News : Materials
Sponge-Like Material Soaks Up Oil Spills

In hopes of limiting the disastrous environmental effects of massive oil spills, scientists from Drexel University and Deakin University, in Australia, have teamed up to manufacture and test a new material. The boron nitride nanosheet absorbs up to 33 times its weight in oils and organic solvents — a...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Tiny Lenses Capture Very Big View

Engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created the first- ever flexible, Fresnel zone plate microlenses with a wide field of view — a development that could allow everything from surgical scopes to security cameras to capture a broader perspective. The advance centers on a method for creating...

Articles : Imaging
New Electron Microscopy Method Sculpts 3-D Structures at Atomic Level

Electron microscopy researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a unique way to build 3-D structures with finely controlled shapes as small as one to two billionths of a meter. The new technique demonstrates how scanning...

Articles : Energy
Onion-Like Layers Help New Nanoparticle Glow

A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in bioimaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques.

News : Test & Measurement
Infrared Camera Detects Industrial Gas Leaks

A new low-cost infrared camera makes it possible to quickly and efficiently detect gas leaks that can occur in different industrial facilities. The system can detect gas leaks that are normally invisible to the human eye thanks to a camera that recognizes the infrared signature of these compounds...

News : Imaging
Camera Reveals Details Invisible to the Naked Eye

Researchers at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research developed HyperCam, a lower-cost hyperspectral camera that uses both visible and invisible near-infrared light to “see” beneath surfaces and capture unseen details. Hyperspectral imaging is used today in everything from...

News : Photonics/Optics
Optical System Enables Imaging of Ultrafast Phenomena

A new, all-optical method for compressing narrow electron pulses to a billionth of a billionth of a second could improve real-time movies of chemical reactions and other ultrafast processes.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
NASA's EPIC Camera Captures Developing Tropical Lows

NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured three developing tropical low-pressure areas in the Indian Ocean. The EPIC instrument flies aboard NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite. EPIC views the entire sunlit face of the Earth from sunrise to sunset in 10...

News : Energy
'Invisible' Wires Improve Solar-Cell Efficiency

Scientists from Stanford University have discovered how to make the electrical wiring on top of solar cells nearly invisible to incoming light. The new design, which uses silicon nanopillars to hide the wires, could dramatically boost solar-cell efficiency.

In most solar cells, the upper...

News : Aerospace
NASA Studies How Volcanic Ash Affects Airplane Engines

NASA researchers are poring over data from a recent test that involved sending volcanic ash through an airplane engine. The primary issue, according to NASA, is that volcanic ash forms glass in the hot sections of some engines that clogs cooling holes and chokes off flow within the engine,...

News : Motion Control
Army’s “Robo-Raven” UAV Flies with Flapping Wings

In the future, it's possible that some unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) might sport wings that flap like a bird or a butterfly. The Army Research Lab has been testing such a UAV, known as Robo-Raven.

News : Test & Measurement
Remotely Piloted Plane Bridges Gap Between Wind Tunnel and Crewed Testing

A new modular, subscale remotely piloted aircraft offers NASA researchers more affordable options for developing a wide range of cutting edge aviation and space technologies. The Prototype-Technology Evaluation and Research Aircraft (PTERA) flying laboratory bridges the...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Gamma-Ray Spectroscope Supports Asteroid Mining Missions

A new gamma-ray spectroscope detects the veins of gold, platinum, and rare earths hidden within the asteroids, moons, and other airless objects floating around the solar system. The sensor, developed by teams at Vanderbilt and Fisk Universities, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the...

News : Energy
Sonic Tractor Beams Lift and Move Objects Using Sound Waves

Tractor beams are mysterious rays that can grab and lift objects. Now, researchers have built a working tractor beam that uses high-amplitude sound waves to generate an acoustic hologram that can pick up and move small objects.

