The U.S. Navy should place a high priority on development of new all-electric ships and associated drive, power conditioning, and distribution systems. So recommends the Committee on Technology for Future Naval Forces, a unit of the National Research Council. The committee attempted to identify technologies that will be of greatest importance to naval operations out to the year 2035. The panel's re-port contends that gas turbine propulsion units, modular rare-earth permanent magnetic motors, and power control module technologies have matured to the point that all-electric ships appear feasible. The direct electric drive for ships and submarines, the group adds, offers "unique advantages" in reduced volume, modular flexible propulsion, lower acoustic signatures, enhanced survivability, and new capabilities. Incorporation of superconductivity into motors, energy storage, and power distribution, the study states, will further increase capabilities of all-electric craft. The committee also advises the Navy to step up research into microelectromechanical systems.
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
Clean diesel continues to be the fuel of choice for transportation authorities in major U S cities, in spite of competitive options aimed at reducing emissions, according to a nonprofit agency that represents diesel engine and equipment manufacturers.
A panel at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas discussing upcoming FAA regulations for non-military drones brought out many of the issues that concern both industry and federal regulators.
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