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technology

Coatings may prevent pipeline clogs

When ice forms in household water pipes, blockages and expansion can cause the pipes to burst. Similar problems can arise in the transportation of oil and gas when ice-like substances called gas hydrates build up inside pipelines — an issue traditionally mitigated by insulating pipes or by using antifreeze additives. But in a new study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, researchers report an alternative solution: specialized coatings for the inside of oil and gas pipes that prevent hydrate buildups and clogs. The coatings could prove more reliable than the usual approaches, but whether the method can be applied cost-effectively on a large scale is uncertain.

27 Aug 2017

In a position to lead: How military technology and innovation can ease the world's water challenges

Given the scale and resources of the U.S. military, as well as its need for resilient water systems wherever it operates, the military is driving innovation in the water sector, which could benefit communities around the world. 

17 Jul 2017

Ash vs. airplanes

Between 1953 and 2009,* there were 129 reported incidents of airplane-ash encounters, with 79 of those causing some degree of airframe or engine damage. Twenty-six involved significant or severe damage, and nine involved some degree of engine shutdown during flight. Most of the encounters occurred within 24 hours of the onset of ash production during an eruption and within 1,000 kilometers of the source volcano. All flights landed safely.

02 Apr 2017

Temblor: An app that brings home your seismic hazard

The public has a serious thirst for seismic knowledge. But the language that matters to homeowners is dollars and safety. Temblor was founded with the goal of making seismic resilience personal and the language accessible.
30 Jan 2017

Comment: To intervene or not to intervene: Improving the environment

Are science and technology enemies of the environment, or can they help us effectively and sustainably manage it?

08 Dec 2016

Geologic Column: Digital divorce!

The digital revolution has positive qualities, among them increased access to information and improved communication. But our compulsion for constant connection is troubling.

 
10 Nov 2016

Thirsty business: How the tech industry is bracing for a water-scarce future

Today’s technologies — from smartphones to laptops to smart appliances to cloud computing — require tremendous amounts of water, some of which is needed to cool large heat-generating data centers. Some of the biggest names in tech, along with government agencies and smaller businesses, are taking innovative approaches to deal with water issues — including placing facilities in the high desert. 

18 Sep 2016

Observers at the edge of the ice: Smaller, cheaper machines can safely go where humans can't

Glaciologists want to get as close to ice as possible, but safety is a concern. Enter drones, automated kayaks and disposable remote ice-monitoring devices.
28 Aug 2016

Geomedia: Apps: Join the crowd: Introducing a new generation of geo-apps

At a time when the technical and computing capabilities of science are evolving at breakneck speeds, it might seem like researchers would always seek out more powerful and sophisticated tools to tackle their scientific questions. But some have chosen the opposite strategy: drawing on the dispersed resource of millions of relatively low-tech devices like smartphones and personal computers — and their users. 
 
08 Feb 2016

Benchmarks: February 1962 and 1984: John Glenn and Bruce McCandless make space flight history

On the morning of Feb. 20, 1962, John H. Glenn sat inside the Mercury Friendship 7 space capsule, perched atop a rocket that had initially been designed to deliver nuclear warheads to the far ends of the world. That rocket would propel Glenn into space, and into the history books, as the first American to orbit Earth. 
 
07 Feb 2016

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