Archive for the ‘aerospace’ Category
Water Falls is a beautiful combination of science and art. But to see it, you’ll need some pretty special equipment.
“The world is becoming more global and more urban, and airports are key to its connective fiber. John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay argue that airports underpin a whole new aerotropolis model for economic development that is reshaping economic growth and development in ways that are similar to what the automobile did in the last century, and railroads and waterways did before that. As I wrote here on Atlantic Cities in May, airports indeed have huge influence on urban economic development: they have similar impacts as that of high-skilled college grads (a factor that economists suggest is central to national as well as urban growth), as well as the even larger impact of the high-tech industry.”
AN : Richard Florida writes deeply on matters related to cities and their growth and liveability. The role that airports play in that civic structure he defines as an aerotopolis. I grew up in Vancouver, whose local International Airport has had a huge impact on the city. Indeed, YVR has been rated as the top North American Airport for three consecutive years now. It is listed as the 9th in the top ten airports in the world :http://www.yvr.ca/en/Airmail-articles/2012-05/Skytrax.aspx
Humanity is inherently social… video conferencing aside…people and their communities will be affected by the access and availability to air travel….
“Skydive from space recreated in LEGO
By Jess Zimmerman
We wrote about Felix Baumgartner’s planned freefall from the edge of space last week, but the first attempt ended up being called off due to winds. He pulled it off over the weekend, though, falling for over four minutes and achieving supersonic speed. If you missed the jump, which sponsor Red Bull swears will have scientific validity but which will probably most serve to make people gasp and then feel depressed about the state of our public-sector space program, you can see it recreated at 1 to 350 ”
AN : this article from GRIST captures ,with the videos, both the real dive and the unreal dive (LEGO re-creation ). Either way, a superb accomplishment !
Saving lives from space
“From Hurricane Katrina to the Japanese tsunami – satellite images are increasingly playing an important role during rescue efforts after natural or man-made disasters. The images, often taken minutes after devastation has occurred, help pinpoint people and places at risk.A formal system of sharing information by space agencies was agreed in 1999, with the creation of the Disasters Charter. Since then, the charter has helped provide data for more than 300 disasters, in more than 100 countries.Here – to mark World Space Week 2012 – Dr Alice Bunn from the UK Space Agency looks at how the images, taken many hundreds of miles above the planet, are being used to save lives.”
Continue reading the main story & the six minute video with stunning visuals & examples of employment of the satellites under the Disaster Charter mechanism of International collaboration.
United Airlines just announced that Flight 1403, scheduled to take off today, Monday November 7th will be powered by Solazyme’s algae-derived biofuel. This will be the world’s first commercial biofuel powered flight. The flight’s route, from Houston to Chicago, is significant in several ways. First, the departure from Houston can be taken to symbolize a departure from the ”big oil” that Houston has come to represent. Second, it represents a full merging of United and Continental. The flight will be traveling from Continental’s hub in Houston to United’s hub in Chicago. Continental pilots will be manning the cockpit of the United 737-800 Eco-Skies aircraft.The fuel, branded Solafuel, is a 40/60 blend of algae-based fuel and traditional petroleum-based jet fuel that was produced by a partnership between Solazyme and UOP.Back in February, Solazyme announced a partnership with Qantas to provide biofuel to the Australian carrier, but United has beaten them to the punch with the first commercial flight. Solazyme was also the first company to produce an algae-derived jet fuel that met FAA specifications. In what is certain to become a major new industry, a major competitor has emerged in Sapphire Energy, which was named one of the top ten green startups of 2010, receiving more than $100 million in venture capital funding.Other players in this new field that were also spotlighted at last week’s Algal Biofuels Organization ABO Summit in Minneapolis include Phycal, BioProcess Algae, Heliae and Algenol.Two years ago, Continental Airlines launched the first US biofuel test flight, also from Houston, burning a blend of 50 percent standard aviation fuel, 3 percent algae-based fuel from Sapphire also partnering with UOP and 47 percent jatropha oil. A month earlier, Air New Zealand ran a test flight using 50/50 jet fuel and jatropha oil. Some consider jatropha, a tropical succulent, a promising jet fuel alternative, but concerns have been raised about the amount of water required to grow it, which is said to be five times more than corn or sugar cane.Meanwhile, Solazyme is producing not only oil, but also food, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Last month they announced an expanded agreement with Unilever to produce algae-derived oils for making soap and other personal care products, presumably, to cut back on the use of palm oil and petroleum-derived components.A week later, their Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals subsidiary announced that it will begin producing its microalgae derived food ingredient, Whole Algalin Flour, at Roquette’s commercial production plant in Lestrem, France.Writing about the ABO conference, biofuels analyst Jim Lane says, “It could be that biofuels, renewable chemicals and materials have an overly complicated and wrongly-told story. What investors have been trained to think is that “green” equals “higher costs,” [meaning it] is a luxury, requires subsidies, and is currently unaffordable. Their belief: carbon mitigation is a cost that will be saddled on the hard-pressed and possibly unemployed consumer. They have come to believe that renewables equal subsidies… The message of the industry’s current investors to the world: the military should provide the capital for renewable diesel, that airlines should build out aviation biofuels, that governments need to provide incentives, tax credits, mandates and tariffs for the development at scale of everything else. And that anything not already paid for by any of the above should be paid for by oil companies, who apparently should be delighted at the opportunity to invest in putting themselves out of business.”RP Siegel, PE, is the President of Rain Mountain LLC. He is also the co-author of the eco-thriller Vapor Trails, the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water. Like airplanes, we all leave behind a vapor trail. And though we can easily see others’, we rarely see our own.
Big planes are big business. Innovation and different market needs for paasenger and freight keep this sector of the global economy bouyant.
“Boeing Co. (BA)’s new 747-8 freighter won certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to enter commercial service, capping a two-year, $2.04 billion delay for the company’s biggest plane ever.
Luxembourg’s Cargolux Airlines International SA will receive the first of the jumbo jets early next month, Boeing said today in a statement. The European Aviation Safety Agency also gave its approval to the new plane, Boeing said.”