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Airport Wind Observations Architectural Analysis(2.4 MB)

Date:
July 10, 2018
Published in:
Project Report ATC-443, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

Airport wind information is critical for ensuring safe aircraft operations and for managing runway configurations. Airports across the National Airspace System (NAS) are served by a wide variety of wind sensing systems that have been deployed over many decades. This analysis presents a survey of existing systems and user requirements, identifies potential shortfalls, and offers recommendations for improvements to support the long-term goals of the FAA NextGen system.

Rapid Quantitative Analysis of Multiple Explosive Compound Classes on a Single Instrument via Flow-Injection Analysis Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Date:
May 24, 2018
Published in:
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Type:
Journal Article

Summary

A flow-injection analysis tandem mass spectrometry (FIA MSMS) method was developed for rapid quantitative analysis of 10 different inorganic and organic explosives. Performance is optimized by tailoring the ionization method (APCI/ESI), de-clustering potentials, and collision energies for each specific analyte. In doing so, a single instrument can be used to detect urea nitrate, potassium chlorate, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, 2,4,6-trinitrophenylmethylnitramine, triacetone triperoxide, hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, pentaerythritol tetranitrate, 1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine, nitroglycerin, and octohy-dro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine with sensitivities all in the picogram per milliliter range. In conclusion, FIA APCI/ESI MSMS is a fast (<1 min/sample), sensitive (~pg/mL LOQ), and precise (intraday RSD < 10%) method for trace explosive detection that can play an important role in criminal and attributional forensics, counterterrorism, and environmental protection areas, and has the potential to augment or replace several of the existing explosive detection methods.

Optical Nondestructive Dynamic Measurements of Wafer-Scale Encapsulated Nanofluidic Channels

Date:
May 20, 2018
Published in:
Applied Optics, vol. 57, no. 15
Type:
Journal Article
Topic:

Summary

Nanofluidic channels are of great interest for DNA sequencing, chromatography, and drug delivery. However, metrology of embedded or sealed nanochannels and measurement of their fill-state have remained extremely challenging. Existing techniques have been restricted to optical microscopy, which suffers from insufficient resolution, or scanning electron microscopy, which cannot measure sealed or embedded channels without cleaving the sample. Here, we demonstrate a novel method for accurately extracting nanochannel cross-sectional dimensions and monitoring fluid filling, utilizing spectroscopic ellipsometric scatterometry, combined with rigorous electromagnetic simulations. Our technique is capable of measuring channel dimensions with better than 5-nm accuracy and assessing channel filling within seconds. The developed technique is, thus, well suited for both process monitoring of channel fabrication as well as for studying complex phenomena of fluid flow through nanochannel structures.

CoSPA and Traffic Flow Impact Operational Demonstration for the 2017 Convective Season(4.48 MB)

Date:
May 7, 2018
Published in:
Project Report ATC-441, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory personnel conducted field observations of the Consolidated Storm Prediction for Aviation (CoSPA) 8-hr deterministic convective forecast, and the decision support tool, Traffic Flow Impact (TFI), from 6 June to 31 October 2017. Four field observations were performed during the demonstration period.

Highly Efficient All-Optical Beam Modulation Utilizing Thermo-optic Effects

Date:
April 16, 2018
Published in:
Optics Express, vol. 26, no. 8
Type:
Journal Article
Topic:

Summary

Suspensions of plasmonic nanoparticles can diffract optical beams due to the combination of thermal lensing and self-phase modulation. Here, we demonstrate extremely efficient optical continuous wave (CW) beam switching across the visible range in optimized suspensions of 5-nm Au and Ag nanoparticles in non-polar solvents, such as hexane and decane. On-axis modulation of greater than 30 dB is achieved at incident beam intensities as low as 100 W/cm2 with response times under 200 μs, at initial solution transparency above 70%. No evidence of laser-induced degradation is observed for the highest intensities used. Numerical modeling of experimental data reveals thermo-optic coefficients of up to −1.3 × 10−3 /K, which, to our knowledge, is the highest observed to date in such nanoparticle suspensions.

