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  • richardmitnick 2:19 pm on January 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Censys, Internet-scanning U-M startup offers new approach to cybersecurity, U Michigan   

    From University of Michigan: “Internet-scanning U-M startup offers new approach to cybersecurity” 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    January 26, 2018
    Gabe Cherry

    1
    Censys CTO Zakir Durumeric (left) and chief scientist Alex Halderman. Halderman is a computer science and engineering professor at U-M.

    Rolling out what it’s calling a “street view for cyberspace,” Censys—a tech startup based on technology developed at the University of Michigan—has launched a commercially available version of its internet-wide scanning tool.

    Based on technology developed in the lab of U-M computer science and engineering professor J. Alex Halderman, Censys continuously scans the internet, analyzing every publicly visible server and device. It uses the data that comes back to create a dynamic, searchable snapshot of the entire internet.

    Censys could be an important cybersecurity defense tool for IT experts working to secure large networks, which are composed of a constantly changing array of devices ranging from servers to smartphones and internet-of-things devices. One unsecured device is all it takes for a hacker to break in, and there’s currently no good way for IT experts to get a comprehensive view of their own networks. Today, they must often battle hackers and other online threats without a complete understanding of their network’s vulnerabilities. Censys aims to change that.

    “Network security doesn’t have to be black magic,” Halderman said. “So much of security practice is based on untested assumptions, but in fact security can be quantified and studied the same way we use data to study human health.”

    Censys has been available for free to non-commercial users since it began as a U-M research project in 2015. During that time, it’s been used in hundreds of peer-reviewed studies and helped researchers better understand some of the most significant Internet security threats of recent years, Halderman said.

    Over the past six months, Halderman’s team worked closely with the U-M Office of Technology Transfer to license the technology and form a new company, making it available to commercial customers. Now, IT experts can use it to search for every device on their domain and get back a detailed view of their public internet footprint, as well as analytics outlining vulnerabilities.

    The data that powers Censys will also be available for license by companies who wish to build their own applications around it. Censys data will remain available free of change for non-commercial use by researchers.

    During the scanning process, Censys performs a brief data exchange called an “application-layer handshake” with every device that has a public internet address. It then dissects the data that comes back, pulling out useful nuggets of information like protocol, device type, manufacturer, software version and age. Censys also has tools that can scan for specific vulnerabilities; the system is designed so that additional scanners can be added easily as new threats emerge.

    2
    Screenshots of the Censys homepage and of a report generated with the tool. Courtesy of Censys.

    Halderman explains that internet-wide scanning isn’t new—hackers have known about it for years. In fact it’s relatively common for them to use collections of hijacked machines called botnets to troll for vulnerable systems. In Halderman’s view, Censys levels the playing field by making global scanning data available to internet defenders, including IT professionals and researchers.

    “It’s similar to Google Street View, where we’re gathering what’s already publicly visible and making it available in one place,” he said. “To extend the analogy, we just take a picture from the sidewalk. We don’t peek in the door, we don’t jiggle the locks.”

    Any network that doesn’t wish to be scanned can opt out, though Halderman says such requests have been rare during the five years that the scans have taken place.

    Censys is an outgrowth of the ZMap Project, a suite of open-source internet scanning tools that Halderman’s lab began developing in 2013 at U-M. While the ZMap Project tools remain freely available, Censys builds on them to provide an easy-to-use service that gathers and analyzes data automatically.

    The company is based in Ann Arbor and has nine full-time employees. Censys CEO and co-founder Brian Kelly says that companies like Censys are helping to cement Ann Arbor’s status as a hub for tech security companies.

    “It’s great to see that investors are no longer shy about investing in a company that isn’t in Silicon Valley, and the talent pool here is phenomenal,” Kelly said. “U-M in particular has been really helpful in creating an environment where we can take software products out of the lab and into the real world.”

    The technology behind Censys is detailed in a paper titled A Search Engine Backed by Internet-Wide Scanning, published in the Proceedings of the 22nd ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) in October, 2015. The paper was authored by Halderman; former U-M computer science and engineering students Zakir Durumeric, David Adrian and Ariana Mirian; and Michael Bailey of the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

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  • richardmitnick 5:22 pm on January 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , MORPHEUS, U Michigan, Unhackable computer   

    From U Michigan: “Unhackable computer under development with $3.6M DARPA grant” 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    December 20, 2017
    Nicole Casal Moore
    ncmoore@umich.edu
    (734) 647-7087

    The researchers say they’re making an unsolvable puzzle: ‘It’s like if you’re solving a Rubik’s Cube and every time you blink, I rearrange it.’

    1
    The MORPHEUS approach outlines a new way to design hardware so that information is rapidly and randomly moved and destroyed. The technology works to elude attackers from the critical information they need to construct a successful attack. Photo: Getty Images

    By turning computer circuits into unsolvable puzzles, a University of Michigan team aims to create an unhackable computer with a new $3.6 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

    Todd Austin, U-M professor of computer science and engineering, leads the project, called MORPHEUS. Its cybersecurity approach is dramatically different from today’s, which relies on software—specifically software patches to vulnerabilities that have already been identified. It’s been called the “patch and pray” model, and it’s not ideal.

    This spring, DARPA announced a $50 million program in search of cybersecurity solutions that would be baked into hardware.

    “Instead of relying on software Band-Aids to hardware-based security issues, we are aiming to remove those hardware vulnerabilities in ways that will disarm a large proportion of today’s software attacks,” said Linton Salmon, manager of DARPA’s System Security Integrated Through Hardware and Firmware program.

