News Article | April 28, 2017
« Technion team devises method for on-demand H2 production from water and aluminum for aviation applications | Main | Ford introduces new Intelligent Speed Limiter in Europe » Researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Chemistry Division have demonstrated that the use of zinc formed into three-dimensional sponges for use as an anode boosts the performance of nickel–zinc alkaline cells in three areas: (i) > 90% theoretical depth of discharge (DOD ) in primary (single-use) cells; (ii) > 100 high-rate cycles at 40% DOD at lithium-ion–commensurate specific energy; and (iii) the tens of thousands of power-demanding duty cycles required for start-stop microhybrid vehicles. Joseph Parker, Jeffrey Long, and Debra Rolison from NRL’s Advanced Electrochemical Materials group are leading the effort to create an entire family of safer, water-based, zinc batteries. With 3-D Zn, the battery provides an energy content and rechargeability that rival lithium-ion batteries while avoiding the safety issues that continue to plague lithium. The research appears in the journal Science. The present energy-storage landscape continues to be dominated by lithium-ion batteries despite numerous safety incidents and obstacles, including transportation restrictions, constrained resource supply (lithium and cobalt), high cost, limited recycling infrastructure, and balance-of-plant requirements—the last of which constrains the energy density of Li-ion stacks. Despite these disadvantages, Li-ion batteries are widely used because they provide high energy density, high specific power, and long cycle life—attributes that must also be met by any alternative battery system in order to compete for market share. The family of zinc-based alkaline batteries (Zn anode versus a silver oxide, nickel oxyhydroxide, or air cathode) is expected to emerge as the front-runner to replace not only Li-ion but also leadacid and nickel–metal hydride batteries. This projection arises because Zn is globally available and inexpensive, with two-electron redox (Zn0/2+) and low polarizability that respectively confer high specific capacity and power. The long-standing limitation that has prevented implementing Zn in next-generation batteries lies in its poor rechargeability due to dendrite formation. We bypass this obstacle to cycling durability by redesigning the Zn electrode as a monolithic, porous, aperiodic architecture in which an inner core of electron-conductive metallic Zn persists even to deep levels of discharge...In primary 3D Zn–air cells, this “sponge” form factor (3D Zn) discharges >90% of the Zn, a 50% improvement over conventional powder-bed composites. When cycling Zn sponges at the demanding current densities that otherwise induce dendrite formation in alkaline electrolyte—typically greater than 10 mA cm–2—the 3D Zn restructures uniformly without generating separator-piercing dendrites. Zinc-based batteries are widely used for single-use applications, but are not considered rechargeable in practice due to their tendency to grow conductive dendrites inside the battery, which can grow long enough to cause short circuits. With the benefits of rechargeability, the 3-D Zn sponge is ready to be deployed within the entire family of Zn-based alkaline batteries across the civilian and military sectors. NRL’s work is funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.
News Article | April 28, 2017
To exploit zinc’s useful properties in next-generation batteries, researchers have prepared zinc electrodes in a porous spongelike structure. Batteries with such electrodes could be long-lasting, energy dense, and inherently safe, according to a study (Science 2017, DOI: 10.1126/science.aak9991). The relatively low cost of zinc coupled with its wide availability and favorable electrochemical properties should give zinc-based batteries a competitive advantage over other battery chemistries. In particular, Zn batteries could be safer than lithium-ion batteries because Zn ones use aqueous electrolytes instead of the flammable organic kinds standard in Li-ion batteries. But aqueous Zn-based batteries fail quickly. Upon recharging, the metal forms wiry dendrites that can grow uncontrollably and pierce the separator between the electrodes. The dendrites can then connect the positive and negative electrodes and short-circuit the battery. Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., have shown that those problems can be bypassed by using zinc electrodes with a spongelike structure instead of conventional pressed powder electrodes. The team, which includes Joseph F. Parker, Debra R. Rolison, and Jeffrey W. Long, prepared the zinc sponges by adding zinc powder to an emulsion of oil and water and then allowing the mixture to dry overnight. The sponge structure leads to more uniform oxidation of the zinc metal during discharge and, consequently, a more uniform coating of the discharge product, zinc oxide, on the sponge anode. Likewise, the structure makes the reverse reaction during charging—ZnO reduction to metallic Zn—more uniform. Even when 90% of the zinc is oxidized during discharge, Parker notes, the sponge retains a metallic zinc core. The core causes electric currents to be distributed uniformly throughout the sponge, making it physically difficult to form dendrites, he adds. The team found that the sponge electrodes protected a Ni-Zn battery when it cycled repeatedly between charging and discharging under demanding current conditions that induce dendrite formation in reference batteries. It also enabled the battery to withstand tens of thousands of cycles required for “start-stop” microhybrid vehicles. “For quite some time, this team and others have been attempting to use 3-D structured electrodes to enhance rechargeable battery performance,” says Paul V. Braun, professor of materials science and chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Braun notes that the NRL team “has found a particularly compelling system, where the 3-D electrode structure provides high power, as expected, but perhaps surprisingly, results in dendrite suppression and thus very good long term cycling.” He adds “this discovery is particularly useful because it is accomplished with an intrinsically safe, earth abundant, and relatively high-energy-density nickel-zinc chemistry.”
