Tag Archives: facility

NASA Radar Penetrates Thick, Thin of Gulf Oil Spill

PASADENA, Calif. – Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have developed a method to use a specialized NASA 3-D imaging radar to characterize the oil in oil spills, such as the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The research can be used to improve response operations during future marine oil spills.

Caltech graduate student Brent Minchew and JPL researchers Cathleen Jones and Ben Holt analyzed NASA radar imagery collected over the main slick of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on June 22 and June 23, 2010. The data were acquired by the JPL-developed Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) during the first of its three deployments over the spill area between June 2010 and July 2012. The UAVSAR was carried in a pod mounted beneath a NASA C-20A piloted aircraft, a version of the Gulfstream III business jet, based at NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. The researchers demonstrated, for the first time, that a radar system like UAVSAR can be used to characterize the oil within a slick, distinguishing very thin films like oil sheen from more damaging thick oil emulsions. (more…)

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Another Advance on the Road to Spintronics

Berkeley Lab Researchers Unlock Ferromagnetic Secrets of Promising Materials

Spintronic technology, in which data is processed on the basis of electron “spin” rather than charge, promises to revolutionize the computing industry with smaller, faster and more energy efficient data storage and processing. Materials drawing a lot of attention for spintronic applications are dilute magnetic semiconductors – normal semiconductors to which a small amount of magnetic atoms is added to make them ferromagnetic. Understanding the source of ferromagnetism in dilute magnetic semiconductors has been a major road-block impeding their further development and use in spintronics. Now a significant step to removing this road-block has been taken.

A multi-institutional collaboration of researchers led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), using a new technique called HARPES, for Hard x-ray Angle-Resolved PhotoEmission Spectroscopy, has investigated the bulk electronic structure of the prototypical dilute magnetic semiconductor gallium manganese arsenide. Their findings show that the material’s ferromagnetism arises from both of the two different mechanisms that have been proposed to explain it. (more…)

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Rewriting the Rules of Teamwork

EAST LANSING, Mich. — As scientists from different disciplines and regions help design a world-class nuclear research facility at Michigan State University, a team of MSU researchers will conduct one of the first major studies of how teams work together.

Using surveys, interviews and high-tech devices that monitor interaction, the researchers will study teamwork among the many groups of physicists, engineers and other scientists involved in the creation of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB.

The three-year study is funded by a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. (more…)

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How Technology is Changing Kenya

It is not often you think about how technology can affect an entire country, but the upsurge of affordable smart phones and portable internet have made a huge impact on the everyday lives on Kenyans. Not only do people now have access to things around the world, but they also have educational and health opportunities they have never had before. The idea of using smart phones as makeshift computers is nothing new, especially in developing countries. Where the income is limited, a smartphone can be a costly expense. However, having access to current technology will allow Kenyans to expand and grow in the world economy. To that end, here are some examples of improvements that new technology has had in the lives of Kenyans: (more…)

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Rust Never Sleeps

Berkeley Lab-led Observations of Electron Hopping in Iron Oxide Hold Consequences for Environment and Energy

Rust – iron oxide – is a poor conductor of electricity, which is why an electronic device with a rusted battery usually won’t work. Despite this poor conductivity, an electron transferred to a particle of rust will use thermal energy to continually move or “hop” from one atom of iron to the next. Electron mobility in iron oxide can hold huge significance for a broad range of environment- and energy-related reactions, including reactions pertaining to uranium in groundwater and reactions pertaining to low-cost solar energy devices. Predicting the impact of electron-hopping on iron oxide reactions has been problematic in the past, but now, for the first time, a multi-institutional team of researchers, led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have directly observed what happens to electrons after they have been transferred to an iron oxide particle. (more…)

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