Earthrace is designed to highlight the benefits of renewable fuels, particularly biodiesel, during a 24,000-nautical-mile circumnavigation of the earth. The ship uses Xilinx FPGAs in its radar and night vision systems, employing the company's MicroBlaze processor to help the ship travel in any weather. Its unusual trimaran hull also helps meet that goal, letting Earthrace pierce through waves, even submerging at times. New Zealander Pete Bethune heads the international effort and skippers the craft, which is powered by two fuel-efficient Cummins Mercruiser QSC-540 engines.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
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