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Probable cause sequences for WTC collapses finalized
At a press briefing in New York City on April 5, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) presented its analysis of how the World Trade Center (WTC) towers collapsed after two aircraft were flown into the buildings by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. The study is the most detailed examination of a building failure ever conducted. (2005-04-12)

Three researchers recognized for advancing the Navy's environmental efforts
Chief of Naval Research Rear Admiral Jay M. Cohen presented the Vice Admiral Harold G. Bowen Award for Patented Inventions to three Navy researchers in a ceremony at the Office of Naval Research on Thursday, April 7, 2005. The patent awarded to Peter S. McGraw, John L. Drake, and Thomas H. Hanes has helped the Navy find better ways to store plastic waste on board many of its ships. (2005-04-12)

Clearing the air on airplane cabin air
Fear about the safety of air in airplane cabins heightens whenever new infections, such as SARS or avian flu, appear in headlines. (2005-04-07)

Double volcanic eruption in Eastern Russia
Acquired from orbit 800 kilometres away, this Envisat image shows two volcanoes erupting simultaneously on Russia's snowy Kamchatka Peninsula this week. (2005-03-10)

Aircraft cabin ventilation influences the transmission of diseases in-flight
Increasing ventilation within aircraft cabins can reduce the spread of infectious diseases in-flight, suggests a review published in this week's issue of The Lancet. (2005-03-10)

Advanced research aircraft to arrive at Colorado facility this week
A new aircraft with exceptional research capabilities is scheduled to arrive at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Colo., this Friday. Known as HIAPER (High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research), the $81.5 million aircraft will serve the environmental research needs of the National Science Foundation, (NSF), NCAR's primary sponsor and owner of the aircraft, for the next several decades. (2005-03-09)

Finding hidden invaders in a Hawaiian rain forest
Novel techniques from a high-altitude aircraft, have detected two species of invading plants that are changing the ecology of rain forest near the Kilauea Volcano in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The study, led by Dr. Gregory Asner of the Carnegie Institution, found that the native dominant tree 'ohia' (Metrosideros polymorpha) has been taken over by the invading Canary Islands tree, Myrica faya. They also identified areas where Myrica invasion is in its early stages. (2005-03-07)

Background 'DWI' checks effective
General aviation pilots with a previous conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) are 43 percent more likely to crash their plane than pilots with no history of DWI, according to a new study of more than 300,000 pilot records by researchers at Johns Hopkins. (2005-01-31)

International science team measures Arctic's atmosphere
An international team of scientists embarked this week on a journey to improve modeling of global-scale air quality and climate change predictions by conducting high quality measurements of the Arctic region's atmosphere. (2005-01-28)

Climate change and the future of air travel
Researchers are investigating how air travel can be adapted to ease its impact on the environment. (2005-01-25)

Most alcohol-related plane crashes occur at night and in worsening weather conditions
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that nighttime flying and worsening weather conditions are two key characteristics of fatal plane crashes in general aviation where alcohol consumption by the pilot was also a factor. (2005-01-06)

INEEL and NASA launch UAVS to evaluate Earthbound missions
INEEL's tests of remotely-operated unmanned aerial vehicles has caught the interest of NASA scientists and U.S. Forest Service personnel. They are looking at the possibility of using these small, robotic planes to support fire fighting. The planes would be equipped with sensors or cameras for surveillance. The information they provide could help detect forest fires and help the Forest Service make decisions about where to place firefighters and equipment. (2004-12-08)

Purdue method to help engineers design systems for Mars, moon missions
Purdue University researchers, in the culmination of a four-year NASA-funded project, have created a method that will enable engineers to design more efficient systems for heating, cooling and other applications in spacecraft for missions to Mars and the moon. Findings were presented in Cleveland in June during the Workshop on Strategic Research to Enable NASA's Exploration Missions. (2004-12-06)

Innovative take-off system could lead to safer, cleaner air travel
A new approach to aircraft scheduling that uses computer models could allow a safe increase in airport throughput and reduce pollution. The system under development would, for the first time, provide runway controllers with advice, based on state-of-the-art computer models, on the most efficient, safe sequence in which aircraft can take-off. (2004-12-06)

Flight commemorates first explorer to reach South Pole
To commemorate the historic flight that laid the groundwork for today's United States Antarctic Program, the National Science Foundation is making available video and still images of Richard E. Byrd's flight to the South Pole on Nov. 29, 1929, and of a commemorative flight earlier this month by a modern-day LC-130 cargo plane that retraced Byrd's route. (2004-11-26)

Riders on the storm
The 2004 hurricane season left behind a great deal of destruction, but also a wealth of valuable data. As part of an Office of Naval Research project called CBLAST, for Coupled Boundary Layer/Air-Sea Transfer, researchers air-dropped specially designed instruments into the paths of the hurricanes--and into the hurricanes themselves. (2004-11-18)

'Brick wall' helps explain how corrosion spreads through alloy
Ohio State University researchers are finding new insights into how microscopic corrosion attacks an aluminum alloy commonly used in aircraft. They've developed a statistical model of the deterioration and simulated it on computer, using what may seem like an unlikely analogy: a cracking brick wall. (2004-11-15)

MIT team lets one airplane speak to another in English
Aeronautics researchers at MIT have developed an aircraft guidance system that allows a pilot in one plane to guide a separate, pilotless airplane by speaking commands in English. In a flight test, the pilotless vehicle, called a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), responded to sudden changes in plan and avoided unexpected threats en route to its destination, in real time. (2004-11-04)

New research helps protect airplane engines from drizzle --system to be tested at DIA this winter
New technology that detects and measures heavy freezing drizzle could save airlines millions of dollars in engine repairs. Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research developed the system, which will be installed this winter at Denver International Airport. (2004-10-27)