    The U-M grant is one of nine that DARPA has recently funded through SSITH.

    MORPHEUS outlines a new way to design hardware so that information is rapidly and randomly moved and destroyed. The technology works to elude attackers from the critical information they need to construct a successful attack. It could protect both hardware and software.

    “We are making the computer an unsolvable puzzle,” Austin said. “It’s like if you’re solving a Rubik’s Cube and every time you blink, I rearrange it.”

    In this way, MORPHEUS could protect against future threats that have yet to be identified, a dreaded vulnerability that the security industry called a “zero day exploit.”

    “What’s incredibly exciting about the project is that it will fix tomorrow’s vulnerabilities,” Austin said. “I’ve never known any security system that could be future proof.”

    Austin said his approach could have protected against the Heartbleed bug discovered in 2014. Heartbleed allowed attackers to read the passwords and other critical information on machines.

    “Typically, the location of this data never changes, so once attackers solve the puzzle of where the bug is and where to find the data, it’s ‘game over,’” Austin said.

    Under MORPHEUS, the location of the bug would constantly change and the location of the passwords would change, he said. And even if an attacker were quick enough to locate the data, secondary defenses in the form of encryption and domain enforcement would throw up additional roadblocks. The bug would still be there, but it wouldn’t matter. The attacker won’t have the time or the resources to exploit it.

    “These protections don’t exist today because they are too expensive to implement in software, but with DARPA’s support we can take the offensive against attackers with new defenses in hardware and implement then with virtually no impact to software,” Austin said.

    More than 40 percent of the “software doors” that hackers have available to them today would be closed if researchers could eliminate seven classes of hardware weaknesses, according to DARPA. The hardware weakness classes have been identified by a crowd-source listing of security vulnerabilities called the Common Weakness Enumeration. The classes are: permissions and privileges, buffer errors, resource management, information leakage, numeric errors, crypto errors, and code injection.

    DARPA is aiming to render these attacks impossible within five years. If developed, MORPHEUS could do it now, Austin said.

    While the complexity required might sound expensive, Austin said he’s confident his team can make it possible at low cost.

    Also on the project team are: Valeria Bertacco, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and professor of computer science and engineering at U-M; Mohit Tiwari, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas; and Sharad Malik, the George Van Ness Lothrop Professor of Engineering and a professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:29 pm on December 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A shoe-box-sized chemical detector, , , , U Michigan   

    From U Michigan: “A shoe-box-sized chemical detector” 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    December 21, 2017
    Nicole Casal Moore

    Powered by a broadband infrared laser, the device can zero in on the ‘spectral fingerprint region’.

    1
    Mohammed Islam, professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering, demonstrates use of a chemical sensor prototype. Photo: Joseph Xu

    A chemical sensor prototype developed at the University of Michigan will be able to detect “single-fingerprint quantities” of substances from a distance of more than 100 feet away, and its developers are working to shrink it to the size of a shoebox.

    It could potentially be used to identify traces of drugs and explosives, as well as speeding the analysis of certain medical samples. A portable infrared chemical sensor could be mounted on a drone or carried by users such as doctors, police, border officials and soldiers.

    The sensor is made possible by a new optical-fiber-based laser that combines high power with a beam that covers a broad band of infrared frequencies—from 1.6 to 12 microns, which covers the so-called mid-wave and long-wave infrared.

    __________________________________________________________
    We’ve shown we can make a $10,000 laser that can do everything a $60,000 laser can do.
    -Mohammed Islam
    __________________________________________________________

    “Most chemicals have fingerprint signatures between about 2 and 11 microns,” said Mohammed Islam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at U-M who developed the laser. “Hence, this wavelength range is called the ‘spectral fingerprint region.’ So our device enables identification of solid, liquid and gas targets based on their chemical signature.”

    The project is a collaboration among the global technology company Leidos, fiber makers IRflex and CorActive, the University of Michigan and the U-M startup Omni Sciences, which was founded by Islam. The project is funded by the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

    3
    The sensor is able to detect a variety of qualities from a distance of more than 100 feet away and could be used to identify traces of drugs and explosives, as well as speeding the analysis of certain medical samples. Previously such a sensor was only able to be used in closed proximity. Photo: Joseph Xu

    Islam and his team built their device with off-the-shelf fiber optics and telecommunications components, save one custom-made optical fiber. This approach ensures that the laser will be reliable and practical to manufacture at a reasonable cost. “We’ve shown we can make a $10,000 laser that can do everything a $60,000 laser can do,” Islam said.

    Broadband infrared lasers are typically built up from a laser that produces very short pulses of light, and then a series of amplifiers ramps up the power, but this approach is limited to laboratories. In addition to their high costs, these components can’t yet shrink small enough to fit into a handheld device. Plus, the use of lenses and mirrors would make the device sensitive to jostling and changes in temperature.

    To craft their new laser, the team started with a standard laser diode, similar to those in laser pointers and barcode scanners. This pulse was then boosted in power with telecom amplifiers—similar to those used in the field to periodically ramp voice signals back up as they diminish over long travels through the fiber-optic lines. Then they ran this powerful, broadband signal through a 2-meter coil of optical fiber.

    “This where the magic comes in,” said Islam. “We put in these roughly one-nanosecond pulses, at this high power, and they break up into very narrow series of small short pulses, typically less than a picosecond in width. So basically for the price of 20 cents of fiber, we obtain the same kind of output as very expensive mode-locked lasers.”