News Article | April 28, 2017
On May 1, Joe Powell, managing director of Seek Education in Australia, will start at global sports technology firm Catapult (ASX: CAT) as chief executive officer (CEO). Seek hasn’t announced the successor of Powell at Seek Education yet. The managing director of Seek Education oversees Seek’s various education businesses (Seek Learning, Catho Education in Brazil, JobStreet Learning in Malaysia, OCC Education in Mexico and Online Education Services (Swinburne Online)). Powell joined Seek (ASX:SEK) ten years ago, first as the managing director of employment in Australia and New Zealand, a position he held for six years, and then as managing director of Seek Education. Powell drove the expansion of the Seek Education brand throughout Australia and internationally. More specifically, to the Seek businesses in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and Mexico. According to Catapult, the technology is used by most teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL and college sporting teams around the U.S., as well as all of Australia’s AFL, NRL and super rugby teams. It’s also expanded into elite soccer and rugby in Europe. Powell said he saw strong parallels between the growth opportunity at Catapult now and the Seek platform ten years ago. Seek co-founder and chief executive Andrew Bassat told the Age that he backed Powell’s appointment. “Throughout his time at Seek, it was clear Joe was an outstanding leader. He has great people skills, a keen grasp of strategy, and a great ability to execute,” Bassat said. Prior to joining Seek, Powell worked at Australian telco Optus for 11 years, where he held various positions, after a career as an accountant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Powell is the director of the Richmond Football Club in Victoria and remains a board member of Online Education Services, the Seek-controlled joint venture with Swinburne University. He gained a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Tasmania and attended Harvard Business School’s advanced business management program. Powell had been an advisor to Holthouse and the Catapult board since September. Angela is a writer and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. She has extensive knowledge of the Australian real estate industry, having started her career in real estate advertising at News Limited newspapers, where she worked across a number of different mastheads in Sydney. She s also worked in television, magazines and online, and regularly contributes feature articles to The Sydney Morning Herald, MiNDFOOD and The Newcastle Herald. Angela also works as a content writer, creating written content for a number of SMEs across an array of industries, including real estate, education, technology and digital media.
