6,387 research outputs found

    Nondestructive evaluation of structural ceramics

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    A review is presented on research and development of techniques for nondestructive evaluation and characterization of advanced ceramics for heat engine applications. Highlighted in this review are Lewis Research Center efforts in microfocus radiography, scanning laser acoustic microscopy (SLAM), scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM), scanning electron acoustic microscopy (SEAM), and photoacoustic microscopy (PAM). The techniques were evaluated by applying them to research samples of green and sintered silicon nitride and silicon carbide in the form of modulus-of-rupture bars containing seeded voids. Probabilities of detection of voids were determined for diameters as small as 20 microns for microfucus radiography, SLAM, and SAM. Strengths and limitations of the techniques for ceramic applications are identified. Application of ultrasonics for characterizing ceramic microstructures is also discussed

    Using Dust from Asteroids as Regolith Microsamples

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    Meteorite science is rich with compositional indicators by which we classify parent bodies, but few sample groups are definitively linked with asteroid spectra. More robust links need to be forged between meteorites and their parent bodies to understand the composition, diversity and distribution. A major link can be sample analysis of the parent body material and comparison with meteorite data. Hayabusa, the first sample return mission of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), was developed to rendezvous with and collect samples from asteroid Itokawa and return them to Earth. Thousands of sub-100 micron particles were recovered, apparently introduced during the spacecraft impact into the surface of the asteroid, linking the asteroid Itokawa to LL chondrites [1]. Upcoming missions Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS-REx will collect more significant sample masses from asteroids. In all these cases, the samples are or will be a collection of regolith particles. Sample return to earth is not the only method for regolith particle analysis. Dust is present around all airless bodies, generated by micrometeorite impact into their airless surfaces, which in turn lofts regolith particles into a "cloud" around the body. The composition, flux, and size-frequency distribution of dust particles can provide significant insight into the geological evolution of airless bodies [2]. For example, the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) detected salts in Enceladus' icy plume material, providing evidence for a subsurface ocean in contact with a silicate seafloor [3]. Similar instruments have flown on the Rosetta, LADEE, and Stardust missions. Such an instrument may be of great use in obtaining the elemental, isotopic and mineralogical composition measurement of dust particles originating from asteroids without returning the samples to terrestrial laboratories. We investigated the ability of a limited sample analysis capability using a dust instrument to forge links between asteroid regolith particles and known meteorite groups. We further set limits on the number of individual particles statistically needed to robustly reproduce a bulk composition

    Hurricane risk analysis: A review on the physically-based approach

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    This paper reviews recent studies that take a physically-based approach to better assess and manage hurricane risk. Such a methodology includes three components: modeling the storm climatology (which defines TC risk in terms of the upper tail of the storm statistics); modeling landfalling hazards; and characterizing damage and losses

    Origin of symbol-using systems: speech, but not sign, without the semantic urge

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    Natural language—spoken and signed—is a multichannel phenomenon, involving facial and body expression, and voice and visual intonation that is often used in the service of a social urge to communicate meaning. Given that iconicity seems easier and less abstract than making arbitrary connections between sound and meaning, iconicity and gesture have often been invoked in the origin of language alongside the urge to convey meaning. To get a fresh perspective, we critically distinguish the origin of a system capable of evolution from the subsequent evolution that system becomes capable of. Human language arose on a substrate of a system already capable of Darwinian evolution; the genetically supported uniquely human ability to learn a language reflects a key contact point between Darwinian evolution and language. Though implemented in brains generated by DNA symbols coding for protein meaning, the second higher-level symbol-using system of language now operates in a world mostly decoupled from Darwinian evolutionary constraints. Examination of Darwinian evolution of vocal learning in other animals suggests that the initial fixation of a key prerequisite to language into the human genome may actually have required initially side-stepping not only iconicity, but the urge to mean itself. If sign languages came later, they would not have faced this constraint

    The acquisition of Sign Language: The impact of phonetic complexity on phonology

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    Research into the effect of phonetic complexity on phonological acquisition has a long history in spoken languages. This paper considers the effect of phonetics on phonological development in a signed language. We report on an experiment in which nonword-repetition methodology was adapted so as to examine in a systematic way how phonetic complexity in two phonological parameters of signed languages — handshape and movement — affects the perception and articulation of signs. Ninety-one Deaf children aged 3–11 acquiring British Sign Language (BSL) and 46 hearing nonsigners aged 6–11 repeated a set of 40 nonsense signs. For Deaf children, repetition accuracy improved with age, correlated with wider BSL abilities, and was lowest for signs that were phonetically complex. Repetition accuracy was correlated with fine motor skills for the youngest children. Despite their lower repetition accuracy, the hearing group were similarly affected by phonetic complexity, suggesting that common visual and motoric factors are at play when processing linguistic information in the visuo-gestural modality

