November 11th, 2008 - Open Knowledge
Nov. 11th, 2008
01:49 am - Print your own house
Contour Crafting is an effort to scale up rapid prototyping/manufacturing (a billion dollar industry to make 3 dimensional parts) and inkjet printing techniques to the scale of building multi-story buildings and vehicles. The process could accelerate the trillion dollar (US only) construction industry by 200 times. Projections indicate costs will be around one fifth as much as conventional construction. (Land prices are unchanged, so the actual prices of homes would not change as much in say Hawaii, Tokyo, Manhattan or San Francisco). Using this process, a single house or a colony of houses, each with possibly a different design, may be automatically constructed in a single run, embedded in each house all the conduits for electrical, plumbing and air-conditioning.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett, homeported here, and a Navy maritime patrol aircraft crew teamed up to interdict a stateless (unflagged,) self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel Wednesday with seven tons of cocaine aboard approximately 400 miles south of the Mexico-Guatemala border.
The 60-foot, self-propelled, semi-submersible (SPSS) craft was detected by the crew of the Navy aircraft which vectored the crew of the Midgett to the location of the SPSS. The Coast Guard quickly commenced a boarding of the stateless SPSS. The Coast Guard boarding team located 295 bales of cocaine, valued at more than $196 million, in a huge forward compartment. The SPSS became unstable and began to sink during the transfer of the bales of cocaine from the SPSS to Midgett. The condition of the vessel made it unsafe to tow and Midgett’s crew sank the vessel as a hazard to navigation.
03:40 am - Harbor Wing AUSV can sail itself
Autonomous seafaring vehicles may not be quite as common as unmanned land or air vehicles, but Harbor Wing Technologies looks to be doing its small part to change that, with it now apparently pretty far along in the development of its self-named Autonomous Unmanned Surface Vehicle (or AUSV). Among other things, it employs a specially-designed “WingSail” that can rotate a full 360 degrees to let the vessel maneuver efficiently upwind or downwind, and it uses a custom-made guidance system that can relay vital navigational and situational data to a “semi-portable” command station, which can apparently also be used to pilot the vessel in a pinch.
Hurricane Ivan, which struck U.S. shores September 15, 2004, kicked up the tallest, most extreme waves ever measured, scientists announced today.
At more than 90 feet (27 meters) tall from crest to trough and 600 feet (183 meters) long, the massive waves would “wipe out” a commercial fishing boat, said Douglas Mitchell. Mitchell is an oceanographer with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
StatoilHydro has decided to build the world’s first full scale floating wind turbine, Hywind, and test it over a two-year period offshore Karmøy. The The company is investing approximately 400 million NOK [~$60 million]. Planned startup is autumn 2009.
StatoilHydro has developed HyWind based on floating concrete constructions familiar from North Sea oil installations. In this way we exploit the wind where it is strongest and most consistent — far out to sea.
The project combines known technology in an innovative way. A 2.3 MW wind turbine is attached to the top of a so-called Spar-buoy, a solution familiar from production platforms and offshore loading buoys.
“If we succeed, then we will have taken a major step in moving the wind power industry offshore”, says Alexandra Bech Gjørv, head of New Energy in StatoilHydro. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen, StatoilHydro)
“We have drawn on our offshore expertise from the oil and gas industry to develop wind power offshore,” says Alexandra Bech Gjørv, head of New Energy in StatoilHydro.
The rotor blades on the floating wind turbine will have a diameter of 80 metres, and the nacelle will tower some 65 metres above the sea surface. The floatation element will have a draft of some 100 metres below the sea surface, and will be moored to the seabed using three anchor points. The wind turbine can be located in waters with depths ranging from 120 to 700 metres.
“Taking wind turbines to sea presents new opportunities. The wind is stronger and more consistent, areas are large and the challenges we are familiar with from onshore projects are fewer,” says Alexandra Bech Gjørv.
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