News Article | April 28, 2017
Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) Chemistry Division have developed a safer alternative to fire-prone lithium-ion batteries, which were recently banned for some applications on Navy ships and other military platforms. Joseph Parker, Jeffrey Long, and Debra Rolison from NRL's Advanced Electrochemical Materials group are leading an effort to create an entire family of safer, water-based, zinc batteries. They have demonstrated a breakthrough for nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries in which a three-dimensional (3-D) Zn "sponge" replaces the powdered zinc anode traditionally used. With 3-D Zn, the battery provides an energy content and rechargeability that rival lithium-ion batteries while avoiding the safety issues that continue to plague lithium. Their research appears in the April 28th, 2017 issue of Science, the premiere journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Additional contributors to this research article include former NRL staff scientist, Christopher Chervin, National Research Council postdoctoral associate, Irina Pala, as well as industry partners Meinrad Machler and CEO of EnZinc, Inc., Michael Burz. "Our team at the NRL pioneered the architectural approach to the redesign of electrodes for next-generation energy storage," said Dr. Rolison, senior scientist and principal investigator on the project. "The 3-D sponge form factor allows us to reimagine zinc, a well-known battery material, for the 21st century." Zinc-based batteries are the go-to global battery for single-use applications, but are not considered rechargeable in practice due to their tendency to grow conductive whiskers (dendrites) inside the battery, which can grow long enough to cause short circuits. "The key to realizing rechargeable zinc-based batteries lies in controlling the behavior of the zinc during cycling," said Parker, lead author on the paper. "Electric currents are more uniformly distributed within the sponge, making it physically difficult to form dendrites." The NRL team demonstrated Ni-3-D Zn performance in three ways: extending lifetime in single-use cells; cycling cells more than 100 times at an energy content competitive with lithium-ion batteries; and cycling cells more than 50,000 times in short duty-cycles with intermittent power bursts, similar to how batteries are used in some hybrid vehicles. With the benefits of rechargeability, the 3-D Zn sponge is ready to be deployed within the entire family of Zn-based alkaline batteries across the civilian and military sectors. "We can now offer an energy-relevant alternative, from drop-in replacements for lithium-ion to new opportunities in portable and wearable power, and manned and unmanned electric vehicles," said Dr. Long, "while reducing safety hazards, easing transportation restrictions, and using earth-abundant materials."
News Article | May 4, 2017
Researchers in the US claim to have developed a safer alternative to fire-prone lithium-ion batteries, which were recently banned for some applications on US Navy ships. Joseph Parker, Jeffrey Long, and Debra Rolison from the US Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Advanced Electrochemical Materials group are leading the effort to create an entire family of safer, water-based, zinc batteries. They are said to have demonstrated a breakthrough for nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries in which a 3D zinc “sponge” replaces the powdered zinc anode traditionally used. With 3D zinc, the battery provides an energy content and rechargeability that are claimed to rival lithium-ion batteries while avoiding safety issues associated with lithium. Their research appears in Science. Additional contributors include former NRL staff scientist, Christopher Chervin, National Research Council postdoctoral associate, Irina Pala, as well as industry partners Meinrad Machler and CEO of EnZinc, Inc., Michael Burz. “Our team at the NRL pioneered the architectural approach to the redesign of electrodes for next-generation energy storage,” said Dr. Rolison, senior scientist and principal investigator on the project. “The 3D sponge form factor allows us to reimagine zinc, a well-known battery material, for the 21st century.” Zinc-based batteries are the go-to global battery for single-use applications, but are not considered rechargeable in practice due to their tendency to grow dendrites inside the battery, which can cause short circuits. “The key to realising rechargeable zinc-based batteries lies in controlling the behaviour of the zinc during cycling,” said Parker, lead author on the paper. “Electric currents are more uniformly distributed within the sponge, making it physically difficult to form dendrites.” The NRL team demonstrated Ni-3-D Zn performance in three ways: extending lifetime in single-use cells; cycling cells more than 100 times at an energy content competitive with lithium-ion batteries; and cycling cells more than 50,000 times in short duty cycles with intermittent power bursts, similar to how batteries are used in some hybrid vehicles. With the benefits of rechargeability, the 3D zinc sponge is ready to be deployed within the entire family of Zn-based alkaline batteries across the civilian and military sectors. “We can now offer an energy-relevant alternative, from drop-in replacements for lithium-ion to new opportunities in portable and wearable power, and manned and unmanned electric vehicles, while reducing safety hazards, easing transportation restrictions, and using earth-abundant materials,” said Long. On April 14, 2017 the US Navy issued a statement saying that it was banning e-cigarettes aboard ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, craft and heavy equipment. The policy was introduced in response to continued reports of explosions of so-called Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) due to overheating lithium-ion batteries.
