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Orion Artemis I Moon

Animation of the Orion spacecraft flying around the Moon. Credit: NASA.

During Artemis I, which is scheduled to launch as early as August 29, NASA plans to accomplish several primary objectives. These include demonstrating the performance of the Orion spacecraft’s heat shield from lunar return velocities, demonstrating operations and facilities during all mission phases from launch countdown through recovery, and retrieving the crew module for post-flight analysis.

However, as the first integrated flight of the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, and the exploration ground systems at NASA’s 21st century spaceport in Florida, engineers hope to accomplish a host of additional test objectives to better understand how the spacecraft performs in space and prepare for future missions with crew.

Accomplishing additional objectives helps reduce risk for missions with a human crew aboard. This also provides extra data so engineers can assess trends in spacecraft performance or Improve confidence in spacecraft capabilities. Some of the additional objectives planned for the Artemis I mission include:

Modal survey

On the European-built service module, Orion is equipped with 24 reaction control system (RCS) thrusters. These are small engines responsible for moving the spacecraft in different directions and rotating it. The modal survey is a prescribed series of small RCS firings that will help engineers ensure the structural margin of Orion’s solar array wings during the mission. Flight controllers will command several small firings of the engines to cause the arrays to flex. They will measure the impact of the firings on the arrays and evaluate whether the inertial measurement units used for navigation are experiencing what they should. Until the modal survey is complete, large translational burns are limited to 40 seconds.

Orion Earth Moon

During Artemis I, the uncrewed Orion spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and travel thousands of miles beyond the Moon, farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown. Credit: NASA

Optical navigation camera certification

Orion has an advanced guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) system. This is responsible for always knowing where the spacecraft is located in space, which way it’s pointed, and where it’s going. It primarily uses two star trackers. These sensitive cameras take pictures of the star field around Orion, the Moon, and Earth, and compare the pictures to their built-in map of stars. The Optical navigation camera is a secondary camera that takes images of the Moon and Earth to help orient the spacecraft by looking at the size and position of the celestial bodies in the image. Several times during the mission, the optical navigation camera will be tested to certify it for use on future flights. Once certified, the camera also can help Orion autonomously return home if it were to lose communication with Earth.

Solar array wing camera Wi-Fi characterization

Cameras affixed to the tips of the solar array wings communicate with Orion’s camera controller through an onboard Wi-Fi network. Flight controllers will vary the positioning of the solar arrays to test the Wi-Fi strength while the arrays are in different configurations. The test will allow engineers to optimize how quickly imagery taken by cameras on the ends of the arrays can be transmitted to onboard recorders.

Artemis I Map

Artemis I will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. During this flight, the uncrewed Orion spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and travel thousands of miles beyond the Moon, farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown, over the course of about a three-week mission. Credit: NASA

Crew module/service module surveys

Flight controllers will use the cameras on the four solar array wings to take detailed photos of the crew module and service module twice during the mission to identify any micrometeoroid or orbital debris strikes. A survey conducted early on in the mission will provide images soon after the spacecraft has flown beyond the altitude where space debris resides and a second survey on the return leg will occur several days before reentry.

Large file delivery protocol uplink

Engineers in mission control will uplink large data files to Orion to better understand how much time it takes for the spacecraft to receive sizeable files. During the mission, flight controllers use the Deep Space Network to communicate with and send data to the spacecraft, but testing before the flight hasn’t included using the network. The test will help inform engineers’ understanding of whether the spacecraft uplink and downlink capability is sufficient to support human rating validation of end-to-end communication prior to Artemis II, the first flight with astronauts.

Orion Spacecraft

During Artemis I, Orion will venture thousands of miles beyond the moon during an approximately three-week mission. Credit: NASA

Star tracker thermal assessment

Engineers hope to characterize the alignment between the star trackers that are part of the guidance, navigation, and control system and the Orion inertial measurements units, by exposing different areas of the spacecraft to the Sun and activating the star trackers in the different thermal states. The measurements will inform the uncertainty in the navigation state due to thermal bending and expansion which ultimately impacts the amount of propellant needed for spacecraft maneuvers during crewed missions.

Radiator loop flow control

Two radiator loops on the spacecraft’s European Service Module help expel heat generated by different systems throughout the flight. There are two modes for the radiators. During speed mode, the radiator pumps operate at a constant speed to help limit vibrations and is the primary mode used during Artemis I and during launch for all Artemis flights. Control mode allows for better control of the radiator pumps and their flow rate, and will be used on crewed missions when more refined control of flow through the radiators is desired. This objective will test the control mode to provide additional data about how it operates in space.

