Articles

Scientists Use X-Ray Laser to Track Ultrafast Creation of a Catalyst

An international team has, for the first time, precisely tracked the surprisingly rapid process by which light rearranges the outermost electrons of a metal compound and turns it into an active catalyst – a substance that promotes chemical reactions. The research, which was performed with an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, could help in the effort to develop novel catalysts to efficiently produce fuel using sunlight.

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High-Power Laser Spinoff Proves Versatility is Strength

Since lasers were invented in 1960, they have penetrated countless scientific, industrial and recreational fields from eye surgery to DVD players, from cutting steel to triggering ignition in missile stages. That last use is a target market for Alfalight, a University of Wisconsin-Madison spinoff that set out in 1999 to use patented technology to make lasers for the telecommunications industry. At the time, "a tremendous need was forecast for these high-power, reliable lasers in telecom," says Ron Bechtold, Alfalight's vice president of marketing and sales.

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Products of Tomorrow: June 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

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Choosing the Right Batteries for High-Tech Devices

Wireless technology is growing rapidly, now encompassing consumer-grade devices as well as industrial-grade products used in utility meter reading (AMR/AMI), wireless mesh networks, system control and data acquisition (SCADA), data loggers, measurement while drilling, oceanographic measurements, emergency/safety equipment, and M2M communications. The rise in wireless technology is closely tied to the development of low-power communications protocols such as ZigBee, Bluetooth, DASH7, INSTEON, and Z-Wave.

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Software Helps NASA Simulate Performance of James Webb Telescope

Femap™ engineering simulation software Siemens PLM Software Plano, TX 972-987-3000 www.siemens.com/plm Scheduled for launch in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Observatory will operate 1.5 million kilometers above the Earth. Its mission is ambitious: examining every phase of cos mic history. The telescope will look back light years into the past.

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Improved Calibration Shows Images’ True Colors

Camera calibration techniques for monitoring propulsion tests are used to improve quality of satellite images. In satellite images, the true color of a body of water, or anything else they depict, is not precise. Radiometric calibration, which improves the color accuracy of an image and enables it to be used to solve remote sensing problems, has always been a costly endeavor. A cooperative effort between Stennis Space Center and Innovative Imaging and Research Corporation (I2R), a small business located on the center’s campus in southern Mississippi, is changing that.

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Editor's Choice: June 2015

A new technique verifies and identifies a person based on features drawn from electrocardiographic (ECG) leads. It can identify a person from a group of known subjects, or verify a person to allow access to a secure facility or access to Internet control of computers, airplanes, weapons, and alarms. It uses the ECG signals generated by the heart during contraction and relaxation that are characteristic to an individual. The method can be used by homeland security personnel and law enforcement, and in airports and other high-security locations. Find out more HERE.

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