Archive for February 9, 2010

Tiny Solar-Powered Sensor Harvests Energy From Surroundings | Inhabitat

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2010 by nuKnuK

It’s easy enough to find a solar-powered charger for iPods, cell phones, and other gadgets, but this ultra-tiny solar-powered sensor system is smaller than anything else on the market — 1,000 times smaller than standard systems, in fact. Developed at the University of Michigan, the 2.5 x 3.5 x 1 millimeter system is the smallest in the world, and it can harvest energy from its surroundings almost perpetually.

Measuring in at 9 cubic millimeters, the micro sensor requires half a volt to operate, but the device can put out up to 4 volts of power with reasonable indoor lighting. It probably won’t be on store shelves any time soon, but the solar-powered system could be used to make environmental sensor networks that keep track of water and air quality both cheaper and more efficient. The device also has a number of possible medical applications — for example, it could monitor pressure changes in the eyes for patients with glaucoma. Eventually, the sensor could be powered by heat or movement and used inside the body.

Next up: commercializing the sensor. The University of Michigan has plenty of backing for the project from organizations including National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Focus Center Research Program. We look forward to seeing what they come up with.

via Tiny Solar-Powered Sensor Harvests Energy From Surroundings | Inhabitat.

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This Is a Lunar Rainbow – moonbow – Gizmodo

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2010 by nuKnuK

This is not a rainbow. It’s a moonbow, an extremely rare atmospheric phenomenon caused by the near-full moon that it’s extremely hard to catch. So hard, in fact, that you can only see its colors thanks to long-exposure photography.It was captured by Wally Pacholka last January 20, at the Haleakala Crater on the Island of Maui, Hawaii. The moonbow—or lunar rainbow—is caused when the near-full moon at less than 42 degrees in a dark sky. The colors are so faint that the human eye color receptors can’t be excited enough for the brain to identify them. Therefore, they appear as white arcs to the naked eye. Only by using long-exposure photography you can reveal the diffraction of the moonlight through the microscopic water droplets suspended in the air.

via This Is a Lunar Rainbow – moonbow – Gizmodo.