Orion and European Service Module Orbiting Moon

Artist’s impression of Orion over the Moon. Orion is NASA’s next spacecraft to send humans into space. It is designed to send astronauts further into space than ever before, beyond the Moon to asteroids and even Mars. When they return to Earth, the astronauts will enter our atmosphere at speeds over 32,000 km/h but the capsule will protect them and ensure a bumpy but safe landing. Credit: NASA/ESA/ATG Medialab

Solar array wing plume

Depending on the angle of Orion’s solar array wings during some thruster firings, the plume, or exhaust gasses, from those firings could increase the arrays’ temperature. Through a series of small RCS firings, engineers will gather data to characterize the heating of the solar array wings.

Propellant slosh

Liquid propellant kept in tanks on the spacecraft moves differently in space than on Earth because of the lack of gravity in space. Propellant motion, or slosh, in space is hard to model on Earth, so engineers plan to gather data on the motion of the propellant during several planned activities during the mission.

Search acquire and track (SAT) mode

SAT mode is an algorithm intended to recover and maintain communications with Earth after loss of Orion’s navigation state, extended loss of communications with Earth, or after a temporary power loss that causes Orion to reboot hardware. To test the algorithm, flight controllers will command the spacecraft to enter SAT mode, and after about 15 minutes, restore normal communications. Testing SAT mode will supply engineers confidence it can be relied upon as the final option to fix a loss of communications when a crew is aboard.

Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket Liftoff

This artist’s rendering shows an aerial view of the liftoff of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. This Block 1 crew configuration of the rocket that will send the first three Artemis missions to the Moon. Credit: NASA/MSFC

Entry aerothermal

During entry of the spacecraft through Earth’s atmosphere, a prescribed series of 19 reaction control system firings on the crew module will be done to understand performance compared to projected data for the sequence. Engineers are interested in gathering this data during high heating on the spacecraft where the aerothermal effects are largest.

Integrated Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) functionality

The SARSAT test will verify connectivity between beacons to be worn by crew on future flights and ground stations receiving the signal. The beacons will be remotely activated and powered for about an hour after splashdown and will also help engineers understand whether the signal transmitted interferes with communications equipment used during recovery operations, including Orion’s built-in tri-band beacon which transmits the spacecraft’s precise location after splashdown.

Ammonia boiler restart

After Artemis I splashdown, Orion’s ammonia boiler will be turned off for several minutes and then restarted to provide additional data about the system’s capability. Ammonia boilers are used to help control the thermal aspects of the spacecraft to keep its power and avionics systems cool and keep the interior of the crew module at a comfortable temperature for future crews. In some potential contingency landing scenarios for crewed missions, crews may need to turn off the ammonia boiler to check for hazards outside the spacecraft, then potentially turn it back on to provide additional cooling.

Engineers will perform additional tests to gather data, including monitoring the heatshield and interior components for saltwater intrusion after splashdown. They also will test the GPS receiver on the spacecraft to determine the spacecraft’s ability to pick up the signal being transmitted around Earth, which could be used to augment the spacecraft’s ability to understand its positioning in the event of communications loss with mission controllers.

Collectively, performing additional objectives during the flight provides additional information engineers can use to Improve Orion. This is critical as it is NASA’s spacecraft that will take humans to deep space for years to come.

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 00:31:00 -0500 NASA en-us text/html https://scitechdaily.com/nasas-additional-artemis-i-test-objectives-for-space-launch-system-rocket-and-orion-spacecraft/
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By Philippe Faes & Hendrik Eeckhaut, Sigasi


The ever-increasing complexity of FPGAs enables even modestly sized companies to design complex systems-on-reconfigurable-chips. The traditional way of designing complex systems is based on a variant of the waterfall methodology and involves the integration of all components near the end of the project, prior to system testing. Many unexpected problems occur in the process of integrating the system, including incompatible component interfaces, contention for shared resources or inability to fit the system on the predetermined FPGA. Especially since integration is done with approaching deadlines (or even well after deadlines have been missed), it is mission critical to make this process as observable and controllable as possible.

Continuous Integration (CI) is a technique, borrowed from software engineering and reminiscent of ancient Japanese temple building. It turns the final system integration into a non-event. Instead of figuring out how to integrate all components near the end of a project, all components are integrated on a regular basis, for instance every day. This way, final integration will be a simple repetition of a well known process. Using continuous integration, the final phases of a project are more predictable.

This paper elaborates on the advantages of continuous integration for FPGA SoC projects, reports on real-world usage of CI for the design of a scalable video decoder and provides some guidelines for setting up a new continuous integration system.

