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NASA’s Quantum Detector Achieves World- Leading Milestone

Members of the PEACOQ team stand next to a JPL cryostat that was used to test the detector. From left, Alex Walter, Sahil Patel, Andrew Mueller, Ioana Craiciu, Boris Korzh, Matt Shaw and Jamie Luskin. Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechA new JPL- and Caltech-developed detector could transform how quantum computers located thousands of miles apart exchange huge quantities of quantum data. Quantum computers hold the promise of operating millions of times faster than conventional computers. But to communicate over long distances, quantum computers will need a dedicated quantum communications network.

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2023 Women in Cryogenics and Superconductivity

Women in Cryo 2023

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Cryogenic Treatment Applications Find Potential in the Energy Sector

Figure 1: Conventional vs. cryogenic heat treatment. Credit: Patricia Jovičević-KlugEnergy Sector and Metallic Materials
Simultaneously improving known materials and exploring new alternative material options for applications in demanding environments for the energy sector (offshore wind power, solar power, biomass power, fission and fusion, geothermal power, hydroelectric power) is one of the leading engineering research endeavors today[1]. A unique combination of high corrosion resistance, toughness, strength, machinability, and wear resistance is required for materials used in energy applications.[2] Metallic materials used in the energy sector can be classified into ferrous and non-ferrous alloys. The most commonly used ferrous alloys in the energy sector are various grades of stainless steels, structural steels, duplex steels, low alloy and high alloy steels[1-5]. When selecting non-ferrous alloys, it is important to consider the application and its environment. Generally, the commonly used non-ferrous alloys are copper alloys, titanium alloys, aluminum alloys and nickel alloys[1-5].

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Inside ORNL’s Second Target Station’s Cryogenic Moderator Design

The STS Moderator Reflector Assembly locates two liquid hydrogen moderators adjacent to the rotating tungsten target. Credit: ORNLThe Second Target Station (STS) is the future of forefront neutron scattering science at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which started with the first neutron scattering measurements in the 1940s at the X-10 Graphite Reactor and continues today at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). STS will be a 700 kW, 15 Hz pulsed-spallation neutron source designed to provide the world’s highest peak of brightness cold neutron beams, meeting the demand for neutron scattering resources for physical, chemical, biological, geological, materials and human health sciences. The STS will utilize one out of every four proton pulses from the SNS accelerator, delivering the 1µs pulses to a rotating water-cooled tungsten target and producing neutrons by the spallation process. To convert high energy spallation neutrons to high brightness cold neutron beams, two compact liquid hydrogen moderators are located adjacent to the target’s peak neutron production zone and surrounded by light water premoderators and beryllium reflectors to increase neutron flux. 

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Scientists Elucidate Heat Flows in Liquid Hydrogen Tanks

Image: Researchers from South Korea have explored, experimentally and numerically, the thermodynamic characteristics and thermal flows inside cryogenic liquefied tanks used in transportation by studying the changes in boiloff gas (BOG) with variations in tank filling ratio. Credit: Pusan National UniversityHydrogen has been touted as the fuel of the future, but challenges remain in improving the storage efficiency of liquefied hydrogen fuel for large scale commercial transport and storage. Researchers from South Korea have conducted experiments and simulations to investigate the heat flows and phase changes within a cryogenic fuel tank using multiphase thermal flow simulations, with the goal of designing safe and efficient cryotanks. 

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Tackling the Rapidly Expanding Hydrogen Power Industry

PBS cryogenic turboexpanders, HEXT/CTE 100. Credit: PBSPBS Velka Bites has been in the cryogenic business for more than 35 years. Today, its cryogenics engineering capabilities include everything from preliminary calculation through design, manufacturing and assembly, to testing and user optimization of its cryogenic products. Since the late ’80s, PBS has been developing and supplying cryogenic turbines for the liquefaction of helium. Both liquid and gaseous helium applications must meet extremely demanding technical requirements not only in the design and construction phase but also in terms of production processes, final assembly and testing. PBS became one of the few companies in the world able to independently provide all these stages of cryogenic device production under one roof. The company’s offering of cryogenic devices has gradually expanded to include turbines and compressors, designed to work with other gases utilized in modern cryogenics. To date, all cryogenic products of PBS have been used for inert gas applications, but their design applies to other gases as well. Today, PBS is a major supplier of cryogenic turboexpanders, compressors, pumps and cryogenic drive units for the world's leading manufacturers of cryogenic products. 

