Refueling Economies, Behavioral Effect of COVID, Cosmic, Seismic, and Sound Collisions, and Space-to-Ground Communications


Transport — Stock up on savings

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have determined that for every 5 miles per hour drivers travel above a 50 mph speed limit, fuel economy drops by 7% and is equivalent to paying 28 cents per gallon at current average US fuel prices.

This finding was published in the updated 2022-23 Fuel Economy Guide, which provides tips for saving fuel. Researchers use data from demonstrations to show fuel efficiency impacts such as speeding, low tire pressure, neglecting vehicle maintenance or carrying a heavy roof rack.

“Simple tweaks can have big impacts,” said ORNL’s Stacy Davis. “Make sure you’re driving the most fuel-efficient vehicle and using the recommended octane rating. The difference between a vehicle that gets 20 miles per gallon and one that gets 30 miles per gallon is about 7 cents per mile. That’s a savings of $70 for a 1,000 mile round trip.

Davis also recommended using the guide’s trip calculator to estimate fuel expenses.


COVID — Changing Behavior

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers empirically quantified changes in routine daily activities, such as having morning coffee or a take-out dinner, following safer at-home orders during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. These reflections, published in the Journal of Transport Geographycould help officials better understand traffic patterns and complement emergency or crisis response.

Using SafeGraph data from GPS markers at millions of points of interest, the team identified when people were most active over 24-hour periods and how these differed from pre-pandemic times.

“We saw the biggest differences in temporal and geographical behaviors in the morning and evening in 2020. With an increase in remote working and virtual teaching, we can see how people’s activities have changed when normal commutes have changed,” said ORNL’s Kevin Sparks.

Notably, the sheer size of the datasets ingested, cataloged, queried, and analyzed for research required the team to build a significant compute infrastructure based on scalability and connectivity.


Physics Cosmic collisions revealed

Scientists use the Multicharged Ion Research Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to simulate the cosmic origin of X-ray emissions resulting from the collision of highly charged ions with neutral atoms and molecules, such as l helium and hydrogen gas.

“This facility gives us a new window of X-ray observation to peer into otherwise unseen processes found in star-forming galaxies, galaxy clusters, supernova remnants, and relativistic jets from black holes,” said ORNL’s Charles Havener.

Havener and his collaborators have developed techniques for colliding beams of ions with neutral atoms or molecules in space. They measure X-ray emissions from charge exchange processes using a quantum X-ray calorimeter developed at the University of Wisconsin with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Its high resolution will allow a better understanding of astrophysical processes.

“In the future, we want to measure X-ray emissions from charge exchange with atomic hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe – but the most difficult measurement in a laboratory,” said Havener said.


Seismic — Feel

A team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a new technique using sensors to monitor seismic and acoustic activity and machine learning to differentiate operational activities at facilities from “noise” in recorded data.

Using the lab’s high-flux isotope reactor as a testbed, the researchers placed remote sensors near the facility and continuously recorded data. Their published results showed that they could predict whether the reactor was on or off with 98% accuracy. They could also tell if the seismo-acoustic activity was coming from reactor-specific operations or from other sources, such as vibrations from equipment in a nearby cooling tower.

“We got creative with the tools, and we were able to disentangle the information from this seismic noise. a technique that worked well,” said Monica Maceira of ORNL.

The team’s new approach could be used as a protective measure for sensitive facilities and non-proliferation applications and as a tool for monitoring the structural health of buildings.


Communications — Space-to-Ground

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is launching a small satellite ground station that uses high-performance computing to support automated detection of changes in the Earth’s landscape. The new system will reduce the time needed to collect, process and analyze satellite images, saving precious seconds when human lives could be at risk.

Automated change detection and integration of HPC-enabled satellites can help expedite emergency response and relief efforts following crises such as wildfires, natural disasters, or sudden population migrations.

Once system installation is complete, expected this summer, satellites on the UHF and S frequencies will be able to transmit data directly to ORNL’s supercomputing facility for analysis and other tasks. .

“We can collect data from one satellite to identify something and then redefine another constellation to look at it from a different perspective,” ORNL’s David Page said of the process of connecting satellite constellations. .

ORNL works with small private satellite companies and plans to expand its footprint.



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