Invisible wind turbines will avoid confusion in the skies

novembre 4, 2009 Technology No Commenti


Incredible as it may sound, the blades of the modern wind turbines, because of their motion, are creating problems to radar systems. In fact, it looks like standard radars encounter some difficulty when it comes to telling the movement of a small general aviation aircraft flying at low altitude, from the spinning of the blades of a turbine in a wind farm.

All this is creating some understandable risks for air traffic, especially if the wind farms are located near a sensitive area, which might be the target of a terrorist attack. The UK Ministry of Defense, in cooperation with the turbine manufacturers Vestas, is working on the development of invisible turbines which cannot be detected by normal radars thanks to the material used, similar to the outer shell of a Stealth invisible aircraft.

The project, partly funded by the UK Government, works on the integration of stealth materials on the blades of an existing wind farm. This way, the radar presence is roughly cut by 50%. At this point radars will be able to filter out any track below a certain output level, identifying wind turbines as non relevant for air traffic.

Thanks to this system, it will for example be possible to optimize air traffic management, avoiding accidents and collisions between small planes, which have always been difficult to handle for air traffic controllers. From the point of view of energy production, it will be possible to boost wind farms, by introducing new generations of towers, which generate more power, and most of all, they can do it safely and without interfering with air traffic!

A GPS navigator for surveys and projects

novembre 4, 2009 Technology No Commenti


Apart from guiding us through cities that we do not know, or taking us to our destination avoiding traffic jams, GPS can do much more, especially if integrated with widely used platforms such as for example Google Earth.

An example of this kind comes from CartoGoo, a GPS navigator designed for a professional usage. CartoGoo specifically caters to fields like architecture, cartography, topography, civil engineering, and in general all those applications where surveys on location play an important role.

CartoGoo, as the name may suggest, contains an integrated Google Earth interface, and allows you to visualize the place where you currently are, in the typical formats that you can see when surfing the site.

Once you have your position on the LCD display, you can draw maps directly on the screen thanks to the stylus, import results of your surveys or export your drawings to a computer via the USB cable.

Basically, it will be like having a drawing table in your pocket, with a stylus to draw directly on-screen, and then display the result in real time on a satellite map of your location, even in three dimensions.

In fact, through a real time 3D rendering of the project, CartoGoo allows you to give an immediate evaluation of its results. Certainly, for civil engineers, cartographers, forestry specialists and administrators alike, this can be a breakthrough and a very useful tool for an instant evaluation of their work.
And all this comes in a very small size, without having to carry complicated maps and plans along, making life easier for those who work in this highly specialized field.


novembre: 2009
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