    A Mercury Lander Mission Concept Study for the Next Decadal Survey

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    Mariner 10 provided our first closeup reconnaissance of Mercury during its three flybys in 1974 and 1975. MESSENGERs 20112015 orbital investigation enabled numerous discoveries, several of which led to substantial or complete changes in our fundamental understanding of the planet. Among these were the unanticipated, widespread presence of volatile elements (e.g., Na, K, S); a surface with extremely low Fe abundance whose darkening agent is likely C; a previously unknown landformhollows that may form by volatile sublimation from within rocks exposed to the harsh conditions on the surface; a history of expansive effusive and explosive volcanism; substantial radial contraction of the planet from interior cooling; offset of the dipole moment of the internal magnetic field northward from the geographic equator by ~20% of the planets radius; crustal magnetization, attributed at least in part to an ancient field; unexpected seasonal variability and relationships among exospheric species and processes; and the presence in permanently shadowed polar terrain of water ice and other volatile materials, likely to include complex organic compounds. Mercurys highly chemically reduced and unexpectedly volatile-rich composition is unique among the terrestrial planets and was not predicted by earlier hypotheses for the planets origin. As an end-member of terrestrial planet formation, Mercury holds unique clues about the original distribution of elements in the earliest stages of the Solar System and how planets (and exoplanets) form and evolve in close proximity to their host stars. The BepiColombo mission promises to expand our knowledge of this planet and to shed light on some of the mysteries revealed by the MESSENGER mission. However, several fundamental science questions raised by MESSENGERs pioneering exploration of Mercury can only be answered with in situ measurements from the planets surface

    The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array Dish I: Beam Pattern Measurements and Science Implications

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    The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) is a radio interferometer aiming to detect the power spectrum of 21 cm fluctuations from neutral hydrogen from the Epoch of Reionization (EOR). Drawing on lessons from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and the Precision Array for Probing the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER), HERA is a hexagonal array of large (14 m diameter) dishes with suspended dipole feeds. Not only does the dish determine overall sensitivity, it affects the observed frequency structure of foregrounds in the interferometer. This is the first of a series of four papers characterizing the frequency and angular response of the dish with simulations and measurements. We focus in this paper on the angular response (i.e., power pattern), which sets the relative weighting between sky regions of high and low delay, and thus, apparent source frequency structure. We measure the angular response at 137 MHz using the ORBCOMM beam mapping system of Neben et al. We measure a collecting area of 93 m^2 in the optimal dish/feed configuration, implying HERA-320 should detect the EOR power spectrum at z~9 with a signal-to-noise ratio of 12.7 using a foreground avoidance approach with a single season of observations, and 74.3 using a foreground subtraction approach. Lastly we study the impact of these beam measurements on the distribution of foregrounds in Fourier space.Comment: 13 pages, 9 figures. Replaced to match accepted ApJ versio

    Identifying and Characterizing Impact Melt Outcrops in the Nectaris Basin

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    The Nectaris Basin is an 820-km diameter, multi-ring impact basin located on the near side of the Moon. Nectaris is a defining stratigraphic horizon based on relationships between ejecta units, giving its name to the Nectarian epoch of lunar history. Lunar basin chronology based on higher resolution LRO imagery and topography, while assigning some important basins like Serenitatis to pre-Nectarian time, were generally consistent with those previously derived. Based on this stratigraphy, at least 11 large basins formed in the time between Nectaris and Imbrium. The absolute age of Nectaris, therefore, is a crucial marker in the lunar time-stratigraphic sequence for understanding the impact flux on the Moon, and by extension, the entire inner solar system. For several decades, workers have attempted to constrain the age of the Nectaris basin through radiometric dating of lunar samples. However, there is little agreement on which samples in our collection represent Nectaris, if any, and what the correct radiometric age of such samples is. The importance of the age of Nectaris goes far beyond assigning a stratigraphic marker to lunar chronology. Several dynamical models use Nectaris as their pin date, so that this date becomes crucial in understanding the time-correlated effects in the rest of the solar system. The importance of the Nectaris basin age, coupled with its nearside, mid-latitude location, make remnants of the impact-melt sheet an attractive target for a future mission, either for in-situ dating or for sample return. We have started exploring this possibility. We have begun a consortium data-analysis effort bringing multiple datasets and analysis methods to bear on these putative impact-melt deposits to characterize their extent, elemental composition and mineralogy, maturity and geologic setting, and to identify potential landing sites that meet both operational safety and science requirements

    A Quasi-Model-Independent Search for New Physics at Large Transverse Momentum

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    We apply a quasi-model-independent strategy ("Sleuth") to search for new high p_T physics in approximately 100 pb^-1 of ppbar collisions at sqrt(s) = 1.8 TeV collected by the DZero experiment during 1992-1996 at the Fermilab Tevatron. Over thirty-two e mu X, W+jets-like, Z+jets-like, and 3(lepton/photon)X exclusive final states are systematically analyzed for hints of physics beyond the standard model. Simultaneous sensitivity to a variety of models predicting new phenomena at the electroweak scale is demonstrated by testing the method on a particular signature in each set of final states. No evidence of new high p_T physics is observed in the course of this search, and we find that 89% of an ensemble of hypothetical similar experimental runs would have produced a final state with a candidate signal more interesting than the most interesting observed in these data.Comment: 28 pages, 17 figures. Submitted to Physical Review
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