News

Scientists Demonstrate Electrical Properties of Topological Insulators

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have demonstrated for the first time that one can electrically access the remarkable properties predicted for a topological insulator (TI). They used a ferromagnetic metal/tunnel barrier contact as a voltage probe to detect the spin polarization created in the topologically protected surface states when an unpolarized bias current is applied. This accomplishment identifies a successful electrical approach that provides direct access to the TI surface state spin system, significantly advances our fundamental understanding of this new quantum state, and enables utilization of the remarkable properties these materials offer for future technological applications.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Power Management, Semiconductors & ICs, News

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Engineers Design Software Tools to Secure Tactical Smartphones

Suraj Kothari's talk of smartphone security quickly took a turn toward sabotage and worst-case scenarios. What happens, he asked, if a soldier's smartphone is hacked for its GPS data? What happens if an attacker drains the battery in a general's phone and essential communication is cut off? Or, what happens if a hacked phone provides false information during a military mission?

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, PCs/Portable Computers, Software, Defense, News

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Air And Missile Defense System To Get Smarter Software

When a missile is launched against an enemy target, it would be nice to have a lot of good information about that target. But when "decision makers push the fire button, they may have very little data, and sometimes not timely enough data," said Col. Rob Rasch Jr., project manager, Integrated Air and Missile Defense Project Office, or IAMD, at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. "Nowhere in the current Army architecture is there a way to share information from all of our various sensors and weapons to have better integrated coverage," he pointed out, referring to situational awareness for those operating Patriot and other missile defense systems like those used for short-range air defense.

Posted in: Photonics, Fiber Optics, Sensors, Software, Communications, Aerospace, Aviation, RF & Microwave Electronics, Antennas, Defense, News

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Smartphones Become "Eye-Phones" to Capture Images of the Eye

Two inexpensive adapters enable a smartphone to capture high-quality images of the front and back of the eye, enabling users to share them securely with other health practitioners or store it in a patient's electronic record. The researchers see this technology as an opportunity to increase access to eye-care services as well as to improve the ability to advise on patient care remotely.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, PCs/Portable Computers, Imaging, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, News

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Handheld Optical Device Catches Early Signs of Retinal Disease

A new optical device puts the power to detect eye disease in the palm of a hand. The tool — about the size of a handheld video camera — scans a patient's entire retina in seconds and could aid primary care physicians in the early detection of a host of retinal diseases. The new design is the first to combine cutting-edge technologies such as ultrahigh-speed 3D imaging, a MEMS mirror for scanning, and a technique to correct for unintentional movement by the patient.

Posted in: News

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Bending Light with a Tiny Chip

Imagine that you are in a meeting with coworkers or at a gathering of friends. You pull out your cell phone to show a presentation or a video on YouTube. But you don't use the tiny screen; your phone projects a bright, clear image onto a wall or a big screen. Such a technology may be on its way, thanks to a new light-bending silicon chip developed by researchers at Caltech.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Photonics, Optics, Optical Components, Semiconductors & ICs, News

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New Infrared Technique Remotely Detects Dangerous Materials

Brigham Young University professors have developed a technique that could spot from afar whether a site is being used to make nuclear weapons. The model precisely characterizes the material in each pixel of an image taken from a long-wave infrared camera. The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration funded the project.

Posted in: Cameras, Imaging, Defense, News

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