• Iris Technology Corporation, a Southern Calif.-based aegis architect specializing in appropriate ability systems and aircraft hardware, appear Jun. 14 that it has won a arrangement from the Marine Corps Systems Command for the antecedent appearance of Solar Ability Adaptor – Bearing II (SPA II). The absolute contract, to be implemented incrementally, is for six years with a best amount of $42 million.

    “We acceptable the befalling to aggregation up with the U.S. Marine Corps afresh to bear this groundbreaking man-portable solar ability system. The next bearing StarPower ambassador at the affection of the SPA II is a above abstruse advance in solar charging, ability administration and distribution,” said Iris Technology President and Chief Executive Officer Edward O’Rourke. “By accumulation elements from our acutely compact, awful acknowledged Merlin ancestors of radio ability adapters, our new StarPower sets the accepted in solar ability ambassador performance.”

    O’Rourke added that, based absolutely on Iris Technology’s software platform, StarPower is able to abode any rechargeable array chemistry, now and in the advancing future. Natively, it admiral about all appropriate radios. StarPower accepts any DC ascribe antecedent from 9 to 44 VDC, accuse multi-chemistry batteries and provides up to 400 W achievement power.

    Iris Technology Corporation’s turnkey solar ability systems accept been accumulation cogent civic absorption lately. O’Rourke was accustomed as a “Champions of Change” in innovations for renewable activity at the White House in April 2012 for advancing new account that are arch the way to a apple-pie activity approaching and an abridgement that’s congenital to last.

    SPA II is the next bearing adaptation of the awful acknowledged Iris Technology Solar Portable Alternative Communications Activity Arrangement (SPACES), an avant-garde ancestors of adaptable solar ability and ability administration products. SPACES has been acclaimed as a life-saver in action zones abbreviation the amount of re-supply trucks bare and the amount and weight of batteries anniversary Marine has to backpack on his or her mission.

    The two-and-a-half-year absolute LightSavers balloon of LED artery lamps in cities including London, New York, Toronto, Sydney and Kolkata in India aswell begin that association acquainted safer with LED lighting and appear bigger visibility.

    In a address analogue the allegation of the trial, Lighting the Apple-pie Revolution: The Rise of LED Artery Lighting and What it Means for Cities, LED artery lights were begin to endure from 50,000 to 100,000 hours and accept a abortion amount of just 1% compared to about 10% for accepted lighting technologies.

    LEDs are now complete abundant for a above scale-up to alfresco applications like artery lighting, area the technology could save some 670 actor bags of greenhouse gas emissions every year.

    The Apple-pie Revolution campaign, which launched the address as allotment of its efforts in the run up to Rio+20 UN Global Bunched Corporate Sustainability Forum calm with The Climate Group in affiliation with Philips, says governments should now advance the rollout of LED artery lighting as a priority.

    “This address acutely highlights that LEDs are accessible to be scaled-up in towns and cities beyond the globe,” says Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group. “All new accessible lighting – both artery lighting and in accessible barrio – should be LED by 2015, with the aim of all accessible lighting getting LED by 2020.”


  • It’s the 53rd birthday of the Auckland Harbour Bridge this month, our city’s much loved but rather drab icon. We enjoy the spectacular view of the city as we drive over the top, but rather disparagingly we call the bridge the “Coathanger”. Let’s face it, it’s not glamorous.

    But our bridge can be reborn as a symbol of a vibrant modern city, the new Auckland of the 21st century, thanks to the SkyPath proposal for a beautiful modern pathway tucked under the city-side clip-on.

    The SkyPath will provide a vital link across the harbour between Westhaven and Northcote for people enjoying the active transport modes of walking, running or cycling. It also includes spacious multi-level viewing platforms for city and harbour vistas, and special effects night lighting; symbolising the energy of our city, and bringing life to Auckland’s celebrations.

    The SkyPath will enhance the way we interact with our harbour, help us to start seeing the opportunities for walking and cycling around the city, and be a wonderful experience for visitors, encouraging tourists to spend an extra day in Auckland.

    And it will be self-funding. Construction and operation of SkyPath as a user-pays facility can be a reality at minimal cost to Auckland ratepayers through a partnership between transport and council agencies, the AHB Pathway Trust and private sector funders.

    It is now up to Auckland Council to show leadership in making this potential a reality by including the SkyPath in its long-term plan. By recognising the SkyPath as a zero-budget line item, the council is not committing any funding but is able to investigate the opportunity to see the SkyPath delivered in a mutually beneficial partnership with the private sector.

    It is proposed that the private sector funding will be repaid by a toll on SkyPath users of $2 each way for Hop Card users (more for casual users) and by corporate sponsorship, such as the sale of naming rights. The financial projections from the SkyPath’s business plan show it will deliver net surpluses to council.

    Congestion relief through reduced commuter vehicle traffic and the related environmental benefits will add to the green benefits for the city.

    If you’re thinking “Does the council really need to support the SkyPath?”, the answer is yes. The council’s support will give the private sector confidence to invest in the project. It also sends a clear message to other stakeholders, such as Auckland Transport, Waterfront Auckland, ATEED and NZ Transport Agency that this is a project to be taken seriously.

