A Week in Review: 05/06/12 to 5/12/12

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

May 10, 2012

HIFiRE Scramjet Research Flight Will Advance Hypersonic Technology
An international team that includes NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is celebrating the successful launch of an experimental hypersonic scramjet research flight from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

May 11, 2012

Cybersecurity experts begin investigation on self-adapting computer network
In the online struggle for network security, Kansas State University cybersecurity experts are adding an ally to the security force: the computer network itself.

Test Pilot School teaches students to fly, fight, win in cyberspace
“We are the place where the world comes to learn about test and evaluation. With the introduction of the Cyber Systems Test Course, we can now teach our graduates and others the framework for testing cyber systems in a contested environment,” said Col. Noel Zamot, TPS commandant. “This is the first course of its kind that includes a disciplined, yet flexible approach to testing cyber intensive systems.”

Nanotube ‘sponge’ has potential in oil spill cleanup
Carbon nanotubes, which consist of atom-thick sheets of carbon rolled into cylinders, have captured scientific attention in recent decades because of their high strength, potential high conductivity and light weight. But producing nanotubes in bulk for specialized applications was often limited by difficulties in controlling the growth process as well as dispersing and sorting the produced nanotubes.

A Week in Review: 4/15/12 to 4/21/12

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

April 16, 2012

MetaStable Instruments awarded patent on optical thin-film metrology
Optical components and coatings maker MetaStable Instruments has received a US patent covering a technique for measuring http://www.optoiq.com/articles/2012/04/metastable-instruments-awarded-patent-on-optical-thin-film-metrology.html

April 17, 2012

Oil-spill clean-up may be made easier by carbon-nanotube technology
For the first time, researchers at Penn State University and Rice University have created solid, spongy blocks of carbon nanotubes that have an astounding ability to clean up oil spills in water.

April 19, 2012

UAV test flights this fall will be crucial
Efforts to demonstrate that unmanned aircraft can be flown safely in airspace used by manned airplanes could get an important boost with test flights scheduled this fall, a conference of unmanned aircraft industry officials was told Tuesday.

Industry Seeking to Better Align Research Investments With DoD Needs
A communication disconnect between the Pentagon and industry on where to focus independent research and development (IRAD) efforts has threatened to hinder the advancement of technologies and has kept companies from seeing returns on their investments, government and industry officials said.

April 21, 2012

New technique efficiently creates single photons for quantum information processing.
Using lasers to excite just one atom from a cloud of ultra-cold rubidium gas, physicists have developed a new way to rapidly and efficiently create single photons for potential use in optical quantum information processing – and in the study of dynamics and disorder in certain physical systems.

A Week in Review: 1/29/12 to 2/4/12

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

January 31, 2012

Rice professor’s nanotube theory confirmed: Air Force Research Laboratory experiment shows chirality of tube controls speed of growth.

February 2, 2012

Polarization imaging: Seeing through the fog of war
New circular polarizing filter may replace existing multi-layer approach to achieve the ability to see through dust and clouds.

JILA scientists confirm first ‘frequency comb’ to probe ultraviolet wavelengths
Physicists at JILA have created the first “frequency comb” in the extreme ultraviolet band of the spectrum, high-energy light less than 100 nanometers (nm) in wavelength.

Freezing technique exposes molecule-to-molecule attachments
Researchers at Yale University have developed a new way of exposing the atomic attachments that keep complex molecules in precise alignment. The new method could provide insight into the mechanics of a variety of molecular structures, potentially aiding efforts to manipulate them for drug discovery and other purposes.

Transparent Material Breakthrough: One of Time Magazines Best Inventions of 2011

Drs Ali Aliev, Yuri Gartstein and Ray Baughman, of the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), have succeeded in producing what is technically referred to as the “mirage effect from thermally modulated transparent carbon nanotube sheets,” or, as some in the popular press have termed it: an ‘invisibility cloak’.”

The key to this breakthrough are carbon nanotubes–the successful result of another ongoing AFOSR-funded UTD program–that have the ability to disappear when rapidly heated. In reality, this effect is due to photothermal deflection, or a mirage effect, quite similar to what a driver may experience when a highway in the distance becomes so hot that a section of the road may look like a pool of water. This is due to the bending of the light around the hot road surface wherein the driver actually sees the reflected sky in place of the pavement. The carbon nanotubes create much the same effect when heated.

This unique characteristic of nanotube sheets may one day result in applications such as photo-deflectors and for switchable transparency materials, as well as their use as thermoacoustic projectors and sonar.