• PG&E in 106 MW combined solar-thermal-biofuel hybrid power

    Pacific Gas and Electricity to build a combined solar-thermal-biofuel hybrid power plant in California which will deliver a total of 700 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually of renewable electricity to PG&E customers throughout northern and central parts of the state

  • iRobot to commercialize endurance record-holding undersea robot

    iRobot licenses endurance record-holder Seaglider from the University of Washington; Seaglider can operate at sea for months at a time in challenging conditions

  • Plasma-propelled flying saucer

    University of Florida researcher designs a plasma-propelled flying saucer — the patent application calls it “wingless electromagnetic air vehicle” — which may be used for surveillance purposes; vehicle powered by magnetohydrodynamics — the force created when a current or a magnetic field is passed through a conducting fluid

  • U.S. nuclear recycling plans raise proliferation risks

    GAO says that the Department of Energy’s new approach to recycling nuclear materials — or rather, the department’s 2006 decision to go back to a more traditional plutonium separation method — increases the risk of nuclear proliferation

  • Robotic suit could usher in super soldier - and super first responder -- era

    Exoskeleton” suit senses every movement the wearer makes and almost instantly amplifying it; suit multiplies the strength and endurance of the wearer by as many as twenty times; in tests, people who normally press 200 pounds found themselves pressing 500 pounds

  • DARPA: Hits, misses, and projects to watch

    Over the years DARPA has funded thousands of research projects; some were hugely successful, others were howlers; all evinced an intellectual restlessness, deep curiosity, and a willingness to fail while trying - all characteristics not typically associated with a government agency

  • DARPA celebrates 50 year anniversary

    DARPA was created in 1958 following the Soviet surprise launch of Sputnik; President Dwight Eisenhower defined the new agency’s mission in three words: “prevent technological surprises”; according to current DARPA director Tony Tether, over the years DARPA has modified its mission by adding to “prevent technological surprises” an important component: “create them”

  • Sustaining bridge infrastructure through Bridge Information Modeling

    Bentley offers end-to-end bridge solution which will allow bridge engineers to create and renovate bridge infrastructure

  • Energy from vortices

    When water flows over an underwater obstacle, whirlpools or vortices form alternately above and below it; the vortices create a tugging effect, so the result is an alternating force that yanks the object up and down; Wolverines researchers want to harness the power of vortices to generate energy

  • Simulating hurricanes to test buildings' resilience

    Researchers built a system of “blower boxes” which exert pressure on buildings similar to the buffeting of winds from gusts exceeding 250 kilometers per hour; the goal is to find ways to construct sturdier, more resilient structures

  • Quota for visas for professionals met on first day; lottery set

    US authorities said Tuesday they had received too many applications for a visa program for skilled workers for the coming year, meaning a random lottery will determine the winners

  • Questions raised anew about space elevator stability

    As we place more systems in space — soon, perhaps, weapon platforms to counteract China’s growing anti-satellite warfare capabilities — there is a growing need to service and maintain these systems; one way to do so relatively on the cheap is to build a space elevator, but the stability of such an elevator is raising questions

  • Preparing for the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat

    One unexpected lesson of the many nuclear tests conducted by the superpowers in the late 1950s and early 1960s was that high-altitude nuclear blasts create far-reaching atmospheric effects that could instantly shut down power grids; as modern life becomes ever-more dependent on electronic gadgets, and as the proliferation of nuclear weapons and missiles continue, fear grows that an adversary will seek to cripple the United States by creating an atmospheric EMP effect

  • Southern California utility to push solar power

    Southern California Edison, largest utility in California, will place 250 MW of photovoltaic generators on 65 million square feet of roofs of Southern California commercial buildings

  • U.K.'s Future Soldier / Science and Engineering Week a success

    Two events — Future Soldier and National Science and Engineering Week — took place in London, showing how government, industry, and academia can fruitfully cooperate to promote science, engineering, and technology education