Power Management
Water Splitter Runs on AAA Battery
Posted in Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Alternative Fuels, Green Design & Manufacturing, Materials, Metals, Energy, News on Friday, 22 August 2014
Scientists at Stanford University have developed a low-cost, emissions-free device that uses an ordinary AAA battery to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis.  The battery sends an electric current through two electrodes that split liquid water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Unlike other water splitters that use precious-metal catalysts, the electrodes in the Stanford device are made of inexpensive and abundant nickel and iron.

In addition to producing hydrogen, the novel water splitter could be used to make chlorine gas and sodium hydroxide, an important industrial chemical.

Splitting water to make hydrogen requires no fossil fuels and emits no greenhouse gases. But scientists have yet to develop an affordable, active water splitter with catalysts capable of working at industrial scales.

"It's been a constant pursuit for decades to make low-cost electrocatalysts with high activity and long durability," said Stanford University Professor Hongjie Dai. "When we found out that a nickel-based catalyst is as effective as platinum, it came as a complete surprise."

Source

Also: Learn about a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell.
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New Circuits Can Function at Temperatures Above 650°F
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Power Management, Aerospace, Transportation, Automotive, Semiconductors & ICs, News on Monday, 11 August 2014
Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have designed integrated circuits that can survive at temperatures greater than 350 degrees Celsius — or roughly 660 degrees Fahrenheit. Their work, funded by the National Science Foundation, will improve the functioning of processors, drivers, controllers and other analog and digital circuits used in power electronics, automobiles and aerospace equipment, all of which must perform at high and often extreme temperatures.
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Battery-Free Connection for 'Internet of Things'
Posted in Electronic Components, Power Supplies, Electronics, Power Management, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, News, MDB on Wednesday, 06 August 2014
In the not too distant "Internet of Things" reality, sensors could be embedded in everyday objects to help monitor and track everything from the safety of bridges to the health of your heart. But what’s holding this new reality back is having a way to inexpensively power and connect these devices to the Internet, say engineers at the University of Washington, Seattle.
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Designing a Pure Lithium Anode
Posted in Batteries, Electronic Components, Power Supplies, Electronics, Power Management, Medical, News, MDB on Tuesday, 05 August 2014
The race is on to design smaller, cheaper, and more efficient rechargeable batteries to meet power storage needs. Now, a team of researchers at Stanford University report that they have taken a big step toward designing a pure lithium anode, which, they say, would greatly advance current lithium ion batteries.
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Astronauts to Test Free-Flying Robotic 'Smart SPHERES'
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Power Management, PCs/Portable Computers, Cameras, Video, Visualization Software, Imaging, Sensors, Test & Measurement, Communications, Aerospace, Aviation, Machinery & Automation, Robotics, RF & Microwave Electronics, News on Thursday, 24 July 2014
Three bowling ball-size free-flying Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying inside the International Space Station since 2006. These satellites provide a test bed for development and research, each having its own power, propulsion, computer, navigation equipment, and physical and electrical connections for hardware and sensors for various experiments.

Aboard Orbital Sciences Corp.'s second contracted commercial resupply mission to the space station, which arrived to the orbital laboratory on July 16, NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, sent two Google prototype Project Tango smartphones that astronauts will attach to the SPHERES for technology demonstrations inside the space station.

By connecting a smartphone to the SPHERES, the technology becomes "Smart SPHERES, " a more "intelligent" free-flying robot with built-in cameras to take pictures and video, sensors to help conduct inspections, powerful computing units to make calculations and Wi-Fi connections to transfer data in real time to the computers aboard the space station and at mission control in Houston.

In a two-phase experiment, astronauts will manually use the smartphones to collect visual data using the integrated custom 3-D sensor to generate a full 3-D model of their environment. After the map and its coordinate system are developed, a second activity will involve the smartphones attached to the SPHERES, becoming the free-flying Smart SPHERES. As the free-flying robots move around the space station from waypoint to waypoint, utilizing the 3-D map, they will provide situational awareness to crewmembers inside the station and flight controllers in mission control. These experiments allow NASA to test vision-based navigation in a very small mobile product.

Source

Also: Learn about Automatic Lunar Rock Detection and Mapping.
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Agile Aperture Antenna Tested on Aircraft to Maintain Satellite Connection
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Power Management, Software, Test & Measurement, Measuring Instruments, Communications, Wireless, Aerospace, Aviation, RF & Microwave Electronics, Antennas, News on Monday, 21 July 2014
Two of Georgia Tech's software-defined, electronically reconfigurable Agile Aperture Antennas (A3) were demonstrated in an aircraft during flight tests. The low-power devices can change beam directions in a thousandth of a second. One device, looking up, maintained a satellite data connection as the aircraft changed headings, banked and rolled, while the other antenna looked down to track electromagnetic emitters on the ground.
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New Supercapacitor Could Make Structural Energy Storage A Reality
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Power Management, Energy Storage, Energy, Semiconductors & ICs, News on Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Imagine a future in which our electrical gadgets are no longer limited by plugs and external power sources. This intriguing prospect is one of the reasons for the current interest in building the capacity to store electrical energy directly into a wide range of products, such as a laptop whose casing serves as its battery, or an electric car powered by energy stored in its chassis, or a home where the dry wall and siding store the electricity that runs the lights and appliances. It also makes the small, dull grey wafers that graduate student Andrew Westover and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Cary Pint have made in Vanderbilt's Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory far more important than their nondescript appearance suggests.
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