Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 6

UP
FRONT
NASA Student
Challenge Offers
Hands-On Tech
NASA's TechRise Student Chal lenge
will begin accepting entries in August. It
provides student teams a chance to
design, build, and launch experiments
on suborbital rockets and high-altitude
balloon flights. Teams of students in
grades 6 to 12 can submit ideas for climate
or remote sensing experiments to
fly on a high-altitude balloon and space
exploration experiments to fly aboard a
suborbital rocket. The winning teams
each will receive $1,500 to build their
payloads as well as an assigned spot on
a NASA-sponsored commercial suborbital
flight.
Learn more at
www.futureengineers.org/nasatechrise
What's New on Techbriefs.com
Artificial intelligence
has entered the operating
room, automating
tasks like suturing and
incision-making. In a
brand-new episode of
our podcast series Here's
an Idea, we talk to three researchers who
are on the cutting edge of robotic surgery.
Learn about their new autonomous
technologies and the role for humans
alongside them. Go to techbriefs.com/
podcast to download the episode. Send
your comments and suggestions to me at
bhurley@techbriefs.com.
Next Month in Tech Briefs
The August issue will highlight the use
of the Internet of Things as a communications
interface that enables the reliable
and timely exchange of information
among controllers, actuators, and sensors
in electronically controlled systems.
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Tech Briefs, July 2021
Time: 870.0
Editorial Director
Linda Bell
Editorial Director
Process Converts
Waste Plastics to Jet
Fuel in an Hour
Washington State University
researchers developed a
way to convert plastics to in -
gredients for jet fuel and
other valuable products, making
it easier and more costeffective
to reuse plastics. The
researchers were able to convert
90% of plastic to jet fuel
and other valuable hydrocarbon
products within an hour at a temperature of 220 C (428 F), which is more efficient
and lower than the temperatures typically used.
Visit https://news.wsu.edu/
Zone
Temp
˚C
832
751
670
589
507
426
345
264
182
101
20.0
Researchers simulated more than 5,000 fires in a digital three-bedroom
house, with crucial details such as the fire origin varying
among each. P-Flash correctly predicted whether a flashover
occurred 86% of the time, based on simulated temperature data.
(Credit: NIST)
AI Could Alert
Firefighters of
Imminent Danger
Building fires can turn
from bad to deadly in an
instant and the warning
signs are frequently difficult
to discern. To help firefighters,
the National Insti -
tute of Stan dards and Tech -
nology (NIST) has developed
the Pre diction Model
for Flash over (P-Flash). The
artificial-intelligence-powered
tool predicts
and
warns of a deadly phenomenon
in burning buildings
known as flashover - when flammable materials in a room ignite almost simultaneously,
producing a blaze only limited in size by available oxygen.
Flashovers are so dangerous in part because it's challenging to see them coming.
There are indicators to watch such as increasingly intense heat or flames rolling
across the ceiling. These signs can be easy to miss in many situations such as when a
firefighter is searching for trapped victims with heavy equipment in tow and smoke
obscuring the view. And from the outside, as firefighters approach a scene, the conditions
inside are even less clear.
Heat detectors operate only at temperatures up to 302 F, far below the 1100 F at
which a flashover typically begins to occur. P-Flash's predictions are based on temperature
data from a building's heat detectors and, remarkably, it operates even after
heat detectors begin to fail, making do with the remaining devices. The algorithms
uncover patterns in large datasets and build models based on their findings. These
models can predict certain outcomes such as how much time will pass before a room
is engulfed in flames.
Visit www.nist.gov
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 3
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 4
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 5
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 6
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 7
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 8
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 9
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 10
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 11
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 12
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 13
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 14
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 15
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 16
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 17
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 18
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 19
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 20
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 21
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 22
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 23
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 24
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 25
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 26
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 27
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 28
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 29
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 30
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 31
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 32
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 33
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 34
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 35
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 36
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 37
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 38
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 39
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 40
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 41
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 42
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 43
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 44
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 45
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 46
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 47
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 48
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 49
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 50
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 51
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 52
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 53
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 54
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 55
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 56
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov4
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