System Integration Hell

Complex systems, by their nature, consist of a large number of components. In the high-level design of the system, each component and its behavior are specified. From that point on, several teams implement components, traditionally with little or no interaction with teams developing other components. Only when the implementation of all components is finished, they are brought together in what is called the system integration phase.

This phase will uncover several problems that were not previously detected. Different teams may interpret the documented interaction between two components differently.

No over-all system performance measures will be available before the system integration phase. These measures include maximum clock frequency, amount of hardware resources used, dynamic power consumption, but also domain specific measures such as the time needed to decode one video frame.

Part of the problem with a-posteriori integration is that you will only start to figure out how to integrate the system when you are in the critical path. Meaning everybody is waiting for you (or your small team) to integrate the system so that system tests can begin.

Shintō temples and Continuous Integration

The Japanese city of Ise has a temple dedicated to the Shintō sun goddess. In order to preserve the ancient art and craft that was used for building this temple in the 7th century, the temple is torn down and ritually rebuilt every two decades. While the practical use of ancient carpentry may be questioned, the Ise temple teaches the basic concept of continuous integration: By rebuilding often, you can be confident that you can build your system when your deadline approaches.

In practice, many software teams, and a slowly increasing number of hardware design teams, set up a continuous integration server. This server builds the system on a daily basis, or at least as much of the system as is feasible with several components missing or incomplete. In addition to building, the CI server also performs some tests. This should at least include a simple smoke test that checks only if some basic functions of the system are working. However, the CI server may be used to run all available automated tests on a regular basis. In this case it is common to execute longer running tests less frequently, while shorter tests can be executed daily or even several times per day. A typical scheme for running tests could be as follows:

  1.  Syntax analysis (i.e. compilation) after every commit to the revision control system.
  2. Elaboration and short simulation every hour.
  3. Synthesis, place and route every night.
  4. Thorough simulation every weekend.

This type of regular automated building has several advantages:

  1. confidence that the project is healthy
  2. visibility for team members
  3. tracking metrics

Because the CI server continuously builds and tests your code, faulty modifications to any component will be flagged, team members can always be confident that their latest modifications are accepted and tested with respect to the entire design. All CI systems offer means to supply feedback to the designers and their managers through numerous notification systems: email, jabber, twitter, ... As a result, all team members can be easily notified of any failures that might occur. These failures range from syntactic errors that block compilation, over functional errors caught by automated verification or in-code assertions to designs that will not fit on the target platform due to size or clock frequency.

The CI system can store and summarizes all build and test information. As a result all this information is accessible on a central server. It serves as an overview dashboard so that all team members always have a clear view on the status, health an progress of the entire project.

The CI system can also be used to track project metrics over time. These metrics typically include simulation time and the number of successful tests. It is also possible to track synthesis results such as hardware resource usage or critical path timing.

This is extremely useful to detect regression problems. Sudden changes will attract attention so that the problem can be immediately fixed.

Example plot of the simulation time for several builds. Red indicates a failed build.

Example of the website dashboard with  build targets. 

Example of unexpected sudden changes in the test results. Failed tests are colored in red, successful tests are blue.

How to set up Continuous Integration

The first precondition for CI is that all the input for the build can be accessed from a single source. Usually, this source is a provided by a revision control system, like Subversion or Clearcase. This system contains all human-generated data needed to build the entire system, including: specification, source code, build scripts (Tcl, Makefile, Xilinx ISE files), simulation scripts, automatic validation code and more. It is important that every team member has access to the latest versions of all of these files, so that everybody (including the CI server) talks about the same thing.

Next, the build process must be completely automated. Two consecutive builds should only differ to the extent that modifications have been made to the revision control source. When human interaction is involved in building the system, no guarantees can be made with regard to reproducibility.

The next step is to install and configure the CI server itself. Many high quality CI systems are freely available, including Apachy Continuum, Sun’s Hudson, LuntBuild and CruiseControl. The installation these CI systems is very easy and just a matter of following the instructions for your OS. Most CI systems offer an extensive choice of security configurations. We recommend to setup your first CI server on an internal server without additional security. This way you can experiment learn without running into security settings problems.

