• Insect-inspired arm technology improve drone design

    A drone delivery is great – on a perfect, sunny day. But what about when it’s windy? Most drones are not able to withstand wind because of their fixed-arm design. Researchers have come up with a patented design for drones that works in windy conditions, is more energy-efficient and can handle a larger payload.

  • Hurricane Maria's extreme rainfall due mostly to human-caused climate change

    Hurricane Maria dropped more rain on Puerto Rico than any storm to hit the island since 1956, a feat due mostly to the effects of human-caused climate warming, new research finds.

  • How Columbine became a blueprint for school shooters

    When twelve students and one teacher were killed in Littleton, Colorado twenty years ago, it not only became what at the time was the worst high school shooting in U.S. history. It also marked when American society was first handed a script for a new form of violence in schools. Since the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School, we identified six mass shootings and forty active shooter incidents at elementary, middle or high schools in the United States. In twenty – or nearly half – of those forty-six school shootings, the perpetrator purposely used Columbine as a model.

  • S&T seeking partners for first responder technology R&D

    DHS S&T said it was inviting industry, academia, laboratories, and the innovation community to submit white papers related to twelve first responder technology funding opportunities. S&T said that each of the twelve topic areas “represent technology needs identified by responders themselves, and we are seeking the best partners to turn these needs into solutions.”

  • Climate change: Our greatest national security threat?

    The climate century is here: the earth is warming, humans are to blame, and we must take immediate action now to prepare for climate change’s massively disruptive consequences. Mark Nevitt writes in Just Security that No longer can climate change be categorized solely as an environmental issue—it is a grave threat to national security. Indeed, it may be the threat. While there are many national security challenges facing the nation and the world, climate change is an aptly described “super wicked” problem that exacerbates and accelerates already existing threats.

  • Defending the Earth from asteroids

    A mere 17-20 meters across, the Chelyabinsk meteor caused extensive ground damage and numerous injuries when it exploded on impact with Earth’s atmosphere in February 2013. To prevent another such impact, researchers use a simple yet ingenious way to spot these tiny near-Earth objects (NEOs) as they hurtle toward the planet.

  • Identifying new way to improve cybersecurity

    With cybersecurity one of the nation’s top security concerns and billions of people affected by breaches last year, government and businesses are spending more time and money defending against it. Researchers have identified a new way to improve network security.

  • Sensing earthquakes in a new way to help improve early warning systems

    Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell the difference between life and death. Researchers demonstrate a new earthquake detection method — their technique exploits subtle telltale gravitational signals traveling ahead of the tremors. Future research could boost early warning systems.

  • Novel compact antenna for communicating where radios fail

    A new type of pocket-sized antenna could enable mobile communication in situations where conventional radios don’t work, such as under water, through the ground and over very long distances through air. The 4-inch-tall device could be used in portable transmitters for rescue missions and other challenging applications demanding high mobility.

  • New sensors can sense and sort troublesome gases

    From astronauts and submariners to miners and rescue workers, people who operate in small, enclosed spaces need good air quality to work safely and effectively. Newly developed electronic sensors can simultaneously detect at least three critical parameters that are important to monitor to ensure human comfort and safety.

  • Accurately predicting harmful space weather’s “killer” electrons

    A new space weather model reliably predicts space storms of high-energy particles that are harmful to many satellites and spacecraft orbiting in the Earth’s outer radiation belt. The model can accurately give a one-day warning prior to a space storm of ultra-high-speed electrons, often referred to as “killer” electrons because of the damage they can do to spacecraft such as navigation, communications, and weather monitoring satellites.

  • Flying cars: automating the skies means playing with our lives

    Recent research suggests that flying cars could eventually be a sustainable way to free up roads. The first models are set to hit our skies in 2019 as personal playthings, while industry sees them as taxis and commuter vehicles of the future. But as Harry Potter’s encounter with the Whomping Whillow reminds us, flying cars can be dangerous. Before futuristic visions of three-dimensional sprawling city traffic can approach reality, there are some serious safety issues that need addressing.

  • New device creates electricity from snowfall

    Researchers and colleagues have designed a new device that creates electricity from falling snow. The first of its kind, this device is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic.

  • Biologically inspired network protection software

    Electrical engineers look to the human immune system for clues on how to best protect digital networks. It’s a concept that’s beginning to be explored more and more by researchers in a variety of fields: What does the human body do well and how can we adapt those mechanisms to improve technology or engineering systems?

  • Why the Great Plains has such epic weather

    From 78 degrees on Tuesday to snow on Wednesday? Swings like this aren’t unusual in the central United States, where weather can quickly shift from one extreme to another. What generates such “big weather” on the Great Plains?