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#Laser #Weapons Make Their Way Onto US Army Vehicles
On the windy dunes of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the US Army recently demonstrated just how close it is to deploying laser weapons on its ground-based fleet of vehicles.
Over the course of a week-long test, the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) in conjunction with Army Forces Strategic Command equipped a Stryker assault vehicle with a 5kW laser.
The Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser (MEHEL) 2.0 is an upgraded version of the original 2kW MEHEL armament tested last October. In this latest test, the 5kW MEHEL 2.0 was first tasked with intercepting a downing a single 20lb drone. Then it was pushed even further by being tasked to do the same for an entire squadron.

To shoot down a drone, a laser weapon needs more than just power, it also needs a sophisticated radar system that can perceive potential threats, isolate them, track them and then plot an appropriate kill path.

Fitting that kind of system onto a mobile platform was one of the biggest design challenges associated with the MEHEL 2.0 test.
"Getting everything integrated on the platform, being able to detect the target with the radar and then engage it with the high energy laser was very successful," said Adam Aberle of the SMDC High Energy Laser Division. "We learned the 5kW laser was able to defeat the targets. We were able to verify and show that we could put a radar and a laser on a platform so it could self-cue to targets and that was very successful.”

The idea of laser weapons has been around for quite some time. In the 1980s, the vision of a Star Wars defense system tantalized President Ronald Reagan and defense contractors alike.
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the researchers have found a way to make the normally brittle material of glass bend and flex. source
Brigham Young University (BYU) - #BYU researchers make flexible glass for tiny medical devices - Glass can bend over and over again on a #nanoscale
- Brigham Young University researchers have developed new glass technology that could add a new level of flexibility to the microscopic world of medical devices. Led by electrical engineering professor Aaron Hawkins, the researchers have found a way to make the normally brittle material of glass bend and flex. The research opens up the ability to create a new family of lab-on-a-chip devices based on flexing glass.

“If you keep the movements to the nanoscale, glass can still snap back into shape,” Hawkins said. “We’ve created glass membranes that can move up and down and bend. They are the first building blocks of a whole new plumbing system that could move very small volumes of liquid around.”

While current lab-on-a-chip membrane devices effectively function on the microscale, Hawkins’ research, recently published in Applied Physics Letters, will allow equally effective work at the nanoscale. Chemists and biologists could use the nanoscale devices to move, trap and analyze very small biological particles like proteins, viruses and DNA.

So why work with glass? According to lead study author and BYU Ph.D. student John Stout, glass has some great perks: it’s stiff and solid and not a material upon which things react, it’s easy to clean, and it isn’t toxic.
“Glass is clean for sensitive types of samples, like blood samples,” Stout said. “Working with this glass device will allow us to look at particles of any size and at any given range. It will also allow us to analyze the particles in the sample without modifying them.”

The researchers believe their device could also mean performing successful tests using much smaller quantities of a substance. Instead of needing several ounces to run a blood test, the glass membrane device created by Hawkins, Stout and coauthor Taylor Welker would only require a drop or two of blood.

Hawkins said the device should also allow for faster analysis of blood samples: “Instead of shipping a vial of blood to a lab and have it run through all those machines and steps, we are creating devices that can give you an answer on the spot."

There is an increased demand for portable on-site rapid testing in the healthcare industry. Much of this is being realized through these microfluidic systems and devices, and the BYU device could take that testing to the next level of detail.

“This has the promise of being a rapid delivery of disease diagnosis, cholesterol level testing and virus testing,” Hawkins said. “In addition, it would help in the process of healthcare knowing the correct treatment method for the patient.”
>>> article written BY Natalie Castillo, source:

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a GaN transistor offers low resistance and enables high frequencies and power densities. source =
A #SOI wafer is a suitable substrate for gallium nitride crystals - Improved characteristics in power electronics and radio applications can be achieved by using a SOI wafer for gallium nitride growth.
In cooperation with Okmetic Oy and the Polish ITME, researchers at Aalto University have studied the application of SOI (Silicon On Insulator) wafers, which are used as a platform for manufacturing different microelectronics components, as a substrate for producing gallium nitride crystals. The researchers compared the characteristics of gallium nitride (GaN) layers grown on SOI wafers to those grown on silicon substrates more commonly used for the process. In addition to high-performance silicon wafers, Okmetic also manufactures SOI wafers, in which a layer of silicon dioxide insulator is sandwiched between two silicon layers. The objective of the SOI technology is to improve the capacitive and insulating characteristics of the wafer.

“We used a standardised manufacturing process for comparing the wafer characteristics. GaN growth on SOI wafers produced a higher crystalline quality layer than on silicon wafers. In addition, the insulating layer in the SOI wafer improves breakdown characteristics, enabling the use of clearly higher voltages in power electronics. Similarly, in high frequency applications, the losses and crosstalk can be reduced”, explains Jori Lemettinen, a doctoral candidate from the Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering.

‘GaN based components are becoming more common in power electronics and radio applications. The performance of GaN based devices can be improved by using a SOI wafer as the substrate’, adds Academy Research Fellow Sami Suihkonen.
SOI wafers reduce the challenges of crystal growth

Growth of GaN on a silicon substrate is challenging. GaN layers and devices can be grown on substrate material using metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE). When using silicon as a substrate the grown compound semiconductor materials have different coefficients of thermal expansion and lattice constants than a silicon wafer. These differences in their characteristics limit the crystalline quality that can be achieved and the maximum possible thickness of the produced layer.

‘The research showed that the layered structure of an SOI wafer can act as a compliant substrate during gallium nitride layer growth and thus reduce defects and strain in the grown layers”, Lemettinen notes.

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The city’s talent pool poses challenges in access and quality. 

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Why not break with tradition and do without a science adviser? Why not choose an engineering adviser instead? Engineers make things work, and keep them working, which is exactly what you need to succeed.

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GE is also putting its software engineers to work making hospital IT systems more efficient. The plan is to connect different systems within a hospital to create a "command center."
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