Once your CI server is installed, you are ready to configure your first build target. This typically requires a name, a short description and a specification of the build target. This specification includes:

  • where to fetch all necessary code: this is mostly a revision control system configuration
  • a configuriation on when to build the target: this could be nightly, when a new version is commited to the revision control system, but can also be specified to build only when e.g. another target was build succesfully.
  • the build steps (how to build the target): Most often this is done with a Make, Ant, Maven, ... or a single shell script call. Most CI systems support multiple build steps. The CI could even upload the synthesized FPGA bitstream to a physical prototype of the system and perform some tests on the genuine FPGA hardware. This is especially useful for running large test sets at full speed.
  • a configuration of what to do after the build: publish results to a website, archive build results, tag a revision, send e-mail, start another build target, ...

The last bullet, 'what to do after the build', is important to optimize follow up of the CI build results. Manual inspection of build results is tedious and error-prone. It is better to extract key metrics automatically:

  • pass / no pass: Is all code is correctly compiled and synthesized?
  • pass / no pass: Have all verifications (tests) been successfully executed?
  • How many lines of code?
  • How much time did the build take?
  • Synthesis metrics: maximum frequency, number of logic elements
  • Summary of critical synthesis warnings: Were there any combinational loops? Were sensitivity lists tacitly altered?

If the CI system extracts all this information automatically, it can display trends and, more importantly, radical changes over time. All CI systems offer comprehensive dashboards to visualize this information.

CI in a real-world design

The authors have used a continuous integration strategy in developing a scalable video decoder on an Altera Stratix S60 FPGA, with Java software for handling the flow control and for driving peripherals (disk, network, display).

The software was automatically build with Maven2. The FPGA design was assembled by Altera's SOPC builder. Simulations are run by ModelSim and synthesis by Quartus II. All this was scripted. SOPC builder was the hardest to automate since it needed a UI shell even when ran from the command line. As CI technology we started with Apache Continuum and later moved to Hudson (developed by Sun Microsystems) for its ease of use.

The evaluation of using CI was unanimously positive. It occurred often that small changes were made to library code that resulted in unanticipated errors in seemingly unrelated code. After further inspection the hidden dependencies became soon obvious because it was clear what had changed.

Another advantage is that the latest FPGA configuration bitstream is always available for the entire team. Near the end of the design it took 16 hours for a complete synthesis of the design. This was unfeasible to do for the designers on their individual workstations.


Hardware design and the continuous integration feedback loop: The developer and his team receive notifications from the CI server through email and have direct visual feedback from a lava lamp.

After the scalable video project finished, we upgraded our notification system so that the state of the CI server would be even more obvious to all stakeholders. The CI system is now linked to an array of 4 lava lamps, each of which refers to a sub-project. The advantage of using lava lamps compared to other display methods is that they inherently indicate a notion of time. A lamp that was switched on recently is colder and does not display typical lava bubbles. However, after a lava lamp has been turned on for half an hour, it clearly bubbles, indicating that something is wrong and has been wrong for a while. A nice side effect is that these groovy accessories Improve the togetherness of the team.


Continuous integration can help avoiding unexpected problems with complex system-on-chips. CI helps detect mismatched interfaces early and makes the progress of the design process observable to all stakeholders without much overhead because everything is automated. In the end Continuous integration increases the over-all quality of your FPGA-based projects.

Sun, 13 Mar 2022 10:23:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.design-reuse.com/articles/23424/continuous-integration-complex-reconfigurable-system.html
Killexams : IHIT releases photos of Langley shooter Jordan Goggin and his car in search for witnesses No result found, try new keyword!IHIT is looking into the movements of Jordan Daniel Goggin, 28, during a shooting rampage that left two dead and one in critical condition Homicide investigators are hoping to track down more ... Tue, 26 Jul 2022 10:43:34 -0500 en-ca text/html https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/ihit-releases-photos-of-langley-shooter-jordan-goggin-and-his-car-in-search-for-witnesses/ar-AAZZYUt Killexams : How Wi-SUN is helping smart city initiatives

Wireless technologies and IoT applications have made the quest to build smarter cities very achievable, instead of a distant, lofty vision.

Across the globe, smart city technology spending is expected to boom to $327bn by 2025, up from $96 billion in 2019. More cities are digitising utilities, transportation, traffic and waste networks to Improve security, infrastructure, energy efficiency and sustainability – but new and different challenges come with this transformation.

Even though these critical networks can become connected, cities are ironically facing a massive disconnect: the smart city applications on these networks are relatively isolated and often can’t connect that well with each other because networks are oftentimes proprietary and therefore, non-interoperable. Imagine, how can smart city sensors on streetlights collecting data transmit it back to a traffic monitoring application effectively if the sensors and applications aren’t integrated on the same network?

Proprietary networks can be complex, fragmented and limiting, in terms of adding new devices easily from a wide variety of ecosystems. They are also more susceptible to cybersecurity breaches – a growing, global concern as seen with ransomware attacks to systems in cities such as Las Vegas and New Orleans.

