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02 Jun 10. The Air Force has awarded Raytheon Company a $21.8m contract for modifications to the Joint Environmental Toolkit (JET) program for next-generation weather systems. The award was made by the Electronic Systems Center of the Air Force Materiel Command at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. JET provides actionable environmental intelligence and tailored network-centric solutions supporting warfighters on base and in deployed operations. The system assists warfighter decision-making by enabling command and control systems with integrated terrestrial and space environmental information. This contract for Increment 2 of the program focuses on the integration, consolidation, extension and potential replacement of existing and evolving meteorological operational capabilities.”JET will substantially enhance battlespace awareness and mission execution for our military forces around the world,” said Gerard Wittman, director of Raytheon Space and Environmental Mission Solutions. Weather forecasters reap benefits from JET’s robust rules engine and central repository that automates routine processes, alerting users to operational impacts from environmental changes. Additionally, JET is Web-enabled and uses display systems for regional and base units, making it easier to access information. JET engineering development and integration is based at Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems’ Omaha, Neb., site.
09 Jun 10. Leicester is to play host to the first large-scale trial of private hydrogen-fuelled cars on British roads, a chance for the novel technology to show it can compete with more familiar hybrid and electric vehicles. The city council has struck a deal with Riversimple, developer of a lightweight two-seater, to run a pilot scheme involving 30 cars that will be leased to drivers in spring 2012. (Source: FT.com)
08 Jun 10. EADS is showcasing at ILA the world’s first flights of an aircraft powered by pure biofuel made from algae. A Diamond Aircraft DA42 New Generation powered by two Austro Engine AE300 engines takes part in the daily flight demonstrations. Due to the higher energy content of the algae biofuel, the fuel consumption of the Diamond DA42 New Generation is 1.5 litres per hour lower when compared to conventional JET-A1 fuel – while maintaining equal performance. Tests also proved that only relatively minor modifications and adjustments had to be made to the aircraft’s engines to qualify the biofuel from algae for the demonstration flights. Algae are considered to be promising potential feedstock for biofuels, as certain species of algae contain high amounts of oil. This oil can be extracted, processed and refined for various uses. Grown for many years on a commercial basis for the development of products such as food supplements and cosmetics, microalgae have now emerged as one of the leading sources for alternative fuels. Microalgae reproduce rapidly and create at least 30 times more organic substance (biomass) per cultivation area than, for example, rapeseed. Their cultivation does not compete with food production. Algae can be grown on poor quality land using non potable or saltwater.
“Our pure bio fuel flight from algae is a world first and an exciting milestone in our research at EADS.” says Dr. Jean Botti, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of EADS. “This opens up the feasibility of carbon-neutral flights and we will continue to focus our research in this exciting area. Third generation biofuels are more than just a replacement for fossil petroleum -they push the possibilities of future propulsion.”
The exhaust gas quality measurements indicate that biofuel from algae contains eight times less hydrocarbons than kerosene derived from crude oil.