Friday, May 23, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for May 19 - 23

Pollution's polar toll
LANL geochemist among scientists studying soot's impact on Arctic melting

Santa Claus might want to buy a good cover and air filter for his sleigh this year, and he also might want to think about investing in a boat in the near future. The pristine, frigid Arctic just isn't what it used to be. A multiagency team of 250 scientists from the NOAA, NASA and Los Alamos National Laboratory spent several days in late April looking at what should be Santa's clear, snow-covered winterland. What's really there, though, is soot, industrial pollution and other junk pumped into the air from countries across the northern hemisphere, said Manvendra Dubey, a geochemist at Los Alamos. (Read the rest of reporter Sue Vorenberg's report here.)

U.S. completes DARHT

The U.S. government announced the completion of a sophisticated X-ray machine used to study the split-second early stages of a nuclear bomb explosion. The Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrotest Facility (DAHRT) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico cost $300 million to build in 2003 and another $90 million to be taken apart and rebuilt after problems were discovered. "There were a lot of people who told us we couldn't do it," Mary Hockaday, deputy associate lab director for nuclear weapons physics, told the Albuquerque Journal Tuesday. (Read the rest of the United Press International Story.)

Robot Rodeo: Santa Fe bomb squad members' handy machine faces fierce competition

Weighing in at 340 pounds, Domata the robot sized up the day's worth of obstacle courses optimistically, knowing its fellow Santa Fe bomb squad members, Lt. Abram Anaya and Officer Scott Waite, were at the controls. As Tuesday's Robot Rodeo at Los Alamos National Laboratory rolled on, Domata gleefully maneuvered over pipes, picked up and carried a pea-sized ball bearing over stairs and across barrels, and hit targets several yards away with a fire hose. With fierce competition by teams from the New Mexico State Police, Los Alamos Police Department and the Los Alamos Haz Mat Team, Domata and his Santa Fe comrades knew they had to gain as many points as possible to kick off the three-day competition, which is in its second year at the lab. (Find the entire story here.)

It's not your typical Rodeo

It's rodeo-time in Los Alamos...and a special three-day event is drawing four top teams from northern New Mexico. but it's not your typical rodeo. Santa Fe bureau chief Ray Seva shows us how police officers are competing in the "western national " robot" rodeo." (To view, open link, and click "Play Media" under the thumbnail photos.)

LANL hosts Robot Rodeo

Robots are getting more and more emergency assignments. At a "robot rodeo" this week in Los Alamos -- they are rescuing people, fighting fires -- and running obstacle courses. Bob Martin has the story. (To view, open link, and click "Play Media" under the thumbnail photos.)

Scholarship winner Winston making a difference in children’s lives

Luke Winston’s story really is a case of a “small town boy done good.” Winston was the first recipient of a Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund platinum scholarship in 1998. He was a senior out of Las Vegas Robertson High School who went on to graduate from Harvard in 2003. His platinum scholarship provided $10,000 per year for four years, which helped take some of the financial burden off his family. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics. (Read entire Daily NewsBulletin story here!)

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