Nexans’ Superconducting Fault Current Limiters Installed in Birmingham Power Grid

Western Power Distribution has integrated two 12 kV superconducting fault current limiters (sFCL) from Nexans Deutschland GmbH (CSA CSM) into the Birmingham UK power grid. The installation is part of FlexDGrid, a £17M project that aims to both reduce power cuts and carbon emissions and to increase the capacity of existing networks to facilitate the distribution of renewable energy in Birmingham. Nexans' technology opens up new ways of designing distribution grids, such as coupling busbars to maintain a reliable power supply during maintenance, and therein helps achieve FlexDGrid objectives by enabling higher power feed-in from distributed or renewable electricity sources.

NASA Completes JWST Cryogenic Testing

NASA researchers have completed cryogenic testing on the science instruments module for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The module contains JWST's science cameras and spectrographs, and had been undergoing four months of monitoring inside a giant thermal vacuum chamber called the Space Environment Simulator (SES) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt MD. The 40-foot-tall, 27-foot-diameter cylindrical chamber duplicates the extreme temperatures and vacuum of space, eliminating almost all of the air with vacuum pumps and drops the temperature using liquid nitrogen and gaseous helium.

NASA Scientists Prepare Cold Atom Laboratory for ISS Mission

On a sun-drenched hill in Southern California's San Gabriel Mountains, researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena are making progress on an experimental facility that could create the coldest known place in the universe. It's called the Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) and is expected to probe the wonders of quantum physics when it launches to the International Space Station in August 2017.

FabLab, a STEM Show for Teen Girls, Launches on FOX

FabLab, a new science television series from the producers of the Teen Choice Awards, has launched on FOX. The show aims to enthuse tween and teen girls about STEM by drawing connections between STEM innovations and efforts to make the world a better place. FabLab is produced in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and 15 other organizational partners interested in inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

NIST Develops First Widely Useful Measurement Standard for Breast Cancer MRI

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed the first widely useful standard for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast, a method used to identify and monitor breast cancer. The NIST instrument—a “phantom”—will help standardize MRIs of breast tissue and ensure quality control in comparing images within and between medical research studies.

Argonne Announces Community Open House

Argonne National Laboratory (CSA CSM) will open its gates to the community on Saturday, May 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a day of discovery and family fun. The Open House will feature interactive demonstrations, exhibits and tours of world-class, cutting-edge research facilities. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the work Argonne does to tackle some of the greatest global challenges in environmental sustainability, security, energy systems, transportation and healthcare.

Maglab Researchers Demonstrate Method to Reduce Quantum Bit Decoherence

An interdisciplinary collaboration of physicists and chemists from the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) (CSA CSM) has demonstrated a way to improve the performance of the powerful but persnickety building blocks of quantum computers (called quantum bits or qubits) by reducing interference from the environment. The research, which may hasten the development of quantum computers, is available in the journal Nature.

UPS Adds Cryogenic Shipping to Its Temperature-Sensitive Portfolio In Europe

UPS has launched its Temperature True® Cryo system in Europe, providing healthcare customers there access to end-to-end product protection and the capability to ship parcels in a cryogenic environment. The system uses cryogenic containers from Cryoport, a manufacturer of custom built liquid nitrogen dry vapor shippers, to keep products frozen at -150°C for 10 days while in transit or storage.

Major Breakthrough in MRI Scan Technology for Lung Disease

Scientists at the University of Nottingham have taken a major step towards providing a much clearer picture of lung disease thanks to new scanning technology developed at its Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Center. The new process makes the spaces inside lungs show up on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan using specially treated krypton gas as an inhalable contrast agent. Researchers hope the new process will eventually allow doctors to virtually see inside the lungs of patients.

Particle Physics Groups Again Signal Support for ILC

The Asia-Pacific High Energy Physics Panel (AsiaHEP) and the Asian Committee for Future Accelerators (ACFA) have issued a joint statement urging a redoubled international effort to realize the International Linear Collider (ILC) at KEK, Japan's High Energy Accelerator Research Organization. The joint announcement follows a similar one made by the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) in February, when members of the organization held a press conference in Tokyo.

