July 8th, 2009
Never before has the Department of Defense been able to deliver, not only their mission, but reasoning behind it to so many. DoD is embracing the use of tools like Twitter and Facebook to reach the next generation of policy makers, recruits and those young men and women abroad who need to understand better the military policies of the United States.
The Internet, and search engines, are helping to reduce barriers, particularly in e-commerce.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States -the Ex-Im Bank – says it will start a partnership with Google to help American small and mid-sized businesses harness the power of the Internet to initiate or expand sales outside of the country. Bank officials say Google’s tools can empower businesses to reach new customers all over the world, and that even small businesses can create a global presence.
The Chairman and President of the Ex-Im Bank Fred Hochberg specifically points to use of the search engine in helping achieve President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports within the next five years, while at the same time putting more Americans to work producing them.
Head of Acquisitions at US-Google Stuart Small says, there are now more than 1.2 billion people online worldwide, and many of them are ready and able to buy and research online.
The Department of Energy says an expansion of the production of cellulosic biofuels can help to meet energy production, and greenhouse gas reduction goals.
The Department’s Section 9-42 program supports the production of cellulosic biofuels by providing payments on a per gallon basis through a reverse auction process.
Members of the Biotechnology Industry group ”BIO” point to a new report they say shows advanced biofuels are key to creating new jobs and revitalizing the U.S. economy.
The Report says the development of the industry could produce more than 140-billion dollars in economic growth by the year 2030, including the direct creation of as many as 29-thousand jobs by the year 2012; while reducing U.S petroleum imports by about 5-point-5 billion dollars by the same year, and by nearly 70-billion dollars by the year 2022.
The Department of Energy is awarding nearly $100 million for 54 smart grid workforce training programs that Secretary Steven Chu says will help prepare the next generation of workers in the utility and electrical manufacturing industries.
The projects will leverage more than $95 million in funding from community colleges, universities, utilities and manufacturers to develop and implement training programs that will train approximately 30-thousand Americans in an effort to modernize the nation’s electrical grid, and implement smart grid technologies in communities across the country.
The programs will focus on training activities that support electricians, line workers, technicians, system operators, power system engineers, cyber security specialists and transmission planners.
The funding builds on more than $4 billion in Recovery Act funding for smart grid deployment and demonstration projects nationally.
NASA has successfully completed the first science flight of the Global Hawk unpiloted aircraft system over the Pacific Ocean. The flight was the first of five scheduled for this month’s Global Hawk Pacific, or GloPac, mission to study atmospheric science over the Pacific and Arctic oceans.
The Global Hawk is a robotic plane that can fly to altitudes above 60,000 feet, and as far as 11,000 nautical miles. Operators pre-program a flight path, then the plane flies itself for as long as 30 hours.
GloPac researchers plan to directly measure and sample greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting substances, aerosols, and constituents of air quality in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.
During its inaugural flight, the plane flew approximately 45-hundred nautical miles. The mission is a joint project with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Culminating a decade-long journey to expand the periodic table, an international team of scientists from Russia and the U.S. – including two Department of Energy national labs and two universities – has discovered the newest superheavy element; element 117.
The experiment produced six atoms of the element. Element 117 was the only missing element in row seven of the periodic table.
Physicists say the discovery of new elements expand our understanding of the universe and provide important tests of nuclear theories. Lawrence Livermore National Lab director George Miller calls it a significant breakthrough for science that will provide new insight into the makeup of the universe. He calls it a ”testimony to the strength of science and technology at the partner institutions.
Since 1940, 26 new elements beyond uranium have been added to the periodic table.
The U.S. Military’s unmanned aerial technology is becoming the envy of other nations. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has confirmed several allied nations…including Britain, Canada, Spain, Japan and South Korea… have all expressed interest in drone technology.
Each branch of the military has different uses for U-A-V’s or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Rear Admiral Terry Kraft says the drones capabilities in persistence and covertness are particularly impressive. And, he says, unmanned Systems will be included in the Navy’s 2011 budget and beyond.
They’re in the process of introducing several new systems now, including the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (or BAMS), the Navy version of the Global Hawk.
In 2012, the Navy anticipates a breakthrough development when they land an unmanned tail-less aircraft onboard an aircraft carrier.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-13 spacecraft has become the official GOES-EAST satellite, now perched some 22,300 miles above the equator; a prime location to spot potentially life-threatening weather affecting the eastern half of the nation, including tropical storm activity in the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico.
NOAA officials say, just in time for the 2010 hurricane season, they now have one of the newest and most technologically advanced satellites closely tracking storms – from when they develop to when they dissipate.
The GOES-13 satellite replaced GOES-12, which NOAA is shifting to provide coverage for South America, as part of the Global Earth Observation System. GOES-13, launched in May 2006, is the first of three new NOAA geostationary environmental satellites in orbit.
The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that 2009 was another year of strong growth in the industry despite the economic recession.
They report overall U.S. solar electric capacity, including both photovoltaic and concentrating solar power installations, increased by some 37 percent. This was driven primarily by strong demand in the residential and utility-scale markets, state and federal policy advances, and declining technology prices. As a result, total solar industry revenue reached 4 billion dollars, a 36 percent increase over 2008.
Pointing to the importance of the technology to reducing greenhouse gasses while helping to stimulate the economy, the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Program accelerates the development of solar technologies as energy sources for the nation and world.
In observation of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Vice President’s Office announced the selection of 25 communities for up to $452 million in Recovery Act funding to ”ramp-up” energy efficiency building retrofits.
Under a Department of Energy initiative, communities, governments, private sector companies and non-profits will work together on programs for concentrated retrofits of neighborhoods and towns – and eventually entire states.
Meeting one of the Energy Department’s missions, the models are expected to save households and businesses about a $100 million annually in utility bills, while leveraging private sector resources, to create what could be as many as 30,000 new jobs over the next three years.