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Sensors Detect Corrosion Risk in Concrete Structures in Real Time

Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) have developed a new sensor system that detects quickly and nondestructively the risk of corrosion in the concrete structure of the buildings. The information provided allows engineers to anticipate well in advance any action deemed necessary, while reducing the costs of repair and maintenance.

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Solar-Powered Water Purification System Supports Remote Village

For nearly two years, residents of the remote Mexican village of La Mancalona, most of whom are subsistence farmers, have operated and maintained a solar-powered water purification system engineered by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Posted in: News, Solar Power

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NASA Tests New Green Propellants for Satellites

To stay in the proper orbit, many satellites have thrusters – small rocket engines – that fire to change altitude or orientation in space. On Earth, where gravity dominates, five pounds of thrust, equivalent to 22 Newtons of force, may seem small, but in space, it doesn’t take much thrust to move a large spacecraft.

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Tool Nondestructively Characterizes Structural Materials as they Deform

Materials scientists are busy developing advanced materials, while also working to squeeze every bit of performance out of existing materials. This is particularly true in the aerospace industry, where small advantages in weight or extreme temperature tolerance quickly translate into tremendous performance benefits.

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NASA Tests New 'Twist' on Wing Design

Putting a literal and metaphorical twist on conventional designs, researchers at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center and Langley Research Center investigated a new aircraft aerodynamic wing scheme.

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Robots Provide 3D Map of England's Deepwater Canyons

Using a unique combination of marine robotics and ship-based measurements, the Southampton, UK-based National Oceanography Centre (NOC) produced a three-dimensional picture of submarine canyon habitats. The information captured in the new set of maps ranges in scale from the 200-km canyon down to the size of an individual cold-water coral polyp. The data will be used to inform the management of the only English Marine Conservation Zone in deep water.

Posted in: News, Robotics

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Fluidic Actuator Harnesses Instability to Trigger Movement

Soft machines and robots are becoming more and more functional, capable of moving, jumping, gripping an object, and even changing color. The elements responsible for their actuation motion are often soft, inflatable segments called fluidic actuators. These actuators require large amounts of air or water to change shape, making the machines slow, bulky and difficult to untether.   Harvard researchers engineered a new, soft actuator that harnesses the power of instability to trigger instantaneous movement.

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