News

New 3D Photonic Crystals Are Electronically and Optically Active

Researchers at the University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated the first optoelectronically active 3D photonic crystal - an advance that could open new avenues for solar cells, LEDs, lasers, and more.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Solar Power, Lighting
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Is there money in the moon?

This week's Question: Driven by a $30 million prize put up by Google, more  than two dozen teams have signed up for a competition to become the first  private venture to land on the Moon. That means spacecrafts could be heading out within a few years, and many entrepreneurs are developing possible ideas that could take commercial advantage of Earth's neighbor. Some say that the  endeavors are too expensive and the market is uncertain at this point, while others, including a former NASA computer scientist turned entrepreneur, say  that the numerous potential Moon business, from exclusive video feeds to  lunar lander trips, present "probably the biggest wealth creation opportunity in modern history."   Do you agree? Is there money in the moon?  

Posted in: Question of the Week
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Meet Our Readers: Sid Wood, Senior Scientist Engineer, Aircraft Navigation

In a new series, the editors of NASA Tech Briefs magazine catch up with everyday engineers about their unique responsibilities and challenges. This week, we highlight fellow reader and aircraft navigation system professional, Sid Wood.

Posted in: Articles, News, Aeronautics
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Making Biomass Economically Viable

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center have found a potential key for unlocking the energy potential from non-edible biomass materials such as corn leaves and stalks, or switch grass.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Alternative Fuels, Biomass, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Green Design & Manufacturing
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Should we say good-bye to the incandescent light bulb?

While Congress failed to repeal light bulb efficiency standards last week, many had been debating the importance of LED bulbs and compact fluorescents. Supporters of incandescents say that the light source is cheap compared to alternatives, and its quality is fairly good. Others argue that the bulbs are inefficient, and that a move towards LEDs and flourescents will save energy in the long term and help the environment. What do you think? Should we say good-bye to the incandescent light bulb? Yes or no?
Posted in: Question of the Week
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Solar Panels Act as Roof Shades

A team of researchers led by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, determined that during the day, a building’s ceiling was 5 degrees Fahrenheit cooler under solar panels than under an exposed roof. At night, the panels help hold heat in - reducing heating costs in the winter.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power
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Method for Doping Nanocrystals Could Up Efficiency of Solar Panels

A team of researchers have demonstrated how semiconductor nanocrystals can be doped in order to change their electronic properties and be used as conductors. This opens a world of possibilities for applications of small electronic and electro-optical devices, such as diodes and photodiodes, electric components in cellular phones, digital cameras, and solar panels.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Solar Power, Lighting
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Online Database for Tidal Energy Resources

The DOE and Georgia Institute of Technology offer a new database highlighting the energy potential available in the U.S. from ocean tides. This online database is an important step towards providing information that can improve the performance, lower the costs, and accelerate the deployment of innovative water power technologies.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Hydroelectric Power, Renewable Energy, Government
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Will 3D laptops catch on?

Last week, Toshiba unveiled a glasses-free 3D laptop, the Qosmio F750. The screen displays 2D and 3D simultaneously in separate windows. The display uses a lenticular lens sheet, capable of sending slightly different images to the left and right eye separately, thus giving the user a sense of image depth. The computer has a high-definition webcam that tracks a user's eyes and consequently shifts the image that is displayed. Some customers are excited for the expanded 3D capabilities, while others say that the technology is buggy and a three-dimensional feature is unnecessary. What do you think? Will 3D laptops catch on?
Posted in: Question of the Week
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Virginia Tech Wins EcoCAR Competition

A team of students from Virginia Tech University won EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge after designing and building an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) using E85 (ethanol). Virginia Tech competed against 15 other universities to take home the top prize of the three-year competition.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Alternative Fuels, Biomass, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Green Design & Manufacturing, Transportation
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