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Seven tiny grains captured by Stardust likely visitors from intersteller space

August 15, 2014 | by Robert Sanders, Univ. of California, Berkeley | News | Comments

Since 2006, when NASA’s Stardust spacecraft delivered its aerogel and aluminum foil dust collectors back to Earth, a team of scientists has combed through them. They now report finding seven dust motes that probably came from outside our solar system, perhaps created in a supernova explosion and altered by eons of exposure to the extremes of space. They would be the first confirmed samples of contemporary interstellar dust.

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R&D Daily

Particulate Filter Relies on RF

August 19, 2014 4:54 pm | Award Winners

Jointly developed by Filter Sensing Technologies Inc., Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the RF-DPF Diesel Particulate Filter Sensor is a radio frequency (RF)-based sensor and control system used to measure the amount, type and distribution of contaminants on ceramic diesel particulate filters (DPFs).

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Calcium Loop for Carbon Capture

August 19, 2014 4:11 pm | Award Winners

Industrial Technology Research Institute’s HECLOT: High efficiency calcium looping technology is a carbon capture technology for fossil power plants and other industrial emission reductions. It loops calcium oxide and calcium carbonate (CaO/CaCO3) in a regenerative cycle to remove carbon dioxide in the post-combustion fumes of boilers. With integrated hydration, the technology has much higher CO2 capture efficiency and, potentially, much lower cost than other technologies.

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A Safire in the Rough

August 19, 2014 3:51 pm | Award Winners

A multi-phase flow meter, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Safire provides noninvasive, real-time and accurate estimates of oil production for every well. Jointly developed with Chevron ETC and GE Measurement & Control, Safire achieves measurement rates as high as 100 readings/sec, including computation time.

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Hold the Mercury

August 19, 2014 3:22 pm | Award Winners

Novinda Corp.’s Amended Silicates HgX (AS-HgX) is a non-carbon mercury capture reagent that removes mercury from coal-fired power emissions, enabling utilities to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s strict Mercury and Air Toxic Standards.

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A Better Battery Choice

August 19, 2014 2:31 pm | Award Winners

As consumers we are ever more connected these days through tablets, smartphones, smart watches, and smart glasses, while the abundance of apps has made our lives more convenient and interesting. However, the battery in these electronics barely lasts a day. SolidEnergy SystemsSolid Polymer Ionic Liquid (SPiL) rechargeable lithium battery could potentially be the biggest breakthrough in battery technology since Sony introduced the first Li-ion battery in 1991.

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No Overcharging Here

August 19, 2014 2:14 pm | Award Winners

Thorough testing by A123 Systems LLC has shown that ANL-RS2 Advanced Redox Shuttle Additive is a highly reliable and high-performance electrolyte additive for EV battery cells using LiFePO4 as the cathode material. When dissolved in the electrolyte of a LiFePO4-based lithium-ion battery cell, the ANL-RS2 Redox Shuttle Additive remains inert until the potential of the cell increases from 3.6 to 3.9 V during an overcharging event.

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A New DDF Engine Conversion Kit

August 19, 2014 1:57 pm | Award Winners

PTT Public Co. Ltd.’s PTT DIESEL CNG is a new concept for DDF engine conversions which improves the gas engine characteristics by increasing the diesel replacement ratio to 50%, increasing engine efficiency 30% and reducing methane emission 30% compared with conventional technologies.

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An Electric Charge

August 19, 2014 1:39 pm | Award Winners

Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc.’s High-Performance Silicon Carbide-based Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Battery Charger is a Level 2 isolated on-board vehicular battery charger that utilizes silicon carbide (SiC) power devices for application in electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

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A Magnetic Solution to Power Flow

August 19, 2014 1:09 pm | Award Winners

The control of power flow in power systems is a major concern for utilities and system operators. But full power flow control has been prohibitively expensive, requiring large numbers of complicated and costly devices. As a result, power systems almost always operate sub-optimally at billions of dollars per year. A simple, magnetic-field-based valve-like device for power flow control, the Continuously Variable Series Reactor (CVSR), developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, SPX Transformer Solutions Inc. and the Univ. of Tennessee, has introduced substantial improvements.

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A Leap in Power Generation

August 19, 2014 12:37 pm | Award Winners

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Solar Thermochemical Advanced Reactor System (STARS) addresses a major criticism of solar energy, which, like wind power, can’t provide continuous output. Because of its design, STARS doesn’t require power plants to cease operations when the sun sets or clouds cover the sky.

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Faster Semiconductor Inspections

August 19, 2014 11:40 am | Award Winners

Industrial Technology Research Institute developed the ICTA In-Line Compact Thermal Analyzer. ICTA technology is a shipping inspection technique used for LED manufacture, mainly in solving the thermal-induced stress in semiconductor devices, improving package design, identifying material properties or estimating facilities lifespan.

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Enhanced Oscilloscopes

August 19, 2014 11:39 am | Agilent Technologies Inc. | Award Winners

Agilent Technologies recently introduced the N2820A Series High-Sensitivity, High Dynamic Range Oscilloscope Current Probe. Though labeled as a current probe, the N2820A is actually a highly sensitive oscilloscope voltage probe. By measuring voltages as small as 5 uV, across a current sense resistor, the probe can determine the current flowing through the resistor.

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An Industry First

August 19, 2014 11:37 am | Award Winners

Texas Instrument’s LDC1000 is the industry’s first inductance-to-digital converter (LDC), providing electronics system designers with a new platform for developing breakthrough solutions to difficult system problems. The LDC1000 design team combined unique circuit and architecture topologies to create the product.

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Nano Charge

August 19, 2014 11:36 am | Award Winners

Texas Instruments' bq25570 is a new, highly integrated energy-harvesting nanopower management solution that meets the needs of ultra-low power applications. Energy harvester design is tricky; it’s important that power management electronics consume the lowest amount of power to maximize efficiency.

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Cooling for Space Applications

August 19, 2014 11:34 am | Award Winners

NASA Glenn Research Center and Thermacore Inc. have developed Therma-Base. Therma-Base is a heat pump design that offers several advantages in addition to its basic passive heat transfer capability: simple and reliable operation; highly effective thermal conductivity; no moving parts; and quiet, vibration-free operation.

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