Sci-Tech

  • To qualify for lucrative defense research work, Florida research park undergoes anti-terrorism makeover

    Florida’s largest research park, located in east Orange County, has quietly and subtly transformed some of its most prominent facilities into anti-terrorism fortresses for the high-tech military agencies located there; the research center has now become a defense-industry “nerve center” that looks and operates more like a military base than ever before

  • Software to cut millions from nuclear clean-up bill

    New software lets planners work out the best way of breaking up and packing contaminated equipment while minimizing workers’ radiation exposure. It also shows in minute detail how radioactive waste can be stored in the smallest possible space, reducing the number of long-term storage containers needed

  • L.I. homeland security research center to get $1 million from DHS

    Long island’s Morelly Homeland Security Center to receive $1 million in earmarks in DHS Appropriations Act; the center aims to adapt next-generation technologies to be used by first responders in case of a terrorist attack or natural disaster

  • U.S. nuclear safety agency unveils new data, physical security controls

    NNSA the rollout of new information and physical security controls aimed at balancing efficiency and safety; officials said, though, that the implementation of cybersecurity improvements is about a year behind the progress the agency has made on physical protection

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  • Breakthrough: day of terahertz remote sensing nears

    Terahertz (THz) wave technology, has great potential for homeland security and military uses because it can “see through” clothing and packaging materials and can identify immediately the unique THz “fingerprints” of any hidden materials; a major breakthrough opens the way for detecting hidden explosives, chemical, biological agents, and illegal drugs from a distance of twenty meters

  • ICE activates Secure Communities in ten more west Texas counties

    Secure Communities uses biometrics to prioritize immigration enforcement actions against convicted criminal aliens; with the addition of ten new Texas counties, all eighteen westernmost counties of Texas are currently using Secure Communities

  • To prevent terrorism we need better understanding of the process of radicalization

    Why do some radical people turn to violence while others do not? Experts say that we really do not know for sure, but we need to know if we want to strengthen our counter-terrorism measures; until the understanding of this improves, the efforts to stop further terrorist attacks will continue to rely on a lot of luck

  • Leaking well may be sealed ahead of schedule

    The Deepwater Horizon may be sealed a month or so ahead of schedule — during the second half of July rather than the second half of August — owing to three positive developments: one of two relief wells being drilled will be in a position to engage in “bottom kill” in several days; the containment ship Helix Producer, capable of capturing an additional 53,000 barrels of oil a day, is on station; BP is pressing ahead with plans to swap the current leaky containment cap with a new, no-leak, bolt-down cap

  • New counter-IED approach: flying car

    California based company offers a solution to the vexing IED problem: a car flying car; if soldiers find themselves in a tactical situation requiring a quick escape, they can flip a switch and the car just shoots up in the air; in April DARPA invited engineers to dream up a flying car — for the initial design of which it allocated $54 million — to give the military an “unprecedented capability to avoid traditional and asymmetrical threats while avoiding road obstructions” through vertical takeoff and landing

  • U.K. approves well-capping and containment study; new prevention, mitigation solutions sought

    In response to BP’s Gulf disaster, the U.K. offshore oil and gas advisory group charged its technical review group to proceed with developing new solutions for preventing or mitigating similar catastrophes in the future; over the past twenty years nearly 7,000 wells have been successfully drilled in the U.K. continental shelf

  • Louisiana, coastal scientists in bitter dispute over how to limit damage of oil spill

    Louisiana leaders, desperate to prevent oil from the hitting Barataria Bay, a vast estuary in southeast Louisiana that boasts one of the most productive fisheries in the country, want to build a rock dikes across several major tidal inlets between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico to block and then capture the oil; about 100,000 tons of rock began being loaded onto 75 barges on the Mississippi River for transport to the coast; scientists say the dikes would do irreversible damage to existing barrier islands and coastal wetlands, and the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the project

  • GAO: U.S. lacks cybersecurity R&D master plan, leadership, coordination

    GAO says United States does not have prioritized national cybersecurity research and development agenda; “Without a current national cybersecurity R&D agenda, the nation is at risk that agencies and private sector companies may focus on their individual priorities, which may not be the most important national research priorities,” auditors wrote

  • Detecting buried plastic pipes

    As the utility infrastructure ages, metal pipes, such as cast iron gas mains, are rapidly being replaced with plastic ones; buried plastic pipes are notoriously difficult to detect using current methods which are expensive, inefficient, and in many cases do not produce the quick and accurate results required; an Oxford University spin-out offers a solution

  • U.S., U.K. military leaders address climate change's role as a global threat multiplier

    Conflict brought on by droughts, famine, and unwelcome migration are as old as history itself. Yet, a growing number of military analysts think that climate change will exacerbate these problems worldwide and are encouraging countries to prepare to maintain order even as shrinking resources make their citizens more desperate; Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti: “We see climate change as a threat multiplier, as a catalyst for conflict”

  • Australia could face climate refugees

    Australia could face a wave of climate refugees from neighboring Pacific islands unless rich nations help poorer countries with climate change, scientists warned; the 900 climate scientists gathered at a the conference heard specialists say that Australia is already experiencing the effects of climate change and is likely to be one of the most severely affected among developed countries