Week in Review: 2/8/15-2/14/15

February 13, 2015

Silver-glass sandwich structure acts as inexpensive color filter
Northwestern University researchers have created a new technique that can transform silver into any color of the rainbow. Their simple method is a fast, low-cost alternative to color filters currently used in electronic displays and monitors.
AFOSR PO: Dr. Gernot Pomrenke

February 10, 2015

UVM Lab at Spaceflight’s Leading Edge
Inside Doug Fletcher’s Plasma Test and Diagnostics Laboratory at the University of Vermont, researchers are conducting demonstrations meant to simulate what could happen to that piece of graphite if it coated the heat shield of a rocket careening back to Earth from, say, Mars. The rocket would be so fast-moving it would generate a shock wave along its leading edge, turning all the gases in its path into a searingly hot, corrosive plasma. Predicting how various materials will perform in such a hostile environment is crucial to developing the next generation of efficient and effective insulating heat shield systems that will enable a spacecraft to travel safely to and from distant locations in the universe. AFOSR PO: Dr. Ali Sayir

February 9, 2015

Bionic Leaf
Researchers use bacteria to convert solar energy into liquid fuel
Now scientists from a team spanning Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have created a system that uses bacteria to convert solar energy into a liquid fuel. Their work integrates an “artificial leaf,” which uses a catalyst to make sunlight split water into hydrogen and oxygen, with a bacterium engineered to convert carbon dioxide plus hydrogen into the liquid fuel isopropanol.

Latest Five Supercomputer Projects Have Direct Application to Wyoming Issues
Five projects that have applications to Wyoming issues — including water storage, snowpack accumulation and wind turbine efficiency — were recently chosen to receive computational time and storage space on the supercomputer in Cheyenne.
AFOSR POs: Dr. Fariba Fahroo, Dr. Michael Kendra