Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (www.rpi.edu) have successfully located defects on a space shuttle foam sample by using terahertz radiation (T-rays). Lying within the far-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, T-rays could be used as a nondestructive and effective complement to x-rays or ultrasound in examining the insulating foam that is applied to each space shuttle's fuel tank prior to launch, researchers said. Investigators believe that the Columbia crash in February may have been caused by foam insulation breaking away and striking the left wing of the spacecraft.
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
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.