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Photonic Structures Act as Tiny Temperature and Humidity Sensors

Many machines such as turbines, oil drills, health monitors, and nuclear reactors require internal sensors to monitor physical states such as temperature. Researchers are developing compact silicon photonic sensors that can provide accurate readings without being damaged by the toxic, corrosive, or even explosive conditions within these machines.

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New Technique Could Improve Detection of Concealed Nuclear Materials

A low-energy nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium in cargo containers arriving at U.S. ports was demonstrated. The method relies on a combination of neutrons and high-energy photons to detect shielded radioactive materials inside the containers.

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NASA Prepares Flight Tests of Unmanned Aircraft

NASA and its partners are validating and advancing technologies that will assist the FAA as they develop the regulations to allow integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System. Test objectives will require 15 flights and more than 270 encounters. These encounters will consist of flying several piloted aircraft, referred to as intruders, into different positions near or around NASA’s Predator B remotely piloted aircraft, Ikhana.

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Sensors Teach Dogs New Tricks

A team from North Carolina State University has developed and customized a suite of technologies that allows a computer to train a dog autonomously. Sensors in the custom harness monitor a dog’s posture, and the computer effectively responds based on the animal’s body language.

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Light-Powered 3D Printer Creates Terahertz Lens

Researchers from Northwestern University used a light-powered 3D printer to create a terahertz lens. The imaging component is made from a novel metamaterial that exhibits properties not readily available in nature.

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Imaging Breakthrough Reveals Mars' Surface

Using an image stacking and matching technique, researchers from University College London revealed unprecedented detail of the Martian surface. The Beagle-2 lander, ancient lakebeds, and NASA’s MER-A rover tracks were shown at a resolution up to five times greater than previously achieved.

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Algorithm Warns Robot Teams of Moving Obstacles

At the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in May, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will present a decentralized planning algorithm for teams of robots. The technology factors in both stationary and moving obstacles.

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