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Electronic warfare development targets fully adaptive threat response technology

August 19, 2013 8:17 am | News | Comments

When U.S pilots encounter enemy air defenses, onboard electronic warfare (EW) systems protect them by interfering with incoming radar signals: a technique known as electronic attack (EA) or jamming. Conversely, electronic protection technology prevents hostile forces from using EA methods to disable U.S. radar equipment assets. A research team is now developing a new generation of advanced radio frequency jammer technology.

Wireless devices go battery-free with new communication technique

August 15, 2013 8:32 am | News | Comments

We might be one step closer to an Internet-of-things reality. Univ. of Washington engineers have created a new wireless communication system that allows devices to interact with each other without relying on batteries or wires for power. The new communication technique, which the researchers call “ambient backscatter,” takes advantage of the television and cellular transmissions that already surround us around the clock.

U.K. bars trash cans from tracking people with Wi-Fi

August 14, 2013 11:38 am | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials demanded Monday that an advertising firm stop using a network of high-tech trash cans to track people walking through London's financial district. The Renew ad firm has been using technology embedded in the hulking receptacles to measure the Wi-Fi signals emitted by smartphones, and suggested that it would apply the concept of "cookies"—tracking files that follow Internet users across the Web—to the physical world.

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Encryption is less secure than we thought

August 14, 2013 7:30 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

For 65 years, most information-theoretic analyses of cryptographic systems have made a mathematical assumption that turns out to be wrong. A team of researchers has shown that, as a consequence, the wireless card readers used in many keyless-entry systems may not be as secure as previously thought.

Study: Dolphins can problem solve like humans

August 12, 2013 9:03 am | by Suzette Laboy, Associated Press | News | Comments

A dog may be man's best friend, but dolphins can imitate human actions, and even how they solve problems. According to a recent study at the Dolphin Research Center in Florida, when a dolphin has one of its senses blocked, it can use other senses to mimic a human's movements.

A new light wave

August 12, 2013 8:41 am | News | Comments

Hold a mag­ni­fying glass over the dri­veway on a sunny day and it will focus sun­light into a single beam. Hold a prism in front of the window and the light will spread out into a per­fect rainbow. Lenses like these have been used for thou­sands of years. Until now, all lenses have shared one big lim­i­ta­tion: It’s impos­sible to focus light into a beam that’s smaller than half of the light’s wave­length.

Faster, more powerful mobile devices

August 12, 2013 8:12 am | News | Comments

The next generation of smartphones could be capable of storing 250 hours of high-definition video and carrying a charge for a week, thanks to an advanced data storage technology from a Univ. of Michigan startup that could upend the memory market. Crossbar Inc., which licensed the technology from U-M in 2010, recently announced it has developed a working resistive random access memory prototype in a commercial fabrication facility.

Targeting product design for the developing world

August 12, 2013 7:37 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Designing products for the developing world can be a hit-or-miss endeavor: While there may be a dire need for products addressing problems, such as access to clean water, sanitation and electricity, designing a product that consumers will actually buy is a complicated process. More often than not, such products go unused due to poor quality, unreliability or differences in cultural expectations.

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Researchers discover atomic clock can simulate quantum magnetism

August 9, 2013 9:31 am | News | Comments

Researchers at JILA have, for the first time, used an atomic clock as a quantum simulator, mimicking the behavior of a different, more complex quantum system. Atomic clocks now join a growing list of physical systems that can be used for modeling and perhaps eventually explaining the quantum mechanical behavior of exotic materials such as high-temperature superconductors, which conduct electricity without resistance.

Team produces squeezed light using silicon micromechanical system

August 7, 2013 2:04 pm | News | Comments

One of the many counter-intuitive and bizarre insights of quantum mechanics is that even in a vacuum all is not completely still. Low levels of noise (quantum fluctuations) are always present. Always, that is, unless you can pull off a quantum trick. And that's just what a Caltech team has done.

Cactus “points” way for oil spill cleanup

August 7, 2013 1:25 pm | News | Comments

Inspired by prickly cacti, Chinese scientists have developed a new technique for removing oil from water, which could have applications in oil spill cleanup work. An article published in Nature Communications describes the study by Jiang Lei and his co-workers at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, whose creation of copper spike arrays have proved to be highly efficient in absorbing oil during experiments.

Quantum communication controlled by resonance in “artificial atoms”

August 7, 2013 8:17 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark, together with colleagues in the U.S. and Australia, have developed a method to control a quantum bit for electronic quantum communication in a series of quantum dots, which behave like artificial atoms in the solid state.

