News

New Radar Measures Flow Fields for More Intelligent Wind Farms

Researchers (l-r) Brian Hirth, John Schroeder, and Jerry Guynes. Texas Tech University scientists have brought the wind power industry one step closer to its potential with the creation of a system to measure wind flow and control turbine-to-turbine interaction for maximum power generation.

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Gas Sensor Monitors Pollution from Power Plants and Roads 

Experimental setup for the ultrasensitive real-time trace gas sensor. (Photo: Adelphi University) A research team from Adelphi University in New developed a new device that can detect ultra-low concentrations of gases like nitrogen dioxide accurately and nearly instantaneously. The device works even when experiencing small vibrations, which is important if the instrument is deployed in the field.

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Wristband Sensor Predicts and Prevents Asthma Attacks

A prototype of the HET wristband. (Photo: NC State University) Researchers have developed an integrated, wearable system that monitors a user’s environment, heart rate, and other physical attributes with the goal of predicting and preventing asthma attacks. The system, called the Health and Environmental Tracker (HET), is composed of a suite of new sensor devices incorporated into a wristband and a patch that adheres to the chest.

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Scientists Simulate Bacteria-Powered 'Windfarm'

A team of scientists from Oxford University has shown how the natural movement of bacteria could be harnessed to assemble and power microscopic "windfarms."

Posted in: News, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy

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Will security concerns prevent widespread adoption of wearables and IoT devices?

This week's Question: In the paper "Friend or Foe?: Your Wearable Devices Reveal Your Personal PIN" scientists from Binghamton University and the Stevens Institute of Technology combined data from embedded sensors in wearable technologies, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, along with a computer algorithm to crack private PINs and passwords. By using data from “accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers inside the wearable technologies regardless of a hand’s pose,” the researchers could record a hand’s fine-grained movements. The researchers then used a “Backward PIN-sequence Inference Algorithm” to crack the codes.

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Researchers Develop Self-Healing, Shape-Changing Smart Material

Washington State University researchers have created a multi-functional smart material that changes shape when subjected to heat or light; the material then assembles and disassembles itself.

Posted in: News, Materials

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Coding and Computers Could Help Detect Explosives

The top image shows a typical reading from a mass spectrometer, where each line indicates the presence of a certain substance. The bottom image shows a reading from the new coded aperture, where researchers rely on computers to collapse the numerous lines into a brighter version of the image above. (Photo: Jeff Glass, Duke University) A modern twist on an old technology could soon help detect rogue methane leaks, hidden explosives and much more. A Duke University team is using software to dramatically improve the performance of chemical-sniffing mass spectrometers.

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