• Climate challengesA Climate in Crisis Calls for Investment in Direct Air Capture

    There is a growing consensus among scientists as well as national and local governments representing hundreds of millions of people, that humanity faces a climate crisis that demands a crisis response. New research explores one possible mode of response: a massively funded program to deploy direct air capture (DAC) systems that remove CO2 directly from the ambient air and sequester it safely underground.

  • Water securityFinding Toxic Chemicals in Drinking Water

    Most consumers of drinking water in the United States know that chemicals are used in the treatment processes to ensure the water is safe to drink. But they might not know that the use of some of these chemicals, such as chlorine, can also lead to the formation of unregulated toxic byproducts.

  • Nuclear powerWant Cheaper Nuclear Energy? Turn the Design Process into a Game

    By Kim Martineau

    Nuclear energy provides more carbon-free electricity in the United States than solar and wind combined, making it a key player in the fight against climate change. But the U.S. nuclear fleet is aging, and operators are under pressure to streamline their operations to compete with coal- and gas-fired plants. Researchers show that deep reinforcement learning can be used to design more efficient nuclear reactors.

  • FirefightersGroundbreaking Firefighter Tracking Technology

    In the U.S. alone, approximately 80 to 100 firefighters are lost in the line of duty each year according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. More than 50,000 are injured according to the National Fire Protection Association.  Countless others risk their lives every day to serve and protect our communities. Last month, S&T and NASA JPL successfully tested the Precision Outdoor and Indoor Navigation and Training for Emergency Responders (POINTER) technology.

  • GridGuiding Research Direction for Grid-Forming Inverters

    Power electronics—including the inverters that interface solar, wind, battery energy storage, and electric vehicles—are on track to gradually, or even entirely, displace traditional generation. In doing so, inverters will inherit new responsibilities and introduce a new set of challenges.

  • GridGuiding Research Direction for Grid-Forming Inverters

    Power electronics—including the inverters that interface solar, wind, battery energy storage, and electric vehicles—are on track to gradually, or even entirely, displace traditional generation. In doing so, inverters will inherit new responsibilities and introduce a new set of challenges.

  • Airport securityScreening Masked Faces at Airports: 96% Accuracy in Recent Test

    A controlled scenario test by the DHS S&T shows promising results for facial recognition technologies to accurately identify individuals wearing protective face masks.

  • Water securityCapturing Potable Water from Air

    DARPA recently awarded five contracts and selected one government partner to develop technology to capture potable water from the air in quantities sufficient to meet critical DoD needs, even in extremely dry climates. The Atmospheric Water Extraction (AWE) performers aim to meet clean water needs of deployed troops, even in austere environments.

  • ARGUMENT: Anti-technology terrorismThe Nashville Bombing and Threats to Critical Infrastructure: We Saw This Coming

    If fear of 5G technology proves to be the motive for the Christmas-Day bombing in Nashville, Tennessee, no one should be surprised. Audrey Kurth Cronin writes that if [Nashville bomber] Anthony Warner was indeed protesting 5G networks, it shines a light on the long-standing need for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement to meld global and local efforts to get ahead of cyber-driven threats to critical infrastructure. “Authorities need to strengthen their ability to meet anti-technology attacks on our vulnerable critical infrastructure, especially by looking close to home.”

  • Energy securityIt’s Electrifying! Earth Could Be Entirely Powered by Sustainable Energy

    Can you imagine a world powered by 100 percent renewable electricity and fuels? It may seem fantasy, but a collaborative team of scientists has just shown this dream is theoretically possible – if we can garner global buy-in.

  • Nuclear safetyAnalyzing Forensic Signatures of Nuclear Materials to Prevent Smuggling

    A scientific exercise scenario involved seized nuclear materials for which law enforcement requested nuclear forensic analysis to help discern whether the process histories of the two seized materials were consistent with one another and related to similar materials seized previously by authorities. The exercise was part of an international nuclear forensic drill in support of a simulated nuclear smuggling investigation.

  • Nuclear safetyNuclear Waste Storage Canisters to Be Tested

    Three 22.5-ton, 16.5-feet-long stainless-steel storage canisters, with heaters and instrumentation to simulate nuclear waste so researchers can study their durability, will be tested at Sandia National Lab. The three canisters have never contained any nuclear materials. They will be used to study how much salt gathers on canisters over time. Sandia will also study the potential for cracks caused by salt- and stress-induced corrosion with additional canisters that will be delivered during the next stage of the project.

  • BioweaponsNew Bioweapons to Target Specific Groups of People or Individuals

    Genomic technologies develop and converge with artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, affective computing, and robotics, means that increasingly refined records of biometrics, emotions, and behaviors will be captured and analyzed. These data will enable game-changing developments which will enable the development of novel bioweapons which target specific groups of people or individuals.

  • ID during COVIDIdentity Verification in the Age of COVID-19

    Face masks have become a way of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We now wear them nearly everywhere we go—at grocery stores, on public transportation, in schools, at work—any situation that requires us to be around others. But what about at places that require a higher level of security, like airports?

  • DetectionK9 Chemistry: A Safer Way to Train Detection Dogs

    Trained dogs are incredible chemical sensors, far better at detecting explosives, narcotics and other substances than even the most advanced technological device. But one challenge is that dogs have to be trained, and training them with real hazardous substances can be inconvenient and dangerous.