UW’s nano institute is open for business

Nano institute opening

Among the dignitaries cutting the ribbon for the University of Washington’s Institute for Nano-Engineered Systems are institute director Karl Böhringer; Nena Golubovic, physical sciences director for IP Group; Mike Bragg, dean of the UW College of Engineering; and Jevne Micheau-Cunningham, the institute’s deputy director. (UW Photo / Kathryn Sauber)

University of Washington officials used a scaled-up scissors this week for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that celebrated scaled-down science: the opening of the Institute for Nano-Engineered Systems, or NanoES.

The institute, housed in the $87.8 million Nano Engineering and Sciences Building, will focus on nanoscale frontiers in energy, materials science, computation and medicine.

“The University of Washington is well-known for its expertise in nanoscale materials, processing, physics and biology — as well as its cutting-edge nanofabrication, characterization and testing facilities,” Karl Böhringer, the institute’s director, said in UW’s account of the Dec. 4 opening reception. “NanoES will build on these strengths, bringing together people, tools and opportunities to develop nanoscale devices and systems.”

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Canada gets set to cancel Boeing fighter jet deal

CF-18 Hornet

A Canadian CF-18 Hornet fighter jet launches a laser-guided bomb during a flight test. Canadian officials had been considering buying Super Hornets from Boeing. (USAF Photo / Tim Pfeifer)

Reuters reports that Canadian officials have decided to cancel an order of 18 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet jets, marking an escalation in the trade battle involving Canadian jet maker Bombardier’s sales to U.S. markets. Unnamed officials are quoted as saying that the decision will be announced next week, and that Canada’s armed forces will buy used Australian F/A-18 Hornets instead.

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Take two for ‘Person of the Year’ forecast: #MeToo

Swarm AI

Unanimous AI’s online jury uses graphical magnets to pull the focus of their prediction toward the favored choice — in this case, the #MeToo movement. (Unanimous AI Graphic)

It took more than one try, but Unanimous AI’s crowdsourced hive mind was correct when it picked #MeToo as the likeliest prospect for Time’s “Person of the Year.”

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OneRadio’s signal receiver goes to first customer

OneRadio display

OneRadio’s display shows “fingerprints” of signals across a swath of bandwidth. (OneRadio Image)

OneRadio Corp., a University of Washington spinout that focuses on sniffing out radio signals across a wide spectrum, has signed up the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s National Security Directorate as its first customer.

PNNL plans to use OneRadio’s wide-band radio receiver platform for security-related applications, the Seattle-based company said today.

OneRadio CEO Mohan Vaghul said he was thrilled to be working closely with researchers at the federally funded laboratory. “Our goal is to support them so that the agencies benefit,” Vaghul said.

Headquartered in Richland, Wash., PNNL provides its clients with practical solutions to prevent and counter acts of terrorism and stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

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Radian Aerospace gears up for rocket engine tests

Bremerton National Airport

Aerial imagery shows Bremerton National Airport. (Google Maps Photo)

The Kitsap Sun reports that Radian Aerospace, a stealthy startup headquartered in Renton, Wash., will begin testing rocket engines next year at a facility that’s under construction on a half-acre parcel of land next to an abandoned runway at the southeast corner of Bremerton National Airport.

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Dozens of satellites due for January liftoff in India

PSLV launch

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifts off on a February space mission. (ISRO Photo)

Redmond, Wash.-based Planetary Resources’ technology demonstrator satellite for asteroid prospecting is due for launch in early January, along with more than two dozen other satellites, aboard India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

The latest word on the schedule for the PSLV-C40 mission came today from Seattle-based Spaceflight, which is providing launch and mission services for Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-6 and 10 other satellites.

Arkyd-6 is only about the size of an inkjet printer, but it’s designed to capture images in midwave infrared wavelengths and send them back to Earth. The imaging technology is destined to be used in future generations of Planetary Resources’ asteroid-surveying spacecraft.

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NASA backs magnetic braking system for satellites

Image: Magnetoshell aerocapture concept

Magnetoshell aerocapture could help ease interplanetary spacecraft into orbit. (Credit: MSNW)

NASA says it’ll provide resources for a University of Washington research team that’s working on a concept to put small satellites in orbit around other worlds using magnetic interactions.

The concept, known as magnetoshell aerocapture, is one of nine university-led technology development projects winning NASA’s backing under the Smallsat Technology Partnerships initiative. The nationwide program is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

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