    Auckland Council has the benefit of the substantial work and financial investment that has already gone into the project. The AHB Pathway Trust and the NZ Transport Agency have incurred an estimated $1.5 million to develop the SkyPath’s design and structural feasibility to ensure traffic capacity is not compromised now or in the future.

    Aucklanders are hugely supportive of the SkyPath. Independent polling by Y&R reveals that 76 per cent of Aucklanders are in favour of being able to walk and cycle over the bridge. Feedback to the design launched in August last year has been overwhelmingly positive, and Aucklanders accept the need for a toll to get the project done.

    Aucklanders have before them a project that will enhance enjoyment of our beautiful city, encourage tourists to stay longer and provide congestion-free access across the harbour. This is Auckland Council’s chance to make sure the SkyPath happens and to give meaning to their slogan: “Working to make Auckland the World’s Most Liveable City”


  • Light of specific wavelengths can be used to boost an enzyme’s function by as much as 30-fold, potentially establishing a path to less expensive biofuels, detergents and a host of other products.

    In a paper published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, a team led by Pratul Agarwal of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory described a process that aims to improve upon nature—and it happens in the blink of an eye.

    “When light enters the eye and hits the pigment known as rhodopsin, it causes a complex chemical reaction to occur, including a conformational change,” Agarwal said. “This change is detected by the associated protein and through a rather involved chain of reactions is converted into an electrical signal for the brain.”

    With this as a model, Agarwal’s team theorized that it should be possible to improve the catalytic efficiency of enzyme reactions by attaching chemical elements on the surface of an enzyme and manipulating them with the use of tuned light.

    The researchers introduced a light-activated molecular switch across two regions of the enzyme Candida antarctica lipase B, or CALB—which breaks down fat molecules—identified through modeling performed on DOE’s Jaguar supercomputer.

    “Using this approach, our preliminary work with CALB suggested that such a technique of introducing a compound that undergoes a light-inducible conformational change onto the surface of the protein could be used to manipulate enzyme reaction,” Agarwal said.

    While the researchers obtained final laboratory results at industry partner AthenaES, computational modeling allowed Agarwal to test thousands of combinations of enzyme sites, modification chemistry, different wavelengths of light, different temperatures and photo-activated switches. Simulations performed on Jaguar also allowed researchers to better understand how the enzyme’s internal motions control the catalytic activity.

    “This modeling was very important as it helped us identify regions of the enzyme that were modified by interactions with chemicals,” said Agarwal, a member of ORNL’s Computer Science and Mathematics Division. “Ultimately, the modeling helped us understand how the mechanical energy from the surface can eventually be transferred to the active site where it is used to conduct the chemical reaction.”

    Agarwal noted that enzymes are present in every organism and are widely used in industry as catalysts in the production of biofuels and countless other everyday products. Researchers believe this finding could have immense potential for improving enzyme efficiency, especially as it relates to biofuels.


  • The Americans’ nightmare began 25 months ago when they were seized by Iranian border guards as they hiked back from a well-known spot near Iran’s poorly defined border with Iraqi Kurdistan.

    With them was Ms Shourd, who was released last September on $500,000 bail, also paid by Oman, after 410 days in solitary confinement.

    Mr Bauer and Mr Fattal were sentenced last month by a Revolutionary Court to eight years of imprisonment for espionage and illegal entry. No evidence against them has ever been made public and their families and Washington have derided the charges as ridiculous.

    The two had languished for the past 25 months in a single small cell with one tiny window and fluorescent strip lights that were never switched off. They were allowed one visit from their mothers last year.

    Mr Bauer, a fluent Arabic speaker, is now set to marry Ms Shourd, 33, to whom he proposed in prison in May last year, using an engagement ring woven from his prison towel.

    The couple met in Damascus where she was teaching English to Iraqi refugees and where he worked as a freelance journalist.

    Mr Ahmadinejad had declared last week that he was granting Mr Fattal and Mr Bauer a “unilateral pardon” and promised they would be released “in a couple of days”.

    But his hardline rivals in the clerical-led judiciary attempted to humiliate him by declaring it was up to the courts to decide the prisoners’ fate. Domestically, however, the spat helped the Iranian president to expose his opponents in Iran’s clerical establishment as vindictive and reactionary while he appeared reasonable and accommodating, some analysts said.

    Hours before the two Americans were released, Alireza Molla-Soltani, 17, was hoisted from a crane and hanged for the fatal stabbing of Rouhollah Dadashi, twice winner of Iran’s “strongest man” competition, in mid-July.

    At his trial, the teenager said he had panicked and killed only in self-defence after the athlete had attacked him in the dark following a driving dispute. Two friends who were with him that night were sentenced to 80 lashes each.

    The Islamic republic has the highest rate of executions in the world, and its use of the death penalty has soared this year. Iran on Monday alone hanged 22 alleged drug traffickers, the latest of several mass executions.

    Tags: ,