Environment

News : Test & Measurement
Air Quality Sleuths: Salt Lake's Light Rail Trains

The light rail network in the Salt Lake City area already does a lot to improve air quality. Its three lines move more than 67,000 people a day along 45 miles of track, saving countless car trips and sparing the air tons upon tons of petroleum-powered pollutants.

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Initially Moon-Bound, A New Demolition Probe Breaks Ground on Earth

An electrically-driven demolition probe originally funded by NASA enables a more precise, quieter fracturing method that its creators hope will give construction workers on...

Blog : Electronics & Computers
The Top Tech Briefs Stories of 2017

With another year of Tech Briefs almost in the books, it's time to look at our most-read news articles of 2017.

Top stories included a look back at the life of Robert Goddard, and a look forward to...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers Build Solar-Powered Water Purifier

Using low-cost materials, academics from the University of Buffalo developed a solar-powered water purifier. The device could help to address global drinking water shortages, especially in developing areas and regions affected by natural disasters.

News : Photonics/Optics
Glowing Crystals Cleanse Contaminated Drinking Water

Motivated by public hazards associated with contaminated sources of drinking water, a group of scientists has successfully developed and tested tiny, glowing crystals that detect and trap heavy-metal toxins like mercury and lead.

News : Test & Measurement
Smart Buoy Measures Water Pollutants

Extensive water monitoring is indispensable for drinking water supply and water protection. Researchers have developed a smart monitoring system that combines various technologies in a depth-profile-measuring multi-sensor buoy for monitoring water bodies and algae growth. Conventional monitoring strategies...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
New Fabric Uses Sun to Power Devices

A new fabric developed at Georgia Institute of Technology uses sunlight and motion to harvest energy. Combining the two types of electricity generation into one textile paves the way for creating garments that could provide their own source of energy to power devices such as smartphones or global positioning...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
New Microscopy Method ‘Swells’ Cellular Structures

Cellular biologists work at a frustratingly small scale. Like their colleagues in particle physics, these scientists investigate fundamental questions about our lives and our world — but at a scale beyond the skill of our primate eyes. Microscopes have helped bring this invisible...

News : Photonics/Optics
Gas Sensor Monitors Pollution from Power Plants and Roads 

A research team from Adelphi University in New developed a new device that can detect ultra-low concentrations of gases like nitrogen dioxide accurately and nearly instantaneously. The device works even when experiencing small vibrations, which is important if the instrument is deployed...

News : Test & Measurement
NASA Tests Technologies to Increase Drone Uses

NASA researchers and drone industry representatives foresee a day when small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are used in wildfire spotting, precision agriculture, wildlife monitoring, and small package delivery.

News : Software
Camouflage Really Does Reduce Chances of Being Eaten

A ground-breaking study not only confirms the assumption that camouflage protects animals from the clutches of predators, but it also offers insights into the most important aspects of...

News : Photonics/Optics
Scientists Watch Bacterial Sensor Respond to Light

A number of important biological processes, such as photosynthesis and vision, depend on light. But it’s hard to capture responses of biomolecules to light because they happen almost instantaneously.

Now, researchers have made a giant leap forward in taking snapshots of these ultrafast...

News : Automotive
Unexpected Discovery Leads to a Better Battery

An unexpected discovery has led to a rechargeable battery that's as inexpensive as conventional car batteries, but has a much higher energy density. The new battery could become a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative for storing renewable energy and supporting the power grid. The...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Beach Buoys Detect Water Contamination

Beachgoers may soon be able to know in a timely manner if the water is clean enough for swimming. The technology comes in the form of buoys that are deployed in the water near a beach. By combining statistical models with real-time data gathered by sensors embedded in the buoys, they provide quick and...

News : Data Acquisition
AI-Driven Application Stops Poachers

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Army Research Office, researchers are using artificial intelligence (AI) and game theory to solve poaching and illegal logging.