A Week in Review: 9/7/14 – 9/13/14

Sept. 11, 2014

Morphing wing
Michigan Aerospace engineers are using new materials and techniques to allow airplane wings to flex and move more like bird wings. Instead of traditional flaps, they are designing wings that can morph based on an electrical inputs. These morphing wings are still in the developing stages but may open the doors to lighter weight aircraft that are more agile than traditional airplanes. http://www.engin.umich.edu/college/about/news/stories/2014/september/morphing-wing

Stanford engineers help describe key mechanism in energy and information storage
By observing how hydrogen is absorbed into individual palladium nanocubes, Stanford materials scientists have detailed a key step in storing energy and information in nanomaterials. The work could inform research that leads to longer-lasting batteries or higher-capacity memory devices. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/september/battery-palladium-dionne-091114.html

Physicists find a new way to push electrons around
When moving through a conductive material in an electric field, electrons tend to follow the path of least resistance — which runs in the direction of that field. But now physicists at MIT and the University of Manchester have found an unexpectedly different behavior under very specialized conditions — one that might lead to new types of transistors and electronic circuits that could prove highly energy-efficient. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/moving-electrons-on-graphene-0911

Researchers awarded for paper on low-cost algorithms for data storage systems  Research team that included Viveck Cadambe, assistant professor of electrical engineering, received a best paper award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications held Aug. 21-23 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. http://news.psu.edu/story/325874/2014/09/11/academics/researchers-awarded-paper-low-cost-algorithms-data-storage-systems

Sept. 9, 2014

Air Force Research Laboratory Partners With Doolittle Institute
The Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base and the Doolittle Institute held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday to officially establish their partnership. The institute’s innovative research environment is focused on finding solutions to tough science and technology challenges in the community.

A Week in Review: 10/27/13 – 11/2/13

October 27, 2013

Beryllium’s Back, Baby
Air Force Research Laboratory engineers, in partnership with industry, reestablished a domestic manufacturing capability for primary (high-purity) beryllium metal. Manufactures at a new reduction plant in Elmore, Ohio, beryllium is a critical component in several Department of Defense (DoD) applications.

October 30, 2013

New Clemson facility to advance nanotechnology
Clemson University completed construction of a world-class nanomaterials facility specifically designed to support research projects that are funded by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Department of Energy.

November 1, 2013

Synaptic transistor learns while it computes
First of its kind, brain-inspired device looks toward highly efficient and fast parallel computing

A Week in Review: 6/10/12 to 6/16/12

A quick recap of AFRL and AFOSR news mentions over the past week.

June 11, 2012

Crustacean’s claw may be suited for battle
Researchers have figured out how a tiny tropical crustacean packs an outsized punch. And they are using that knowledge to engineer super-durable materials that could protect troops in the line of fire, among other useful applications.

All the Colors of a High-Energy Rainbow, in a Tightly Focused Beam
For the first time, researchers have produced a coherent, laser-like, directed beam of light that simultaneously streams ultraviolet light, X-rays and all wavelengths in between. One of the few light sources to successfully produce a coherent beam that includes X-rays, this new technology is the first to do so using a setup that fits on a laboratory table.

‘Nanocable’ could be big boon for energy storage
Thanks to a little serendipity, researchers at Rice University have created a tiny coaxial cable that is about a thousand times smaller than a human hair and has higher capacitance than previously reported microcapacitors.

June 14, 2012
Local jobs could come from University of Dayton research contract
The University of Dayton School of Engineering has secured federal Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) funds, funding that may lead to new area jobs, the university said Wednesday. The project will have UD working with six Ivy League schools, MIT and New York University in the latest round of awards, the university said Wednesday.

How the White House is aiming the X Prize model at big problems
On October 4, 2004, the idea of incentive prizes hit the mainstream when Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites launched SpaceShip One into orbit for the second time and won the $10 million Ansari X Prize. Since then, prizes like that have become more and more common, and though the X Prizes are still the gold standard, there are now similar competitions from medical research to science to business, and beyond.

June 15, 2012
JILA frequency comb helps evaluate novel biomedical decontamination method
Like many new measurement tools, the laser frequency comb seemed at first a curiosity but has found more practical uses than originally imagined.

