Sending troops into foreign lands with superior technology gives them an edge against hostile aggressors and terrorists. However, the latest pieces of technology—laser range finders, global positioning systems, and imaging displays—are worthless if they run out of electrical power. Bigger batteries are not the solution: The bigger the batteries, the heavier the soldier's pack becomes. That's why Ed Baker, a project manager at Pacific Northwest National Labs, is helping develop a new power generator that weighs approximately one-tenth of what lithium batteries would weigh if required to produce the same amount of electrical power. "Our system produces the hydrogen that fuel cells need to create power," says Baker. The power generator's fuel processor consists of a combustor, vaporizer, primary conversions reactor, and a gas clean-up device. A proprietary catalyst produces hydrogen from hydro-carbon fuels. Reactions take place in a catalytic converter. For more information, send e-mails to email@example.com.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.