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.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.