Expertise derived from working on the joint NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moon Titan is now being applied to underground drilling machines. This is providing tunnelling engineers with an improved ability to virtually "see" some 40 metres into solid rock and pinpoint obstacles ahead.
Trude - the worlds biggest tunnel drilling machine
Tunnel drilling on Earth gains from Saturn/Titan mission
It´s an old miners´ expression: "There is darkness in front of the pick". Billions of years of geological history has laid down complex folds of strata, patterns of faulting and embedded irregular objects in the ground beneath our feet. The character of the earth can and often does change unexpectedly with every metre excavated.
But with modern high-speed tunnelling, sudden geological shifts may damage the cutting head of drilling machines and lead to expensive delays in multi-million Euro excavation projects.
German tunnelling company Herrenknecht AG - famous for drilling the Elbe tunnel in Hamburg using the world´s single largest tunnelling machine - has developed a new method of charting what lies ahead beyond the tunnel face.
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Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.
A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
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Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
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Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
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