Scaling Obstacles to Connect Everything

To modernize the grid infrastructure and enable innovation across industries, cities need flexible wireless standards to deploy IoT applications securely and at scale. Enter: Wi-SUN, one of the world’s first public protocols for smart city and smart utility applications. Launched in 2011, Wi-SUN, which stands for Wireless Smart Ubiquitous Networks, is an IPv6-based mesh technology designed for large-scale IoT wireless communication networks in a wide range of applications covering both line-powered and battery-powered nodes. Market leaders such as Landis + Gyr, Cisco, Toshiba, Renesas, Itron and more also join Silicon Labs as members of the Wi-SUN Alliance.

Wi-SUN is opening doors as a standard, interoperable network, enabling a self-forming mesh with thousands of end nodes connecting dynamically with each other.

The protocol features low latency, higher data throughput benefits, further catering to complex device requirements in low power, long range devices such as streetlights or battery-operated gas and water meters. Streetlights, for example, are becoming increasingly digitized with sensor nodes that can monitor environmental air quality, parking, waste management, manhole cover detection and other uses. Analysing real-time data from these sensors can help inform solutions to reduce energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide higher quality civic services to more people across the entire city landscape.

The mesh architecture offers significant latency gains as opposed to a typical star wireless network centered around a central server hub. Wi-SUN’s IoT network offers 0.02 -1 second latency, compared to other low-power wide-area networks such as LoRaWAN, offering 1 – 16 seconds and NB-IoT offering 2 – 10 seconds. Wi-SUN is currently governed by the FAN 1.0 specification, with the next version FAN 1.1 expected to be ratified later this year. Wi-SUN’s FAN 1.1 specification delivers enhancements such as OFDM support allowing data rates up to 2.4 Mbps to support demanding low-latency applications, leaf-node support for longer battery life of up to 20 years, as well as mode-switching that allows for dynamic data rate negotiation.

Wi-SUN enables utility providers to serve all their metering needs on one network. FAN 1.1 enables use of the same network for line-powered electric meter devices as well as battery operated water and gas meters. Essentially, having all applications interoperable on one Wi-SUN network creates an opportunity to scale existing infrastructure relatively quickly without modification, which can be time consuming and expensive, or limiting if connectivity is required outside of one network. One can think of Wi-SUN FAN as a true Internet-like infrastructure optimized for IoT devices. Recently, the Wi-SUN FAN specification was adopted by the IEEE Standards Association, further demonstrating the network’s capability to be accepted globally for open standards communications and cybersecurity standards.

Securing Critical City Infrastructure

Mesh networks like Wi-SUN with multiple connections provide stronger protection and reliability. If one node is down or compromised due to an attack or an extreme weather event like a hurricane or ice storm, the mesh network is self-healing and can reroute data to an unaffected connection. Massive loads of data within applications will always attract adversaries; therefore, expanding smart city means ramping up protection in critical infrastructure against vulnerabilities.

Based on IEEE 802.15.4g/e standards, Wi-SUN is also attractive from a security lens because the network devices authenticate all the way back to the cloud provider through a certificate chain that is cryptographically linked. Wi-SUN’s certificate chain provides the secure identity that is required for continuous authentication to meet the Zero Trust security architecture – which is beginning to dominate the industry, as seen with the Biden administration’s executive order on improving cybersecurity.

Strong certificate-based identities that authenticate to a cloud service have been common in the utility space for many years. However, this advanced continuous device authentication method being integrated into a wireless protocol like Wi-SUN is new, transformational and necessary as smart city devices will represent as enticing publicly accessible targets for cyber criminals looking to exploit public infrastructure for ransom payments.

As pressure mounts to address aging infrastructure that is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks and warming climate conditions, Wi-SUN’s scalable, resilient and secure wireless technologies serve as an accessible solution to create a more sustainable future.

Author details: Soumya Shyamasundar is a Product Manager with the wireless IoT group responsible for Wi-SUN markets at Silicon Labs.

Tue, 12 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.newelectronics.co.uk/content/features/how-wi-sun-is-helping-smart-city-initiatives
Killexams : Solar Eyeglasses Used Sunlight to Power Integrated Microprocessor, Displays

What if your eyeglasses not only protected your eyes from sunlight, but also absorbed its light to generate energy? That’s the idea behind new solar eyeglasses developed by researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany that can supply devices with electricity.