News Article | February 28, 2017
Leading mobile broadband ISP deploys Qwilt's open caching and CDN solution to optimize network for increased streaming video traffic Qwilt, a leading provider of content delivery and open caching solutions, today announced that Digicel, total communications and entertainment provider, has deployed its award-winning open cache solution to boost network capacity and improve over-the-top (OTT) streaming for its customers across the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. Developed in response to the exponential growth in video streaming, the partnership will see Digicel delivering enhanced quality of experience (QoE) for its customers using online video and live streaming services across its markets. "Deploying Qwilt's open caching solution is a significant milestone as we continue to meet the growing demands of our customers who are relying more and more on OTT video for everything -- from streaming their favourite shows to accessing live streams of major events," said John Quinn, Group Chief Technical Officer at Digicel Play. Quinn added, "This is about building a more resilient network and taking control of content delivery to our customers. The results to date have been amazing -- we have seen average bit rate improve by 160 percent with customers enjoying a faster and seamless streaming experience." By analysing OTT video traffic in real-time, Qwilt's open cache solution -- deployed deep in ISP networks -- is able to store and deliver popular video content locally, close to subscribers, and optimize streaming for both network utilisation and quality of experience. This new open architecture -- built to manage OTT, Video-on-Demand (VOD) and live streaming -- is the foundation which enables network scaling to support the future of online video. "The extraordinary growth of online video is top of mind for the industry. Network operators are looking for solutions to scale their networks and satisfy their subscribers. We are excited to work with Digicel to extend the reach of our open caching solution and meet the growing demand for OTT services among their subscribers in region", said Alon Maor, CEO and co-founder of Qwilt. Qwilt's open cache solution is engineered specifically for high performance and scalable video delivery in the demanding environment of high capacity operator networks. It is delivered as a fully managed service to speed deployment and streamline ongoing operation. The broader operator organization -- including network planning, engineering and operations teams -- benefits from comprehensive media analytics, which offer insights into growth trends, content sources and consumer preferences. About Digicel Digicel Group is a total communications and entertainment provider with operations in 33 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 15 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network. Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the presenting partner of the Caribbean Premier League. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of grassroots NRL programs, women's business initiatives and the Amicale soccer team in Vanuatu. Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes. About Qwilt Qwilt's unique Edge Cloud Platform and Open Caching software solutions help Internet service providers address the dramatic growth of streaming media on their networks and the need for a low latency, high scale infrastructure to support future applications. Qwilt's cloud managed open platform, running on commodity compute and storage infrastructure and deployed close to consumers, creates a massively distributed Edge Cloud that supports applications such as Open Caching, 4K Live Streaming, AR, VR, Self- Driving Cars and IoT. A growing number of the world's leading cable, telecom and mobile service providers rely on Qwilt to optimize their networks to support growing consumer demand for online video content as a primary entertainment source. Qwilt is a founding member of the Streaming Video Alliance, a new industry forum building the open architecture for streaming. Founded in 2010 by industry veterans from Cisco and Juniper, Qwilt is backed by Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cisco Ventures, Disruptive, Innovation Endeavors, Marker and Redpoint Ventures. Learn more at www.qwilt.com. Connect with Qwilt: Read the blog: http://www.qwilt.com/blog/, Converse on Twitter: https://twitter.com/qwilt Follow on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/qwilt Visit on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Qwilt.Inc Qwilt, Open Edge Cloud are trademarks of Qwilt. All rights reserved. All other trademarks or trade names referenced here are the property of their respective owners.