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Understanding the Origin of Matter with the CUORE Experiment

 A research scientist examines the CUORE detector, an array of thousand crystals made of a material designed for the rare event searches. CUORE is located 4,500 feet underground at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. view more   Credit: Image courtesy of the CUORE Collaboration.There is so much that we do not yet know about neutrinos. Neutrinos are very light, chargeless, and elusive particles that are involved in a process named beta decay and that can help us to understand the origin of matter in the universe. Beta decay is a type of radioactive decay that involves a neutron converting into a proton, emitting an electron and an antineutrino. Beta decay is very common– it occurs about a dozen of times per second in a banana. There might also be an ultra-rare kind of beta decay that emits two electrons but no neutrinos. Nuclear physicists around the world are searching for this neutrinoless-double beta decays (NLDBD) in different nuclei. The interest in these decays arises from their potential to reveal unsolved mysteries related to the Universe’s creation of matter. They can also provide hints towards our understanding of the currently unknown mass of neutrinos.

The Impact

The Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE) can search for these rare NLDBD processes using different nuclei. Scientists rely on complementarity among searches using different nuclei to have a better understanding of the underlying physics in the process. Complementarity in physics involves theories that contrast with each other but that both explain part of the same phenomena. CUORE recently searched for NLDBD using a nucleus that had not previously been studied with CUORE, Tellurim-128. The researchers have so far found no evidence for NLDBD. However, they show that the half-life of Tellurim-128 to decay by NLDBD is longer than 3.6 septillion years (ultra-rare decays have very long half-lives). This lower limit is about 30 times higher than those from prior experiments using the same technique. This new search pushes forward scientists’ knowledge on these rare nuclear decays. This opens another path to our understanding of the origin of matter in our Universe.

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How the SpaceX Explosion Would Have Been Different in Florida

SpaceX's Starship launches from Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, Thursday, April 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Shortly after SpaceX's massive Starship launched from Texas on its first full test early Thursday, the 400-foot stack of hardware began to tumble until it broke apart in a fiery explosion over the Gulf of Mexico. The overall demonstration mission – a test of the new rocket's ability to ignite and clear the pad's 500-foot tower – was successful. At liftoff, however, several of the rocket's 33 Raptor engines failed to fire up as planned. Then came the more than a minute-long tumble at roughly three minutes into flight, which kicked off just after the rocket's Starship upper stage and Super Heavy booster failed to separate.

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Svanehøj Acquires Complete Cryogenic Services

Svanehøj acquires Complete Cryogenic ServicesWith its third company acquisition in just over two years, marine pump specialist, Svanehøj, continues to expand its service solution business, this time by taking over California-based Complete Cryogenic Services (CCS), a specialist in service and overhaul of submerged pumps on LNG tankers. The number of LNG tankers globally has grown by around 40% in the last five years, and 2022 was a record year with more than 200 new contracts signed. With this, an attractive service and aftersales market emerges, in which Svanehøj is determined to gain market share.

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Skyroot Aerospace and Dhawan-II’s More Powerful 3D-Printed Cryogenic Engine

Dhawan IIIn 2020, the world was introduced to Dhawan-I, a 3D printed cryogenic engine made by Skyroot Aerospace. Three years later, the Indian company has been working on a more powerful model, unveiling to the public the new and improved Dhawan-II, which is said to have successfully completed testing. Like its predecessor, this engine is also 3D printed. Skyroot’s cryogenic rocket engine uses two rocket propellants: liquid natural gas (LNG) and liquid oxygen (LoX), which require temperatures below -150 °C for storage and operation. The tests were conducted at Solar Industries’ propulsion test facility in Nagpur, India.

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A Game Changer for CERN

Dreaming big Science Gateway project leader Patrick Geeraert. Credit: M ChalmersCERN’s new visitor and education center, Science Gateway, due to open this autumn, will welcome up to half a million people each year. Project leader Patrick Geeraert describes how this iconic project came about, how it will operate, and what it aims to achieve.

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New SLAC-Stanford Battery Center Targets Energy Transition

SLAC battery for energy transitionThe Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University announced the launch of a new joint battery center at SLAC. It will bring together the resources and expertise of the national lab, the university and Silicon Valley to accelerate the deployment of batteries and other energy storage solutions as part of the energy transition that’s essential for addressing climate change.

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New Study Could Help Pinpoint Hidden Helium Gas Fields

HELIUM IS A GAS VITAL FOR MRI SCANNERS Research led by the University of Oxford could help overturn the current supply crisis of helium, a vital societal resource. The study proposes a new model to account for the existence of previously unexplained helium-rich reservoirs. The findings, published in Nature, could help locate untapped reservoirs of accessible helium. Dr. Anran Cheng (Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford), lead author of the study, says, "Our model shows the importance of factoring in the high diffusivity of helium and the long timescales needed to accumulate significant gas quantities, and the fact that the entire geological system acts dynamically to affect the process. This model provides a new perspective to help identify the environments that slow helium gases down enough to accumulate in commercial amounts."