Startup born in Princeton lab turns carbon dioxide into fuels
Ask Andrew Bocarsly about the innovation behind Liquid Light, a New Jersey startup company that turns carbon dioxide into fuels and industrial chemicals, and the Princeton University chemistry professor smiles ruefully. “The project goes back to the early ’90s,” he said. “But nobody cared about carbon dioxide at that time.”

Biofuels could bolster national security, leaders say
A top British envoy says the U.S. and the U.K. could collaborate more on the development and use of biofuels in the military to boost both nations’ security and energy interests and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Making Marvelous Materials – Who is Air Force Basic Research Video

With the advent of the jet age in the 1940s and 50s the velocity of aircraft was fast approaching the speed of sound making it readily apparent that construction techniques for jet aircraft would require significant changes to meet new and unforeseen operational demands.

Since its founding in 1951 AFOSR has maintained an active research program in aircraft structures and materials. This program must constantly evolve addressing revolutionary advances in aerodynamics.

In this video, meet materials researchers AFOSR is funding to develop new nanomaterials that will have revolutionary impacts on the future Air Force.

A Week in Review: 4/29/12 to 5/05/12

A quick recap of AFRL and AFOSR news mentions over the past week.

April 30, 2012

Single nanomaterial yields many laser colors
Red, green, and blue lasers have become small and cheap enough to find their way into products ranging from BluRay DVD players to fancy pens, but each color is made with different semiconductor materials and by elaborate crystal growth processes. A new prototype technology demonstrates all three of those colors coming from one material. That could open the door to making products, such as high-performance digital displays, that employ a variety of laser colors all at once.

For better test results, swap topics often
Students of all ages might improve their test scores if the category of information changed abruptly midway through the test, according to a new study.

Green drone: Hydrogen fuel cell powers ScanEagle
Insitu, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, announced this month that its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft completed a hydrogen-powered test flight for the first time. A propulsion module made from a 1,500-watt fuel cell by United Technologies and a hydrogen fueling solution by the Naval Research Laboratory were integrated into the ScanEagle at Insitu’s facilities in Bingen, Wash. …..Insitu is teaming up with the Air Force Research Lab later this year to test a fuel cell in the Integrator, a newer, bigger version that can carry heavier payloads such as radio relay equipment to assist soldiers in the field.

Folding light: Wrinkles and twists boost power from solar panels
Taking their cue from the humble leaf, researchers have used microscopic folds on the surface of photovoltaic material to significantly increase the power output of flexible, low-cost solar cells.

May 1, 2012

Nanotech on Tap at Dallas-Area Research Conference
Neuroscience and novel cancer treatments might seem worlds away from high-efficiency batteries and advanced solar cells, but the U.S.-Korea Joint Symposium of Nanotechnology Workshops, hosted and co-organized by UT Dallas, will bring these diverse fields together under one roof…..The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the South Korean government have sponsored the joint nanotechnology workshops for the past 10 years, with host institutions alternating between the two countries.

May 2, 2012

First-ever demonstration of autonomous bird-like robot perching on a human hand
By the virtue of their size and speed, birds are uniquely capable of efficient flight while flapping their wings and while gliding. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have duplicated the control functions that allow birds to successfully perform a soft landing—in this case, perching on a human hand.

ATK Announces Retirement of TacSat-3 Satellite
….The Air Force announced on April 30th, 2012, that the satellite deorbited into and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere nearly three years after its May 2009 launch. TacSat-3 was designed for six months of operation, with a goal of one year. Not only did it outlive its design life, it also surpassed its original mission requirements and goals as an experimental spacecraft, and was successfully transitioned to operational status in 2010.

May 4, 2012

Novel Bone Scaffold Draws Strength from Tiny Silk Fibers
Every few months or so, researchers announce a new breakthrough with silk….now, David Kaplan, PhD, chair of biomedical engineering at Tufts University, whose interest in silk goes back for decades, has helped develop a silk-reinforced biodegradable material that can provide significant mechanical support during bone repair.

Burst-Mode Laser Captures Combustion Details
In the search for alternative fuels, scientists need tools to take snapshots of combustion reactions that happen at short time scales. American researchers have devised a new-type of burst-mode laser that provides bursts lasting 10 times longer than previous examples—enough to enable “movies” of these reactions.