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Flexible Solar Panels Absorb Diffused Light

Virginia Tech researchers have produced flexible solar panels that can become part of window shades or wallpaper. The material will capture light from the sun as well as light from sources inside buildings.

Posted in: News, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Materials

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Oldest Known Planet-Forming Disk Discovered

A group of citizen scientists and professional astronomers, including Carnegie's Jonathan Gagné, joined forces to discover an unusual hunting ground for exoplanets. They found a star surrounded by the oldest known circumstellar disk: a primordial ring of gas and dust that orbits around a young star and from which planets can form as the material collides and aggregates.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition

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Help for Fishing Vessels to Locate Their Catch

Professional fishermen have been wanting to obtain data that could help them better predict where fish can be found. A solution may be around the corner. They may get a decision-making tool that tells them where fish shoals are located and how their vessels can be operated as economically as possible, report researchers.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition

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Exploring Vast 'Submerged America' and Bubbling Methane Vents

Five hundred vents newly discovered off the U.S. West Coast, each bubbling methane from Earth's belly, top a long list of revelations about "submerged America" being celebrated by leading marine explorers meeting in New York. "It appears that the entire coast off Washington, Oregon, and California is a giant methane seep," says RMS Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard, who found the new-to-science vents on summer expeditions by his ship, Nautilus.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition

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Creating 3D Hands to Keep Us Safe and Increase Security

Creating a 3D replica of someone's hand, complete with all five fingerprints, and then breaking into a secure vault may sound like a plot from a James Bond movie, but Michigan State University Distinguished Professor Anil Jain recently discovered this may not be as far-fetched as once thought and wants security companies and the public to be aware of the possibility.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition

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Spherical Motor Eliminates Robot’s Mechanical Drive System

The spherical induction motor eliminates the robot's mechanical drive system. The SIMbot robot features an elegant motor with just one moving part: the ball. The only other active moving part of the robot is the body itself. A spherical induction motor (SIM) eliminates the mechanical drive system and can move the ball in any direction using only electronic controls. These movements keep SIMbot’s body balanced atop the ball.

Posted in: News, Motors & Drives

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New Steel Enables Better Electric Motors

Jun Cui of Iowa State University’s Ames Laboratory works with a metal spinner, which rapidly solidifies metal into thin ribbons. (Photo by Christopher Gannon) In order to make plug-in electric vehicles as affordable and convenient as internal-combustion cars, their motors must be smaller, lighter, more powerful, and more cost-effective. A research team is working to develop motors with the stator core (a non-rotating, magnetic part) manufactured with thin layers of a new “electrical steel.”

Posted in: News, Motors & Drives

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