Dimech W.,NRL |
Grangeot-Keros L.,University Paris - Sud |
Vauloup-Fellous C.,University Paris - Sud
Clinical Microbiology Reviews | Year: 2016
Rubella virus usually causes a mild infection in humans but can cause congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Vaccination programs have significantly decreased primary rubella virus infection and CRS; however, vaccinated individuals usually have lower levels of rubella virus IgG than those with natural infections. Rubella virus IgG is quantified with enzyme immunoassays that have been calibrated against the World Health Organization (WHO) international standard and report results in international units per milliliter. It is recognized that the results reported by these assays are not standardized. This investigation into the reasons for the lack of standardization found that the current WHO international standard (RUB-1-94) fails by three key metrological principles. The standard is not a pure analyte but is composed of pooled human immunoglobulin. It was not calibrated by certified reference methods; rather, superseded tests were used. Finally, no measurement uncertainty estimations have been provided. There is an analytical and clinical consequence to the lack of standardization of rubella virus IgG assays, which leads to misinterpretation of results. The current approach to standardization of rubella virus IgG assays has not achieved the desired results. A new approach is required. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Otto K. Harling, MIT professor emeritus in nuclear engineering and former director of the MIT Nuclear Reactor Lab (NRL) passed away on Dec. 18. He was 85 years old. Harling's field-defining contributions in research and teaching cut across nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear materials, superfluids, fission and fusion reactor technology, and nuclear medicine. Born in 1931 on Staten Island, New York, Harling graduated from New Dorp High School and completed his undergraduate degree at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He went on to pursue graduate training in Germany at the University of Goettingen and the University of Heidelberg, and he earned his PhD at Pennsylvania State University. His career at MIT began when he was appointed in 1972 as a senior research associate. He received tenure in 1979 and was director of NRL from 1976 to 1996. Notably, Harling oversaw a significant expansion of the NRL’s research mission into nuclear materials irradiation and evaluation and boron neutron capture therapy. He was well known for developing productive collaborations on campus, in particular with MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and engaging with the country’s national laboratories to study fusion reactor materials. One of his most ambitious efforts used the MIT reactor core to simulate a fusion reactor to investigate radiation damage in irradiated materials and enable test methods to determine mechanical properties using miniature samples. “Otto Harling’s visionary research initiatives established the experimental basis for the use of the MIT reactor as a test bed for nuclear materials and engineering research,” says Gordon Kohse, MIT research scientist and deputy director of NRL research and services. Harling and his MIT colleagues also built on the technology and irradiation techniques developed for the fusion studies to establish a program in support of light water power reactor coolant technology. These experiments, involving the design and operation of innovative, small, in-core high-pressure and temperature water loops, were instrumental in understanding fundamental aspects of both pressurized water and boiling water reactor coolant chemistries. Success hinged on Harling’s ability to bring together a global array of partners, including the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute, the government of Japan, and other industrial members. During the latter part of his career, Harling was instrumental in reviving work on boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) for cancer at the NRL. In 1994 he and his collaborators led a trial for the experimental therapy on a human patient, the first in more than 30 years and the first to use an epithermal beam (intermediate energy). In addition to his research contributions, Harling and his colleagues played a significant role in enhancing and expanding educational opportunities for nuclear engineers and scientists at MIT and beyond. He led a faculty effort in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) to broaden the radiological sciences curriculum, revamp courses on the measurement of radiation and its uses, and introduce experiments for the student laboratory and the MIT reactor. He also taught what is now 22.09, “Principles of Nuclear Radiation Measurement and Protection,” for several years. Harling also personally directed the thesis research of over 70 master’s and doctoral candidates at MIT and helped train generations of students at the NRL who have gone on to become leaders at national laboratories, companies, and medical institutions. He also shared his expertise through the publication of more than 300 scientific papers and reports and in book chapters he authored or edited. “Harling’s work was in the best tradition of MIT's philosophy of Mens and Manus,” says John A. Bernard, Jr, principal research engineer in NSE. “He loved building things — tools and equipment — and expected his students to be equally enthusiastic about getting their hands dirty when working on solutions to problems.” Harling was elected to a Fellowship in the American Nuclear Society in 2004 and received the Hatanaka Memorial Award, the highest recognition of the International Society for Neutron Capture Therapy, in 2008. Outside of his professional life, he was an avid tennis player and community volunteer, serving on Hingham’s Energy Action Committee, correcting Hingham’s latest flood maps and running climate change programs. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Beth; his three daughters, Betsy Harling of Hingham, Maura Stefl (Greg) of Fayetteville, N.Y., and Ottilie MacKinnon (Ewen) of Chichester, N.H.; his son, Kurt Harling (Lisa) of Durham, N.H., his grandchildren Zachary and Hannah Stefl, Ian Mackinnon, Alexander and Mitchell Harling, and Joseph and Matthew Personeni, his sister Anneliese Ringstad of Malaga, Spain as well as many nieces and nephews. Donations in Harling’s memory may be made to “The Dr. Otto K. Harling Science Memorial Scholarship Fund” c/o Rockland Trust, 100 Sgt. William B. Terry Drive, Hingham, MA 02043.