Cryogenics Goes Radioactive in Search for Big Bang Neutrinos

Princeton University's Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is readying a facility to detect Big Bang neutrinos by capturing them in tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. The state-of-the-art project is named PTOLEMY, both as an homage to the second century Greek astronomer and as an acronym for Princeton Tritium Observatory for Light, Early-universe Massive-neutrino Yield. PTOLEMY consists of a pair of superconducting magnets joined to opposite ends of a five-foot vacuum chamber, with the second magnet connected to a calorimeter that measures electron energy.

DOE Announces $25 Million to Develop Next Gen Electric Machines for Industrial Energy Savings

The Department of Energy (DOE) on March 11 announced $25 million in funding aimed at advancing technologies for energy-efficient electric motors through applied R&D. The DOE intends to select eight to twelve projects that leverage recent technical advancements in nanomaterials research, high temperature superconductivity, magnet development and deployment of lead-free, low-loss bearing technologies that are critical for high speed electric motors.

NASA Glenn Invites the Public To Go Behind-The-Scenes

NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland will open its doors once a month beginning April 2 for a behind-the-scenes, one-hour guided tour of one of its world-class research facilities. Glenn tours, held through October, are part of NASA Glenn's 75th Anniversary. Two open house opportunities at Lewis Field in Cleveland and Plum Brook Station in Sandusky are also part of the celebration.

Preserving the Innocents: Biosample Storage at -190°C

by Julian Warhurst,; John Fink,; Tiffany Holmes,; Matthew Albert,; Bruce Zandi, It seems to be universally accepted that storing at -190°C in a liquid nitrogen (LN2 )vapor-phase freezer is the best technique for biosample preservation. Brooks Automation (CSA CSM) decided to explore this idea further, looking specifically at what happens … Continue reading Preserving the Innocents: Biosample Storage at -190°C

Scientists Prep for DUNE Neutrino Study

Over 150 physicists from around the world collided at The University of Texas at Arlington in early January to further collaboration on DUNE, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. The international project, scheduled for completion in the early 2020s, will shoot a neutrino beam from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (CSA CSM) in Illinois towards four 10-kiloton liquid argon detectors staged some 4,800 feet below ground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. The goal of DUNE is to better understand how the universe is put together, and its success hinges on perfecting a novel membrane cryostat to hold both the liquid argon and the cold electronics that will live and function for some 30 years inside it at 88K.

Superconducting Radio Frequency Activities at CERN

CERN has a long history in superconducting radio frequency (SRF) technology. What started with a few SRF cavities in the 1980s has now become a major field of activity. Today CERN is not only running a variety of superconducting RF installations and projects but is also preparing for a new collider, to follow the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), that will require pushing the limits of current technologies for better performance and lower cryogenic consumption.

Next Generation Multilayer Insulation with Discrete Spacer Technology, Parts 1 and 2

Cryogenic thermal engineers are familiar with multilayer insulation (MLI), developed in the late 1950s as lightweight insulation for cryogenic propellants. MLI is used as high performance thermal insulation for launch vehicles, spacecraft, cryogenic tanks, dewars and spaceborne instruments. MLI operates in high vacuum, where its performance exceeds other insulations by a factor of ten. However, the heat leak through acreage MLI is still a major one for cryotanks, making it difficult to achieve the NASA goal of zero boiloff needed for long duration missions, and real world application of MLI also have some well-known challenges.

SuperKEKB Commissioning Begins, Successful Storage of Beams in its Electron and Positron Rings Reported

After five years of large-scale upgrade work, Japan's High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) began test operations on SuperKEKB, an electron-positron colliding accelerator. SuperKEKB represents a major upgrade from the previous KEKB accelerator and is the culmination of years of construction that started in the second half of 2010. Commissioning began on February 1. On February 10, SuperKEKB succeeded in circulating and storing a positron beam in the positron ring, and it had succeeded in circulating and storing an electron beam in the electron ring by February 26.