A team at the KIT Energy Center have taken advantage of organic solar cells, which are flexible, transparent, and lightweight, to explore the use of a new solar-energy-generating form factor--in this case, wearable eyeglasses, said Dominik Landerer, an engineer at KIT who worked on the project.

“Many people in the world wear eyeglasses every day,” he told Design News. “We thought it is a great idea to use this ‘area’--especially the lenses as the biggest area, for energy harvesting of sun or indoor light.”

Researchers developed solar eyeglasses with lens-fitted semi-transparent organic solar cells that supply two sensors and electronics in the temples with electric power. (Photo: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)

The solar-cell lenses fit into the eyeglass frames have a thickness of about 1.6 millimeters and weigh about six grams—similar to typical sunglasses frames. Researchers integrated a microprocessor and two small displays into the temples of the glasses, power for which is provided by the cells. The displays show the illumination intensity and the ambient temperature as bar graphs.

“The user does not feel any difference to normal sunglasses since the solar cells appear the same as toned lenses,” Landerer said. The work demonstrates the use of organic solar cells for “consumer-oriented mobile applications,” he said.

In addition to working in outdoor sunlight, the glasses also can function indoor under illumination down to 500 Lux, the typical illumination of an office or a living area. Under these conditions, each of the lenses still generates 200 microwatt of electric power--enough to operate devices such as a hearing aid, researchers said.

The team published a paper about their work in the journal Energy Technology.

Landerer said that the research paves the way for the development of even smarter devices with more sophisticated functionality, with every-day, wearable devices being used to harvest solar power to provide mobile sources of electricity.

“In the range of the power output, applications like hearing aids, Bluetooth interfaces, or pedometers become realistic scenarios,” he said. “But the technology of organic solar cells themselves could probably also address some other markets like the Internet of things, self-sustaining sensors, wearables, or window integration.”

Organic cells have some notable differences to typical silicon cells. They are lightweight and thin and can be designed in different shapes and colors, which allows for various applications that silicon cells can’t accommodate.

However, one drawback is that they haven’t had the same power efficiency as conventional cells, although that is changing, Landerer said.

“Organic solar cells have been subject to intensive studies for almost two decades, undergoing not only tremendous improvements in power efficiency, but also a rapid development towards a commercial launch,” he said. “Beside the electric-power-generation capability of the solar cells, customization for different applications and user requirements are essential for the acceptance of organic solar cells in consumer electronics.”

For the eyeglasses, researchers used colored, semi-transparent organic solar cells that were optimized for the application, Landerer said.

“For the implementation in the solar glasses, the transparency and the color perception are particularly important criteria,” he said. “The semi-transparent solar cells allow excellent color perception, which make them perfectly suitable for sunglasses or windows.”

Researchers plan to continue their work with organic solar cells and related applications to focus on advancing fabrication techniques and the device architecture of the cells, Landerer added.

Elizabeth Montalbano is a freelance writer who has written about technology and culture for more than 15 years.

Thu, 14 Jul 2022 12:01:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.designnews.com/electronics-test/solar-eyeglasses-used-sunlight-power-integrated-microprocessor-displays
Killexams : Will the Sun Soon Power First Responders?

Millions of American homes are powered by solar panels, capturing light shining down from above and converting it into electricity. Solar power is a well-established energy resource with enormous potential and countless applications—perhaps limited only by our imaginations. Good thing imagination is an endlessly renewable resource for the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).

The idea of clothing that can capture sunlight and turn it into electricity may sound like something out of science fiction, but S&T is working to make it a reality. Photovoltaic (PV) energy harvesting fabric is not only possible, but also a practical solution to a persistent challenge. First responders need light-weight power sources for their sensors, and other body-worn electronic devices. Energy harvesting fabric mitigates risk associated with relying solely on wall outlets to charge equipment. For instance, during a natural disaster and emergency response, the power grids may be compromised. The fabric also eliminates the need to carry extra batteries.

“Smart textiles are the future,” said S&T Program Manager Kimberli Jones-Holt. “This energy harvesting fabric project is incredibly innovative. I’ve been so impressed by the ingenuity of the research team and I look forward to the day that first responders are wearing and benefitting from this product.”

A Stitch in Time

Measuring the stainless steel wire. Photo credit: University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The First Responder Resource Group initially identified this capability as a high-priority need, and S&T listened. The solution in development now involves creating a PV fiber that can be woven into a power fabric and then integrated onto first responder garments, shelters, and related equipment to provide reliable power for charging batteries to power electronics. The power output of the fabric will be sufficient to charge AA batteries in eight hours. This effort will provide the foundational framework towards the development of commercially viable, textile-integrated, energy-harvesting PV devices that can be tested for direct application in the field.

