Technology Update

Sun Canopy can Shift to Storm Shield

A storm nears the coast, stirring up wind and waves. Along the boardwalk that lines the beach, a row of oversize concrete umbrellas begins to tilt downward, transforming from a convenient canopy to a shield against the coming onslaught. This could be a …

AI to Hike Battery Health, Safety

A machine learning method is in development that can predict battery health with ten times higher accuracy than current industry standard, which could aid in the development of safer and more reliable batteries for electric vehicles and consumer electr …

Accurately Predicting a Reactor’s Behavior

A software package 10 years in the making can predict the behavior of nuclear reactors’ cores with accuracy is now being licensed commercially. The Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (VERA) is a set of tools developed by the U.S. Department o …

Looking to Strengthen Stadium Cybersecurity

Someone pulled a fire alarm during the February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which caused more students to move into the hallways to congregate and allowed the killers to shoot at more students and teachers resulting in 17 deaths. Upon le …

Hazardous Driving Training for Driverless Cars

A simulation system invented at MIT to train driverless cars creates a photorealistic world with infinite steering possibilities, helping the autos learn to navigate a host of worse-case scenarios before cruising down real streets. Control systems for …

Final Link for Unhackable Quantum Internet

A quantum Internet could be used to send unhackable messages, improve the accuracy of GPS, and enable cloud-based quantum computing. For over 20 years, dreams of creating such a quantum network have remained out of reach in large part because of the di …

AI Can Help Prevent Disruptions in Fusion Devices

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict and avoid disruptions in fusion — the sudden release of energy stored in the plasma that fuels fusion reactions — can halt the reactions that severely damage fusion facilities. Fusion devices called tokam …

Developing Grid Security Before an Incident

Solar panels, wind turbines and energy storage are gradually transforming the way in which energy is generated and distributed across millions of homes, businesses and industries in the United States. These distributed energy resources (DERs) use elect …

Grid Needs Smarter Modeling to Boost Resilience

Today’s smart grid involves components able to talk to each other, send signals over communication networks to keep power flowing smoothly and efficiently. That communication can work effectively, but a question remains as to when the “conversation” go …

Tool Allows Hackers to Share Attack Methods

There are plenty of options to work on defending against an attack, however, one approach might be to welcome attackers in. The method, called DEEP-Dig (DEcEPtion DIGging), ushers intruders into a decoy site so the computer can learn from hackers’ tact …

Working to Connect Remote First Responders

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, known for panoramic vistas, wildlife, old gold mines and sports of all kinds, are attracting new pioneers: Engineers working to improve emergency communications. First responders face many communications challenges, includin …

Turbomachine Expander Brings Safer Heating, Cooling

A new device to help homeowners cut electricity bills could also provide more efficient and safer cooling options for companies and vehicles. The device can decrease energy consumption of the vapor-compression heat pump cycle, which is commonly used in …

Ultrasonic ‘Surfing Attack’ Very Effective

Ultrasonic waves don’t make a sound, but they can still activate Siri on your cellphone and have it make calls, take images or read the contents of a text to a stranger, new research found. On top of all that, this type of an attack can happen without …

Framework Boosts Firefox Security

A new framework is in development to improve web browser security. The framework, called RLBox, has been integrated into Firefox to complement Firefox’s other security-hardening efforts, said researchers at the University of California San Diego, Unive …

ORNL, TVA to Study Reactor Technologies

In an effort to evaluate a new generation of flexible, cost-effective advanced nuclear reactors, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) signed a memorandum of understanding to advance that goal. Under the agreemen …

New Way to Fight Off a Side-Channel Attack

Security of embedded devices is essential in today’s Internet-connected world. Security is typically guaranteed mathematically using a small secret key to encrypt the private messages. When these computationally secure encryption algorithms are impleme …

New Way to Simulate Nuclear Power Plants

Using the latest advances in numerical methods, physical modeling and software engineering it is now possible to simulate entire nuclear power plants. A new tool called the System Analysis Module (SAM) Reactor Analysis Code can analyze the safety of ad …

Sensor Enhances Sense of Touch

People rely on a highly tuned sense of touch to manipulate objects, but injuries to the skin and the simple act of wearing gloves can impair this ability. Along those lines, surgeons, for example, find gloves decrease their ability to manipulate soft t …

Forensic Methods Tested for Mobile Phones

Mobile phones often end up destroyed in the attempt to destroy evidence, but, in reality, after trying to smash, shoot, submerge or cook their phones, forensics experts often attempt to retrieve the evidence. Now, there is a way to tell how well these …

Self-Learning Heating Control System

Factory halls, airport terminals and high-rise office buildings are often equipped with automated “anticipatory” heating systems. These systems work with pre-defined scenarios specially calculated for the building and help save building owners a great …

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