Magazine for Research and Innovation

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Nov 15, 2010 | BEATRICE HUBER

Empa has taken off – from 7 to 8 July, the “Solar Impulse” aircraft successfully made its first night flight, and the pilot, André Borschberg, was “wrapped up” almost completely in Empa technology. His suit, designed for both protection and comfort, along with the matching seat, were developed by Empa researchers especially for this showpiece project to protect Borschberg as well as the second pilot and co-initiator Bertrand Piccard from the extreme conditions in the cockpit.

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Further Information: PDF of the article

Focus: Cleantech - clean technology

The Solar Impulse team is pursuing a lofty goal – to put renewable energy in the spotlight and thus get the general public to rethink their ideas so that we preserve some of our natural resources for future generations.

That’s why Piccard and his team fit perfectly into the Focus section of this latest edition of EmpaNews. This section is dedicated to Cleantech, in other words the clean technologies of tomorrow which will have the least possible impact on the environment and will help to preserve natural resources. Because one thing is certain – we can’t continue to do “business as usual”.

Further Information: PDF of the Focus



And also in this issue:

Research and Development

  • Monitoring: virtual instead of visual
    Visual inspection of European roadways and railway systems is slowly but surely becoming thing of the past. Today, sensor networks and the like permanently monitor infrastructure, and the collected data is logged or sent to a control centre using radio links. The EU research project ISTIMES goes a step further in that it interconnects various monitoring systems. Empa is contributing its interdisciplinary know-how in the areas of sensor technology, data transfer and non-destructive testing.
    Further Information: PDF of the article
  • It's all about the method
    All too frequently it is only after new technologies have been developed and deployed that research into their safety is conducted, and obviously this research can only take on a reactive role. In contrast, the emerging area of nanotechnology offers the opportunity to zero in on risks and hazards prior to the widespread application of “nano”. Empa is among the world’s leading institutions when it comes to establishing standardised – and thus meaningful – methods for evaluating nano-risks.
    Further Information: PDF of the article 
  • Killing bacteria gently
    What influence do manufacturing conditions exert on the properties of novel plasma polymer coatings containing silver nanoparticles? Empa researchers have looked into this question and can now create tailor-made coatings that leverage the properties of silver ions, which kill bacteria while at the same time are gentle to human tissue.
    Further Information: PDF of the article 
  • Can implants last forever?
    Extra-hard coatings made from diamond-like carbon extend the operating lifetime of tools and components. In artificial joints, however, these coatings often fail because they detach. Empa researchers studied the coatings and found out why.
    Further Information: PDF of the article

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