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12 Feb 10. Millbrook invests in solar capability. Leading vehicle test and development facility, Millbrook, continues to advance its military capability with investment in new equipment to simulate the effects of the sun’s rays on vehicles. The new solar radiation simulation equipment enhances the existing solar capability of the site’s Variable Temperature Emissions Chamber (VTEC). The VTEC has a temperature range of -40oC to +50oC and the solar simulation equipment will now provide full control over diurnal cycles replicating the sun’s intensity over one complete day. The new solar arrays are more easily installed and consist of six modular sections, measuring up to 4m in height, 3.1m in width and 6m in total length, offering full flexibility for variable vehicle size and contours. They can achieve an irradiance in excess of 1400W/m2. Andrew Beach, head of business development, commented: “Our solar capability enables us to perform tests that replicate sun exposure in the space of a day, which is time and cost-effective for clients in the military sector. Despite the turbulent economic climate, we continue to invest in and expand our facilities as part of our long-term business strategy to continue to lead the way in vehicle test and development.”

15 Feb 10. The biofuel made from municipal waste that will account for a small proportion of British Airways’ jet fuel from 2014, has yet to pass regulatory approval in Britain, according to the Guardian. The British airline said on Monday it had signed a deal to purchase all the “sustainable jet fuel” that U.S.-based biofuel company Solena Group could produce from a plant expected to be sited in London and operational from 2014. But the DStan department in the Ministry of Defence which regulates aviation fuel in Britain, wants to conduct further tests to make sure the biofuel does not compromise aircraft safety and performance, the paper said. A spokesman for the British Airways said safety remained the airline’s highest priority. “Fischer Tropsch fuel has already been certified in the U.S. … for use in a 50/50 blend with petroleum jet fuel and we anticipate that the UK’s Defence Standards agency will follow suit,” the spokesman said in a statement. British Airways said it aimed to obtain 10 percent of all its jet fuel from this waste-to-energy process by 2050. (Source: Google/ Reuters)

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