Water is in critically short supply in Tonga after an undersea volcano erupted and a tsunami wreaked havoc on the island nation. The eruption also cut off many communication links to the islands, and much of the land area is covered in a thick coating of ash.
Frequent flooding caused by rising sea levels along Northern California's Route 37 might permanently overwhelm the roadway as early as 2040, the California Department of Transportation predicts. The department is preparing a long-range study and has scheduled a virtual public meeting to explore possible solutions.
Detroit is testing Tactile Mobility's Tactile Software Processor -- a cloud-based technology that provides real-time updates on the condition of road pavement. The system uses a combination of signal processing, microphysical experiments and machine learning to analyze in-vehicle sensor data, which is then used to calculate a rating.
Incorporating artificial intelligence into the earliest stages of building design leads to sustainable solutions, according to Mike Haley, vice president of research at Autodesk. AI also can anticipate future building requirements so that existing buildings can be adjusted to new purposes, canceling the need for new structures.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has authorized a construction and operations plan for the South Fork Wind project -- the second commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project in the US. The approval clears the way for Orsted and Eversource Energy to begin construction next month off the coasts of Rhode Island and New York.
Accurate measures of snow melt have been elusive, but UCLA civil engineering doctoral student Manon von Kaenel plans to seek solutions with a NASA fellowship. Von Kaenel is focusing on developing a real-time metric framework that draws on satellite data to gauge snow water or its equivalent that in turn can be applied to predict stream flows.
Researchers have suggested AI and big data could open the door to better congestion pricing and more equitable distribution of tolls. "Instead of exacerbating existing inequities, road pricing and refunds could both protect the most vulnerable and improve the efficiency of our transportation system," said Marco Pavone from the Stanford Autonomous Systems Laboratory.
After 48 years of service, the Navy's last oil-powered aircraft carrier is en route to Bremerton, Wash., where it will be scrapped. The USS Kitty Hawk entered service as the first in its class in 1961, served six tours in Vietnam and became the first carrier to earn a Presidential Unit Citation.
Northrup Grumman says it is looking to scale down the SEWIP Block III attack platform for smaller ships. The system, built for large Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, could give smaller vessels the ability to conduct advanced passive detection of radiofrequency threats and make pinpoint electronic attacks on multiple targets concurrently.
The Navy is responding to a "dramatic uptick in [unmanned aerial vehicle] activity" in the Middle East by developing directed energy weapons, said US Fifth Fleet commander Vice Adm. Bradley Cooper. The fleet is also developing unmanned systems to detection and thwart air- and water-based drones, and its solutions include the wind-powered, 23-foot-long Saildrone Explorer.