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NCAR developed and Vaisala commercialized the dropsonde, a meteorological instrument that is deployed from an aircraft into hurricanes to improve both track and intensity forecasts

News & Events

Scientists within the USGS Volcano Hazards Program operate from within five U.S. volcano observatories. One of the primary goals of the observatories is to be an authoritative source for enlightening information about our Nation's volcanoes.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), the oldest of the five, has a long history of writing regular articles about volcanic activity and scientific research on the Hawaiian volcanoes.

On May 3, 2018, the eruption in Leilani Estates subdivision, Kīlauea Volcano Hawaii: The intrusion of molten rock into the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano reached the surface in the late afternoon on May 3 in a part of Leilani Estates. A fissure about 150 m (492 ft) long erupted mostly spatter and intermittent bubble bursts for about 2 hours. Lava did not travel more than a few m (yards) from the fissure. Hawaii County Civil Defense is coordinating needed response including evacuation of a portion of the Leilani subdivision. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory deployed geologists to the eruption site overnight, and other scientists are monitoring various data streams telemetered to the observatory 24/7. Check the Kīlauea webpages for new information (updates, photos, maps). Updates will be sent out as new information is gathered and as new outbreaks of lava occur. 

A recent GreenBiz article about the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator program, or IN2, describes how the company’s relationship with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a secret weapon for the program’s success. From what started four years ago, the Denver-based program “has tripled in size, to $30 million, and is arguably one of the best launchpads for cleantech startups in the United States.” 

"There’s no shortage of technology, but the ‘valley of death’ is very real for these companies," said Ashley Grosh, vice president and business initiatives manager of environmental affairs at Wells Fargo. "We can speed up the path to commercialization in a way that is best for the company, without their having to give up equity, while giving them access to NREL and giving them access to a corporate."

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is undertaking an ambitious plan to assess Federal technology transfer efforts to enable greater “Return on Investment” (ROI) from the Federal Government’s $150 Billion annual investment in research and development (R&D). NIST is uniquely positioned to implement this initiative through our government-wide leadership role within the Department of Commerce, including delegated (link is external) regulatory authority and responsibility for annual reporting to the President and Congress.

NIST will work in collaboration with the private sector and other partners to identify critically-needed improvements to Federal technology transfer efforts.  READ MORE>>>

A Colorado State University project to grow and harvest ocean macroalgae for biofuel production has received support from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

ARPA-E has poured over $22 million into their Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) program, with the aim of establishing the U.S. as a leader in biofuel production. CSU Energy Institute Researcher Jason Quinn’s project was one of 18 recently selected. Quinn is also an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

NASA has selected LASP to provide the Surface Dust Analyzer (SUDA) instrument for NASA’s mission to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. The Europa Clipper will orbit Jupiter and conduct detailed reconnaissance of the moon through low-altitude flybys. SUDA’s objective is to identify the material ejected from the surface to determine if Europa could have conditions suitable for life.

Jupiter’s strong magnetic field traps radiation much like Earth’s Van Allen belts, and high-energy particles can damage spacecraft and instrument electronics. The Europa Clipper and SUDA must be engineered to operate in a radiation environment thousands of times more intense than the Earth’s, use a minimum amount of power, and survive a harshly cold thermal environment.