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Technology Update

New Way to Detect Cyanide Exposure

A portable field device that detects cyanide exposure in seconds is one step closer to commercialization. Potassium cyanide is used to manufacture paper, plastics and synthetic materials, such as spandex and even Kevlar. In addition, the mining and ele …

Robots that Find Front Door

Standard approaches for robotic navigation involve mapping an area ahead of time, then using algorithms to guide a robot toward a specific goal or GPS coordinate on the map. While this approach might make sense for exploring specific environments, such …

Building a New Method for Secure Communication

Generating true random bit sequences, classical or quantum, is an impossible mission for secure communication, but there is now a new method that may seem simple, but is much more complicated. The mathematical definition of a random bit sequence is so …

Structured Light Brings Secure Communications

Structured light is a fancy way to describe patterns or pictures of light, but it also promises future communications that will be faster and more secure. Quantum mechanics has come a long way during the past 100 years but still has a long way to go. A …

First Responders Test Next Gen Technology

Imagine a magnitude 7.0 earthquake during a football game causes portions of the stadium to crumble. Chaos ensues as thousands of people rush to nearby exits or fall victim to crashing debris. Within minutes, amidst the chaos, Emergency Medical Service …

GPU Hackathon Boosts Applications

Hardware devices called graphics processing units (GPUs) were originally developed for a specific purpose: To render images, animations, and video on computer screens. However, GPUs are also attractive for solving computationally intensive problems — s …

New Type of Wearable Sensors Via Kirigami

As wearable sensors become more prevalent, the need for a material resistant to damage from the stress and strains of the human body’s natural movement becomes ever more crucial. That is why adopting kirigami architectures can help materials become mor …

Browser Tool can Detect Malicious Websites, Code

An open-source tool is in development that allows users to track and record the behavior of JavaScript programs without alerting the websites that run those programs. The tool, called VisibleV8, runs in the Chrome browser and is designed to detect mali …

Machine Learning to Solve IP Address Hijacks

A new machine learning system is in development that could predict IP address hijack incidents in advance by tracing things back to the actual hijackers themselves. By illuminating some of the common qualities of what they call “serial hijackers,” it i …

Security Only a Heartbeat Away

A thumbprint can unlock a door. An eye scan can unlatch a vault. Both good ideas that were once a futuristic though, but now used every day. In the future, however, releasing a lock of some sort may only be a heartbeat away. That is because Sandia Nati …

Upgrade at National Security Chip Plant

A three-year upgrade wrapped up at the Sandia National Laboratory plant responsible for making integrated circuits, similar to computer chips. The facility is now fully compatible with industry-standard, 8-inch silicon wafers — thin, round starting mat …

Stress, Corrosion can Speed Cracks in Alloys

Alloys (metals combining two or more metallic elements) are typically stronger and less susceptible to cracking than pure metals. Yet when alloys are subjected to stress and a harsh chemical environment, the alloy can fail. The reason? Cracks caused by …

New Way to Contain a Nuclear Accident

There is a new process in development that may be able to prevent the spread of radioactive contamination and contain the hot molten mass that develops within a nuclear reactor during a catastrophic accident. A team of scientists discovered and patente …

WiFi can ID Person Through a Wall

It is possible to determine if a person behind a wall is the same individual who appears in given video footage, using only a pair of WiFi transceivers outside. This novel video-WiFi cross-modal gait-based person identification system, referred to as X …

Voiceprint Collection Improves

A new method is in development to ensure quality in automatic voice recording by creating a new algorithm that makes it resistant to background noise of 10dB and higher. This new algorithm can operate in real-time, making it possible to use the softwar …

New Way to Dismantle a Nuclear Bomb

How do weapons inspectors verify that a nuclear bomb has been dismantled? An unsettling answer is: They don’t, for the most part. When countries sign arms reduction pacts, they do not typically grant inspectors complete access to their nuclear technolo …

Predicting Plasma Pressure in Fusion Facilities

A key requirement for future facilities that aim to capture and control fusion energy that drives the sun and stars is accurate predictions of the pressure of the plasma – the hot, charged gas that fuels fusion reactions inside doughnut-shaped tokamaks …

Real-Time Grid Analysis

It often takes time for power system malfunctions to be found and fixed, at times leading to larger system failures. If operators could identify system disturbances as they happen and take action before they lead to large outages, the power grid would …

Team Approach to Determine a Safer Glove

Sometimes in the wake of testing for one thing, something more advanced with greater potential comes along. That is just the case when in the process of testing coal miners’ safety gloves to help reduce lost-time accidents, researchers took it to anoth …

Mobile Technologies Locate Methane Leaks Faster

On trucks, drones and airplanes, 10 promising technologies for finding natural gas leaks swiftly and cheaply competed in the Mobile Monitoring Challenge, the first independent assessment of moving gas leak detectors at well sites. While billed as a “ch …

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