    Then, in a process known as “super-continuum generation,” they expanded the wavelengths covered by that light by sending it through specialized softer glass fibers. Most lasers emit light of just one wavelength, or color. But super-continuum lasers give off a focused beam packed with light from a much broader range of wavelengths. Visible-wavelength super-continuum lasers, for example, discharge tight columns that appear white because they contain light from across the visible spectrum. Islam’s broadband infrared super-continuum laser does the equivalent, but in longer infrared wavelengths.

    4
    Fibers that are constructed together in order for a light to be shot through by a chemical sensor prototype developed by EECS Professor Mohammed Islam’s research group. Photo: Joseph Xu

    To use the device, the researchers shine the laser on an object and analyze the reflected light to identify what wavelengths did not bounce back. They can identify chemicals by the unique pattern of infrared wavelengths that they absorb.

    The team successfully demonstrated the laser for IARPA in August 2017, analyzing 70 mystery samples over two days of testing. Phase 2 of the project will entail shrinking the system toward the size of a shoebox, a process that will be led by Leidos and Omni Sciences.

    In addition to the applications in policing and defense, Islam sees a future for the technology in medicine. For instance, tissue samples are chemically analyzed in a laboratory—a process that takes time and materials. Islam thinks the laser could provide an assessment of the chemical content on the spot. It may even be possible to run the beam through a scope and analyze tissue right in the body.

    The laser is described in the journal Optics Letters, in an article titled, Mid-infrared supercontinuum generation from 1.6 to >11 micrometers using concatenated step-index fluoride and chalcogenide fibers. Islam is also a professor of biomedical engineering.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:18 pm on December 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , he X3 is one of three prototype “Mars engines” to be turned into a full propulsion system with funding from NASA, , , The most powerful Hall thruster the world has ever seen showed its mettle at NASA Glenn, U Michigan, X3 Hall thruster   

    From U Michigan: “Thruster for Mars mission breaks records” 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    October 24, 2017 [Just found this.]
    Kate McAlpine
    kmca@umich.edu
    (734) 763-4386

    The most powerful Hall thruster the world has ever seen showed its mettle at NASA Glenn.

    1
    A side shot of the X3 firing at 50 kilowatts. Photo credit: NASA.

    An advanced space engine in the running to propel humans to Mars has broken the records for operating current, power and thrust for a device of its kind, known as a Hall thruster.

    The development of the thruster was led by University of Michigan Aerospace Engineering Professor Alec D. Gallimore, who is also the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering.

    Hall thrusters offer exceptionally efficient plasma-based spacecraft propulsion by accelerating small amounts of propellant very quickly using electric and magnetic fields. They can achieve top speeds with a tiny fraction of the fuel required in a chemical rocket.

    “Mars missions are just on the horizon, and we already know that Hall thrusters work well in space,” Dean Gallimore said. “They can be optimized either for carrying equipment with minimal energy and propellant over the course of a year or so, or for speed – carrying the crew to Mars much more quickly.”

    2
    A head-on shot of the thruster firing at 50 kilowatts, viewed through a warped mirror in the vacuum chamber. Photo credit: NASA.

    The challenge is to make them larger and more powerful. The X3, a Hall thruster designed by researchers at U-M, NASA and the US Air Force, shattered the previous thrust record set by a Hall thruster, coming in at 5.4 newtons of force compared with 3.3 newtons. The improvement in thrust is especially important for crewed mission: it means faster acceleration and shorter travel times. The X3 also more than doubled the operating current record (250 amperes vs 112 amperes) and ran at a slightly higher power (102 kilowatts vs 98 kilowatts).

    The X3 is one of three prototype “Mars engines” to be turned into a full propulsion system with funding from NASA. Scott Hall, a doctoral student in aerospace engineering at U-M, carried out the tests at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, along with Hani Kamhawi, PhD, a NASA Glenn research scientist who has been heavily involved in the development of the X3. The experiments were the culmination of more than five years of building, testing and improving the thruster.

    NASA Glenn, which specializes in solar electric propulsion, is currently home to the only vacuum chamber in the US that can handle the X3 thruster. The thruster produces so much exhaust that vacuum pumps at other chambers can’t keep up. Then, xenon that has been shot out the back of the engine can drift back into the plasma plume, muddying the results. But as of January 2018, an upgrade of the vacuum chamber in Gallimore’s lab will enable X3 testing right at U-M.

    For now, the X3 team snagged a test window from late July through August this year. Hall loaded the X3 into a 26-foot moving truck and drove it down to Cleveland in February. There, he and Kamhawi – supported by a team of NASA researchers, engineers and technicians – began a painstaking inspection of the X3, dismantling it and examining the parts one by one. One of the issues they uncovered and fixed was a propellant leak in the thruster, which would have reduced its thrust in the tests.

    In late May, Hall and Kamhawi began to reassemble the X3 and prepare it for its turn in the vacuum chamber. Once the timer started rolling on their test, they had four weeks to set up the thrust stand, mount the thruster and connect it to xenon and electrical power supplies. Hall had built a custom thrust stand to bear the X3’s 500-pound weight and withstand its force, as existing stands would collapse under it. Throughout the process, Hall and Kamhawi were supported by NASA researchers, engineers and technicians.

    “The big moment is when you close the door and pump down the chamber,” said Hall.

    After the 20 hours of pumping to achieve a space-like vacuum, Hall and Kamhawi spent 12-hour days testing the X3 from seven in the morning to seven at night.

