Technology Update

Putting Nuclear Waste to Good Use

What was once considered a dangerous byproduct of nuclear power, may now have a new use that could transform an unused stockpile into a versatile compound of commodity chemicals as well as new energy sources. Depleted uranium (DU) is a radioactive bypr …

Saving Water from Power Plant Cooling

Electricity production is one of the industries that uses the most water in the country each day, but that may soon change. That is because researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are helping the largest power plant in the United States identify th …

Safer, Smarter Improvement to PA Foundries

Small-to-medium-sized foundries across Pennsylvania are learning to transition away from using harmful silica sands in the metal casting process and also reducing costs through 3D printing. The project is being supported by two grants totaling $140,000 …

‘Uncrackable’ Security System

Just-created optical chips enables information to be sent from user to user using a one-time un-hackable communication that achieves “perfect secrecy” will allow confidential data to be protected more securely than ever before on public classical commu …

Boosting Security of Chemical Process Control Systems

A process is now in development to enhance cybersecurity of chemical process control systems. Smart manufacturing processes are becoming more automated with the help of algorithms that aim to boost profits, reduce resource use and decrease human error. …

Scrubbing Carbon Dioxide from Smokestacks

There is now a better way to scrub carbon dioxide from smokestack emissions, which could be a key to mitigating global climate change, a researcher said. Atmospheric CO2 has increased 40 percent since the dawn of the industrial age, contributing heavil …

Smart Car Security Needs ‘Active Guardian Process’

Smart cars have opened the door to limitless possibilities for technology and innovation, but as it is with everything connected these days, the potential of threats reaches beyond the car itself. In a move to apply criminal justice theory to smart veh …

Encryption Key Cracking Record Set

An international team of computer scientists set a record for two of the most important computational problems that are the basis for nearly all of the public-key cryptography that is currently used in the real world. Public-key cryptography is used in …

Fire Footage Helps Power Plant Safety

High energy arcing faults are high-power electrical discharges between two or more conductors that can release tens of thousands of amps of current. They can result in explosions that reach about 35,000 degrees Celsius — about the temperature of lightn …

Securing Drones, Robotic Cars Against Attacks

Robotic vehicles like delivery drones or Mars rovers can be hacked more easily than people may think, new research has found. Three types of stealth attacks on robotic vehicles caused machines to crash, miss their targets or complete their missions muc …

Black Silicon Sensor can Uncover Explosives

An ultrasensitive detector based on black silicon could be able to detect trace amounts of nitroaromatic compounds to identify the majority of explosives or highly toxic pollutants. This sensor is based on black silicon fabricated by high-performing re …

Big Data Makes Pipelines Safer

Oil and gas pipelines have become polarizing issues. The reason being is when they work, it is great, but when something goes wrong, like a spill or an explosion, it goes really wrong. Because they are not going away, in the end, everyone will agree th …

Robot Finds Source of Nuclear Radiation

A robot prototype is in development that can identify the source of nuclear radiation and whether it has been shielded to avoid detection. The detection of neutrons from a radioactive element in a U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) Princeton Plasma Phys …

GANs for Nuclear Waste Remediation

A research collaboration achieved exaflop performance on the Summit supercomputer with a deep learning application used to model subsurface flow in the study of nuclear waste remediation. “In science we know the laws of physics and observation principl …

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 …

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