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New Research Results

Thermoelectric module 05/20/2016

Development of an 11 % Conversion Efficiency Thermoelectric Module
–Achieved with thermoelectric materials having controlled nano-sized structures, a big step toward the realization of power generation using waste heat –

AIST has developed a thermoelectric module with conversion efficiency of 11%. Until now, it has been difficult to exceed a thermoelectric figure of merit ZT = 1.0 in thermoelectric materials, or 7 % conversion efficiency in thermoelectric modules. In the present research, the researchers have achieved ZT = 1.8 by forming magnesium telluride (MgTe) nanostructures in a sintered compact of lead telluride (PbTe)-based thermoelectric material. Furthermore, they have developed an electrode material that contacts relatively well electrically and thermally with the PbTe sintered compact containing the MgTe nanostructures, achieving a conversion efficiency of 11 % in the thermoelectric module.

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Ozone tolerant plants 1/18/2017

Enhancement of Ozone Tolerance by Adjusting Stomatal Aperture on Leaf Surface
– Toward the development of crops with increased tolerance to atmospheric pollutants –

AIST discovered that expressing chimeric repressors of the transcription factors that control the development of chloroplasts in plants (transcription factors GLK1 and GLK2) significantly improves resistance to ozone, which is an atmospheric pollutant. In plants which were made to express the chimeric repressors of these transcription factors, the researchers found that stomata close slightly, and the transcription factors GLK1 and GLK2 affect factors relating to the stomatal movements. It is expected that if stomatal aperture can be properly adjusted using these transcription factors, it would contribute to the development of crops that are tolerant to environmental stress, such as atmospheric pollution and drought.

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Remote control for robot 09/20/2016

Layer 2-based Wireless Relay Network for Robot Control under Non Line-of-Sight Environments
–Successfully Demonstrated a Remote Control for Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle beyond the Line-of-Sight via a Hovering Drone–

AIST and NICT have demonstrated remote operation and monitoring of a small unmanned ground vehicle beyond the line-of-sight from the operator via a hovering drone up in the sky. The control communication link is continuously maintained with the layer 2-based fast access control technique, even when the relay route frequently changes due to the movement of the robots. The conventional techniques have problems in continuity every time the relay route changes and the communication link is disconnected, which results in momentarily losing control of the robot. This technology will help to achieve tough robot systems operational in poor radio propagation environments caused by obstacles.

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Gas leak detector 2/14/2017

Development of a Technology That Detects Only Fluorine-containing Gases Whose Biological Effects Are a Concern
– Detector uses a "butterfly-shaped" organic nitrogen compound that is sensitive to double-bonded gas components –

AIST has developed a detection agent that can detect selectively and with high sensitivity fluorine-containing etching gases, which are used in semiconductor fabrication processes. The developed detection agent reacts with the double bonds of the etching gases, causing it to change color. Perfluorocarbons and similar gases that are used as refrigerants and cleaning agents do not react with the detection agent, since they consist solely of single bonds, with no double bonds, and therefore do not generate false alarms, even during replacement of the refrigerant. The researchers have also developed a prototype of a compact leak detector that uses the detection agent.

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Proximity sensor 2/6/2017

Film-Type Capacitive Proximity Sensor That Monitors a Person’s Movements and Breathing
– Development of a non-contact motion sensor that adheres to the back of a floor or of a bed, and a printing-based manufacturing method for the sensor –

AIST has developed a technology to manufacture non-contact film-type capacitive proximity sensors that can be positioned out of sight and used to detect persons’ movements and breathing without physical or mental strain to the user, in collaboration with Shimane Institute for Industrial Technology. The developed film-type proximity sensor is a capacitive-type sensor having electrodes of different sizes on the front and reverse sides of the film. It was produced with a double-sided printing-based manufacturing technology that easily creates electrode structures on both sides of the sensor using the screen-offset printing technology developed by AIST.

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Satellite observation 01/26/2017

“ASTER-VA”, Value-added Satellite Observation Data, Provided at No Cost
–Promoting use of optical sensor data from the Earth observation satellite TERRA–

AIST provides processed data from an earth observation satellite, the value-added product “ASTER-VA”. AIST observes satellite data obtained by the optical sensor ASTER, process this information, and provide it using an easily understood interface. ASTER-VA consists of image data that applies AIST’s original pseudo-natural color image synthesis technology, in addition to elevation data and data with pre-corrections for superposition with maps. ASTER-VA is equipped with data of the entire world, and can be used in a wide range of fields including disaster prevention, the environment, and agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. It is also expected to be used in businesses utilizing geospatial information.

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Calibration of LISN 01/24/2017

Development of Technology That Can Easily Calibrate Line Impedance Stabilization Networks (LISNs) Used in EMC Tests
–Contributing to the improvement in the efficiency of electronic equipment safety checks–

AIST developed a technology that can easily calibrate line impedance stabilization networks (LISNs) used for conducted emissions tests, in collaboration with REPIC Corporation. In conducted emissions tests, LISN is used to measure electromagnetic noise generated from electronic equipment, and it is required to calibrate the LISN itself to ensure the reliability of the measurement. However, multiple standard devices and complex data analysis are necessary for calibration of LISN. AIST and REPIC developed the first specialized standard device suitable for calibration of LISN, and realized an automatic calibration system. It is now possible to calibrate LISN easily even at EMC test sites.

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