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Energy Effort Promises Many Solutions

April 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has never shied away from the toughest engineering and science challenges, and the school is maintaining this tradition by launching a far-reaching program to develop new energy technologies. Researchers are working to create innovative solutions and applications for fossil fuels; nuclear power; biomass and biofuels; and wind, water, ocean, solar and geothermal power.

Algae-Based Energy Burns With Potential

April 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

Scientists are turning humble pond scum into fuel. A research effort seeks to develop techniques to grow algae economically and to convert the oils produced by the tiny plants into biodiesel on an industrial scale.

Coalition Environments Challenge Communications Strategy

April 2007
By Robert Ducote and Penney Myer

The U.S. Navy's Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System–Maritime is part of a multinational initiative supporting information exchange among coalition partners. Successful coalition communications systems must be built around capabilities that allow a responsive flow of information without violating the trust or compromising the security interests of participating nations.

Core Backbone Key to Meeting Federal IPv6 Mandate

April 2007
By Beverly P. Mowery

The transition to Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) is not about the protocol but what that protocol will enable. The first step is to have a core backbone in place, and from there, "things start getting exciting and interesting," relates Dr. John W. McManus, deputy chief information officer and chief technology officer, U.S. Commerce Department.

Soldiers' Tools Go Solar

March 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

Warfighters soon may turn to the sun to recharge their battlefield electronics. The U.S government is developing highly efficient solar cells that will be built into batteries and tactical equipment such as night vision goggles, personal navigation devices and radios. The effort seeks to cut the number of spare batteries carried by soldiers to save weight and reduce logistics requirements.

Underwater Travel Becomes Superfast

March 2007
By Rita Boland

People and materiel soon may be moving across the ocean much more quickly and outrunning torpedoes in the process. A developmental technology will use supercavitation to move underwater vessels at high speeds. In addition to the rapid rate, the project aims to sustain that pace over long periods of time and to maintain control and steering of the watercraft.

Smart Fasteners Transform Assembly and Upkeep

March 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

A new class of mechanical devices with embedded electronics will allow personnel to access maintenance panels and equipment in aircraft and other platforms rapidly and without the use of tools. The technology permits the remote closing, locking and unlocking of fasteners via wireless handheld devices. The fasteners also are equipped with sensors to report their status and that of the structures immediately surrounding them, offering the potential for smart logistics and vehicle diagnostic systems.

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