April 24, 2014

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Presentation

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) should be launching their crowdsourcing effort in May, 2014.

They need to get their Tungsten electrode and then later switch to a berrylium electrode.
If successful with their research and then commercialization they will achieve commercial nuclear fusion at the cost of $400,000-1 million for a 5 megawatt generator that would produce power for about 0.3 cents per kwh instead of 6 cents per kwh for coal and natural gas.

LPP’s mission is the development of a new environmentally safe, clean, cheap and unlimited energy source based on hydrogen-boron fusion and the dense plasma focus device, a combination we call Focus Fusion.

This work was initially funded by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is now backed by over forty private investors including the Abell Foundation of Baltimore. LPP’s patented technology and peer-reviewed science are guiding the design of this technology for this virtually unlimited source of clean energy that can be significantly cheaper than any other energy sources currently in use. Non-exclusive licenses to government agencies and manufacturing partners will aim to ensure rapid adoption of Focus Fusion generators as the primary source of electrical power worldwide.

Space Based Solar power need robotic assembly in space and reusable rockets for viability

Aviation Week has a review of Space Based Solar power projects.

IEEE spectrum indicates that Japan's Space Agency has a roadmap for a 1 Gigawatt space based solar power system in 2031.

All of the old space based solar power designs are not workable. They are too big and too heavy.

Reusable rockets and the Spacex Heavy will help make launches cheaper, but it is robotic assembly in space that will have more impact.

Spiderfab will use robots to assemble structures in space. Spiderfab on orbit assembly can reduce the mass of space structures by 30 times.

Also, the space based power should be used in space and not sent back down to earth. Only space based mirrors to reflect light to large solar farms on earth make sense. See the end of this article for the space based mirror system. Space based mirror only launch ultra thin and light inflatable mirrors (no power conversion, no energy storage, no lasers or masers to transmit the power etc...) and have them redirect sunlight to ground based solar farms at night. Efficiency is the ground based systems efficiency. Can be done at lower orbit 600 miles up with 12 or more satellites. Helps ground based solar get around the storage issue at night. So it does not involve beaming power over large distances which has not been achieved.

This will enable solar power arrays with over 120 watts per kilogram. This is needed for fast solar electric interplanetary missions. Spiderfab can also enable solar sails that are over 1000 meters in diameter.

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Japan will boost GPS accuracy to about 1-3 centimeters of error instead of up to 10 meters currently

Mitsubishi Electric is ready to launch the first commercial, nationwide, centimeter-scale satellite positioning technology. The Quazi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), will augment Japan’s use of the U.S.-operated Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite service. By precisely correcting GPS signal errors, QZSS can provide more accurate and reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services.

To correct the errors, a master control center compares the satellite’s signals received by the reference stations with the distance between the stations and the satellite’s predicted location. These corrected components are compressed from an overall 2-megabit-per-second data rate to 2 kilobits per second and transmitted to the satellite, which then broadcasts them to users’ receivers.

In QZS-1 trial tests, the average accuracy is about 1.3 centimeters horizontally and 2.9 cm vertically.

To carry out highly precise satellite positioning, distances from the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan's GNSS-based control stations are calculated using data from these control stations. Information used to accurately search for one's current position (centimeter level augmentation information) is transmitted by QZS.

By utilizing surveying technologies, positioning can be accomplished with an error of several centimeters. However, if the longitude and latitude coordinate system that serves as the standard was a national datum built via surveying with old technologies, it is not always the case that this system will have a high degree of accuracy. And because this takes place via satellites, there is a time lag of approximately 10 seconds until the augmentation information is created and transmitted. The augmentation may be delayed, and positioning results may be negatively impacted, in cases such as sudden ionospheric disturbance.

Some start to get over environmental denial.

Scientists are admitting that it is too late to prevent carbon dioxide from getting to levels where 2 degrees of warming can be prevented according to climate models. The entire approach of asking for costly economic sacrifices

Countries have delayed action for so long that the necessary emissions cuts will have to be extremely sharp. In April 2014, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that if we want to stay below the 2°C limit, global greenhouse-gas emissions would have to decline between 1.3 percent and 3.1 percent each year, on average, between 2010 and 2050.

The fastest that any country has ever managed to decarbonize its economy without suffering a crushing recession was France, when it spent billions to scale up its nuclear program between 1980 and 1985. That was a gargantuan feat — emissions fell 4.8 percent per year — but the country only sustained it for a five-year stretch.

April 23, 2014

Designs for 10 nanometer FinFETs will be presented in June and discussions and research for the 7 nanometer node will also be shown

The newly released program of the VLSI Technology and Circuits conference shows both historic advances and struggles ahead in silicon. The June event will include an early look at a 10 nm FinFET process as well as a discussion of a pile of new technologies all potentially arriving at the 7 nm node.

One paper will demonstrate a way to build silicon photonics in bulk CMOS. A Sony paper will describe a novel curved imager. Neither Intel nor TSMC plan to deliver major papers on their next-generation process technologies at the Honolulu event.

IBM, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung along, with STMicroelectronics and UMC, will describe a 10 nm logic process with the tightest contacted poly pitch (64 nm) and metallization pitch (48 nm) ever reported in FinFETs on both bulk and silicon-on-insulator substrates, according to the program. It uses "intensive" multi-patterning and various self-alignment processes in 193i lithography.

The 10 nm disclosure will come weeks after Samsung announced it licensed a 14 nm FinFET process to GlobalFoundries, which both will use in their merchant foundries.

US Crude oil production increased by 59,000 barrels per day over the previously reported week

US all liquids and US crude oil production continued to increase.

Israel making Iron Dome missile defence enhancements

Rafael is looking at a number of enhancements to the Iron Dome missile defence system as a result of lessons learned over recent engagements. Since its first successful interception on 7 April 2011, the Iron Dome has engaged more than 700 rockets with an official success rate at greater than 80% (some sources put this figure at 89%).

The Iron Dome's concept of operation has changed somewhat since its first engagements, as the operators have learned to have faith in the system. "In the beginning, the IAF [Israeli Air Force] fired two missiles against every inbound target, but now the confidence of the decision-maker has changed and they no longer need to do that," he said.

"There is something in the pipeline, both in terms of hardware and software improvements [to the Iron Dome]. I can't say exactly what these are or when [they might be rolled out], but we are in a kind of race [with the Palestinian rocket firers] and we always need to update [the system] to increase the probability of a kill," he said.

The IDF has released few technical details about the Iron Dome. Rafael has only confirmed that the missile's guidance system uses a 'radar seeker', and that the weapon's lethal payload is a 'special warhead'. Whatever the proposed hardware and software improvements turn out to be, it is clear that the need for Iron Dome is only set to increase in coming years.