    Even small breakages feel like big problems when it takes days to gradually bring air back into the chamber, get in to make the repair, and pump the air back out again. But in spite of the challenges, Hall and Kamhawi brought the X3 up to its record-breaking power, current and thrust over the 25 days of testing.

    When problems arose, Hall would consult Dean Gallimore over the phone. “Alec is so clear and level-headed. I would go to him with my head in my hands, thinking something terrible had happened. But he always believes we are going to be fine, and we always are,” said Hall.

    4
    Scott Hall makes some final adjustments on the thruster before the test begins. Photo credit: NASA.

    Looking ahead, the X3 will at last be integrated with the power supplies under development by Aerojet Rocketdyne, a rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer and lead on the propulsion system grant from NASA. In the spring of 2018, Hall expects to be back at NASA Glenn running a 100-hour test of the X3 with Aerojet Rocketdyne’s power processing system.

    The X3 is designed to run at double its current power of 100 kilowatts, but making the leap to 200 kilowatts is outside the scope of the current project. As for the competing designs for that future Mars mission, Hall says he’s heard rumors around NASA, but he hasn’t seen any published results that he can compare to the X3’s new stats.

    The project is funded through NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnership, which supports not just propulsion systems but also habitat systems and in-space manufacturing.

    Dean Gallimore is also the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and a professor of aerospace engineering and applied physics. Kamhawi is also Hall’s NASA mentor as part of the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship. The $1 million upgrade of the test facility in Gallimore’s lab is funded in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, with additional support from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and U-M.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:31 pm on October 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , LIFT- Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, , Materials Manufacturing, U Michigan   

    From U Michigan: “Advanced manufacturing lab opens in Detroit” 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    October 12, 2017 [better late…]
    Nicole Casal Moore

    Center to drive lightweight manufacturing technology.

    1
    Xun Lin, ME PhD Student, works in the S.M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center. Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing

    A $50 million lightweighting research and development lab that the University of Michigan helped to jumpstart opened its doors today in Detroit’s Corktown district.

    LIFT, which stands for Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, and IACMI, The Composites Institute unveiled the 100,000-sq.-ft. facility. It’s a cornerstone of LIFT’s effort to establish a regional manufacturing ecosystem that moves advanced lightweight metals out of the research lab and into tomorrow’s cars, trucks, airplanes and ships for both the commercial and military sectors.

    “The metalworking industry in our country already employs almost half a million people,” said Alan Taub, LIFT’s chief technical officer and a professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering at U-M. “Through LIFT technology advances and education and workforce programs, we are enabling further growth.”

    2
    Mihaela Banu, ME Associate Professor, shows an example of an alloy in the GG Brown Building. Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing

    LIFT, which was formerly the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), launched in 2014 as a partnership among U-M, Ohio State University and Ohio-based manufacturing technology nonprofit EWI. The institute is a node in the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, an Obama administration White House initiative to help U.S. manufacturers become more competitive. It is now called Manufacturing USA. U-M faculty played pivotal roles in helping to conceive and shape this network.

    “The purpose of these manufacturing innovation institutes is to mature the technology and the manufacturing-readiness through precompetitive R&D and establish industrial commons necessary to anchor manufacturing in the U.S.”said Sridhar Kota, the Herrick Professor of Engineering at U-M and a professor of mechanical engineering. “LIFT’s six pillars of lightweight metals processing technology have significant applications to automotive and aerospace industries.”

    Kota held an appointment as assistant director for advanced manufacturing at the White House from 2009-12. He proposed the idea of so-called Edison Institutes to bridge the “innovation gap” between basic research and manufacturing-readiness. Kota helped create Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership in 2011 to move the network forward. Other university leaders served on a working group of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.

    “These new institutes will help put ‘&’ back in R&D in order to get a better return on investment of taxpayers’ dollars,” Kota said earlier.

    The new lab is a joint effort between LIFT and IACMI, The Composites Institute, which is another Manufacturing USA institute. It will allow institute members, partners and others in the industry to conduct research and development projects, in both lightweight metals and advanced composites. It will also provide education space for students and adult learners focused on the composites and lightweight materials industries.

    With more than 74 member organizations including companies, universities, research institutions, and education and workforce leaders as partners, LIFT is expected to contribute to economic development and positive job impact in Detroit and stretching to the five-state region of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky over the next five years. Most of these jobs will be in the metal stamping, metalworking, machining and casting industries that are dominant in the Midwest region.

    Beyond its R&D efforts, the institute aims to help educate the next generation of manufacturing’s technical workforce. LIFT will engage workforce partners from across the region to strengthen education and training pathways to high quality jobs in all transportation manufacturing sectors, including the automobile, aircraft, heavy truck, ship, rail and defense industries.

    LIFT receives federal funding as well as funding from the consortium partners themselves, including the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the state of Ohio.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:20 am on October 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , HERCULES 300 TW laser, , U Michigan   

    From U Michigan – Hercules Laser: “HERCULES 300 TW laser” 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    1
    Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering. Science Alert.

    From Science Alert
    A $US2 million upgrade could soon see the world’s most intense laser crank it up a notch.

    The laser they call HERCULES (because of course it is) is already currently capable of emitting a terrifying 300 terawatts of power. Clearly in a case of laser envy, a few new parts could see it spit out 1,000 terawatt beams of light, enough to produce next generation particle accelerators that could fit on your dining room table.

    HERCULES is getting a little old for lasers, being built back in 2007 when 300 terawatts was something to crow about.

    That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be impressed. Assuming 1,360 watts of sunlight hit your average square metre, 300 terawatts would be more or less like collecting the light that falls on an area the size of Nebraska. And then some.


