Technology Today® Fall 1998
Despite its distance from the Sun, tidal forces from nearby Jupiter may create enough internal heat to keep water liquid beneath Europa's icy surface. Studies by the Galileo spacecraft may provide some answers for scientists who wonder whether Europa may be the solar system's best hope for extraterrestrial life.
An SwRI-developed machine enables engineers to use a scanning electron microscope to study the formation and behavior of tiny cracks that occur when metal is stressed repeatedly over thousands of service cycles, such as may occur in power plants or turbine engines.
SwRI-developed 3DStress™ software that predicts the behavior of geologic faults, plus new magnetostrictive sensors that find flaws in pipelines, were chosen among the year's top 100 internal research projects.
A Japanese-built robot and SwRI-developed ultrasonic transducers allow nuclear power plant inspectors to detect flaws in steel pressure vessels safely from the inside, despite radiocactivity and tight spaces.
Imagine a material with the ability to sense varying loads, adapt its architecture to maintain reliability in response to those loads, repair itself when damaged, and survive tens of millions of load cycles. We walk around with this material every day -- and we can't survive without it.