Laser-Powered Lightning Rod Intercepts Strikes 600 Feet Away
Plus, DARPA tests an augmented reality training system with cooking tutorials, the nation's second lithium mine gets the green light, and the Department of the Interior needs better password management.
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE
A group of European researchers has developed a method of vastly improving the old-fashioned lightning rod. The system fires 1,000 terawatt-level laser pulses per second into storm clouds, intercepting lightning as it forms and directing it toward a 26-foot rod. This laser-driven method can cover areas of up to 590 feet in any direction, making it much more effective than traditional lightning rods, which are limited by their height to catching lightning in much smaller areas.
Source: Popular Science
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Esmeralda County, Nev., could become home to the nation’s second lithium mine. The Department of Energy has approved a $700 million conditional loan to mining company Ioneer to build the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project, projected to produce enough lithium for 370,000 electric vehicles annually when it’s running at full strength. If the project goes through, the mine likely won’t start producing until 2026.