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Posts Tagged: "airplane"

EPA regulation of aircraft emissions could hurt green innovation

A study of the economic impacts of air quality regulations on American manufacturing plants between 1972 and 1993 conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the economic cost of such regulations caused a decline of 8.8 percent of profits in the manufacturing sector. That’s $21 billion per year that did not go to employee wages and couldn’t be used on research and development. Reduced economic output in the face of rising population numbers also produces a drag on the overall economy and R&D initiatives are often the subject of the first budget cuts during economic downturns. All of this points to a downward spiral in which increased environmental regulations actually pose an obstacle to the development of the green economy in the United States.

Airbus patents removable aircraft cabins, patent applications include wireless energy transmission

Airbus Group SE (EPA:AIR), based in Leiden, Netherlands, is a multinational corporation focused on the development of aerospace and defence technologies. Sales figures indicate that Airbus will outsell top rival Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) for 2015, although lagging production may result in Boeing being able to fulfill more orders by the end of the year. Airbus has shown some interest in…

Lockheed Martin innovations include battlefield tech, DNA evidence collection

The Lockheed Martin Corporation does file quite a few of its technologies with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and last year earned 263 U.S. patents, tying it for 138th place with Bridgestone Corp. (TYO:5108) of Tokyo and United Microelectronics Corp. (NYSE:UMC) of Taiwan. In the third quarter, Lockheed earned 77 U.S. patents, according to data collected from Innography’s patent portfolio analysis tools. As the text cluster posted here will show readers, Lockheed’s recent research and development pursuits have focused pretty evenly on radio frequency signals, input signals, image data and electronic circuits.

Possibility of bomb in Russian plane crash will shift focus towards bomb detection tech

Given all of these issues with these conventional bomb detection methods, what are the innovations being developed in response? One Israeli explosive detection tech developer, Tracense Systems, has developed a biosensor nanotechnology which mimics the way dogs can sense explosives through smell and reportedly outperforms canine bomb detectors. The University of California, Berkeley, has also contributed to research and development in nanotechnology fields for detecting bombs. Mechanical engineering researchers have created a light-based plasmon sensor capable of detecting chemical traces up to 0.4 parts per billion. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have innovated a bomb sensor system which utilizes the properties of proteins found in bee venom.

Boeing announces first China plant, invents spacecraft and power generation tech

Over the past three months, Boeing has received 252 U.S. patents, a quarterly pace of innovation that would best last year’s results if maintained throughout the year. The text cluster here, provided by the analytical tools available through Innography, shows us that wireless communications and optical fiber tech have been areas of recent R&D focus at Boeing. Recently, Boeing has increased its unmanned aircraft tech holdings, and has also pursued R&D in unmanned underwater vehicles.

Sustainable, green aviation and the pursuit of fuel alternatives

Fuels derived from biomass are not the only option being pursued to solve the problem of switching away from petroleum-based fossil fuels, or at least getting more mileage from those fuels. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140339367, titled Efficient Low Carbon Emission Airplane Integrating Jet Fuel and Cryogenic Fuel Systems, would protect a hybrid fuel airplane having at least one cryogenic fuel tank conforming to the airplane body’s outer mold line as well as a jet fuel tank located in the airplane’s wing. This configuration, developed by the Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) of Chicago, IL, would introduce the use of cryogenic fuels, which are fuels that require storage at extremely low temperatures in order to remain in a liquid state. Cryogenic fuels could be attractive for the airline industry because they create low emission levels and possess a high energy density per mass unit of fuel. One challenge, however, is that cryogenic fuels require large volume tanks because they have a low volumetric energy density per liter. It is because of these benefits and challenges that Boeing is pursuing alternative airplane designs to accommodate for the use of cryogenic fuels.

