Friday, June 6, 2014

Desert scientists turn to rainforest for climate answers

Scientist Heath Powers, foreground, and technician Vagner Castro at work in Brazil. LANL photo.

Nearly a quarter of the way through their two-year project, a team of scientists deployed to Brazil's Amazon Basin is unraveling the mysteries of how land and atmospheric processes affect tropical hydrology and climate.

“Our job is to go into climatically undersampled regions where there’s not a lot of data,” said Kim Nitschke, leader of the Los Alamos National Laboratory-based Field Instrument Deployments and Operations (FIDO) team. (Full Story)

LANL demos extreme scale indexing

LANL photo.          

An HPC middleware project currently underway at Los Alamos National Laboratory has reached a significant milestone. The new supercomputing tool, developed as part of the Multi-dimensional Hashed Indexed Middleware (MDHIM) project, made 1,782,105,749 key/value inserts per second into a globally-ordered key space on Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Moonlight supercomputer. The demonstration showcases the potential of MDHIM to help enable data exploration at enormous scale. (Full Story)

This is the bleeding edge of solar materials research

Transparent solar "window" material.  LANL photo.      

#4 Quantum dots: Quantum dots are tiny pieces of semiconductor crystals. Researchers are using them to make solar cells because the energy level of the semiconductor can be tuned by changing the size of the dots. Scientists can also use quantum dots to make solar concentrators. These scientists at Los Alamos National Labs are using quantum dots to develop solar window tech. (Full Story)

LANL CAP does its best to stabilize stream banks

Willow saplings planted along canyon wetland. LANL photo.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Corrective Actions Program (CAP) planted nearly 10,000 willows in the Pueblo Canyon wetland in April to stabilize stream banks badly damaged by September 2013 floods.

Collaborating with Mother Nature to control sediment migration, CAP planted nearly 10,000 willows in April to stabilize the stream banks in the Pueblo Canyon wetland which was badly damaged by the floods. (Full Story)

Also from the Monitor this week:

LANL reps talked stewardship projects

Los Alamos National Laboratory representatives Dr. Phillip Noll, Jennifer Payne and LeAnn Purtzer discussed ongoing environmental stewardship projects at LANL last week.

The trio talked about LANL’s efforts to evaluate impacts of laboratory activities on cultural resources, assess ecological risks, and prepare environmental assessments, cultural resources reports and mitigation plans. (Full Story)

New video: Using neutrons to study nuclear fuel

Fuel rod imaged with neutrons.  LANL video.

In the development of advanced nuclear fuels, researchers need to understand the physical and isotopic properties of the fuel as it's exposed to high temperatures and very high radiation fields. In this video you'll get a glimpse of how Los Alamos National Laboratory is using a pulsed neutron source at LANSCE to develop new safer and more economic nuclear fuels. (Full Story) Watch this video here

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