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H2FLY Announces Liquid Hydrogen Filling Success

H2FLY announces liquid hydrogen filling successGerman-based H2FLY has announced success from a liquid hydrogen filling test of its HY4 hydrogen-electric aircraft. The on-ground test at Air Liquide’s Campus Technologies Grenoble in France saw liquid hydrogen fill the aircraft’s new liquid hydrogen storage system, designed and supplied by Air Liquide. Coming as a precursor to future tests in which the storage system will be coupled with H2FLY’s fuel cell system to form a complete hydrogen-electric powertrain, the test comes as a milestone in the steps to achieving hydrogen-powered flight for the Stuttgart company.

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Delft Circuits Chosen by NASA JPL Scientist to Support BICEP Project in Antarctica

Detail of a quantum computer with some connections highlighted Credit: Delft CircuitsDelft Circuits announced its inclusion in the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP) project in Antarctica, supporting NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech and other project partners. BICEP has been ongoing for several years and is now seeking solutions for a hardware upgrade to its telescope’s sensitivity as the project digs ever deeper into the cosmos to learn more about the origins of the universe. Consequently, a team at JPL is pioneering a new way to scale the number of detectors on the high optical frequency receivers of the telescope array.

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Vulcan: Tanking tests performed on ULA's new rocket

The Vulcan rocket undergoes a tanking test at the launch pad. Photo by United Launch AllianceCompleting the next phase of testing in preparation for the inaugural Vulcan rocket flight, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) team accomplished tanking demonstrations at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The pathfinder tests filled the Vulcan first stage and Centaur V upper stage with cryogenic propellant on separate days to validate performance of the stages, Vulcan Launch Platform (VLP), Space Launch Complex-41 facilities and ground support systems.

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Next-Generation Oilless Cryogenic ORC Turbine Generator

Image: Next-generation oilless cryogenic ORC turbine generator. Credit: MHIMitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery and Equipment Co., Ltd. (MHI-MME), a wholly owned operating company of MHI based in Nagasaki, have successfully conducted demonstration testing of 100 kW class cryogenic ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) power generation using the world’s first “next-generation oilless cryogenic turbine generator.” The innovative generator adapts the turbine generator featuring a hermetically sealed oilless structure, of the kind used in ORC generation, to cryogenic power generation. The testing demonstrated that with use of liquid nitrogen as the cryogenic energy source it is possible to secure a stable refrigerant cycle and the specified regeneration output without freezing-induced clogging, etc. even under conditions more severe than the low temperatures of conventional LNG (liquefied natural gas) cryogenic generation.

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Students Design Experimental Fuel System To Power Liquid-Propellant Rocket Engines

Members of the Experimental Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (ERPL) are building a state-of-the-art rocket fuel-feed system to test liquid-propelled rocket engines safely and consistently from Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville, FL. Credit: ERPLAerospace Engineering students Alex Clay and Samir Ahmed have spent the past four years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University manufacturing complex liquid-propellant rocket engines. Now, as they near graduation, there is one last thing they’d like to do: Prepare for ignition. Along with fellow members of the university’s Experimental Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (ERPL), the two have built a state-of-the-art fuel-feed system in hopes of accomplishing that very goal. If successful, the hardware will offer future generations of rocketry students a safe and consistent way to field test their designs — which, according to sophomore Aerospace Engineering student Taylor Koehn, is currently the “most significant bottleneck” in the process of engine building.

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BCCK Boosts Propane Recovery with Next-Generation Technology at Cryogenic Gas Processing Facility

BCCK Boosts Propane Recovery with Next-Generation Technology at Cryogenic Gas Processing Facility Credit: BCCKBCCK, a leader in engineering, procurement, fabrication and field construction services, has applied patent-pending technology, G2R-Flex®, to provide enhanced propane recovery for a premier midstream group in Ohio’s Marcellus-Utica Basin. Utilizing a skidded BCCK patent-pending design, G2R-Flex® improved current 200 MMSCFD GSP facilities' propane recoveries to greater than 99 percent in ethane rejection and can also be applied to improve performance in ethane recovery.

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GENH2 Partners with H2 Genesis to Provide Small-Scale Hydrogen Liquefaction

H2 Genesis Partners with GenH2 to Provide Small-Scale Hydrogen LiquefactionGenH2, an industry leader in hydrogen infrastructure solutions, announced that the company has signed a partnership agreement with H2 Genesis, a leading liquid hydrogen infrastructure and operations company, to deliver liquid hydrogen across North America. In their first collaboration, GenH2, as manufacturer, and H2 Genesis, as owner-operator, will deploy the GenH2 LS20 Mobile Liquid Hydrogen System, an end-to-end liquefaction and storage system, to several locations in the United States starting with Florida.

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