News

NASA Measures Raindrop Sizes from Space

For the first time, scientists have three-dimensional snapshots of raindrops and snowflakes around the world, thanks to the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. With the new global data on raindrop and snowflake sizes, scientists can improve rainfall estimates from satellite data and numerical weather forecast models.

Posted in: News, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring

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Will self-cleaning laundry catch on?

This week's Question: Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a cheap and efficient way to alter fabric so that stains disappear after a few minutes of sun exposure. When the nanostructures are placed in light, the materials receive an energy boost that creates "hot electrons." The "hot electrons" release a burst of energy that enables the nanostructures to degrade organic matter. The researchers, however, are challenged with how to build the nanostructures on an industrial scale and permanently attach them to textiles. What do you think? Will self-cleaning laundry catch on?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Researchers Turn Carbon Dioxide into Concrete

A new system developed by UCLA researchers captures carbon from smokestacks and processes the C02 into a new building material that could replace concrete. The tiny cones of the "CO2NCRETE" material are fabricated using 3D printers.

Posted in: News

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New Flow Battery Offers Lower-Cost Energy Storage

A new flow battery technology is projected to cost 60 percent less than today's standard flow batteries. The lower cost is due to the battery's active materials being inexpensive organic molecules, compared to the commodity metals used in today's flow batteries.

Posted in: News

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New Ways to Construct Contactless Magnetic Gears

Magnetic gears transmit rotary motion like mechanical gears but instead of teeth they use magnetic attraction and repulsion between rotating magnets. Magnetic gears have several advantages over mechanical gears. The main one is the absence of direct contact between the parts.

Posted in: News

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Wall-Climbing Drone Flies and Sticks to Target

Researchers have developed the CAROS (Climbing Aerial RObot System) wall-climbing robot with higher mobility than existing wall-climbing robots because it can fly. It also can restore its pose after an accidental fall due to an unexpected disturbance. Since the robot can stick to the surface, it can perform close inspection and maintenance of the structure.

Posted in: News

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Do you feel safe in a "connected" car?

This week's Question: According to a public service announcement last week from The FBI, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Department of Transportation, vehicles will be increasingly subject to cybersecurity risks as they become more automated and less controlled by drivers. In the advisory, the Bureau reviewed recent hacks that security researchers have been able to perform: shutting down the engine of a low-speed vehicle, disabling brakes, and controlling door locks, GPS, and turn signals, for example. While identified vulnerabilities "have been addressed," according to the announcement, the FBI suggests taking precautions, including staying aware of recalls, confirming software updates, and exercising discretion when connecting third-party devices. What do you think? Do you feel safe in a "connected" car?   

Posted in: Question of the Week

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