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Physical Sciences

Blog: Imaging
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...

News: Automotive
Sound-Off: How Should Universities Prepare Tomorrow’s Vehicle Designers?

The skill set for tomorrow’s automotive designer? A combination of traditional engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, and, more than ever, ethics.

Who's Who: Photonics/Optics
Dr. (James) Ira Thorpe, Astrophysicist, Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Gravitational waves from colliding black holes were first observed by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave...

News: Imaging
Is Pluto a Planet? Scientists Seek New Definition

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to "non-planet" status. Johns Hopkins University scientist Kirby Runyon led a group of six researchers to draft a new definition of...

Question of the Week: Physical Sciences
Should Pluto be restored as a planet?

This week’s Question: Last week at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Johns Hopkins University's Kirby Runyon reignited an often fierce debate within the scientific community: Pluto’s...

White Papers: Materials
High-Speed Cameras Help Digital Image Correlation Show Its Strength

Digital Image Correlation (DIC) using high-speed cameras is gaining in popularity as a method for measuring material deformation and strain. That popularity is based on some real...

Briefs: Energy
Foldable and Deployable Power Collection System

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is developing a lightweight space-based solar power array with a high power-to-stowed-volume and weight ratio. The system provides power to small satellites and...

Briefs: Energy
Solid-State Ultracapacitor

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a solid-state ultracapacitor utilizing a novel nanocomposite dielectric material. The material’s design is based on the internal barrier layer capacitance (IBLC)...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Iodine-Compatible Hall Effect Thruster

The Hall effect thruster (HET) was designed for long-duration operation with gaseous iodine as the propellant. Iodine is an alternative to the state-of-the-art propellant xenon. Compared to xenon, iodine...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
An Alternative Molecular Sexing Method for the Florida Scrub-jay

A new method of molecular sexing is described that helps to understand population dynamics of the Florida Scrub-jay (FSJ). FSJ is an endemic, nonmigratory, monomorphic species of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) Science Simulator

The SWOT Science Simulator simulates projected SWOT altimetry observations that can be applied to an ocean general circulation model, allowing the exploration of ideas and methods to optimize...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Digital Elevation Model Maker (DEMmaker)

The DEMmaker suite of software applications produces data products containing surface shape, reflectivity, and geomorphology (craters and rocks) for a desired planetary surface based on statistically...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS)

TOPS is a modeling software system that integrates data from satellite, aircraft, and ground sensors, and weather/climate models with application models to expeditiously produce operational...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Images of Change for iPad

Images of Change provides a user-friendly mobile interface for exploring an extensive gallery of land-based and space-based images showing dramatic change over time on Earth. Hosted on NASA’s Global Climate Change...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Characteristics of the Spliced Kennedy Space Center Doppler Radar Wind Profiler Database

NASA relies on the Natural Environments (NE) Branch located at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to provide databases that represent the wind magnitudes and...

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