Nuclear detonations caught the world's attention this summer when India and Pakistan tested their potential strength. To monitor the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty, scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA) developed two devices for detect nuclear detonations. The Automated Radioxenon Sampler/Analyzer (ARSA) and the Radionuclide Aerosol Sampler/Analyzer (RASA) inspect the atmosphere for traces of radioactive material. Once activated, the systems will be located around the globe as an international monitoring system. ARSA analyzes air samples for radioactive xenon or radioxenon that seeps from underground nuclear explosions. The system collects air samples and processes them to trap the radioactive xenon on cold charcoal. RASA detects fission products from atmospheric explosions. It daily filters a huge volume of air to check for evidence of fission products from a nuclear explosion that attach to dust particles. Information collected by the ARSA, RASA, and other monitoring systems at the global stations will be passed on to an international data center. Call (202) 586-5806.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.