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Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September 2002

MILITARY ORNL aims to cut gun barrel casualties . . .

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's 300,000-watt plasma arc lamp and a touch of science could help the Army solve a problem that's causing major casualties to heavy artillery barrels. The problem is that normal wear from projectiles, propellants and combustion gases causes fatigue, erosion and corrosion in conventional gun barrel material, leading to cracks that render a weapon useless. Using the powerful lamp, researchers hope to metallurgically bond a metallic coating to a metal substrate to demonstrate that barrel materials can be made more resistant to these forces. Compared to mechanical bonding, metallurgical bonding results in far greater strength of the bonds between the atoms of the coating and substrate. [Contact: Bill Corwin]

CHEMISTRY Guarding the nation's water supplies . . .

ORNL's water sentinel enlists the help of naturally occurring algae biosensors to serve as a first-alert warning system for chemical warfare attacks on water supplies. The system, developed by scientists in the lab's Chemical Sciences Division, works by detecting toxic chemicals in reservoirs, rivers and lakes. Through wireless transmission, the biosensors send data to a database for quick comparison and analysis and provide inexpensive, instantaneous and around-the-clock monitoring of water sources. [Contact: Eli Greenbaum]

MILITARY Combat ID targets enemy . . .

Researchers at ORNL and Sandia National Laboratories are attacking the problem of soldiers and noncombatants killed by friendly fire using technologies that will help them better understand the battlefield and battle space. The Combat ID analysis will focus on ground, air and soldier detection and identification efficiency and related information. Combat ID is part of an integrated system whose purpose is to develop the Army's future combat system and give U.S. forces increased survi
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
3-Sep-2002


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