Carbon Fibers Electrical Measurements Pave Way for Lightning Strike Protection Technologies

Carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite structures are important in several industries, yet the electrical behavior of a composite is challenging to measure or predict because of the electrical conductivity of constituent carbon fibers and the composite’s complex hierarchical microstructure. In Journal of Applied Physics, researchers report the first direct measurement of the transverse electrical resistivity of a single carbon fiber. The researchers combined a precise sample preparation with a technique called the van der Pauw method to accomplish this challenging measurement.

Steering Wind Turbines Creates Greater Energy Potential

For wind farms, it is important to control upstream turbines in an efficient manner so downstream turbines are not adversely affected by upstream wake effects. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers show that by designing controllers based on viewing the wind farm system as a coupled network, it is possible to extract power more efficiently.

How Loud Is Too Loud? Identifying Noise Levels That Deter Older Restaurant Patrons

As restaurants get noisier, the increasing noise levels could deter older patrons, especially those with mild to severe hearing loss. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will discuss their work on investigating acceptable noise levels that won’t cause restaurant visitors to stay away from certain establishments. Identifying acceptable noise levels helps establish truly “age-friendly” communities. The session will take place as part of the 179th ASA Meeting.

Masked Education: Which Face Coverings are Best for Student Comprehension?

With the ubiquity of masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, understanding speech has become difficult. This especially applies in classroom settings, where the presence of a mask and the acoustics of the room have an impact on students’ comprehension. Pasquale Bottalico has been studying the effects of masks on communication. He will discuss his findings on the best way to overcome hurdles in classroom auditory perception caused by facial coverings at the 179th ASA Meeting.

Rat Spinal Cords Control Neural Function in Biobots

Biological robots draw inspiration from natural systems to mimic the motions of organisms, such as swimming or jumping. Improvements to biobots to better replicate complex motor behaviors can lead to exciting biorobotic engineering applications to help solve real world challenges. However, this requires the creation of biohybrid, which is a challenge. Researchers combined an intact rat spinal cord with a tissue-engineered, 3D muscle system. They describe the novel biohybrid system in the journal APL Bioengineering.

Crosstalk Captured Between Muscles, Neural Networks in Biohybrid Machines

Researchers created a platform to observe stem cell-derived neurons grow toward muscle cells, representing a critical milestone towards the realization of future biohybrid machines. In tiny biorobots using muscle cells as actuators, the ability to tune parameters would allow more precise designs with desirable characteristics and predictable behaviors for intelligent drug delivery, environment sensing, biohybrid blood circulation pumps and other uses. But big questions remain about future experiments.

Ultrasound Techniques Give Warning Signs of Preterm Births

Ultrasound can be used to examine cervix tissue and improve diagnostics, which is essential for predicting preterm births, and ultrasound data is used to compare two techniques for evaluating changes in cervical tissue throughout pregnancy. Researchers are looking at ultrasonic attenuation coefficients that can help scientists characterize cervical changes throughout pregnancy and in preparation for birth before other symptoms, such as contractions or dilation, occur. They will discuss their work at the 178th ASA Meeting.

Analysis of Galileo’s Jupiter Entry Probe Reveals Gaps in Heat Shield Modeling

The entry probe of the Galileo mission to Jupiter entered the planet’s atmosphere in 1995 in fiery fashion, generating enough heat to cause plasma reactions on its surface. The data relayed about the burning of its heat shield differed from the effects predicted in fluid dynamics models, and new work examines what might have caused such a discrepancy.