Researchers Boost Efficiency and Stability of Optical Rectennas
By John Toon – The research team that announced the first optical rectenna in 2015 is now reporting a two-fold efficiency improvement in the devices — and a switch to air-stable diode materials. The improvements could allow the rectennas – which convert electromagnetic fields at optical frequencies directly to electrical current – to operate low-power devices such as temperature sensors.
Optical rectennas operate by coupling the light’s electromagnetic field to an antenna, in this case an array of multiwall carbon nanotubes whose ends have been opened. The electromagnetic field creates an oscillation in the antenna, producing an alternating flow of electrons. When the electron flow reaches a peak at one end of the antenna, the diode closes, trapping the electrons, then re-opens to capture the next oscillation, creating a current flow.
The switching must occur at terahertz frequencies to match the light. The junction between the antenna and diode must provide minimal resistance to electrons flowing through it while open, yet prevent leakage while closed.
“The name of the game is maximizing the number of electrons that get excited in the carbon nanotube, and then having a switch that is fast enough to capture them at their peak,” Baratunde Cola, explained. “The faster you switch, the more electrons you can catch on one side of the oscillation.” more>
- Four Georgia Tech Faculty Named IEEE Fellows, Jackie Nemeth
- Sticking to the Schedule was Difficult for Apollo Astronauts, Jason Maderer
- Using Data Mining to Make Sense of Climate Change, Jason Maderer
- Nanostructured Gate Dielectric Boosts Stability of Organic Thin-Film Transistors, John Toon
- Georgia Tech Researchers Awarded $7.5 Million from Office of Naval Research for Secure Stack, Tess Malone
- Hide or Get Eaten, Urine Chemicals Tell Mud Crabs, Ben Brumfield
- Want to Beat Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs? Rethink Strep Throat Remedies, Ben Brumfield
- Project Will Provide Reaction Kinetics Data for Deterministic Synthesis of Metallic Nanocrystals, John Toon
- WWII Code-Breaking Techniques Inspire Interpretation of Brain Data, Evan Lerner and Ben Brumfield
- One in Five Materials Chemistry Papers May be Wrong, Study Suggests, John Toon
- Piezoelectric Tiles Light the Way for Kennedy Space Center Visitors, John Tibbetts
- Gecko Adhesion Technology Moves Closer To Industrial Uses, Josh Brown
- Nanotexturing Creates Bacteria-Killing Spikes on Stainless Steel Surfaces, John Toon
- Perking Up and Crimping the ‘Bristles’ of Polyelectrolyte Brushes, Ben Brumfield
- Cold Suns, Warm Exoplanets and Methane Blankets, Ben Brumfield
- The Force is Strong: Amputee Controls Individual Prosthetic Fingers, Jason Maderer
- IMPAX Program Accelerates Technology Transition into the Navy, John Toon
- AAAS Honors Cola, Fox and Weitz as Fellows, Ben Brumfield
- A Startup for Every Student, Georgia Parmelee
- The Next Frontier in Industrial Engineering, Georgia Parmelee
Posted in Broadband, EARTH WATCH, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Nature, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, Earth, Ecology, Georgia Tech, Manufacturing, Technology
By Samantha Gross – In the United States and around the world, energy production depends on support from local communities, what the industry calls “social license to operate.” Especially in a democracy, public opposition can make life very difficult for energy producers. Public support for energy resource development depends on trust—in the companies doing the development and in the regulatory structure that governs their activities.
When the Trump administration dismantles energy regulation, it runs the risk of undermining the trust that underpins domestic energy development. U.S. oil and gas production has grown dramatically in recent years, but we have also seen a public backlash.
The proposal to open nearly all U.S. offshore waters to drilling is an opening salvo in a battle likely to go on for some time. Many governors, even Republicans, are vehemently opposed to drilling in waters off their states.
But the hard push toward deregulation is likely to have consequences for public trust, not just in companies, but in government itself. If the public feels that the government is being run by and for the energy industry, accomplishing many important societal goals—like modernizing infrastructure and preventing the worst impacts of climate change—become much more difficult. more>
Posted in Business, CONGRESS WATCH, EARTH WATCH, Economy, Energy & emissions, History, Leadership, Media, Nature, Regulations, Science, Technology
Tagged Business, Climate change, Donald Trump, Ecology, Government, Regulations, United States
GE Is Helping Build A Huge Wind Farm On Santa’s Doorstep, Europe’s Largest
By Dorothy Pomerantz – In Markbygden forest in the northern Sweden, the temperature drops to minus 10 degrees Celsius in the winter and bitter winds blow. That makes this area 60 miles south of the arctic circle uncomfortable for humans, but the sparsely populated region, where real reindeer roam, is perfect for a wind farm.
Engineers there are now building the roads and preparing the land to erect some of the world’s largest wind turbines. When the project is complete, 179 GE turbines, each twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, will rise approximately 140 meters above the forest, where they will catch the nearly ceaseless wind to generate 650 megawatts of electricity. When complete in 2019, it will be the largest operating wind farm in Europe, increasing Sweden’s installed wind generation by 12 percent, says Thomas Thomsen of GE Renewables.