S&T awarded $199,260 to Boston-based company Protect the Force, LLC, in August 2018 to initiate this work through the Silicon Valley Innovation Program. The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) is also partnering on this important project through its world-class Fabric Discovery Center. Together, the team of industry, academic, and S&T experts created an initial prototype fabric with fibers containing an incredibly thin light harvesting coating on smooth stainless-steel wire core that measures only a few hundred nanometers. This allowed the team to successfully demonstrate the proof of concept at small scale (100 cm2 fabric swatch) in July 2019 and then move on to the next phase of development.

Work in Progress

“This is innovation in real-time,” said Francisco Martinez, Vice President to the Chief Technology Officer at Protect the Force, LLC. “This is a new technology, so the manufacturing equipment doesn’t exist yet. We’re constantly adjusting and improving to come up with a product that works and can be scaled up.”

Ultraviolet lamp used for curing the wire cladding. Photo credit: University of Massachusetts Lowell.

A key testament to the team’s real-time ingenuity and problem-solving is the way they have been able to adapt and reconfigure their equipment. Their curing process is a prime example of this. They needed an ultraviolet lamp to cure the wire cladding since uncured wire is sticky and thus hard to work with. (Cladding is the application of protective layers for insulation.) Working at the cutting-edge of technology meant there was nothing commercially available for their purposes. The team was able to identify UV curable cladding material and the appropriate UV lamp to ensure uniform, even curing of the wire—and subsequent quality and reliability of the woven fabric.

A Bright Future

Phase II includes initial production, testing of the PV energy harvesting fabric swatches, and demonstration of integration onto a firefighter garment. While the initial application is planned for wildland firefighting, S&T is exploring compelling opportunities to transition the technology to other Department of Homeland Security agencies and beyond.

“What we learn during this process can be used for a lot of other things,” added Dr. Ramaswamy Nagarajan, UML Engineering Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Materials’ Harnessing Emerging Research Opportunities to Empower Soldiers (HEROES) program. “We need to get this right to enable future applications.”

Fabric swatch with various patterns. Photo credit: University of Massachusetts Lowell.

In the Spring of 2022, UML successfully conducted weaving trials. The team integrated the PV nanofibers with hundreds of feet of Nomex® yarn, a flame-resistant textile used in protective apparel, using a Thread Controller 2 digital loom.

Design optimization is now currently underway. Developers are working on weaving designs for the textile fibers that maximizes exposure to the sun and thus creates peak energy output from the fabric. They are experimenting with various patterns including twill, satin, dobby, and broken twill.

Flexibility and water repellence are other very important factors, and both depend upon proper cladding. Developers will also test resistance to various stressors to ensure compliance with National Fire Protection Association standards and work to make the fabric breathable, which has proven to be a significant scientific challenge.

The project will conclude later this year with the completion of Phase II. “The work that has been done to this point will be used to help determine additional interest from the first responder community for this type of technology,” explained Jones-Holt. “The task will closeout with the development of energy harvesting fabric woven into a first responder garment.”

Read more at DHS S&T

Fri, 22 Jul 2022 09:09:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.hstoday.us/federal-pages/dhs/will-the-sun-soon-power-first-responders/
Killexams : Search for missing Port Alberni woman focused on area near her home, friend says

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit recently joined the case.

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Friends and strangers alike are joining the effort to locate a 40-year-old Port Alberni woman missing since July 6.

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Search efforts for Amber Manthorne are now concentrated just outside the city around Great Central Lake near Manthorne’s home, said friend Kristie St. Claire, who went to school with the missing woman.

St. Claire described her friend as a “multi-faceted, talented woman” who runs a cleaning company, works at a retail marine store and helps a friend in a photography business.

Manthorne is scheduled to be the maid of honour in an upcoming wedding, said St. Claire, who called her friend a “firecracker” and said it’s totally out of character for her to disappear.

“She’s the kind of person that just lights up a room.”

St. Claire said a search has already been carried out around Cassidy, where Manthorne’s white 2021 Jeep Compass was located last weekend. The police conducted forensic analysis and used a tracking dog, she said.

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The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit recently joined the case.

The search of logging roads around Great Central Lake began Sunday night, St. Claire said.

“Since then we’ve rallied up everybody we have,” she said. “We’re creating maps, we’ve got a checkpoint at the Tseshaht market on Pacific Rim Highway through the day.”

St. Claire said she was heading to join the search late Thursday afternoon, as soon as she got off work, and planned to stay until sundown.

