• Truly autonomous systems to learn “on the fly”

    Almost all artificial intelligence, or AI, technology is reliant on the availability of massive amounts of data, but engineers are now trying to develop machines that can learn “on the fly” in situations where there is little data to inform them. The engineers hope their efforts will assist the Department of Defense in the development of truly autonomous systems that can not only operate in challenging environments but also survive disruptions or recognize when they are fatal.

  • Syracuse University team wins 2018 National Cyber Analyst Challenge

    A team of Syracuse University students was awarded first place and $20,000 in the National Cyber Analyst Challenge (NCAC) at Temple University in Philadelphia in April. At NCAC, students are given six hours and a large set of network traffic data to identify the origins of a cyberattack and its potential damage, and then make a seven-minute presentation of their findings and recommendations to a panel of C-suite-level judges from industry.

  • Many low-lying atoll islands uninhabitable by mid-21st century

    Sea-level rise and wave-driven flooding will negatively impact freshwater resources on many low-lying atoll islands in such a way that many could be uninhabitable in just a few decades. Scientists found that such flooding not only will impact terrestrial infrastructure and habitats, but, more importantly, it will also make the limited freshwater resources non-potable and, therefore, directly threaten the sustainability of human populations.

  • Resilience vs. retreat in the face of climate change

    More than 250 million people will be displaced by climate change by 2050. No nation will be able to escape the consequences of climate change, but Small Island Developing States (SIDS)—such as the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, and the Bahamas—will be some of the hardest hit. “Retreat” is a word that frequently comes up in this context: the idea being that people will need to move out of the lands that are most at risk.

  • Net and harpoon to tackle space junk problem

    The U.S. Space Surveillance Network tracks 40,000 objects and it is estimated that there are more than 7,600 tons of space junk in and around Earth’s orbit - with some moving faster than a speeding bullet, approaching speeds of 30,000 miles per hour. An Active Debris Removal (ADR) mission designed to demonstrate technologies to remove space junk launched on Monday 2 April from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station.

  • Exploring Arctic clues to secure future

    The Arctic is undergoing rapid change, with sea ice melting and temperatures rising at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world. Its changing environment affects global security, politics, the economy and the climate. Understanding these changes is crucial for shaping and safeguarding U.S. security in the future, Sandia scientists say.

  • Next California's Big One could kill hundreds, cause $100 billion in losses, trap 20,000 in elevators

    What will happen when the next big earthquake hits northern California? Researchers say that if a tremor similar in magnitude to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake were to hit today, it could kill 800 people, cause more than $100 billion in economic losses from the shaking and subsequent fires, and trap roughly 20,000 people in elevators across northern California.

  • California suffering: Severe climate future for the state

    California is headed for a future of precipitation extremes. Researchers say that the state will experience a much greater number of extremely wet and extremely dry weather seasons — especially wet — by the end of the century. The authors also predict that there will be a major increase in the likelihood of severe flooding events, and that there will be many more quick changes from one weather extreme to the other.

  • Lawmakers question Pruitt’s proposal to limit EPA’s use of science

    The EPA has announced new policy-making rules which, critics say, are aimed to reduce the role of science in the agency’s decisions. EPA’s proposal would limit the scientific information used in rulemaking, allow the agency to ignore scientific studies where the underlying data has not been made public, and force the agency to only use scientific data that can be reproduced. Lawmakers yesterday sent a detailed letter to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, requesting more information on his proposal.

  • Making combat vehicles lighter

    The military spends several billion dollars each year on fuel consumption, which could be reduced by lessening the weight of ships, aircraft, ground vehicles, and cargo. Researchers have developed and successfully tested a novel process — called Friction Stir Dovetailing — that joins thick plates of aluminum to steel. The new process will be used to make lighter-weight military vehicles that are more agile and fuel efficient.

  • Rapid rise in mass school shootings in U.S.

    The Columbine High School mass shooting occurred on 20 April 1999. More people have died or been injured in mass school shootings in the United States in the past eighteen years than in the entire twentieth century. During the twentieth century, mass school shootings killed 55 people. Since the start of the twenty-first century there have already been 13 incidents of mass school shooting, in which 66 people have been killed.

  • Understanding explosive sensitivity with molecule design

    Explosives have an inherent problem - they should be perfectly safe for handling and storage but detonate reliably on demand. Using computer modeling and a novel molecule design technique, scientists have replaced one “arm” of an explosive molecule to help unravel the first steps in the detonation process and better understand its sensitivity — how easily it begins a violent reaction.

  • The 100th meridian, where the Great Plains begin, shifting eastward

    In 1878, the American geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell drew an invisible line in the dirt—the 100th meridian west, the longitude he identified as the boundary between the humid eastern United States and the arid Western plains. Now, 140 years later, scientists that the line appears to be slowly moving eastward, due to climate change. They say it will almost certainly continue shifting in coming decades, expanding the arid climate of the western plains into what we think of as the Midwest. The implications for farming and other pursuits could be huge.

  • Developing secure mobile apps

    Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and the applications (apps) we load onto them have become indispensable to our daily lives—both personal and professional. However, mobile apps are susceptible to malware, ransomware, spyware, coding flaws and other attacks that could compromise personal data stored on the device. Apps also can be used to gain access to sensitive enterprise resources.

     

  • New technology removes phosphorus from manure

    Excess phosphorus, primarily in runoff from land application of manure, accounts for about 66 percent of impaired conditions of U.S. rivers and has created large areas of eutrophication — dead zones — in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, where aquatic life cannot survive. Nutrient pollution is one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. Researchers have developed an innovation that could have a huge impact on water quality problems in the United States, a system capable of removing almost all phosphorus from stored livestock manure.