    View video on High Field Science Research at CUOS

    From U Michigan
    HERCULES 300 TW laser

    The construction and operation of a high-field petawatt class laser, HERCULES, is a major CUOS activity. The National Science Foundation through the Physics Frontier Center FOCUS supported the development and construction of this laser. The goal of High-Field Science program at CUOS is to explore the ultra-relativistic intensity regime of laser-matter interaction. The Petawatt stage of HERCULES was activated in 2007 and reached power of 300 TW [1]. This was the first multi-100 TW-scale repetitive laser. HERCULES holds world records for the highest focused intensity, 2×1022 Wcm-2 and for Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE) temporal contrast of 10-11.

    The HERCULES laser design is based on chirped-pulse amplification with cleaning of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) noise after the first amplifier (Fig. 1).The output pulse of the short pulse oscillator (12 fs-pulsewidth, Femtolasers) of the HERCULES laser is preamlified in the two-pass preamlifier to the microjoule energy level. ASE added by the two-pass amplifier is removed by the cleaner based on cross-polarized-wave generation [2] providing a record ASE contrast of 10-11 [3]. The clean microjoule energy pulse is stretched to ~0.5 ns by the stretcher based on a modified mirror-in-grating design [4]. The whole laser is designed by ray-tracing analysis to be fifth-order dispersion-limited over 104 nm bandwidth. The high-energy regenerative amplifier [5] and cryogenically cooled 4-pass amplifier bring the pulse energy to a joule energy level with nearly diffraction-limited beam quality. Two sequential 2-pass-Ti:sapphire amplifiers of 1′ and 2″ beam diameter respectively raise the output energy to a value approaching 20 J.

    2
    Fig.1: Hercules Schematics

    We designed our own frequency-doubled Nd:glass pump laser [6] for pumping of the final two amplifiers of the HERCULES laser (Fig. 2). The pump laser has two stages of amplification. The frequency-doubled output of the first stage is used for pumping of the 1″-diameter Ti:sapphire amplifier, while the unconverted infrared light is injected into the second stage of the pump laser for further amplification. The frequency-doubled output of the second stage is used for pumping of the booster (2″- diameter) amplifier of the HERCULES laser. The pump laser has a quasi-flat-top beam profile that was achieved at 0.1 Hz repetition rate by relay imaging and thermally-introduced birefringence compensation. The booster two-pass amplifier uses a 11-cm-diameter Ti:sapphire crystal. Only a portion of this crystal is used to amplify the 2″ – diameter output beam of the HERCULES laser. In order to suppress parasitic oscillations the side surface of the crystal is covered with a thin layer of index-matching thermoplastic coating (Cargille Laboratories, Inc.) doped with organic dye absorbing at 800 nm.

    3
    Fig. 2: The Petawatt amplification stage of the Hercules and the pump laser during the shot.

    4
    Fig. 3: Output beam profile of the HERCULES laser booster amplifier.

    The output beam profile (Fig. 3) is quasi-flat-top as a result of using flat-top pump beams and of the image relaying of the amplified beam through the whole laser chain. Output energy of 17 J corresponding to 300 TW power after compression has been reached so far. The pump energy for the booster Ti:sapphire amplifier (2″-diameter) is controlled by changing the pumping level of the oscillator of the pump laser.

    The output pulse is compressed in a 4-grating compressor [7] to ~30 fs (Fig. 4). The compressor is based on two 42×21 cm-size and two 22×16.5 cm-size 1200 l/mm-gold-coated holographic gratings (Jobin Yvon).

    5
    Fig.4 Hercules Petawatt Compressor

    6
    Fig. 5. Autocorrelation of 300 TW pulse showing duration of 30 fs (FWHM). The experimental autocorrelation picture (insert) demonstrates that there is no amplitude front tilt or other spatial variations of the pulse arrival time.

    Because the beam size in the compressor is rather large (6″-diameter) achromatic lenses are used in the final relays to prevent spatially varying group delay across the beam. The pulse width is measured at full energy using beam leak-through a mirror by two methods: autocorrelator with inversion [8] (Fig. 5) – to ensure that there is no spatially varying pulse delay, and a single-shot spectral interferometry for direct electric field reconstruction (SPIDER) which was not sensitive to spatial variation of delay but was able to provide phase information for intensity reconstruction. After the beam compression it is down-collimated by the all-reflective telescope to 4″-diameter and is sent to the interaction chamber where it is focused by a parabolic mirror.

    Before the parabolic mirror we use a deformable mirror (4″-diameter, 177 actuators, dielectric coated at 800 nm, made by Xinetics) to compensate the aberrations of the parabolic mirror, astigmatism of the telescope and the residual aberrations of the laser beam. The focal distribution is characterized by using the method that we developed in [9,10]. We corrected the wavefront after the f/1 parabola and reached phase aberration (r.m.s.) of lambda/20 (Fig. 6a) leading to the nearly diffraction limited spot (Fig. 6b,c).

    7
    Fig. 6: Focal spot characterization: a) Low-energy-beam wavefront corrected by the deformable mirror, phase aberrations r.m.s. =0.034*lambda, P.V.=0.24l*lambda; b) Intensity distribution in the focal spot of parabolic mirror calculated for the corrected wavefront shown in (a); c) Measured focal spot for a reference low-energy beam focused by f/1 parabolic mirror for the corrected wavefront showing spot size of 1.3 micron (FWHM).