The search area is extensive and includes logging road and lakes, she said, so everything from drones to dogs and divers has been deployed. “We’ve had friends and people searching that area at length, stopping at every bridge to look underneath, checking anywhere and everywhere that they think that she might be.

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Some of those who have joined the hunt work in search and rescue and have volunteered to come out on their own time, she said.

St. Claire said anyone with information about the case can call Port Alberni RCMP at 250-723-2424. Since Manthorne’s vehicle was found some distance away, she also suggests calling the police in your local area with any tips.

Close to 6,000 people have been on the Facebook page Finding Amber Manthorne, St. Claire said, which is a testament to how well-liked she is.

Manthorne was originally thought to be in the company of Justin Hall, but he has since been located.

A message from Hall’s email address sent to CHEK News said “… I did not hurt my girlfriend. I do not know why she isn’t back home.”

The message said the sender panicked after an argument “and I just wanted to get away from everyone. I wasn’t able to contact anyone because I didn’t have a cellphone and by the time I did it was too late, I was already guilty in your eyes.”

“I lost the only person that still had my back,” said the sender, who claimed he was not the last person to be with Amber. “I have been calling her cell just to hear her voice and then I cry till I have no tears left. I would do anything to get her in my arms.”

Anyone wanting to donate to the search is asked email findingambermanthorne@outlook.com.

Manthorne is described as five-foot-two and 120 pounds with long blond hair and blue eyes.

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Fri, 15 Jul 2022 06:02:00 -0500 en-CA text/html https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/search-for-missing-port-alberni-woman-focused-on-area-near-her-home-friend-says
Killexams : GARDENING: Accurate diagnosis critical to resolving disease, pest issues with tomato plants

By now, if you are growing tomatoes, it’s likely that you are seeing some of the leaf spot diseases. We have had the perfect environmental conditions for them to develop this season. I have bacterial spot on all of my San Marzano and a few of the heirloom varieties.

A couple of weeks ago, James Clemmons sent me the following in an email:

“I was hoping you would be able to recommend a comprehensive resource for vegetable plant disease and insect damage issues. In print or electronic. I’ve been having issues and without correct diagnosis I haven’t resolved my issues. It would also be a great resource for the future.”

First, thanks for the idea for his column James, and second, sorry I didn’t do it last week due to the sunflower head-clipping weevil popping up in gardens.

I also want to commend on the comment, “without correct diagnosis I haven’t resolved my issues.”

Knowing the pest problem you are trying to manage is critical to resolving plant problems. Therefore, accurate diagnosis is essential.

The first step is to identify the plant with the second step being researching common problems for the plant in question.

Let’s take tomatoes. If you look up any university factsheet or a research-based resource, you will find the following disease problems listed for tomatoes: early blight, late blight, bacterial spot, Septoria leaf spot, and so on.

ExploreGARDENING: Plant trap crops to help protect vegetables from pests

Once you find the common diseases, you can then begin your research on those diseases and try to narrow it down to the symptoms that you are seeing on your tomatoes.

If you aren’t successful in your research, check out your local Extension office to see if they have anyone who can assist you. Many offices in the Miami Valley have either Master Gardener Volunteers or an Extension Educator who might be able to help identify the problem.

You can also check with your local garden center to see if someone there can correctly identify a plant problem.

Once you determine the problem, look at all the solutions. We try to utilize integrated pest management (IPM) strategies to reduce the amount of chemicals used.

You may even find that it’s too late to do anything or that there is no action needed. For instance, with bacterial spot, you need to have a fungicide on the leaf surface prior to infection. After the symptoms show up is too late.

A good resource to help is Cornell’s Vegetable Program website. Just enter that title in a search engine and it will come up.

Another good resource is the UC Davis IPM website. I use this site frequently when looking for IPM recommendations. While the site is based on California crops, the crops are many of the things we plant. You just must keep this in mind when searching for information.

Finally, the University of Georgia has a smartphone app called Vegetable Doctor which has all the vegetables and all of the pest problems along with photos listed.

I hope this is helpful to all.

Pamela Corle-Bennett is the state master gardener volunteer coordinator and horticulture educator for Ohio State University Extension. Contact her by email at bennett.27@osu.edu.

Tobacco hornworms are common insect pests of tomatoes. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Contributed

Tobacco hornworms are common insect pests of tomatoes. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Sat, 06 Aug 2022 00:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.springfieldnewssun.com/what-to-do/gardening-accurate-diagnosis-critical-to-resolving-disease-pest-issues-with-tomato-plants/D5N2QS7Q65BD5DV4NR3TCHWQOA/
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