Naval Research Laboratory Advances Green Technologies

Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) benthic microbial fuel cell (BMFC) extracts electricity from the sea floor using the natural decomposition process of sediment. Most current scientific sensors in the marine environment are battery-powered, but the BMFC offers an attractive alternative to a...

New Inspection System Ensures Safer Body Armor

Soldiers who have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation New Dawn, have the shared experience of being issued ballistic plates for their body armor that have been turned in by other soldiers after their combat tours. Part of ensuring plates are combat...

Army Scientists Improve Methods of Detecting, Decontaminating Ricin

An envelope laced with ricin intended for the president of the United States was recently intercepted by law enforcement officials when protocols established for mail screenings revealed the threat of a biological weapon. Ricin is a highly toxic, naturally occurring protein...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
2D Tin Conducts Electricity with 100-Percent Efficiency

A single layer of tin atoms could be the world’s first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate, according to a team of theoretical physicists led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Engineers Develop Faster 3D Printing Process

Although 3D printing — or direct digital manufacturing — has the potential to revolutionize various industries by providing faster, cheaper, and more accurate manufacturing options, fabrication time and the complexity of multimaterial objects have been a longtime hurdle to its widespread use in...

Army and University Study Could Improve Aviation Vibration Testing

Results from a recent study that looked at how battlefield-born vibrations, like those from blasts and heavy armored vehicles, for example, are leading research scientists to rethink military vehicle testing and evaluation methods that could also, eventually, improve automotive...

Wrangling Flow to Quiet Future Aircraft

Plasmas are a soup of charged particles in an electric field, and are normally found in stars and lightning bolts. With the use of high voltage equipment, very small plasmas can be used to manipulate fluid flows. In recent years, the development of devices known as plasma actuators has advanced the promise...

Crashing Rockets Could Lead to Novel Sample-Return Technology

During spring break the last five years, a University of Washington class has headed to the Nevada desert to launch rockets and learn more about the science and engineering involved. Sometimes, the launch would fail and a rocket smacked hard into the ground. This year, the session...

NASA Researchers Get Flying Insects to Bug Off Airplane Wings

A bee and a jumbo jet: common sense would tell you that the tiny insect couldn't possibly cause any troubles for the massive airplane, right? Actually, no. Bees can cause trouble. When flying insects get in the way of an airplane's wing during takeoff or landing, it's not just the...

Analysis Explains Shifting Winds in Turbine Arrays

Researchers modeling how changes in air flow patterns affect wind turbine output power have found that the wind can supply energy from an unexpected direction: below. The researchers introduced a mathematical way to measure changes in the flow that gives a more accurate representation of the...

Simulation Helps Predict Life Expectancy of Solar Modules

Solar panel modules must fulfill certain standards to be approved for operation. This involves exposing them to high temperatures and high mechanical loading. However, the results only predict something about the robustness of a brand-new sample with respect to extreme, short-term...

News: Software
NASA Software Offers Pilots the Best Path

NASA-developed computer software could help aircraft operators save time and fuel by allowing technology in the cockpit to help determine the most efficient flight paths while planes are in the air - in traffic - en route to their destinations.

A concept called Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests,...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Water-Splitting Device Generates Electricity

Stanford researchers have developed an inexpensive device that uses light to split water into oxygen and clean-burning hydrogen. The goal is to supplement solar cells with hydrogen-powered fuel cells that can generate electricity when the sun isn't shining or demand is high.

Two semiconducting...

Question of the Week
Would You Use an All-In-One 'Coin?'

A San Francisco startup introduced an all-in-one card, called Coin, meant to store financial information from every other card carried in a wallet. The device, available for preorder, includes a magnetic strip that can change depending on what card one wants to use. What do you think? Would you use an...

New Device Stores Electricity On Silicon Chips

Solar cells that produce electricity 24/7, not just when the sun is shining, or mobile phones with built-in power cells that recharge in seconds and work for weeks between charges. These are just two of the possibilities raised by a novel supercapacitor design invented by material scientists at...

Digitized Touch Could Revolutionize Communications

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego report a breakthrough in technology that could pave the way for digital systems to record, store, edit and replay information in a dimension that goes beyond what we can see or hear, namely touch.

“Touch was largely bypassed by the...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Professor Invents Flexible Battery

Researchers at NJIT have developed a flexible battery made with carbon nanotubes that could potentially power electronic devices with flexible displays.

Electronic manufacturers are now making flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, a pioneering technology that allow devices such as cell...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers Develop Effective Cooling Method for Hot Surfaces

MIT researchers have come up with a way to cool hot surfaces more effectively by keeping droplets from bouncing. Their solution: Decorate the surface with tiny structures and then coat it with particles about 100 times smaller. Using that approach, they produced textured surfaces...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Clams and Snails Inspire Robotic Crawlers

Researchers have created a “RoboSnail,” which can climb walls and stick to overhead surfaces much like its living counterpart. Such a device has potential uses in invasive surgery and oil well drilling, among other applications.

The researchers found that, while digging, the clam’s up-and-down...

Question of the Week
Will You Talk and Text in the Air?

An in-flight service from Gogo allows travelers to text and talk as if they are on the ground. By using the company's air-to-ground connectivity, calls and texts are routed through the aircraft's wireless network rather than in-flight cell towers, or "picocells."

Optical Sensors Improve Railway Safety

A string of fiber-optic sensors running along a 36-km stretch of high-speed commuter railroad lines connecting Hong Kong to mainland China has taken more than 10 million measurements over the past few years in a demonstration that the system can help safeguard commuter trains and freight cars against...

Anechoic Chamber Creates Perfect Silent Test Environment

Silence isn’t just golden, it’s an absolute necessity for Binghamton University Professor Ron Miles. Miles’ current work involves building a better hearing aid, and for that he needs an extraordinarily quiet room. The University’s new anechoic chamber (a room without echo) is the...

New Motion Tracking Technology Reduces Lag

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research Pittsburgh have devised a motion tracking technology that could eliminate much of the annoying lag that occurs in existing video game systems that use motion tracking, while also being extremely precise and highly affordable.


News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers Print Electrical Circuits

Researchers from Georgia Tech, the University of Tokyo, and Microsoft Research have developed a novel method to rapidly and cheaply make electrical circuits by printing them with commodity inkjet printers and off-the-shelf materials.

For about $300 in equipment costs, anyone can produce working electrical...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Wireless Device Converts 'Lost' Energy into Electric Power

Using inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture microwave signals, researchers at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering have designed a power-harvesting device with efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels.

The device wirelessly converts the microwave...

Dolphin-Inspired Radar Detects Hidden Explosive Devices

Inspired by the way dolphins hunt using bubble nets, scientists at the University of Southampton, in collaboration with University College London and Cobham Technical Services, have developed a new kind of radar that can detect hidden surveillance equipment and explosives. The twin inverted...

Using Sound Waves For Bomb Detection

A remote acoustic detection system designed to identify homemade bombs can determine the difference between those that contain low-yield and high-yield explosives. That capability – never before reported in a remote bomb detection system – was recently described in a paper by Vanderbilt engineer Douglas...

Army Looks to Integrate Cyber and Electronic Warfare Capabilities

As new technologies emerge and new cyber and electronic warfare threats plague soldiers in the field, U.S. Army scientists and engineers continue to define next-generation protocols and system architectures to help develop the technology to combat these threats in an integrated...

Researchers Draw Liquid with Light

Researchers from the University of Helsinki's Department of Chemistry have manufactured photochemically active polymers which can be dissolved in water or certain alcohols.

The effect where light causes the polymer to dissolve completely and be made visible can last several hours depending, for example, on...