    By upgrading HERCULES’s laser power to 300 TW we demonstrated the highest focused intensity to date of ~2×1022 W/cm2. This intensity can be raised to 5×1022 W/cm2 by using a f/0.6 parabolic mirror (as we did in [9]) opening the radiation-dominated regime of electron-light interaction for experimental studies.

    References:
    1. V. Yanovsky, V. Chvykov, G. Kalinchenko, P. Rousseau, T. Planchon, T. Matsuoka, A. Maksimchuk, J. Nees, G. Cheriaux, G. Mourou and K. Krushelnick, “Ultra-high intensity 300 TW laser at 0.1 Hz repetition rate,” Optics Express 16, 2109 (2008).

    2. A. Jullien, O. Albert, F. Burgy, G.Hamoniaux, J.P. Rousseau, J.-P. Chambaret, F. AugERochereau, G. Chériaux, J. Etchepare, N. Minkovski, S.M. Saltiel,”10-10 temporal contrast for femtosecond ultraintense lasers by cross-polarized wave generation,” Opt. Lett. 30, 920-922 (2005).

    3. V. Chvykov, P. Rousseau, S. Reed, G. Kalinchenko, and V. Yanovsky, “Generation of 1011 contrast 50 TW laser pulses,” Opt. Lett. 31, 1456-1458 (2006).

    4. P. S. Bank, M.D. Perry, V. Yanovsky, S. N. Fochs, B.C. Stuart, and J. Zweiback “Novel All-Reflective Stretcher for Chirped-Pulse Amplification of Ultrashort Pulses” IEEE J. Quant. Electr. 36, 268-274 (2000).

    5. V. Yanovsky, C. Felix , and G. Mourou, “High-energy Broadband Regenerative Amplifier for Chirped-pulse Amplification” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quant. Electr.” 7, 539-541 (2001).

    6. V.Yanovsky, V. Chvykov, S.-W.Bahk, G. Kalintchenko, K. TaPhuoc, Y-C. Chang and G.Mourou, “Development of Petawatt scale Ti:sapphire laser at 0.05 Hz repetition rate”, CLEO’2003, paper CME6

    7. M. Aoyama, K. Yamakawa, Y. Akahane, J. Ma, N. Inoue, H. Ueda, and H. Kiriyama, “0.85-PW, 33-fs Ti:sapphire laser,” Opt. Lett. 28, 1594-1596 (2003).

    8. Z Sacks, G. Mourou, R. Danielius, “Adjusting pulse-front tilt and pulse duration by use of a single-shot autocorrelator,” Opt. Lett. 26, 462-464, (2003).

    9. S.-W. Bahk, P. Rousseau, T. Planchon, V. Chvykov, G. Kalintchenko, A. Maksimchuk, G. Mourou, V. Yanovsky, “The generation and characterization of the highest laser intensity (1022W/cm2),” Opt. Lett. 29, 2837-2839 (2004).

    10. S.-W. Bahk, P. Rousseau, T. A. Planchon, V. Chvykov, G. Kalintchenko, A. Maksimchuk, G. A. Mourou, V. Yanovsky,” Characterization of focal field formed by a large numerical aperture paraboloidal mirror and generation of ultra high intensity (1022 W/cm2),” Appl. Phys. B 80, 823-832 (2005).

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:41 pm on October 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , U Michigan, Using University of Michigan buildings as batteries   

    From University of Michigan: “Using University of Michigan buildings as batteries” 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    September 21, 2017 [hiding your light under a bushel?]
    Dan Newman

    How a building’s thermal energy can help the power grid accommodate more renewable energy sources.

    1
    Connor Flynn, an energy engineer with the Energy Management team, helps Aditya Keskar, a master’s student in electrical and computer engineering, retrieve data from a campus building’s HVAC system.
    No image credit.

    Michigan researchers and staff are testing how to use the immense thermal energy of large buildings as theoretical battery packs. The goal is to help the nation’s grid better accommodate renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.

    For power grids, supply must closely track demand to ensure smooth delivery of electric power. Incorporating renewable energy sources into the grid introduces a large degree of unpredictability to the system. For example, peak solar generation occurs during the day, while peak electricity demand occurs in the evening. Because of this, California, the leading solar producer in the U.S., has had to pay other states to take excess electricity off of its grid, and at other times simply wasted potential electricity by disconnecting solar panels.

    As renewable sources become more prevalent, so does the unpredictability and mismatched supply and demand, creating a growing problem in how to keep better control of both.

    To address this, and help demand for electricity react to the variability of supply from renewable energy sources, an MCubed project is testing how buildings store energy.

    The team consisted originally of project leader Johanna Mathieu, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science (EECS), Ian Hiskens, Vennema Professor of Engineering and professor of EECS, and Jeremiah Johnson, formerly an assistant professor at the School of Natural Resources and Environment and now an associate professor at North Carolina State University. Additionally, Dr. Sina Afshari, former postdoctoral researcher, helped set up the project on campus.

    “The goal is to utilize a building as a big battery: dump energy in and pull energy out in a way that the occupants don’t know is going on and the building managers aren’t incurring any extra costs. That’s the holy grail,” Hiskens said. “You wouldn’t have to buy chemical batteries and dispose of them a few years later.”

    Commercial buildings, like those around campus, use massive Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems to keep occupants comfortable. Large buildings require a vast amount of energy to heat and cool, and their HVAC systems consume around 20% of the electricity generated in the United States.

    However, the large building size also means any short-term changes in a thermostat will not be felt. This means a building can cut or increase power to its HVAC for a short time to help a power grid match supply and demand, while the building’s temperature remains unchanged.

