The Dawn of the E-Bomb

For the wired world, the allure and the danger of high-power microwave weapons are both very real

13 min read

In these media-fueled times, when war is a television spectacle and wiping out large numbers of civilians is generally frowned upon, the perfect weapon would literally stop an enemy in his tracks, yet harm neither hide nor hair. Such a weapon might shut down telecommunications networks, disrupt power supplies, and fry an adversary's countless computers and electronic gadgets, yet still leave buildings, bridges, and highways intact. It would strike with precision, in an instant, and leave behind no trace of where it came from.

In fact, it almost certainly is already here, in the form of high-power microwave (HPM) weapons. As their name suggests, HPMs generate an intense "blast" of electromagnetic waves in the microwave frequency band (hundreds of megahertz to tens of gigahertz) that is strong enough to overload electrical circuitry. Most types of matter are transparent to microwaves, but metallic conductors, like those found in metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS), metal-semiconductor, and bipolar devices, strongly absorb them, which in turn heats the material.

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Engineers Are Working on a Solar Microgrid to Outlast Lunar Nights

Future lunar bases will need power for mining and astronaut survival

4 min read
A rendering of a lunar base. In the foreground are rows of solar panels and behind them are two astronauts standing in front of a glass dome with plants inside.
P. Carril/ESA

The next time humans land on the moon, they intend to stay awhile. For the Artemis program, NASA and its collaborators want to build a sustained presence on the moon, which includes setting up a base where astronauts can live and work.

One of the crucial elements for a functioning lunar base is a power supply. Sandia National Laboratories, a research and development lab that specializes in building microgrids for military bases, is teaming up with NASA to design one that will work on the moon.

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Trilobite-Inspired Camera Boasts Huge Depth of Field

New camera relies on “metalenses” that could be fabricated using a standard CMOS foundry

3 min read
Black and white image showing different white box shapes in rows

Scanning electron microscope image of the titanium oxide nanopillars that make up the metalens. The scale is 500 nanometers (nm).

NIST

Inspired by the eyes of extinct trilobites, researchers have created a miniature camera with a record-setting depth of field—the distance over which a camera can produce sharp images in a single photo. Their new study reveals that with the aid of artificial intelligence, their device can simultaneously image objects as near as 3 centimeters and as far away as 1.7 kilometers.

Five hundred million years ago, the oceans teemed with horseshoe-crab-like trilobites. Among the most successful of all early animals, these armored invertebrates lived on Earth for roughly 270 million years before going extinct.

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Modeling Microfluidic Organ-on-a-Chip Devices

Register for this webinar to enhance your modeling and design processes for microfluidic organ-on-a-chip devices using COMSOL Multiphysics

1 min read
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Comsol

If you want to enhance your modeling and design processes for microfluidic organ-on-a-chip devices, tune into this webinar.

You will learn methods for simulating the performance and behavior of microfluidic organ-on-a-chip devices and microphysiological systems in COMSOL Multiphysics. Additionally, you will see how to couple multiple physical effects in your model, including chemical transport, particle tracing, and fluid–structure interaction. You will also learn how to distill simulation output to find key design parameters and obtain a high-level description of system performance and behavior.

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