GE machines already power Europe’s largest operational wind farm in Fântânele-Cogealac in Romania, which can generate 600 megawatts. Earlier this year, the company partnered with Spain’s Forestalia Group to supply wind turbines for a planned 1,200-megawatt wind farm near Aragon. The company also will supply turbines for the planned 2,000-megawatt Wind Catcher in the Oklahoma Panhandle, which will be the largest wind farm in the U.S. more>
Posted in Construction, Economic development, Economy, Energy, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, Ecology, GE, Technology, wind energy
Driving Cassini: Doctoral Student Controls Spacecraft in Mission’s Final Days
By Jason Maderer – When the Cassini spacecraft plunges into Saturn on September 15 to end a nearly two-decade mission, Georgia Tech student Michael Staab will have a front row seat. It’s almost literally the driver’s seat.
Staab is working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California while pursuing his aerospace engineering doctoral degree in the distance learning program. He’s a Cassini Spacecraft Flight Controller, which means he’s one of only three people authorized to tell the machine what to do and where to go as it orbits Saturn.
The job is almost finished. Just before 8 a.m. (Atlanta time) on Friday, Staab will hear Cassini’s signal for the final time before it dives into the planet’s atmosphere, becoming a part of Saturn.
Prior to attending Georgia Tech, I was a flight test engineering intern at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California and, later, a test requirements and analysis engineer for Boeing in St. Louis. I had a lot of control room and operations experience, which is exactly what JPL was looking for.
The duty of a flight controller at JPL is fairly straight-forward; we possess absolute command and control authority of the spacecraft when tracking it through the Deep-Space Network. more> https://goo.gl/aAU76G
- Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance Receives $51 Million NIH Grant
- Rogue Wave Analysis Supports Investigation of the El Faro Sinking, John Toon
- Running Roaches, Flapping Moths Create a New Physics of Organisms, John Toon
- As ‘Flesh-Eating’ Leishmania Come Closer, a Vaccine Against Them Does, Too, Ben Brumfield
- Engineering Research Center Will Help Expand Use of Therapies Based on Living Cells, John Toon
- NSF Supports New Mentoring Initiative for Underrepresented Minority Faculty, John Toon
- New Research May Improve Communications During Natural Disasters, Albert Snedeker
- Was the Primordial Soup a Hearty Pre-Protein Stew? Ben Brumfield
- Tech in DC: Intersecting Science and Policy, Victor Rogers
Posted in Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Nature, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Ecology, Georgia Tech, Health, Industrial economy, Physics, Skills, Technology
Aalto-1 satellite sends first image
By Jaan Praks, Antti Kestilä – Launched on the morning of 23 June from India, the Aalto-1 satellite’s first month in space has gone according to plan.
‘We have run checks on the majority of the satellite’s systems and found that the devices are fully functional,’ Professor Jaan Praks, who is heading the satellite project, explains.
‘We have also downloaded the first image sent by Aalto-1, which is also the first ever image taken from a Finnish satellite. It was taken while on orbit over Norway at an altitude of about 500 kilometres. The image shows the Danish coast as well as a portion of the Norwegian coastline.
Unlike traditional cameras, which measure three colours, the hyperspectral camera is able to measure dozens of freely selected narrow color channels. For this reason, it can be utilised for example in surveying forest types, algae and vegetation and as a tool in geological research. more> https://goo.gl/QGMNGu
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Nature, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Aalto University, Business improvement, Earth, Ecology, Leadership, Technology
By Raya Bidshahri – When it comes to climate change, government leaders and politicians must begin to think beyond their term limits and lifetimes. They must ask themselves not how they can serve their voters, but rather how they can contribute to our species’ progress. They must think beyond the short term economic benefits of fossil fuels, and consider the long term costs to our planet.
Climate change is considered one of the greatest threats to our species. If current trends continue, we can expect an increase in frequency of extreme weather events like floods, droughts and heat waves. All of these pose a threat to crops, biodiversity, freshwater supplies and above all, human life.
Here are examples of a few countries leading the way.
Denmark: Considered the most climate-friendly country in the world, Denmark is on the path to be completely independent of fossil fuels by 2050.
China: Home to the world’s biggest solar farm, China is the world’s biggest investor in domestic solar energy and is also expanding its investments in renewable energies overseas.
France: Thanks to the production of nuclear energy, representing 80 percent of nationwide energy production, France has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions.
India: The nation is on the path to becoming the third-largest solar market in the world. Solar power has become cheaper than coal in India.
Sweden: Sweden has passed a law that obliges the government to cut all greenhouse emissions by 2045. With more than half of its energy coming from renewable sources and a very successful recycling program, the country leads many initiatives on climate change. more> https://goo.gl/PPrn3b
Posted in Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Leadership, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, Ecology, extreme weather, Renewable energy