Cornell University researchers are expressing hope for the future of Houston's breathable air, despite the city's poor rankings in the American Lung Association's 2019 'State of the Air' report. The report, released in April, ranked Houston ninth nationally for worst ozone pollution and 17th for particle pollution. Researchers say replacing at least 35 percent of Houston's gasoline cars and diesel trucks with electric vehicles by 2040 will reduce pollution and improve air quality by 50 percent.
Some have dreamt of the perfect cloak to make buildings impervious to stress waves caused by bombs, earthquakes or other calamities. Sorry, researchers are now dashing the dream. But there's still hope. They also say it's possible to make imperfect, real-world cloaks that will actually do some good by adding significant partial protection against some common earthquake waves.
A team of roboticists at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and MIT has developed a new way to design pistons that replaces their conventional rigid elements with a mechanism using compressible structures inside a membrane made of soft materials. The resulting 'tension pistons' generate more than three times the force of comparable conventional pistons, eliminate much of the friction, and at low pressures are up to 40 percent more energy efficient.
Researchers have demonstrated that vehicle armor using composite metal foam (CMF) can stop ball and armor-piercing .50 caliber rounds as well as conventional steel armor, even though it weighs less than half as much. The finding means that vehicle designers will be able to develop lighter military vehicles without sacrificing safety, or can improve protection without making vehicles heavier.
A group of scientists in USA has developed the first-ever standardized method of evaluating commercially available driver-monitoring systems. The researchers hope to use their method in a more complex way by incorporating more factors and looking at more scenarios. These include a lighting device that could be used in the lab to simulate real light conditions as well as a few other sites that could enhance the method's accuracy and efficiency even further.
A group of American and Chinese researchers has designed and tested a microgrid system that is both robust and reliable -- and therefore capable of delivering energy safely and without interruptions. This is particularly important during harsh weather conditions and times of peak consumption and is critical for economic growth.
A team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego have discovered what's responsible for making the teeth of the deep-sea dragonfish transparent. This unique adaptation, which helps camouflage the dragonfish from their prey, results from their teeth having an unusually crystalline nanostructure mixed with amorphous regions. The findings could provide 'bioinspiration' for researchers looking to develop transparent ceramics.
'The Doppler shift patterns produced by the ear motions could give these bat species the option to concentrate their energy in a narrow frequency band yet be also able to tell target direction.'
Mechanisms behind the effects of ice on physical structures -- particularly over the long term -- have remained an open question in a time of continuous environmental change. Researchers at Aalto University have developed a new method of assessing how ever-moving, heavy loads of ice affect structures like bridges or even wind turbines across a wide variety of conditions over the very long term, even centuries.
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has announced the release of ActiveVision, a machine vision tool that transportation agencies can use to autonomously detect and report traffic condition changes. ActiveVision's algorithms process camera data to provide real-time information on weather conditions and other anomalies affecting congestion. Designed for integration with intelligent transportation systems (ITS), ActiveVision can be configured with existing traffic cameras to analyze roadway conditions with no human monitoring required.