Dr. Robert Hebner, the director of the University of Texas' center for electromechanics, is working with flywheel batteries and attempting to reduce the size and weight of battery power on the international space station through advances in materials research and controls. "Our work involves making composites used for the flywheel that are stronger and lighter than steel," says Hebner. "We do all the processing and testing too," he says. Hebner hopes to have the project, which is managed by the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, complete in five years when the current space station batteries need replacing. NASA estimates the savings to the space station program will exceed $200 million. For more information, contact Dr. Hebner at (512) 232-1628 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
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