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INRS Researchers Design the World's Fastest UV Camera – Stockhouse

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MONTREAL , Oct. 8, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – The team of Professor Jinyang Liang , a specialist in ultrafast imaging at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), in collaboration with an international team of researchers, has developed the fastest camera in the world capable of recording photons in the ultraviolet (UV) range in real time. This original research is featured on the front cover of the 10th issue of the journal Laser & Photonics Reviews.

Compressed ultrafast photography (CUP) captures the entire process in real time and unparalleled resolution with just one click. The spatial and temporal information is first compressed into an image and then, using a reconstruction algorithm, it is converted into a video.

Developing a Compact Instrument for UV

Until now, this technique was limited to visible and near-infrared wavelengths, and thus to a specific category of physical events. “Many phenomena that occur on very short time scales also take place on a very small spatial scale. To see them, you need to sense shorter wavelengths. Doing this in the UV or even X-ray ranges is a remarkable step toward this goal,” says Jinyang Liang , who led the study .

To record in this new range of wavelengths and to develop the technique into a user-friendly product, researchers designed a compact UV-CUP system with Christian–Yves Côté of Axis Photonique Inc . via an academia-industry collaboration. The new system features a patterned photocathode, which is used to simultaneously detect and encode “black light”. “Like a standard camera, our technology is passive. It does not produce light; it receives it. Therefore, our photocathode had to be sensitive to the photons emitted as UV light. This design makes our technique a stand-alone system that can be easily integrated into various experimental platforms,” says Jinyang Liang , who has been contributing to the development of CUP since his postdoctorate.

Liang worked with François Légaré , also an INRS professor, to generate and take images of UV pulses at the Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) laboratory . “The outstanding research environment at the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre of INRS is very helpful. It is so much more efficient when all necessary design, manufacturing, and characterization capabilities are available in the same building.”

Dividing up the Reconstruction Problem

“Taking the picture is only the first half of the job,” says Jinyang Liang . “It also has to be reconstructed.” To do this, the researchers developed a new algorithm, more efficient than standard algorithms, via their collaboration with Boston University . Its strength comes from a division of tasks. “Rather than solve the reconstruction problem as a lump, the algorithm divides the reconstruction into smaller problems that it tackles individually,” explains Professor Liang.

With the innovations in both hardware and software, UV-CUP has an imaging speed of 0.5 trillion frames per second. It produces videos with 1500 frames in large format. As a light-speed imager, UV-CUP sees flying UV photons in real time. “It always fascinates me when you can watch the fastest object in the universe in such great detail,” says Yingming Lai , a Master’s student at INRS and the first author of the article.

The device developed through this international collaboration will be sent to the research laboratory SOLEIL Synchrotron in France to visualize physical phenomena. It could capture laser-plasma generation, a phenomenon that is essential for deducing certain properties of materials, and UV fluorescence, which is important in medical imaging to identify biomarkers linked to diseases.

About the Study

Researchers received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). A detailed article is available on the INRS website.

About INRS

INRS is a university dedicated exclusively to graduate level research and training. Since its creation in 1969, INRS has played an active role in Quebec’s economic, social, and cultural development and is ranked first for research intensity in Quebec and second in Canada . INRS is made up of four interdisciplinary research and training centres in Quebec City , Montreal , Laval , and Varennes , with expertise in strategic sectors: Eau Terre Environnement , Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications , Urbanisation Culture Société , and Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie . The INRS community includes more than 1,400 students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, and staff.

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INRS Professor Jinyang Liang, expert in ultra-fast and biophotonic imaging. (CNW Group/Institut National de la recherche scientifique (INRS))

SOURCE Institut National de la recherche scientifique (INRS)

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Any signal up here? Nokia to build mobile network on moon – Edmonton Sun

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HELSINKI — Struggling to get a phone signal at home on planet Earth? Perhaps you’ll have better luck on the moon.

Nokia has been selected by NASA to build the first cellular network on the moon, the Finnish company said on Monday, as the U.S. space agency plans for a future where humans return there and establish lunar settlements.

NASA aims to return humans to the moon by 2024 and dig in for a long-term presence there under its Artemis program.

Nokia said the first wireless broadband communications system in space would be built on the lunar surface in late 2022, before humans make it back there.

