Researchers at Princeton University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have launched a new center to study the volatile heliosphere — a complex and frequently violent region of space that encompasses the solar system. This region is carved out by the solar wind — charged plasma particles that constantly stream from the sun — and gives rise to space weather that can disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and knock out power grids.
The PPPL function that reaches out to students, teachers and the general public through programs ranging from student internships to weekly talks on scientific topics from January through April.
This talk will present an overview of the technologies involved in the development of insect-size flying robots, from manufacturing and assembly to sensing and characterization. All of these areas present opportunities for interesting research, as there are few existing components or manufacturing techniques in the required size and weight range. Over the past 5-10 years, this research has led to the development of a “Robobee” – an 80 mg flapping-wing robot actuated by piezoelectric bimorphs, and capable of controlled hovering with >130 mg of lift.
One of the principal challenges remaining for realizing magnetic fusion energy is to understand and mitigate the chaotic flows of ionized gas, or plasma, that lead to unacceptable energy loss from the hot core of the device. These microscopic, randomly varying, or turbulent, fluctuations of plasma velocity and temperature arise owing to the strong differential in temperature from the hot core (>100,000,000 degrees) to the surrounding wall...