Microsputterer with Integrated Ion-Drag Focusing for Additive Manufacturing of Thin, Narrow Conductive Lines(3.14 MB)

Date:
April 4, 2018
Published in:
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, vol. 51, no. 16
Type:
Journal Article
Topic:

Summary

We report the design, modelling, and proof-of-concept demonstration of a continuously fed, atmospheric-pressure microplasma metal sputterer that is capable of printing conductive lines narrower than the width of the target without the need for post-processing or lithographic patterning. Ion drag-induced focusing is harnessed to print narrow lines; the focusing mechanism is modelled via COMSOL Multiphysics simulations and validated with experiments. A microplasma sputter head with gold target is constructed and used to deposit imprints with minimum feature sizes as narrow as 9 µm, roughness as small as 55 nm, and electrical resistivity as low as 1.1 µΩ centerdot m.

Key Challenges and Prospects for Optical Standoff Trace Detection of Explosives

Date:
December 29, 2017
Published in:
Trends in Analytical Chemistry, vol. 100
Type:
Journal Article

Summary

Sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) challenge the capabilities of current sensors, particularly in areas away from static checkpoints. This security gap could be filled by standoff chemical sensors that detect IEDs based on external trace explosive residues. Unfortunately, previous efforts have not led to widely deployed capabilities. Crucially, the physical morphology of trace explosive residues and chemical “clutter” present unique challenges to the operational performance of standoff sensors. In this review, an overview of standoff trace explosive detection systems is provided in the context of these unique challenges. Tradespace analysis is performed for two popular standoff detection methods: longwave infrared hyperspectral imaging and deep-UV Raman spectroscopy. The tradespace analysis method described in this review incorporates realistic trace explosive residues and background clutter into the technology development process. The review predicts system performance and areas where additional research is needed for these two technologies to optimize performance.

Spatially-Resolved Individual Particle Spectroscopy Using Photothermal Modulation of Mie Scattering

Date:
December 5, 2017
Published in:
Optics Letters, vol. 42, no. 2
Type:
Journal Article

Summary

We report a photothermal modulation of Mie scattering (PMMS) method that enables concurrent spatial and spectral discrimination of individual micron-sized particles. This approach provides a direct measurement of the “fingerprint” infrared absorption spectrum with the spatial resolution of visible light. Trace quantities (tens of picograms) of material were deposited onto an infrared-transparent substrate and simultaneously illuminated by a wavelength-tunable intensity-modulated quantum cascade pump laser and a continuous-wave 532 nm probe laser. Absorption of the pump laser by the particles results in direct modulation of the scatter field of the probe laser. The probe light scattered from the interrogated region is imaged onto a visible camera, enabling simultaneous probing of spatially-separated individual particles. By tuning the wavelength of the pump laser, the IR absorption spectrum is obtained. Using this approach, we measured the infrared absorption spectra of individual 3 μm PMMA and silica spheres. Experimental PMMS signal amplitudes agree with modeling using an extended version of the Mie scattering theory for particles on substrates, enabling the prediction of the PMMS signal magnitude based on the material and substrate properties.

Preliminary UAS Weather Research Roadmap(1.51 MB)

Date:
November 3, 2017
Published in:
Project Report ATC-438, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

A companion Lincoln Laboratory report (ATC-437, “Preliminary Weather Information Gaps for UAS Operations”) identified initial gaps in the ability of current weather products to meet the needs of UAS operations. Building off of that work, this report summarizes the development of a proposed initial roadmap for research to fill the gaps that were identified.

Preliminary Weather Information Gap Analysis for UAS Operations(4.88 MB)

Date:
November 2, 2017
Published in:
Project Report ATC-437, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations in the National Airspace System (NAS) are rapidly increasing. For example, 2017 has seen dramatically increased low altitude UAS usage for disaster relief and by first responders. The ability to carry out these operations, however, can be strongly impacted by adverse weather conditions. This report documents a preliminary quick-look identification and assessment of gaps in current weather decision support for UAS operations.