LASER technology helps track changes in Mount St. Helens
US Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA scientists studying Mount St. Helens are using high-tech Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology to analyze changes in the surface elevation of the crater, which began deforming in late September 2004. (2004-10-25)

UF scientist: 'Brain' in a dish acts as autopilot, living computer
A University of Florida scientist has grown a living (2004-10-21)

Super slow light may help speed optical communications
Physicists at NIST have proposed a new way to slow light down to almost one-millionth its usual speed--to the mere speed of a jet aircraft. As described in the Oct. 1 issue of Physical Review Letters, the method eventually could help simplify and reduce the cost of high-speed optical communications. (2004-10-14)

Plants provide model for new shape-changing materials
Over the next 17 months, Virginia Tech will lead a team of researchers exploring the development of a new class of materials that will use plant protein structures in an attempt to mimic biological systems. The Defense Science Office of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is funding the $2.1 million project. (2004-10-04)

Midwest thunderstorm study points toward better forecasts
Newly documented small-scale circulations within squall lines produce damaging straight-line winds and up to 20% of all U.S. tornadoes, according to a Midwest field study organized by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Some storm clusters leave larger remnant circulations that can generate new storm cells a day or more later. (2004-09-27)

Sandia helps Navy in shaping future of aircraft carrier operations
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are helping the U.S. Navy create the next generation of aircraft carriers by reviewing and analyzing current Carrier Air Wing flight operations, maintenance, and support functions. (2004-09-08)

Navy researchers test polymers to help fuel tanks 'heal' when shot
Materials chemists and engineers with the U.S. Navy hope to improve the odds that military planes and helicopters will survive hits by anti-aircraft fire and shrapnel. Researchers at the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Md., are trying to develop polymer films that can almost instantly close up holes ripped through them by high-speed projectiles. The work will be described Aug. 23 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia. (2004-08-23)

Scientists studying desert air to understand weather and climate
NASA, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists have assembled in the Arabian Desert to study tiny airborne particles called aerosols and their effect on weather and climate. The scientists are collaborating with researchers from the United Arab Emirates Department of Water Resources Studies and 20 other U.S., European and South African research laboratories to decipher the complex processes controlling the area's climate. (2004-08-18)

Scientists' showdown with soil moisture at the O.K. corral
Tombstone, Ariz., is a dusty place known for Wyatt Earp's famous 1881 (2004-08-02)

NIST WTC analysis classifies victims' locations in Towers
As part of its building and fire investigation of the World Trade Center disaster, NIST recently released an analysis of the location of the 2,749 victims that classifies the decedents as being at/above or below the floors of impact and specifies the number of victims found in each of the WTC towers. Knowing the location of victims assists NIST in better understanding occupant behavior, evacuation and emergency response operations at the WTC complex on 9-11. (2004-07-30)

Military flight planning software expands capabilities and attracts new users
The U.S. military's flight planning continues to be made easier by multimedia software developed by Georgia Tech Research Institute engineers and their collaborators in the early 1990s. Also, it has been adapted recently for a wide range of non-combat mapping activities. (2004-07-21)

Fire on the 'Vomit Comet'
Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering say solid fuel particles may be safer for hazardous environments on earth and burn more efficiently in the microgravity of space than gaseous fuels, which are more combustible and difficult to transport. Their findings have important implications for longer duration space exploration and dangerous situations on earth. (2004-07-15)

Some of the biggest raindrops on record found in both clean and dirty air
On two occasions, separated by four years and thousands of miles and in very different conditions, raindrops were measured at sizes similar to or greater than the largest ever recorded. The largest ones were at least 8 millimeters in diameter and were possibly a centimeter. (2004-07-13)

WTC investigation identifies standards, codes issues
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) team conducting the federal building and fire safety investigation into the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of Sept. 11, 2001, announced on June 18 that it has identified a series of issues about test methods, standards, codes and emergency operations currently used for buildings that merit further analysis as the investigation moves toward completion. (2004-07-02)

Notices for runway closures, other restrictions confuse pilots, UCF study shows
To help prevent crashes and make flying more efficient for pilots and passengers, University of Central Florida researchers have suggested improvements to how notices about runway closures, beacon outages and other temporary, flight-related issues are presented to pilots. (2004-07-01)

Scientists confront the challenges of the Arctic in support of ESA's ice mission
Camping out, for anything up to two months, on vast ice sheets in the Arctic is just one of the challenges scientists faced performing the first of a series of six validation experiments in support of ESA's CryoSat mission. (2004-06-30)

Engineering progress could cut pollution
An eight month secondment to Australia has enabled a Cardiff, UK, scientist to make significant progress in developing new measurement techniques for combustion processes, which could lead to more efficient use of energy sources and reductions in pollution. (2004-06-30)

Largest-ever air quality study poised to begin in seacoast N.H.
Hundreds of government and university scientists from across the country and in western Europe will be sampling the quality of the air this summer in the largest air quality and climate study to date as part of the International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation. (2004-06-29)

NASA helps track global air quality
NASA and other agencies will measure the movements of pollution around the globe this summer. NASA is participating with U.S. and international agencies as part of a combined air quality and climate study. (2004-06-29)

DOE scientists sample the skies
This summer, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will take to the skies above Western Pennsylvania for one month to sample the air for aerosol pollutants and evaluate their effects on Earth's climate. (2004-06-28)

'Shhh'- A flip of a switch may one day quiet jet engines
Jet engines may run quieter in the future, with technology developed at Ohio State. Researchers have developed a silencer technology that creates electrical arcs to control turbulence in engine exhaust airflow -- the chief cause of engine noise. The university has applied for a patent on the design. With the flip of a switch, pilots could turn the silencers -- called plasma actuators -- on and off, reducing noise around commercial airports or military airstrips. (2004-06-23)

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