A new low-cost black form of silicon reduces its reflexivity from more than 20% to about 5%, thus holding great promise for much more efficient solar cells and other applications, such as thermal imaging and batteries. The key is the substance's nanotexture, created with metal-enhanced etching, reactive ion etching and laser processing.
Viruses designed and produced to deliver disease-fighting engineered genes into a patient’s cells are in short supply as the highly promising field grows from experimentation to real-world application. But a solution may be forthcoming as a number of companies focus on engineering new ways to gear up production.
If you're looking for a simple way to get airborne and have no handy runway, Franky Zapata's Ezfly platform may be just the ticket. The vertical-takeoff-and-landing jet-powered system is configured as a Segway-like platform that can be maneuvered with a joystick and shifts of body weight.
Mud recovered from mudslides in Montecito, Calif., is finding a new use on nearby beaches. Up to 300,000 cubic yards of mud is being trucked to serve as an erosion bulwark in the surf zone at Goleta and Carpinteria beaches.
The USS Portland plans to demonstrate the Navy's new laser weapons system at this year's Rim of the Pacific war games in Hawaii. The system, under development for three years, is due to be installed soon on the amphibious vessel.
The Newport Division of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center is drawing heavily on partnerships and collaboration with local entities "because no single government, industry or academic institution can succeed alone," writes Donald McCormack, the center's director. "Collaboration leads to innovation," McCormack writes, and "innovation leads to more collaboration" that creates a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Another US aircraft carrier and a new amphibious assault ship are taking up positions near the Korean Peninsula ahead of the Olympics next month. Major exercises with US ally South Korea have been postponed until after the Games, but that hasn't prevented North Korea from characterizing the US moves as an "unpardonable military provocation."
The USS Wasp amphibious assault ship is now on duty in Japan as the first forward-deployed warship with F-35B Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. The Wasp takes the place of the USS Bonhomme Richard, which has been based in Japan since 2012.
A single type of missile launcher could be used across a wide range of Navy ships with an adaptable deck launcher now being developed by BAE Systems. The ADL was designed originally for aircraft carriers alone.
Maintenance, alterations and modifications for the USS Princeton are included in an $18.8 million service contract awarded to BAE Systems. The work is scheduled in San Diego and should be completed by September.
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