UpFront

Major Step Forward in Wave Energy

One of the first public wave energy testing systems in the United States has begun operation off the Oregon coast, and will allow private industry or academic researchers to test new technology that may help advance this promising form of sustainable energy. The Ocean Sentinel is a device developed by Oregon State University. It’s a major step forward for the future of wave energy.

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Ultrasound Can Monitor the Health of Your Car Engine

A system that uses ultrasound technology to look inside car engines could lead to more efficient engines. Ultrasound scans have been used in healthcare for many years, but they have never been put to use in testing the health of a modern combustion engine. Researchers at the UK’s University of Sheffield have devised a method of using ultrasound to measure how efficiently an engine’s pistons are moving up and down inside their cylinders.

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NASA Uses Futuristic Technology to Build New Rockets

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama is using selective laser melting (SLM) to create intricate metal parts for the next heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

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Last Chance to Vote!

Have you cast your vote for the 2012 NASA Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Product of the Year? If not, you only have until January 20 to vote for the one product you feel was the most significant introduction to the engineering community in 2012. Find out more about the 12 nominees and submit your vote at www.techbriefs.com/poy.

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Curiosity Update

The Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time. Water, sulfur, and chlorine-containing substances showed up in samples delivered to the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite. One thing SAM checks for is organic compounds that can be ingredients for life. SAM tentatively identified onecarbon organics, but it is possible they may have been carried from Earth by Curiosity and detected by SAM. Watch Tech Briefs TV for the latest videos of the mission at www.techbriefs.com/tv/mars. Keep up with Curiosity at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

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App of the Month: Ascent - Commemorating Shuttle

Ascent is a compilation of film and video representing the best groundbased Space Shuttle motion imagery from the STS-114, STS-117, and STS- 124 missions. Download the free app for the iPad at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ascent-commemorating/shuttle/id473973416.

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Research Group to Develop Flight Navigation Technology

NASA has tapped a team of aerospace, military, and academic researchers for a three-year project that could dramatically improve in-flight navigation capabilities for space vehicles, military air and sea assets, and commercial vehicles. The project includes researchers from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center; the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Develop ment, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC); and Northwestern University.

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