Currents at the Chicago World's Fair and set the stage for the entire future of electric power.

Posted in: Podcasts

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Universal Threat Detector



Posted in: Blog

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Wireless Electronic Patches Improve Medical Data and Patient Mobility

Non-invasive and ambulatory monitoring of body parameters is receiving much interest from the medical, sports and entertainment world. Possible applications are the monitoring of brain waves to detect epilepsy, monitoring of muscle activity during an athlete’s training, and monitoring of heart rate during gaming. The idea is to develop small, low-power, autonomous biomedical monitoring systems that collect and process data from human body sensors and wirelessly transmit the data to a central monitoring system.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs

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NASA Briefs

Workers at NASA Ames Research Center are developing durable, oxidation-resistant, foam thermal protection systems (TPSs) that would be suitable for covering large exterior spacecraft surfaces. The TPSs would have low to moderate densities, and temperature capabilities comparable to those of carbon-based TPSs, which are reusable at 3,000 degrees F. These foams might be useful as catalyst supports and filters on Earth and in outer space. Click here for more info.

Posted in: Blog

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