A Week in Review: 9/8/13 – 9/14/13

September 9, 2013

Artificial lung to remove carbon dioxide — from smokestacks
The amazingly efficient lungs of birds and the swim bladders of fish have become the inspiration for a new filtering system to remove carbon dioxide from electric power station smokestacks before the main greenhouse gas can billow into the atmosphere and contribute to global climate change.

Butterfly wings inspire new technologies: from fabrics and cosmetics to sensors
A new study has revealed that the stunning iridescent wings of the tropical blue Morpho butterfly could expand the range of innovative technologies.

A Week in Review: 7/28/13 – 8/3/13

July 29, 2013

Pitt team finds water ‘likeability’ plays a role in battery-charged objects

Water clears path for nanoribbon development
Rice University researchers create sub-10-nanomater graphene nanoribbon patterns

July 30, 2013

Origami unfolds a new tissue engineering strategy
Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, has been around for more than a millennium, but associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering Carol Livermore is now using it to create solutions in an emerging multidisciplinary field in medicine: tissue engineering.

August 2, 2013

New coating turns ordinary glass into superglass
A new transparent, bioinspired coating makes ordinary glass tough, self-cleaning, and incredibly slippery, a team from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) reported online in the July 31 edition of Nature Communication.


A Week in Review: 6/17/12 to 6/22/12

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

June 18, 2012

The Next War Could Be Fought with Fireflies
The Department of Defense is a major funder behind a new biomimicry-based approach to lighting which harnesses the power of fireflies to create an energy efficient glow. How important could bug-powered light become? Well, as one indicator, the grant came through the U.S. government’s most prestigious channel for supporting the work of up-and-coming innovators, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Frequency comb helps evaluate novel biomedical decontamination
JILA researchers are using a laser frequency comb — a technique for making extraordinarily precise measurements of frequency — to identify specific molecules in gases. The project is helping biomedical researchers evaluate a novel instrument that kills harmful bacteria without the use of liquid chemicals or high temperatures.

Physicists make light matter
At first glance, a donut and a coffee cup do not have much in common, except that they complement each other really well. A second glance reveals that they share a geometrical property, their topology: the shape of one can be continuously deformed into the shape of the other.

Classified X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Returns To Earth
A top secret robotic Air Force space plane that looks like a mini space shuttle has returned to earth after more than a year in orbit, with another set to blast off later this year…..Boeing’s research on the space-based unmanned vehicle spans a decade and includes support to the Air Force Research Lab’s X-40 program, NASA’s X-37 program, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s X-37 Approach & Landing Test Vehicle program.

Electrified graphene a shutter for light
An applied electric voltage can prompt a centimeter-square slice of graphene to change and control the transmission of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths from the terahertz to the midinfrared. The experiment at Rice University advances the science of manipulating particular wavelengths of light in ways that could be useful in advanced electronics and optoelectronic sensing devices.

June 20, 2012

Air Force seeking renewable energy
The U.S. Air Force is the largest energy consumer in the federal government, spending more than $8.2 billion for electricity and fuel last year.

AFMC ready to transition to 5-Center construct
With three major milestones complete, Air Force Materiel Command officials are ready to consolidate the number of centers as part of its command-wide transition to the 5-Center construct.

June 21, 2012

Graphene is a tunable plasmonic medium
With a beam of infrared light, scientists have sent ripples of electrons along the surface of graphene and demonstrated that they can control the length and height of these oscillations, called plasmons, using a simple electrical circuit. This is the first time anyone has observed plasmons on graphene, sheets of carbon just one atom thick with a host of intriguing physical properties, and an important step toward using plasmons to process and transmit information in spaces too tight to use light.

Boeing Completes Upgrade of AEOS Telescope at Maui Space Surveillance Complex
The Boeing Company has completed a two-year modernization effort for the Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS), a powerful telescope used for research and space situational awareness by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The Air Force has declared initial operational capability (IOC) for AEOS, which signifies that the telescope is fully upgraded and ready to provide imagery and surveillance of objects in near-Earth and deep-space orbits.

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.