News

Ultra-Thin Solar Cells Rest on a Soap Bubble

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have demonstrated a solar cell so light and thin that it can rest atop a soap bubble.Though it may take years before the device is developed into a commercial product, the laboratory proof-of-concept shows a new approach to making solar cells that could help power the next generation of portable electronic devices.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Will driverless cars increase road reliance?

This week's Question: Autonomous vehicles have been touted as a way to combat roadway accidents and reduce energy expenditure and greenhouse gas emissions. A new study from University of Leeds, University of Washington, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, however, claims that the actual impact may be both positive and negative due to how technology will change humanity’s relationship with vehicles. The study estimated, for example, a 50% to 60% increase in car energy consumption due to travelers choosing to use driverless cars in situations where they would have previously taken alternative transport, such as trains or planes. Additionally, the study predicts that people who currently find it difficult to drive, such as the elderly or those with disabilities, will have increased access to road transport with the advent of the new systems, resulting in an estimated 2% to 10% increase in road energy use for personal travel.  What do you think? Will driverless cars increase road reliance?  

Posted in: Question of the Week

Read More >>

Researchers Charge Up ‘Water Batteries’

Researchers from TU Graz and the Wetsus research center in The Netherlands have produced electrically charged water by means of a floating water bridge. The electric charge of the "water battery" can be stored for a short time.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

NASA Shakes Up Earthquake Warning Systems

The most important information that is immediately needed for earthquake disasters is the location, depth, and magnitude of the earthquake. The most common method of establishing an earthquake's magnitude is using seismic sensors on the ground that measure the shaking of the earth's crust. Authorities and first responders need better data to accurately and quickly assess the risk associated with the earthquake.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Smartphone-Based System Could Speed Development of Driverless Cars

Two new systems for driverless cars can identify a user’s location and orientation in places where GPS does not function, and identify the various components of a road scene in real time on a regular camera or smartphone, performing the same job as sensors costing much more. The separate but complementary systems have been designed by researchers from the University of Cambridge.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Water-Impact Testing Will Protect Future Astronauts

When astronauts return to Earth in the Orion spacecraft, they will reenter on an extremely hot and fast journey through the atmosphere before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. To protect the crew on landing, NASA will evaluate how the spacecraft may behave in parachute-assisted landings in different wind conditions and wave heights by conducting water-impact testing. To prepare for this testing, the first major step was to couple an Orion crew module mockup with the heat shield from Orion’s first flight test.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Help NASA Improve Robonaut's Vision

To improve a robot's ability to "see", the fix is in the code.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.