    2
    Aditya Keskar downloads data from another campus building’s HVAC system.

    Aditya Keskar, who is pursuing his masters in electrical engineering and computer science, has been working with staff to test these short-term changes in HVAC power consumption in three campus buildings.

    “We’ve had immense support from the Plant Operations team and building managers. They’ve helped us gather baseline data over months, and implement the tests,” Keskar said. “With their help, we were able to make short-term adjustments to their HVAC system with no change in the actual temperature, and no complaints from building occupants.”

    If there is a surplus of supply on the grid due to heavy wind production, for example, a building automation system (BAS), which controls an HVAC system, could automatically lower its thermostat settings in the summer and increase its energy use for fifteen minutes, and then raise the thermostat to balance the extra energy consumed. This action would soak up some of the excess electricity and help to maintain equilibrium on the grid.

    If darker skies reduce the usual solar production, a BAS could raise its thermostat setting in the summer and decrease its energy use immediately, then lower the thermostat to balance the extra energy consumed.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

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    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:35 pm on September 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , The University of Michigan Solar Car Team's temporary workspace in Australia, U Michigan, World Solar Challenge   

    From U Michigan: “Hangar 107” Here’s a peek inside the The University of Michigan Solar Car Team’s temporary workspace in Australia as they prepare for the World Solar Challenge! 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    Here’s a peek inside the The University of Michigan Solar Car Team’s temporary workspace in Australia as they prepare for the World Solar Challenge!

    New work space, same work ethic | 31 days until the start of the race.

    September 6, 2017

    Without skipping a beat, the crew quickly set up our workspace in Hangar 107. On the outskirts of suburban Adelaide, Parafield Airport is home to historic and recreational aircraft, and now to Novum.

    Like the historic planes inside, Hangar 107’s metal bones show their age. Buzzing machines, chattering voices, passing planes and the occasional chilly rain shower reverberate off its steely skin.

    There is an interesting juxtaposition inside – on one end, college students work on a space-age car built from carbon fiber and powered by the sun. On the other, older men and women work to restore WWII era fighter planes, other classic jets and even the occasional classic car.

    “The projects look very different, but in fact many of the underlying principles of aerodynamics and vehicle engineering are the same,” says Sarah Zoellick, business director.

    “It’s definitely different than working at Wilson,” says Jon Cha, project manager. “I really like how everyone is kind of working right next to each other as opposed to at Wilson where everyone is working in different places. Here in Parafield, we’re all kind of working with each other and having open conversations with everyone.”

    1
    When it’s warm enough outside, the team gathers around The Tree of Knowledge for lunch. Photo: Akhil Kantipuly, U-M Solar Car Team

    “We’ve got tables set up alongside the car, organized by division, where we can do our assembly work and other smaller manufacturing stuff,” says Perry Benson, mechanical lead. “Everyone has their own little area where they can work and it’s not crowded at all, which helps the workflow go more smoothly. If people can get the tools they need and get the work done without having to wait on somebody else, then it makes things a lot less stressful.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:40 pm on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , U Michigan   

    From U Michigan: “$7.75M for mapping circuits in the brain” 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    August 3, 2017
    Kate McAlpine

    A new NSF Tech Hub will put tools to rapidly advance our understanding of the brain into the hands of neuroscientists.

    1
    To follow the long, winding connections among neurons, a technique called “Brainbow” labels each neuron a random color. Credit: Dawen Cai, Cai Lab, University of Michigan

    The technology exists to stimulate and map circuits in the brain, but neuroscientists have yet to tap this potential.

    Now, developers of these technologies are coming together to demonstrate and share them to drive a rapid advance in our understanding of the brain, funded by $7.75 million from the National Science Foundation.

    “We want to put our technology into the hands of people who can really use it,” said Euisik Yoon, leader of the project and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan.

    By observing how mice and rats behave when certain neural circuits are stimulated, neuroscientists can better understand the function of those circuits in the brain. Then, after the rodents are euthanized, they can observe the neurons that had been activated and how they are connected. This connects the behavior that they had observed while the rodent was performing a controlled experiment with a detailed map of the relevant brain structure.

    It could lead to better understanding of disease in the brain as well as more effective treatments. In the nearer term, the details of neural circuitry could also help advance computing technologies that try to mimic the efficiency of the brain.

    Over the last decade or so, three tools have emerged that, together, can enable the mapping of circuits within the brain. The most recent, from U-M, is an implant that uses light to stimulate specific neurons in genetically modified mice or rats and then records the response from other neurons with electrodes.

    2
    Probes like this one, which stimulate neurons with light and then record activity with electrodes, are just one facet of the technology suite that can help neuroscientists map circuits in the brain. Photo: Fan Wu, Yoon Lab, University of Michigan

    Unlike earlier methods to stimulate the brain with light, with relatively large light-emitters that activated many nearby neurons, the new probes can target fewer neurons using microscopic LEDs that are about the same size as the brain cells themselves. This control makes the individual circuits easier to pick out.

    The “pyramidal” neurons that cause action—rather than inhibit it—will be genetically modified so that they respond to the light.

    “They are just one of the neuron types we are seeking to map,” said John Seymour, one of the co-investigators and U-M assistant research scientist in electrical engineering and computer science. “If you can record from motor cortex pyramidal neurons, you can predict arm movement, for example.”


    John Seymour explains how the new grant will help neurotechnologists further research to enable a better understanding of the pathways in the brain.

