Friday, November 20, 2015

Quenching New Mexico’s thirst with brackish water

Major aquifers containing brackish water in NM. From the New Mexican.

Whether today turns out damp or dry, drought is a fact of life in New Mexico. With our rivers and aquifers already divvied up to the last drop, where can we get more water to ease the pressure on our freshwater resources?

One major source is right below our feet in New Mexico and has gone mostly untapped: likely billions of gallons of brackish groundwater. Focused efforts now underway can divert this salty water into the mix for drinking and other uses if we overcome the challenges of inventorying the aquifers and desalinating, or treating, the water cost-effectively while protecting the environment. (Full Story)

New climate model predicts dire thresholds

Greenland ice loss, LANL photo.

A new computer model of accumulated carbon emissions predicts the likelihood of crossing several dangerous climate change thresholds. These include global temperature rise sufficient to lose the Greenland Ice Sheet and generate seven meters of long-term sea level rise, or tropical region warming to a level that is deadly to humans and other mammals.

"The model is based on idealized representations of societal, technological and policy factors," said lead researcher Jeremy Fyke, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Theoretical Division, Fluid Dynamics and Solid Mechanics group. (Full Story)

See the YouTube Video

Also in the Los Alamos Daily Post

LANL software wins R&D 100

A software package called SHMTools, which can detect damage in a variety of structures and was developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, won an R&D 100 Award Friday.

“This R&D100 award highlights the Laboratory’s tremendous strength in structural health monitoring, and our long-standing collaborations with the University of California,” said Carol Burns, deputy principal associate director of the Laboratory’s Science, Technology and Engineering directorate. (Full Story)

Concrete nuclear containment

Cooling towers of a nuclear power station, from MIT News.

A new study by researchers from the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub and the joint MIT-French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) lab known as Multi-Scale Materials Science for Energy and Environment (MSE2) is the first to show that cement is effective for nuclear containment of radioactive materials.

Co authors include Alfredo Caro of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“In short, what the research showed is that cement is a good choice for storing nuclear waste from the fission reaction in nuclear plants,” said MIT postdoc Lucile Dezerald. (Full Story)

Betting on quantum computing

Inside the D-Wave system, from D-Wave.     

The Los Alamos National Laboratory is buying a new quantum computing processor from Canadian company D-Wave, the national security technology laboratory announced this week.

Los Alamos, which develops a wide variety of technology, including systems for monitoring nuclear stockpiles, will be the first federal entity to purchase a D-Wave system directly from the company. (Full Story)

LANL looks to Aeon for Lustre

Aeon Computing announced that the company will provide two Lustre file systems to enhance LANL’s technical and supercomputing capabilities. Each of the two Lustre file systems provide 14 Petabytes of data storage capacity and are capable of up to 160 Gigabytes per second of parallel access performance. According Aeon, this next generation system pushes the limits of Lustre storage performance. (Full Story)

Recognition for Los Alamos employees

Don Quintana, left, and Pulak Nath with their PIE awards, LANL photo.           

Two Los Alamos National Laboratory employees were recently recognized in an awards ceremony for providing their technical expertise and access to lab capabilities to help small businesses through the New Mexico SBA Program.

Both Quintana and Nath received Principal Investigator Excellence (PIE) awards, which were commemorated with, of course, fresh pies. (Full Story)

And another from this week’s Daily Post

Los Alamos technology gains national backing

Descartes Labs artificial intelligence can read a landscape in seconds, NASA image.

Los Alamos pixels and Los Alamos dots were both riding high this week.

Descartes Labs, Inc., a one-year-old company specializing in satellite imagery recognition and analysis, announced Tuesday that it had raised $5 million in a venture capital round, thanks to a group of investors led by Cultivian Sandbox, a firm based in Chicago.

At the same time, UbiQD, LLC, a quantum dot manufacturer that also got its start in 2014, reported that it had won a Northern New Mexico 20/20 Award as one of the most promising high growth companies in the region. UbiQD recently completed another round of seed funding, bringing their financing total up to more than $700,000. (Full Story)

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