• Kibbutz Farmers Defy Death and Ruin with Robotic Greenhous

    By Abigail Klein Leichman

    Two Gaza-area farms join with agricultural robotics startup to restart and upgrade their operations despite having suffered personal loss and injury.

  • Saving Seconds, Saving Lives: NIST-Funded Challenge Crowns Winners in 3D Tracking Technology

    NIST has awarded $1.9 million to six teams for innovative 3D tracking solutions in the final phase of a competition. The winning designs combine localization and biometric monitoring, using sensors affixed to first responders’ equipment. This competition is part of an $8 million NIST-funded initiative to address first responders’ need for improved tracking in emergency settings where GPS falls short.

  • Researchers Release Open-Source Space Debris Model

    By Janine Liberty

    With the escalating congestion in low Earth orbit, driven by a surge in satellite deployments, the risk of collisions and space debris proliferation is a pressing concern. Conducting thorough space environment studies is critical for developing effective strategies for fostering responsible and sustainable use of space resources. The MIT Orbital Capacity Assessment Tool lets users model the long-term future space environment.

  • Identifying Types of Cyberattacks That Manipulate Behavior of AI Systems

    AI systems can malfunction when exposed to untrustworthy data – what is called “adversarial machine learning” — and attackers are exploiting this issue. New guidance documents the types of these attacks, along with mitigation approaches. No foolproof method exists as yet for protecting AI from misdirection, and AI developers and users should be wary of any who claim otherwise.

  • Electric vs. Gasoline Vehicles: Is EV Ownership Competitive in Your Area?

    Is it actually cheaper to own an electric vehicle instead of a gas vehicle? It depends. Researchers say that where you live matters. Cumulative recurring costs for a midsize SUV across platforms—traditional gasoline, hybrid and electric—are higher in some cities when taking key factors into account: financing, annual fees, insurance, maintenance, repairs and fuel costs.

  • Revolutionizing Resource Renewal: Scaling Up Sustainable Recycling for Critical Materials

    Permanent magnets, which retain magnetic properties even in the absence of an inducing field or current, are used extensively in clean energy and defense applications. Rare earths are challenging to access because they are scattered across Earth’s crust, yet they are key components in many modern technologies. Recycled rare earths can be used to make new permanent magnets, accelerate chemical reactions and improve the properties of metals when included as alloy components.

  • Speedier Security Screening in the Palm of the Hand

    Though pat downs are currently an essential element of keeping travelers safe at the airport, it slows the screening process for people waiting in line and can be an uncomfortable experience for the passenger being screened. Reducing the need for pat downs may soon be easier.

  • Plagues, Cyborgs, and Supersoldiers: The Human Domain of War

    How have advancements in biotechnology affected warfighting, and how could they do so in the future? Can the human body itself be a warfighting domain? Can the body itself be an offensive or defensive weapon?

  • Seven Moments in December that Changed Nuclear Energy History

    December is a big month in the history of nuclear energy. From the first self-sustaining chain reaction to a pivotal breakthrough in nuclear fusion, some of the biggest events that laid the foundation for the nuclear energy sector all happened in the final month of the year.

  • Leveraging Artificial Intelligence in Explosives, Narcotic Detection

    DHS S&T is applying emerging technologies in the development of artificial intelligence / machine learning technologies – and searching for ways to use these technologies to identify dangerous compounds, like those found in explosives and narcotics.

  • Enhancing Coastal Cities' Flood Resilience Through Smart City Technologies

    In the face of climate change, a suite of advanced technologies can be integrated into urban design to reduce the flood risk posed by rising sea levels, more intense rainfall events, and more powerful storm surges.

  • Does AI Enable and Enhance Biorisks?

    The diversity of the biorisk landscape highlights the need to clearly identify which scenarios and actors are of concern. It is important to consider AI-enhanced risk within the current biorisk landscape, in which both experts and non-experts can cause biological harm without the need for AI tools, thus highlighting the need for layered safeguards throughout the biorisk chain.

  • Generative AI and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Will AI Lead to Proliferation?

    Large Language Models (LLMs) caught popular attention in 2023 through their ability to generate text based on prompts entered by the user. Ian J. Stewart writes that “some have raised concerns about the ability of LLMs to contribute to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons proliferation (CBRN). Put simply, could a person learn enough through an interaction with an LLM to produce a weapon? And if so, would this differ from what the individual could learn by scouring the internet?”

  • New Nuclear Deflection Simulations Advance Planetary Defense Against Asteroid Threats

    As part of an effort to test different technologies to protect Earth from asteroids, a kinetic impactor was deliberately crashed into an asteroid to alter its trajectory. However, with limitations in the mass that can be lifted to space, scientists continue to explore nuclear deflection as a viable alternative to kinetic impact missions. Nuclear devices have the highest ratio of energy density per unit of mass of any human technology, making them an invaluable tool in mitigating asteroid threats.

  • Artificial Intelligence Systems Excel at Imitation, but Not Innovation

    Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are often depicted as sentient agents poised to overshadow the human mind. But AI lacks the crucial human ability of innovation. While children and adults alike can solve problems by finding novel uses for everyday objects, AI systems often lack the ability to view tools in a new way.