(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) A new system devised by researchers at MIT can monitor the behavior of all electric devices within a building, ship, or factory, determining which ones are in use at any given time and whether any are showing signs of an imminent failure. When tested on a Coast Guard cutter, the system pinpointed a motor with burnt-out wiring that could have led to a serious onboard fire.
March 22, 2019
(University of Göttingen) More and more products carry ethical labels such as fair-trade or organic, which consumers view positively. Nevertheless, the sales figures of these products often remain low, even though they offer advantages for the environment or for society. A team of scientists from the University of Göttingen investigated what factors influence consumers' purchasing intentions. The results were published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, an international scientific publication which covers environmental and sustainable research and practice.
March 22, 2019
(Rutgers University) Imagine smart materials that can morph from being stiff as wood to as soft as a sponge - and also change shape. Rutgers University-New Brunswick engineers have created flexible, lightweight materials with 4D printing that could lead to better shock absorption, morphing airplane or drone wings, soft robotics and tiny implantable biomedical devices. Their research is published in the journal Materials Horizons.
March 22, 2019
The software-defined SWIFT-SLX S-band radio is designed to fit on a CubeSat-class satellite. (Tethers Unlimited Photo) Tethers Unlimited weathered a wave of bad news over the winter, but now some good news has bloomed. The company, headquartered in Bothell, Wash., reports that its SWIFT-SLX S-band radio has been successfully operated in orbit. The compact software-defined radio provided two-way communications between Harris Corp.’s first small satellite, known as HSAT-1, and the satellite’s ground operators, Tethers Unlimited said this week in a news release. HSAT was by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, . SWIFT-SLX is designed to fit on CubeSat-class spacecraft, and can be configured to meet a wide range of mission needs, including in-flight adjustment of operating frequencies for S- and L-band communications. Development of the radio was supported with Small Business Innovation Research grants from the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Army Space and Missile Defense Center. “Our team has worked very hard to bring the SWIFT radios to the level of maturity and quality necessary to meet the needs of top-tier customers such as Harris Corp.,” Tethers Unlimited CEO Rob Hoyt said. “The great performance of the SWIFT-SLX right out of the gate is a big testament to our SWIFT team’s efforts and the collaborative support of the Harris integration team.” Hoyt noted that Tethers Unlimited has delivered a number of additional radios for other flight missions. “This success should give those other programs confidence that our SWIFT radios will perform well for their missions,” he said. Tethers Unlimited works on a variety of space technologies, including programmable radios for small satellites as well as in-space manufacturing and advanced space propulsion modules. Last month, aboard the International Space Station for testing. In January, Tethers Unlimited had to lay off 12 engineers — roughly 20 percent of its staff — when a partial federal government shutdown held up reimbursements for contract work that was completed in late 2018. Payments resumed after the shutdown ended, and Hoyt has said the company could start staffing up again if it wins new contracts.
March 21, 2019
(University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences) Weeds often emerge at the same time as vulnerable crop seedlings and sneak between plants as crops grow. How do farmers kill them without harming the crops themselves? In a new University of Illinois study, researchers identify genes and metabolic pathways responsible for safener efficacy in grain sorghum.
March 21, 2019
(University of East Anglia) New research suggests that targeted use of behavioural 'nudges' can encourage people to conserve water.Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) found that rather than giving people general information about the importance of saving water, emphasising the water conserving actions of others in the same social group -- for example university students or local residents -- encourages similar behaviour changes and reduces water demand.
March 21, 2019
(Northwestern University) Patients in a new Northwestern Medicine study were able to comprehend words that were written but not said aloud. They could write the names of things they saw but not verbalize them. For instance, if a patient in the study saw the word 'hippopotamus' written on a piece of paper, they could identify a hippopotamus in flashcards. But when that patient heard someone say 'hippopotamus,' they could not point to the picture of the animal.
March 21, 2019