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Planning Observations by Unmanned Surface Vessels

Three algorithms, and software that implements the algorithms, have been conceived and analyzed as means of effecting automated planning of scientific observations by a fleet of unmanned surface vessels (USVs) equipped with sensors and operating over a large and possibly changing ocean area. Typical observations envisioned in the development of these algorithms include water-temperature measurements ahead of the path of a hurricane (see figure) and fluorometer readings to track harmful algal blooms.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology
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Progress in Design and Synthesis of Nanostructured Materials

A five-and-a-half-year integrated multidisciplinary research project has been characterized by three themes pertinent to the development of advanced materials having tailorable microstructures and/or nanostructures. These themes are (1) biocompatible nanolithographic methods of patterning and templating of materials to have two- and three-dimensional nanostructures; (2) nucleic-acid-based approaches to preparing (both in solution and from predesigned, nanostructured surface templates) supramolecular structures tailored to perform specific functions; and (3) protein-based or inspired molecular and supramolecular architectures. The contributions of this and other related research projects can be expected to lead to the development of diverse nanostructured organic and inorganic materials and structures, including catalytic peptide tubes, hostguest materials for molecular separations, quantum-dot and magnetic-particle arrays, bio-nanoelectronic circuitry, photonicbandgap and three-dimensional electronic power structures, and novel biowarfare- detection materials.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Research and development, Fabrication, Nanomaterials, Nanotechnology
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Mixing and Combustion in Turbulent, High-Speed Flows

A collection of reports presents a detailed description of a research program that focused on fundamental investigations of mixing and combustion in turbulent subsonic and supersonic flows like those encountered in high-speed air-breathing aircraft engines. The research included close coordination of effort between experiments and numerical simulations. Recent advances in instrumentation, including some made as part of this program, were utilized in the experiments. The research has been responsible for significant progress in the understanding of molecular mixing in high-speed flows in complicated geometries relevant to scramjet combustors and to high-speed aircraft engines in general. The research included a study oriented toward improving predictions of hydrocarbon flames in such flows and understanding the requirements for combustion of hydrocarbons and holding flames. The study involved comparisons of detailed experiments and detailed predictions of phenomena in stagnation-flame environments that replicate the fundamental effects that influence the stability and extinction of flames. An investigation of the three-dimensional structure of scalar dispersion, with a focus on grid turbulence, has been started and already has yielded new information with relevance to applications of turbulent mixing, including non-premixed combustion and dispersion of pollutants.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences
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Microcompression Tests of a BMG and a Tungsten/BMG Composite

Uniaxial-compression tests of micron-scale specimens (microcompression tests) of a bulk metallic glass (BMG) and of a tungsten/BMG composite have been performed to contribute to understanding of size-dependent mechanical properties of these and other, similar materials. There is increasing interest in fabricating micro- electromechanical systems from BMGs, and in fabricating kinetic-energy (ballistic) penetrators from BMGs and tungsten/ BMG composites. While the mechanical properties and deformation mechanisms of macroscopic, monolithic BMGs in bulk form are generally well understood, these properties are not necessarily equivalent for the BMG alloys cast in composite form or for micron-scale specimens. In a tungsten/BMG composite, dissolution of tungsten in the BMG matrix frequently manifests itself in the formation of complex crystalline phases and the concomitant decrease in the overall amorphous content of the matrix. Hence, it becomes important to compare the properties and deformation mechanisms of the monolithic BMG with those of the BMG as found in the composite accompanied by other phases and heterogeneities.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences
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Kinetic Modeling of Laser-Induced D-T Fusion

A computational- simulation study was performed to assess the feasibility of laser-induced fusion of deuterium nuclei with tritium nuclei as a means of generating neutrons for use in neutron radiography. [D-T fusion reactions produce α particles (He nuclei) plus the desired neutrons.] As in prior studies of laser-induced D-T fusion, the basic idea is to irradiate a small deuterium-and- tritium-containing target with a brief, intense laser pulse that causes a shock wave to propagate into the target. The shock wave ionizes and accelerates a substantial portion of the D and/or T molecules, resulting in, among other phenomena, collisions between D and T nuclei. The question of feasibility is essentially the question of whether, by use of a realistic target and a realistic laser pulse, a sufficient number of ions could be accelerated to sufficient kinetic energy such that the number of resulting D-T fusion reactions would suffice to produce a radiographically usefully large number of neutrons.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Computer simulation, Lasers, Forming, Radiation
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EPIC Single Board Computer

Diamond Systems (Mountain View, CA) has announced Neptune, an ultra-high-integration EPIC form factor single board computer that combines state-of-the-art CPU and I/O technology with Diamond Systems' high accuracy data acquisition circuitry on a single board. Neptune offers up to 2GB of DDR/DDR2 DRAM via SODIMM and provides a PC/104-Plus interface for expansion, supporting both PCI and ISA. Software support is provided for Windows XP, Linux, Windows CE, and Diamond Systems' Universal Driver programming software for the data acquisition circuitry.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Quad- and Dual-Core Processors

Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, CA) has released new processors with extended seven-year lifecycle support, a new chipset, and a carrier-grade server. The processors are based on Intel's high-k, metal gate transistor formula and manufactured on the company's 45-nanometer process. The processors include the Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® processor 5400 Series and the Dual-Core Intel "Xeon" processor 5200 series.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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New Embedded Form Factor

Congatec AG (Deggendorf, Germany) and SECO (Arezzo, Italy) have jointly created a new form factor for embedded computing. The Qseven format will complement the low power and small size of next-generation embedded processors built using 45nm technology. The Qseven format offers high-performance computing power delivered in a board measuring just 70mm × 70mm

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Networked Intelligent Display and Serial-to-Ethernet Modules

Luminary Micro (Austin, TX) has released communications modules and reference design kits for Ethernet-enabled display applications and serial- to-Ethernet communications applications. The compact networked Intelligent Display Module (MDL-IDM) offers a complete graphical touch-screen user interface solution for control, automation, and instrumentation. Featuring a 2.8-in. QVGA 16-bit color LCD resistive touch panel display and a Power- over-Ethernet (PoE) capability, the Stellaris MDLIDM offers a simple method to produce intelligent terminals that can be simultaneously powered and network-connected by a single CAT5 Ethernet cable. The module can also be powered with a standard 24 V DC power supply or through 5 V DC terminals.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Separation Kernel and Embedded Hypervisor

LynuxWorks (San Jose, CA) unveiled the LynxSecure 2.0, its next-generation separation kernel and embedded hypervisor. LynxSecure 2.0 virtualizes the underlying hardware to enable multiple different operating systems (OS) to co-exist on the same platform. Consolidating heterogeneous OS environments reduces hardware costs and allows for easier reuse of legacy software.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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