New Computer Chips Could Improve Nuclear Detection Capability

A cross-disciplinary team of chemists and physicists from Washington University in St. Louis is building a better computer chip to improve detection and surveillance for the illegal transport of nuclear materials at U.S. borders. The work is part of a new, five-year, $10 million collaboration in low-energy nuclear science led by Texas A&M University. Under the new program, called CENTAUR, Robert J. Charity, research professor of chemistry, and Lee G. Sobotka, professor of chemistry and of physics, both in Arts & Sciences, are testing a novel neutron detection strategy and a related chip. The chip is being developed with long-time collaborator George Engel, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Roughly two dozen scientists across all partner universities will be involved in CENTAUR, along with their affiliated research groups. One of the center’s major contributions will be research and development expertise related to neutron detectors, which are relevant for both basic low-energy nuclear science and nuclear security applications.

Posted in: News, Defense, Detectors, Sensors

AgilePod Flies on U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper

In March 2018, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Sensors Program Office, working jointly with the AFLCMC Medium Altitude Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Office, sponsored three demonstration flights of an MQ-9 Reaper with AgilePod. The flights were a first for AgilePod on an Air Force major weapon system, and were the result of collaboration between AFLCMC and the Air Force Research Lab.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

Non-Contact Method Measures Aircraft Internal Stresses

Scientists have developed a non-contact method of internal voltage control in polymer composites, making it possible to assess the degree of internal damage during the operation of aircraft parts. The method uses amorphous soft magnetic circuits to assess the stress state in composite materials. Wires are laid between the carbon fiber layers, forming a stress-sensitive grid.

Posted in: News, INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

‘Quantum Radio’ May Aid Communications Indoors, Underground, Underwater

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated that quantum physics might enable communications and mapping in locations where GPS and ordinary cellphones and radios don’t work reliably or even at all, such as indoors, in urban canyons, underwater and underground. The technology may help mariners, soldiers and surveyors, among others.

Posted in: News, Communications, Wireless, Defense, Sensors

Sensors Detect Aircraft Damage as it Occurs

The Army developed and tested networked acoustic emission sensors that can detect airframe damage on conceptual composite UH-60 Black Hawk rotorcraft. The sensing method can be used to reliably detect and locate the initiation and growth of damage that may occur during service.

Posted in: News, Defense, Sensors

Painless Microneedles Extract Fluid for Wearable Sensors for Soldiers

Sandia National Laboratories and University of New Mexico researchers have developed unique microneedle-based sensor technology that they hope can someday be used to help soldiers on vital missions. Ronen Polsky, a Sandia materials scientist who leads the design of the microneedle sensor, said the technology is the first way to extract large volumes of pure interstitial fluid for further study.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Diagnostics, Drug Delivery, Patient Monitoring, Data Acquisition, Sensors

University Researchers Give Self-Driving Vehicles a Boost

While the future of vehicles may be driverless, West Virginia University is steering the technology in the right direction. More and more cars being sold today include semi-automated features ranging from self-parking to lane departure to automatic braking, but fully automated vehicles are on the horizon. WVU’s researchers are working to improve vehicle and smart infrastructure technology that underpins their development and their benefit to communities in areas such as safety, energy, traffic, economic opportunity and more. One of those researchers is Victor Fragoso, an assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, whose research is focused on improving the artificial intelligence of autonomous agents, which includes driverless vehicles.

Posted in: News, Automotive, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Transducers, Automotive

Putting Smart Weapons to The Test

In the old days, a slingshot, BB gun, rifle or cannon was only as smart as the marksman taking aim. Now, many weapons are guided to their targets with the precision of infrared sensors and lasers. The technology continues to advance, but testing technology has lagged behind, leaving new generations of weapons and their tactical advantages unavailable to today's troops.

Posted in: News, Defense, Detectors, Sensors, Test & Measurement

Experimental Box Could Track Nuclear Activity by Rogue Nations

Researchers at the Virginia Tech College of Science are carrying out a research project at Dominion Power’s North Anna Nuclear Generating Station in Virginia that could lead to a new turning point in how the United Nations tracks rogue nations that seek nuclear power. The years-long project centers on a high-tech box full of luminescent plastic cubes stacked atop one another that can be placed just outside a nuclear reactor operated by, say, Iran. The box would detect subatomic particles known as neutrinos produced by the reactor, which can be used to track the amount of plutonium produced in the reactor core.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Detectors, Sensors

Secure 3D Printing: 'Three-Layer' System Protects Parts from Hackers

A 3D printer is essentially a small embedded computer — and can be exploited like one.

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a “three-layer” way of certifying that an additively manufactured part has not been compromised.

Posted in: News, News, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Detectors, Sensors