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.
http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=25061.php

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.
http://www.futurity.org/society-culture/for-better-test-results-swap-topics-often/

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.
http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-features/63000-green-drone-hydrogen-fuel-cell-powers-scaneagle

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.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/pues-flw042712.php

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.
http://www.utdallas.edu/news/2012/5/1-17551_Nanotech-on-Tap-at-Dallas-Area-Research-Conference_article-wide.html

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.
http://engineeringatil.scienceblog.com/2012/05/01/first-ever-demonstration-of-autonomous-bird-like-robot-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.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/atk-announces-retirement-of-tacsat-3-satellite-2012-05-01

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.
http://medgadget.com/2012/05/novel-bone-scaffold-draws-strength-from-tiny-silk-fibers.html

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.
http://www.azooptics.com/News.aspx?newsID=15497

A Week in Review: 2/19/12 to 2/25/12

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

February 21, 2012

US universities look to untangle the challenges of creating quantum memories
Seven US universities are collaborating to determine the best approach for generating quantum memories based on interaction between light and matter.
http://www.newelectronics.co.uk/electronics-news/us-universities-to-develop-quantum-memories-for-long-distance-secure-communications/40359/

UCLA breaks organic PV efficiency level
Taking a page from multi-junction gallium arsenide (GaAs) photovoltaics, used in high-concentrating PV, engineers and researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a multi-layered organic photovoltaic device that converts up to 10.6 percent of light into electricity as tested by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/ucla-breaks-organic-pv-efficiency-level-022012/

February 22, 2012

Smaller antennas for smaller wireless devices and still smaller micro-air vehicles
Supported by a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Dr. Anthony Grbic utilizes an innovative fabrication process to produce small, efficient antennas.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/afoo-saf022112.php

February 23, 2012

Penn Researchers Build First Physical “Metatronic” Circuit
The technological world of the 21st century owes a tremendous amount to advances in electrical engineering, specifically, the ability to finely control the flow of electrical charges using increasingly small and complicated circuits. And while those electrical advances continue to race ahead, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are pushing circuitry forward in a different way, by replacing electricity with light.
http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-researchers-build-first-physical-metatronic-circuit

A Week in Review: 2/12/12 to 2/18/12

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

February 12, 2012

USAF Academy awards ceremony recognizes research excellence
The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Maj. Gen. William McCasland, a 1979 Academy graduate who is now commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory. AFRL is one of Academy research’s biggest research partners, garnering both quality research with low overhead, all the while building the next generation of Air Force scientists and engineers.
http://www.usafa.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123289706

February 13, 2012

Tandem polymer solar cells that set record for energy-conversion
In the effort to convert sunlight into electricity, photovoltaic solar cells that use conductive organic polymers for light absorption and conversion have shown great potential. Organic polymers can be produced in high volumes at low cost, resulting in photovoltaic devices that are cheap, lightweight and flexible.
http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-tandem-polymer-solar-cells-energy-conversion.html

February 15, 2012

New nano-material combinations produce leap in infrared technology
Arizona State University researchers are finding ways to improve infrared photodetector technology that is critical to national defense and security systems, as well as used increasingly in commercial applications and consumer products. A significant advance is reported in a recent article in the journal Applied Physics Letters. It details discovery of how infrared photodetection can be done more effectively by using certain materials arranged in specific patterns in atomic-scale structures.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/asu-nnc021412.php

UCLA Engineers Create Tandem Polymer Solar Cells That Set Record for Energy-Conversion
In the effort to convert sunlight into electricity, photovoltaic solar cells that use conductive organic polymers for light absorption and conversion have shown great potential. Organic polymers can be produced in high volumes at low cost, resulting in photovoltaic devices that are cheap, lightweight and flexible.
http://www.electroiq.com/photovoltaics/2012/02/13/ucla-engineers-create-tandem-polymer-solar-cells-that-set-record-for-energy-conversion.html

February 16, 2012

Cal Tech Researchers Make Discovery that Hints at origin of Phenomena like Solar Flares
January saw the biggest solar storm since 2005, generating some of the most dazzling northern lights in recent memory. The source of that storm and others like it was the sun’s magnetic field, described by invisible field lines that protrude from and loop back into the burning ball of gas. Sometimes these field lines breaksnapping like a rubber band pulled too tight and join with other nearby lines, releasing energy that can then launch bursts of plasma known as solar flares.
http://www.electroiq.com/photovoltaics/2012/02/15/plasmas-torn-apart-caltech-researchers-make-discovery-that-hints-at-origin-of-phenomena-like-solar-f.html

$8.5 million research initiative will study best approaches for quantum memories
The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) has awarded $8.5 million to a consortium of seven U.S. universities that will work together to determine the best approach for generating quantum memories based on interaction between light and matter. The team will consider three different approaches for creating entangled quantum memories that could facilitate the long-distance transmission of secure information.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/giot-mr021412.php