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New Tool Guides Infrastructure Recovery After Disasters

A new computerized tool guides stakeholders in preparing for, and recovering from, natural and man-made disasters such as the cyclones in India that knocked out swaths of the Indian Railways Network. The method, developed by Northeastern University researchers, guides stake­holders in the recovery of large-​​scale infrastructure systems. Other possible applications include water-​​distribution systems, power grids, communication networks, and natural ecological systems.

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NASA Instruments Used in German Alternative Fuels Research

Working in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), NASA's aeronautical innovators supplied several key instruments for the DLR's Emissions and Climate Impacts of Alternative Aviation Fuels (ECLIF) experiments. NASA instruments are placed about 100 feet behind a parked DLR Airbus 320. These instruments then measure the exhaust from the jet as it burns eight different types of standard and alternative fuels that contain varying amounts of aromatic compounds and sulfur impurities.

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Autonomous DeLorean Guides Development of Self-Driving Electric Cars

Stanford engineers built an autonomous DeLorean capable of stable, precise drifting at large angles in order to study how cars perform in extreme situations, which could ultimately guide the development of autonomous safety protocols. Named MARTY – Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control – the car is already proving to be an excellent vehicle for student-driven research.

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Real-Time Data for Smart Electric Mobility

An electronic system was developed that acquires data in real time and exchanges it across borders of systems in a standardized manner. The system makes electric vehicles more reliable and economically efficient. The electronic system is a configurable control unit in the vehicle with a telematics interface. It makes available measurement and diagnosis data of the electric vehicle anywhere and anytime. In this way, the user of the vehicle will always be in full control of all data, but also be able to enjoy the advantages of internal and external services.

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NASA Confirms That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars

New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons.

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Simple Material Gives Electronics a Power Boost

The tiny transistor is the heart of the electronics revolution, and Penn State scientists have discovered a way to give this workhorse a big boost, using a new technique to incorporate vanadium oxide into the electronic devices. Vanadium dioxide is just a specific combination of the elements vanadium and oxygen, but it has an unusual property called the metal-to-insulator transition.

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Nanotechnology Increases Storage Capability of Dielectric Capacitors

Capacitors are key components of portable electronics, computing systems, and electric vehicles. In contrast to batteries, which offer high storage capacity, but slow delivery of energy, capacitors provide fast delivery, but poor storage capacity. A great deal of effort has been devoted to improving energy density of dielectric capacitors, which comprise an insulating material sandwiched between two conducting metal plates.

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