    To visualize the structure of pyramidal cells and other kinds of neurons, researchers need a way to see each tree in the brain’s forest. For this, co-investigator Dawen Cai, U-M assistant professor of cell and developmental biology, has been advancing a promising approach known as Brainbow. Genetically modified brain cells produce fluorescent tags, revealing each cell as a random color.

    When it is time to examine the brain, a technique to make the brain transparent will remove all the fatty molecules from a brain and replace them with a clear gel, making it possible to see individual neurons. It was pioneered by another co-investigator, Viviana Gradinaru, who is a professor of biology and biological engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

    “Not only may we understand how the signal is processed inside the brain, we can also find out how each neuron is connected together so that we achieve structural and functional mapping at an unprecedented scale,” Yoon said.

    While these are the central tools, others at Michigan are working on methods to make the electrodes that record neuron activity even smaller and therefore more precise. In addition, a carbon wire electrode design could even pick up the chemical activity nearby, adding measurements of neurotransmitters as a new dimension of information.

    To share these new tools, the team will bring in neuroscientists for annual workshops and then provide them with the hardware and software they need to run experiments in their own labs. For the tools that prove to be most useful, they will seek commercialization opportunities so that they remain available after the project ends.

    4

    The project is called Multimodal Integrated Neural Technologies (MINT) and has been awarded as a 5-year National Science Foundation NeuroNex Technology Hub.

    Other co-investigators include Cynthia Chestek, U-M assistant professor of biomedical engineering; James Weiland, U-M professor of biomedical engineering; Ken Wise, the William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at U-M; and György Buzsáki, professor of neuroscience at New York University. Seymour and Yoon are also affiliated with biomedical engineering at U-M. Cai is affiliated with Michigan Medicine.

    The neural probes with micro LEDs are made in the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility at U-M.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:20 pm on July 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , U Michigan   

    From U Michigan: ” MXL – Test” Great Work from a Great University 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    7.12.17
    No writer credit found
    Contact Information
    MXL – The Michigan Exploration Laboratory
    FXB 2231
    1320 Beal Avenue
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109

    Dr. James W. Cutler
    jwcutler@umich.edu
    734-615-7238

    The Michigan Exploration Laboratory

    A core part of the MXL effort is the development of novel flight vehicles and missions. We fly what we build, and build what we research. Below, we describe missions that are in operation, in development, in concept, and complete.

    Operational Missions:

    1
    GRIFEX is the GEO-CAPE ROIC In-Flight Performance Experiment, a 3U CubeSat deployed to flight test novel imaging technology. It is a partnership between NASA ESTO, JPL, and MXL. GRIFEX was launched on 31 January 2015. It has completed its primary mission and is currently demo’ing secondary technologies and used to train to students.

    2
    MCubed, the Michigan Multipurpose Minisat is a joint mission between MXL and JPL. Two satellites were funded by NASA ESTO to perform flight validation of a flight processor board carrying the Xilinx Virtex-5QV XQR5VX130T FPGA processor. MCubed-1 is opertionally limited due to its docked status with the E1P CubeSat. MCubed-2 is fulling opertional and has completed its primary mission. It is currently an operations training satellite and technology testbed for MXL.

    3
    CADRE is “CubeSat-investigating Atmospheric Density Response to Extreme driving”, and is our next generation space weather mission. The science PI is Dr. Aaron Ridly and the mission was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In late 2015, CADRE was launched to the ISS by NASA’s CubeSat launch initiative by Nanoracks and Orbital/ATK. CADRE is flying the WINCS instrument to assess the composition and characteristics of the thermosphere. The long term goal is to enable better understanding and prediction of space weather to improve our satellite position estimates.

    Missions In Development:

    4
    TBEX, the Tandem Beacon Experiment (TBEx), consists of a tandem pair of CubeSats, each carrying tri-frequency radio beacons, in near identical, low inclination orbits and a cluster of diagnostic sensors on five islands in the Central Pacific sector. The science objectives and goals of TBEx are to study how the dynamics and processes in the troposphere can act to cause variability in the behavior of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. TBEx is developed by SRI International and MXL with funding from NASA.

    5
    PATRIOT is a 3U CubeSat developed by the University of Michigan’s Student Space Systems Fabrication Lab (S3FL). PATRIOT, (Plasma Ambipolar Thruster for Rapid In-Orbit Transfers), is a 3U CubeSat mission to demonstrate the CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT) plasma source/engine in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This will be the first flight test of a nanosatellite propulsion system with significant delta-V capability. If will also conduct scientific research that will address the fundamental question of how plasmas expand in freespace. PATRIOT is a joint effort between PEPL and MXL. PATRIOT was selected in 2014 for launch with NASA’s ELaNa program.

    Past Missions and Satellites:

    6
    The RAX-1 mission patch, as designed by Allison B. Craddock
    The RAX-1 CubeSat was launched in November 2010. Unfortunately, an anomaly on the solar panels resulted in degradation of power generation until, after several months, RAX-1 was unable to generate power. This anomaly ultimately resulted in the premature end of the mission. Despite this early end, the RAX-1 mission still made great strides in CubeSat design, and was able to execute bistatic radar measurements that had never before been performed with a CubeSat. All other subsystems also performed well. The applied the lessons learned from RAX-1 to the design of a second flight unit, RAX-2, launched through the NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program on October 28, 2011.

    6
    MCubed-2 was launched on 06 December 2013 as part of the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative. It successfully completed its mission of COVE operations before ceasing operation on 01 July 2014.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

     
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