Friday, February 7, 2020

Opinion: Our power grid is at risk

OpEd author Thom Mason, Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, LANL photo.

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, which is run by a partnership that includes Texas A&M University, are working with the government and utility companies to harden our power grids and reduce widespread outages.

Using advanced mathematics, physics, engineering and artificial intelligence, and leveraging rapidly expanding data available from smart devices, we are developing computer models to better understand the threats from extreme events and reduce the risks. (Full Story)

Where Australia’s smoke goes to die


Smoke from bushfires blankets Australia in an image from the International Space Station, NASA photo.

Smoke from Australia’s megafires has already traveled tens of thousands of miles around Earth. “It circles the globe in roughly a week,” said Manvendra Dubey, who researches air pollution and wildfire smoke at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Much of this carbon dioxide will likely stay in the atmosphere, where it will live for hundreds of years. Though, plants on land and plankton in the ocean will consume some of this carbon dioxide—though exactly how much is unknown. “It will have climatic consequences,” said Dubey. (Full Story)

Laser Focused: UNM alumna part of Mars rover research team

Planetary scientist Nina Lanza, LANL photo.

After getting her undergraduate degree in astronomy from Smith College and a master’s in earth and environmental sciences from Wesleyan University, Lanza came to UNM in pursuit of her Ph.D. in earth and planetary sciences.

“At the time, UNM was (and still is) working in conjunction with Los Alamos National Laboratory on the ChemCam instrument, which would ride aboard the Mars Curiosity rover,” Lanza said. (Full Story)

LANL breaks ground on first of three new cell phone towers

Officials break ground for a new cell phone tower, LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory broke ground last week on the first of three new cell phone towers which are anticipated to deliver fewer dropped calls and more bars for callers on Lab property and in the community.

On hand to make the occasion were Kelly Beierschmitt, Deputy Director for Operations, and Kathye Segala, Associate Laboratory Director for Capital Projects as well as Pete Maggiore, Assistant Manager of Environmental Projects for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA’s) Los Alamos Field Office, and Ron Lovato, CEO of Tsay Corporation, the contracting company. (Full Story)

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