News : Aerospace
Positioning Systems Improve Airport Logistics

Tow tractors, pushback tractors, tankers, luggage carts, air cargo, and catering vehicles crowd airport aprons. Poor weather conditions impede work on the apron even more. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg are part of the EU project...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Tiny Carbon-Capturing Motors Could Clean up Carbon Dioxide Pollution

Machines that are much smaller than the width of a human hair could one day help clean up carbon dioxide pollution in the oceans. Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have designed enzyme-functionalized micromotors that rapidly zoom around in water, remove...

News : Photonics/Optics
Single-Molecule Nanosubmarines Powered by Light

Rice University scientists have created light-driven, single-molecule submersibles that contain just 244 atoms. The motors of the "nanosubmarines" run at more than a million RPM, and the sub's top speed amounts to less than 1 inch per second.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers Develop Shock-Based Desalination Process

A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has come up with an innovative approach that, unlike most traditional desalination systems, does not separate ions or water molecules with filters, which can become clogged, or boiling, which consumes great amounts of energy.

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Tool Guides Infrastructure Recovery After Disasters

A new computerized tool guides stakeholders in preparing for, and recovering from, natural and man-made disasters such as the cyclones in India that knocked out swaths of the Indian Railways Network. The method, developed by Northeastern University researchers, guides stake­holders in the...

News : Aerospace
NASA Instruments Used in German Alternative Fuels Research

Working in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), NASA's aeronautical innovators supplied several key instruments for the DLR's Emissions and Climate Impacts of Alternative Aviation Fuels (ECLIF) experiments. NASA instruments are placed about 100 feet behind a parked DLR...

News : Transportation
Autonomous DeLorean Guides Development of Self-Driving Electric Cars

Stanford engineers built an autonomous DeLorean capable of stable, precise drifting at large angles in order to study how cars perform in extreme situations, which could ultimately guide the development of autonomous safety protocols. Named MARTY – Multiple Actuator Research...

News : Automotive
Real-Time Data for Smart Electric Mobility

An electronic system was developed that acquires data in real time and exchanges it across borders of systems in a standardized manner. The system makes electric vehicles more reliable and economically efficient. The electronic system is a configurable control unit in the vehicle with a telematics...

News : Imaging
NASA Confirms That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars

New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on...

News : Electronics & Computers
Simple Material Gives Electronics a Power Boost

The tiny transistor is the heart of the electronics revolution, and Penn State scientists have discovered a way to give this workhorse a big boost, using a new technique to incorporate vanadium oxide into the electronic devices. Vanadium dioxide is just a specific combination of the elements...

News : Electronics & Computers
Nanotechnology Increases Storage Capability of Dielectric Capacitors

Capacitors are key components of portable electronics, computing systems, and electric vehicles. In contrast to batteries, which offer high storage capacity, but slow delivery of energy, capacitors provide fast delivery, but poor storage capacity. A great deal of effort has...

News : Materials
Single-Layer Material Mimics Photosynthesis

A Florida State University researcher has discovered an artificial material that mimics photosynthesis and potentially creates a sustainable energy source. The new material efficiently captures sunlight; then, the energy can be used to break down water into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen...

News : Imaging
NASA Completes Heat Shield Test for Future Mars Vehicles

As NASA missions to Mars progress, spacecraft will require larger heat shields to protect against the extreme heat of entering a planet's atmosphere and decelerating at a safe altitude in the thin Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Adaptive Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT) is a...

News : Imaging
Mobile Eye-Test Device Could Lead to Prescription Virtual-Reality Screens

MIT’s Netra, a plastic, binocular-like headset attaches in the front to a smartphone. Users peer through the headset at the phone’s display. Patterns, such as separate red and green lines or circles, appear on the screen. The user turns a dial to align the patterns and...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Researchers Weld the Un-Weldable

Despite recent advances in materials design, alternative metals still pose a challenge to manufacturers in practice. Many are considered un-weldable by traditional means, in part because high heat and re-solidification weaken the metals.

Engineers at The Ohio State University have developed a new welding...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Engineers Put 'Spring' in Robots' Step

The ATRIAS robot model developed at Oregon State University uses a "spring-mass" walking approach. The natural-gait method gives human-sized bipedal robots the ability to blindly react to rough terrain, maintain balance, retain an efficiency of motion, and walk like humans.