Understanding the black box and why it can be so difficult to locate

The earlier days of black box technology well behind us, the magnetic tape recording medium has since been replaced by solid state memory to record data. Today, black boxes used on aircraft regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration has to meet some exacting specifications. FDR equipment must be able to record data for 25 hours consecutively and be able to withstand extreme conditions like impacts up to 3,400 Gs and fires lasting 30 minutes and reaching temperatures of 2,000°F. It can also resist water pressures at depths up to 20,000 feet. The CVR equipment must meet the same extreme condition specifications and record up to two hours of sound. Further, the black box equipment is mounted in the tail of the plane, which typically suffers last in an impact, giving the black box the best chance of survival.

Honeywell deepens its patent holdings in airport tech and voice recognition

Honeywell has its sights set squarely on airport innovation. For example, U.S. Patent Application No. 20150194060, titled Enhanced Awareness of Obstacle Proximity, would protect a method of determining the location of an obstacle relative to an aircraft and generating a graphical user interface based on the obstacle’s location which indicates the area associated with the obstacle. Much like the taxiway traffic alerting technology included in the patents above, this innovation is intended to improve upon current surveillance systems for ensuring that collisions don’t happen between aircraft and other objects on the ground.

Aviation industry looks to cut polluting emissions through alternative fuels and batteries

A lot of research and development into alternative fuels for aircraft has focused on biofuels, which has also been an area of focus of automakers. Last January, Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) announced a series of developments in creating green diesel that cuts carbon dioxide emissions in half compared to conventional fossil fuels. The company also unveiled a breakthrough in the effective biofuel conversion of halophytes, shrub like plants indigenous to the Middle East which grow in seawater found near desert terrain.

NASA innovates tech for fuel efficient air transportation

One area where NASA has been placing a fair amount of its research focus is in developing design features that allow for reductions in an aircraft’s weight and the amount of drag it creates. The aeronautical research agency has entered into a partnership with the Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) of Seattle, WA, to test a couple of fuel efficiency technologies on a special Boeing 757 model known as the ecoDemonstrator. One NASA project utilizing the ecoDemonstrator is the Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project, which explores the benefits and risks of new vehicle design concepts. On the Boeing ecoDemonstrator, NASA installed a series of 31 sweeping jet actuators which are capable of on-demand manipulation of airflow over the vertical tail of an aircraft. The use of the sweeping jets would provide the stability and directional control usually supplied by the aircraft’s vertical tail, allowing manufacturers to reduce the tail’s size and the overall drag of the aircraft. A separate ERA project involving the ecoDemonstrator will test the insect repellant properties of various repellents for an Insect Accretion and Mitigation study. Even a small bug can disrupt the laminar flow of air over the leading edge of a wing, increasing drag and reducing fuel efficiency by as much as six percent. The Insect Accretion and Mitigation study will take place between April 27th and May 15th near the area of Shreveport, LA.

Boeing Invents: The Pursuit of Safer Air Travel

A recent fire onboard a Boeing Dreamliner at London’s Heathrow Airport refocused concerns on the recently developed cruise liner, which was maligned with battery fire issues earlier this year. In early July, a high-profile Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco involving a Boeing 777 airliner has also troubled the company, although the investigation seems to be focusing on pilot error in that case. Still, when dealing with air transit there is zero margin for error. When errors do occur when an airplane is in use they frequently are catastrophic, so the search for safer technologies is a never ending pursuit. Today in our Companies We Follow series, we’re taking another look at Boeing, especially taking a look at their efforts to develop even safer systems of airborne transportation. Some of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office documents we feature here highlight Boeing’s improvements to emergency systems on aircraft.

Apple Seeks Patents on Travel, Hotel and Fashion Apps

Earlier this week Apple, Inc. had three patent application publish on what most would consider strange, overbroad and/or dubious inventions. The patents largely follow the same formula, the drawings are remarkably similar, and all relate back to provisional patents filed at the end of January 2009. Many will ridicule these patent applications, and given that obviousness is now about common sense thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in KSR v. Teleflex I think rightly so. I find it hard to believe that there would not be prior art located that dates back to before January 2009 that will present massive difficulties for Apple.