In with antennas, out with cables

August 1, 2013 12:28 pm | News | Comments

Cable clutter is an eyesore and a tripping hazard in one. Researchers have developed a new kind of antenna hidden in tables that can wirelessly supply electronic devices with power. The power extends throughout the tabletop without the need for a large, impractical coil. The “tables” can transmit data, too.

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Engineers identify key factors for wireless power transfer

July 31, 2013 10:00 pm | News | Comments

What happens to a resonant wireless power transfer system in the presence of complex electromagnetic environments, such as metal plates? A team of researchers has explored the influences at play in this type of situation, and they describe how efficient wireless power transfer can be achieved in the presence of metal plates.

Navy turns to UAVs for help with radar, communications

July 31, 2013 5:12 pm | by Eric Beidel, Office of Naval Research | News | Comments

Fluxes and turbulence caused by the interaction between the air and sea can significantly alter the path of electromagnetic waves in radar and communications systems. In effort to boost the U.S. navy’s communications performance at sea, researchers deployed Office of Naval Research unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in an effort to determine the ocean and atmospheric weather variations that can change the angle that radar and radio waves bend.

Radio waves carry news of climate change

July 30, 2013 1:16 pm | News | Comments

The ionosphere, one of the regions of the upper atmosphere, plays an important role in global communications. Now, researchers have discovered that the radio waves reflecting back to Earth from the ionosphere offer valuable news on climate change as well.

Study: Online tools accelerating earthquake-engineering progress

July 30, 2013 12:11 pm | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

The George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), based at Purdue Univ., includes 14 laboratories for earthquake engineering and tsunami research, tied together to provide information technology for the network. A new study has found that online tools, access to experimental data and other services provided through this "cyberinfrastructure" are helping to accelerate progress in earthquake science.

Station astronauts remotely control planetary rover from space

July 30, 2013 9:17 am | by Rachel Hoover, NASA Ames Research Center | News | Comments

Just as remotely-operated vehicles help humans explore the depths of the ocean from above, NASA has begun studying how a similar approach may one day help astronauts explore other worlds. On June 17 and July 26, NASA tested the Surface Telerobotics exploration concept, in which an astronaut in an orbiting spacecraft remotely operates a robot on a planetary surface.

Los Alamos lab upgrades Powerwall Theater with visualization projection

July 25, 2013 11:53 am | News | Comments

The Powerwall Theater (PWT) at Los Alamos National Laboratory is an innovative facility that enables researchers to view the complex models and simulations they have created using some of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Recently, PWT was upgraded with 40 double-stacked Christie Mirage 3-D LED projectors that will provide seamless, integrated 3-D visualization.

New app puts idle smartphones to work for science

July 23, 2013 12:00 pm | by Robert Sanders, Univ. of California, Berkeley | News | Comments

Android smartphone users will soon have a chance to participate in important scientific research every time they charge their phones. Using a new app created by researchers at the Univ. of California, Berkeley, users will be able to donate a phone’s idle computing power to crunch numbers for projects that could lead to breakthroughs ranging from novel medical therapies to the discovery of new stars.

Researchers demonstrate internal tagging for 3-D printed objects

July 23, 2013 11:50 am | News | Comments

According to scientists at Carnegie Mellon Univ. and Microsoft Research, the same 3-D printing process used to produce an object can simultaneously generate an internal, invisible tag. These internal tags, which the have been dubbed InfraStructs, can be read with an imaging system using terahertz radiation. As terahertz technology develops, these tags could have many applications.

New methods visualize bacterial cell-to-cell communication

July 18, 2013 4:05 pm | News | Comments

Researchers in Switzerland have developed a live-cell fluorescent labeling that makes bacterial cell-to-cell communication pathways visible. The communication between bacterial cells is essential in the regulation of processes within bacterial populations, such as biofilm development.

Electronic monitoring systems can improve hygiene compliance

July 18, 2013 3:34 pm | News | Comments

GOJO Industries, a maker of hand hygiene and skin health and inventors of Purell Hand Sanitizer, conducted an independent research study at the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas to determine the impact on hand hygiene compliance rates when the hospital hand hygiene program included an electronic compliance activity monitoring system. The research showed a 92% hand hygiene improvement.

Study: Electronic health records help fight vaccine-preventable diseases

July 18, 2013 2:11 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at Columbia Univ. School of Nursing have found that electronic health record (EHR) system to automate the immunization data shared between health providers and public health agencies enables physicians to assist individual patients faster and more effectively, while also providing more immediate, cohesive community data to the agencies tasked with promoting public health.

Using RFID for fiber composites

July 18, 2013 1:48 pm | News | Comments

Antennas that are capable of transmitting radio waves turn components into intelligent objects. Researchers in Germany have now found a way to embed these antennas in fiber composites. As a result, the technology also works with carbon and glass fibers.

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