News Article | February 27, 2017
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is the Navy’s full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broad-based program of scientific research and development for maritime application related to oceanic, atmospheric, and space sciences. They have selected Concept Laser’s 3D metal printing technology for rapid prototyping and materials research. This is their first laser powder-bed metals machine. “We require a wide range of Additive Manufacturing (AM) capabilities, ranging from quality monitoring to process parameter development, and need an architecture conducive to that research and development effort,” said Dr. Charles Rohde, NRL Acoustics Division. NRL will be using Concept Laser’s M2 cusing machine to print in Stainless Steel. Along with the machine, they will be using QM Meltpool 3D to monitor the quality of their metal applications, inspecting the part as it grows. This will also help them identify any design defects and if an application is on the edge of acceptability. Additionally, they will be using CL WRX Parameter 2.0 to freely design and develop custom parameters. “It is very exciting that the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is bolstering their focus on metal additive manufacturing. There are so many advantages of 3D metal printing that our defense strategy could benefit from, including reduced lead time, less material waste, and printing complex geometries with no required assembly. NRL has a history of over 90 years of innovation in naval power and we look forward to hearing how they will use 3D metal printing to break boundaries,” states John Murray, President and CEO of Concept Laser Inc. Additive manufacturing involves taking digital designs from computer aided design (CAD) software, and laying horizontal cross-sections to manufacture the part. Additive components are typically lighter and more durable than traditional forged parts because they require less welding and machining. Because additive parts are essentially “grown” from the ground up, they generate far less scrap material. Freed of traditional manufacturing restrictions, additive manufacturing dramatically expands the design possibilities for engineers About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. ABOUT CONCEPT LASER Concept Laser GmbH is one of the world’s leading providers of machine and plant technology for the 3D printing of metal components. Founded by Frank Herzog in 2000, the patented LaserCUSING® process – powder-bed-based laser melting of metals – opens up new freedom to configuring components and also permits the tool-free, economic fabrication of highly complex parts in fairly small batch sizes. Concept Laser serves various industries, ranging from medical, dental, aerospace, toolmaking and mold construction, automotive and jewelry. Concept Laser machines are compatible with a diverse set of powder materials, such as stainless steel and hot-work steels, aluminum and titanium alloys, as well as precious metals for jewelry and dental applications. Concept Laser Inc. is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas and is a US-based wholly owned subsidiary of Concept Laser GmbH. For more information, visit our website at http://www.conceptlaserinc.com.
News Article | February 20, 2017
Accumulating ice on aircraft in the air is the result of a weather phenomenon called supercooled liquid clouds. "Clouds composed of supercooled liquid can cause aircraft to ice over quickly because the liquid water droplets are below the freezing point and will freeze after contact with aircraft surfaces," said Ian Adams, an electrical engineer in NRL's Remote Sensing Division. Adams said supercooled liquid clouds are difficult to detect using conventional ground-based or airborne weather radars. Those instruments do not provide information on the temperature of clouds and precipitation, and supercooled droplets are often too small to be detected by radar. Adams and colleague Justin Bobak are approaching the problem by investigating the feasibility of a forward-looking passive sensor. Adams presented their work at the recent Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. "Having a forward-looking passive millimeter-wave radiometer could be beneficial for both manned and unmanned aircraft," Adams said. "It would be particularly useful when size, weight, and power requirements restrict the installation of deicing equipment." Adams and Bobak started by using observations of arctic mixed-phase cloud structure to create a computer-simulated instrument response of a forward-looking sensor. The simulations were performed using ARTS, the Atmospheric Radiative Transfer Simulator, a state-of-the-art radiative transfer model with 3D capabilities. "So far, the model shows a strong signal at two distances when compared with a clear sky scenario," Adams said. "It shows supercooled liquid layers not visible to ground-based radar." Further simulation work will expand the set of atmospheric conditions modeled. Adams and Bobak are also collaborating with NRL Electronics Science and Technology division members Kurt Gaskill, Paul Campbell, and Harvey Newman as well as Marc Currie from NRL's Optical Sciences Division to investigate the possibility of using graphene in the detector to reduce size, weight, and power for compatibility with small unmanned aerial vehicles. Explore further: The destructive effects of supercooled liquid water on airplane safety and climate models