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It will partner with a Texas-based private space craft design company, Intuitive Machines, to deliver the equipment to the moon on their lunar lander. The network will configure itself and establish a 4G/LTE communications system on the moon, Nokia said, though the aim would be to eventually switch to 5G

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Losing flight had huge benefits for ants, Researchers Say

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Losing flight had huge benefits for ants, Researchers Say

Ants are one of the most successful groups of animals on the planet, occupying anywhere from temperate soil to tropical rainforests, desert dunes and kitchen counters. They’re social insects and their team-working abilities have long since been identified as one of the key factors leading to their success. Ants are famously able to lift or drag objects many times their own weight and transport these objects back to their colony. But with previous research having focused on the social aspects of an ant colony, looking at an individual ant has been somewhat neglected.

Now, researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and Sorbonne University in Paris have investigated why individual worker ants are so strong by taking X-ray images and creating 3-D models of their thorax—the central unit of their bodies—to analyze their muscles and internal skeleton. Their study, published in Frontiers in Zoology, examines the hypothesis that loss of flight in worker ants is directly connected to the evolution of greater strength.

“Worker ants evolved from flying insects,” said Professor Evan Economo, who leads OIST’s Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit. “We’ve always assumed that losing flight helped to optimize their bodies for working on the ground, but we have much to learn about how this is achieved.”

Being able to fly might be a common dream amongst people, but the reality of flight is that it puts strong constraints on the build of a body. In flying insects, the wing muscles occupy a major part of the thorax—sometimes more than 50%. This means that other muscles, which are used to support and move the head, legs, and abdomen are constrained and squeezed up against the exoskeleton.

But once the constraints of flight are removed, all that space in the thorax is open, which, the researchers surmised, would allow the remaining muscles to expand and reorganize.

Previous research in this area had focused on the external structure of ants but, with the technology available at OIST, the researchers were able to gain a highly detailed picture of what was going on inside the thorax. The aim was to analyze the general features common across all ants, rather than focus on the specialization of certain species. To do this, the researchers did a detailed analysis of two distantly related ant species, including both the wingless workers and the flying queens, and confirmed their findings across a broader sample of species.

They used advanced X-ray technology to scan the internal and external anatomy, like CT scans used in a hospital, but at much higher resolution. From these scans, the researchers mapped all the different muscles and modeled them in 3-D. The result was a comprehensive image of the inside of the thorax. They then compared findings from these two species to a range of other ants and wingless insects.

As predicted, the researchers found that loss of flight had allowed for clear-cut reorganization of the thorax. “Within the worker ant’s thorax, everything is integrated beautifully in a tiny space,” said the late Dr. Christian Peeters, lead author of this paper, who was a research professor at Sorbonne University. “The three muscle groups have all expanded in volume, giving the worker ants more strength and power. There has also been a change in the geometry of the neck muscles, which support and move the head. And the internal attachment of muscles has been modified.”

Interestingly, when looking at wingless wasps, the researchers found that these insects had responded to the loss of flight in a completely different way. Wingless wasps are solitary and consume food as they find it. On the other hand, ants are part of a colony. They hunt or scavenge for food that then needs to be carried back to the nest for the queen and younger nestmates, so it makes sense that there was a selection pressure to promote carrying ability.

Ants have been studied for centuries in terms of their behavior, ecology, and genetics but, the researchers emphasized, this story of strength has, so far, been somewhat overlooked. The next step is to develop more detailed biomechanical models of how different muscle groups function, do similar research on the mandible and legs, and explore the diversity seen between ant species.

“We’re interested in what makes an ant an ant and understanding the key innovations behind their success,” explained Professor Economo. “We know that one factor is the social structure, but this individual strength is another essential factor.”

Source: – lintelligencer

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Finland's Nokia selected to build mobile network on moon for NASA – The Journal Pioneer

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HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s Nokia has been selected by NASA to build the first cellular network on the moon, the company said on Monday.

The lunar network will be part of the U.S. space agency’s efforts to return humans to the moon by 2024 and build long-term settlements there under its Artemis programme.

Nokia said the first wireless broadband communications system in space would be built on the lunar surface in late 2022, before humans make it back there.

The Finnish company will partner with Texas-based private space craft design firm Intuitive Machines to deliver the network equipment to the moon on their lunar lander.

After delivery, the network will configure itself and establish the first LTE (Long-Term Evolution) communications system on the moon, Nokia said.

“The network will provide critical communication capabilities for many different data-transmission applications, including vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video,” Nokia said.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Edmund Blair and Pravin Char)

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