Near-Earth space is full of junk. NASA keeps close tabs on at least 16,000 objects larger than 10 cm in diameter. In an effort to tidy up the mess, the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) is building an $11 million satellite called CleanSpaceOne that will force debris toward Earth, burning it up in the atmosphere.
As integrated circuits and environmentally friendly technologies emerged, R&D 100 Award winners set the pace.
To keep energy consumption under control, future chips may need to move data using light instead of electricity—and the technical expertise to build them may reside in the United States, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study.
The latest addition to computing power at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is a 45-teraflop cluster of graphics processing units (GPU) that scientists use to explore the properties of the strong nuclear force. The GPU nodes power through data faster than any other computing nodes at more than five times the rate of the processing units of the previous generation.
NASA scientists are in the midst of preparing their Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed for launch later this year. Its mission will be to push the limits of software-defined radio, a communication system in which components typically implemented in hardware are instead provided by means of software.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have developed a new nanotechnology platform for the development of molecule-based electronic components using graphene. At the same time, they have solved a problem that has challenged researchers from around the world for ten years.
New and better ways of measuring high-tech energy consumption could lead to significant environmental and economic gains, a study from The Australian National University (ANU) has found. Researchers from ANU, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Washington have completed the first systematic profile of microprocessors, which could help lower the energy costs of electronic devices.
Researchers have learned how to improve the performance of sensors that use tiny vibrating microcantilevers to detect chemical and biological agents for applications from national security to food processing. This improvement can be seen by measuring amplitude instead of frequency.
Most RFID tags that are to be used on metal objects are made by placing an antenna on a spacer. Such tags can be easily damaged because they stick out. New tags, developed by North Dakota State University researchers and being presented at an upcoming IEEE workshop, use the metal objects themselves as the antenna.
A research team led by investigators at Mayo Clinic in Florida has found that a small device worn on a patient's brow can be useful in monitoring blood oxygen in stroke patients in the hospital. Unlike a pulse oximeter, which also performs this task, the head patch uses near-infrared spectroscopy to quickly the presence of another stroke.
One day in 2010, Rutgers University physicist Vitaly Podzorov watched a store employee showcase a kitchen gadget that vacuum-seals food in plastic. The demo stuck with him. The simple concept—an airtight seal around pieces of food—just might apply to his research: Developing flexible electronics using lightweight organic semiconductors for products such as video displays or solar cells.
Kodak is at a crossroads: It could go the way of Circuit City, or it could prosper after bankruptcy like General Motors. Even in bankruptcy, the company boasts some enviable strengths, including a rich collection of photo patents, and more than $4 billion in annual sales. But it may be too late for a transition.
Although still two years away for consumers, the next generation of mobile technology will be up to 500 times faster than 3G smartphones. Approved this week at a United Nations radio communications meeting, the technology standard is called IMT-Advanced and will use the radio-frequency spectrum much more efficiently.
After a long decade of deliberation, United Nations member countries will cast their vote this week on an issue that lasts literally just a second. Leap seconds are necessary to prevent atomic clocks from speeding ahead of solar time, but the United States and other countries want to abolish it for all time.
In recent years nanoscale thermal analysis has been employed to reveal the temperature-dependent properties of soft polymers at the nanoscale. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Anasys Instruments, Inc. have now shown that they can perform this nanoscale thermal analysis on stiff materials like epoxies and filled composites.
A team in Germany has built a transmitter less than a millimeter square that has generated the highest frequency ever attained by a microelectronic device: 1.111 THz. Compared to previous transmitters that have been bulky and expensive, the new device could soon find use in engineering applications.
A University of California, Riverside team has made a breakthrough discovery with graphene, a material that could play a major role in keeping laptops and other electronic devices from overheating. The team has shown that the thermal properties of isotopically engineered graphene are far superior to those of graphene in its natural state.
Manufacturing inspectors usually time procedures manually in order to organize manual assembly operations efficiently. This method is prone to error. A new system invented in Germany records times automatically, helping to costs for companies.
Researchers have created a new type of optical device, the passive optical diode, small enough to fit millions on a computer chip that could lead to faster, more powerful information processing and supercomputers.
An innovative design for a small-volume molecular imaging instrument by University of Pittsburgh physicists has been hampered by a major question: How does one measure a magnetic field accurately using the resonance of single electrons within a diamond crystal? It’s too difficult with normal computers, but the scientists think they may now have an answer.
Atomic force microscope cantilever tips with integrated heaters are widely used to characterize polymer films, and to study fundamentals of nanometer-scale heat flow. Until University of Illinois engineers adapted such a tip to read electrothermal voltage, however, no one had used a heated nano-tip for electronic measurements.
The following Websites are good sources of information related to the global R&D enterprise. Much of the information in the 2012 Global R&D Funding Forecast was derived from these sources, which are certainly not all-inclusive.
BriskHeat Corporation has recently released the Centipede 2, a temperature control system that economically controls multiple heaters in a system. Each heater in a system has its own PID temperature controller and RTD sensor, and individual PID control improves temperature uniformity across a system.
Aerotech’s new A3200 MotionPAC is a software-based programmable logic controller that is completely integrated with the company’s A3200 motion controller to increase programming efficiency, increase quality, and decrease development time by 30 to 50%.
Cities are wasting the potential of smart technologies by failing to realize the value of their hidden infrastructure and digital assets. A report published by The Climate Group, Accenture, Arup, and Horizon Digital Economy Research at The University of Nottingham says opening up data and digital assets is critical to accelerating low carbon cities.