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The Federal Aviation Administration will soon be floating in the Cloud and benefitting from advanced computing solutions through a partnership with leading companies in the Cloud industry. After a careful process, the agency has announced that CSC Government Solutions will lead an overall integration effort that will also include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other leading Cloud providers.
The $108 million, 10-year contract will enable the FAA to take advantage of Cloud technologies such as Software As-A-Service, Platform As-A-Service, Infrastructure As-A-Service and Colocation in a highly secure and resilient environment.
Being in the Cloud will give the FAA on-demand, pay-per-use computing and data storage over a secure FTI connection. The move away from FAA-owned data centers to outsourced locations will increase efficiencies and flexibility while saving time and money all while making information-sharing much easier. The FAA can now purchase IT as-a-service rather than buying expensive facilities and hardware that quickly becomes outdated. The agency will be able to keep up with industry standards and innovate on a much larger scale.
The program will be rolled out in phases over the next year or so. Work will start immediately to assess all existing applications and determine which ones are suitable for the Cloud. Once the infrastructure is established, the FAA will start to migrate systems into the Cloud environment. When the agency is on the Cloud, users will be able to store and access information from any location at any time on approved devices with an Internet connection.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today dedicated its new National Airport Pavement & Materials Research Center at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
The research center is a unique facility that allows FAA engineers to use a custom-designed vehicle simulator to test asphalt and other pavement materials at very high tire pressures and temperatures. Airport pavement temperatures can reach 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit as far north as New York City. Tire pressure ranges from 220 to 250 pounds per square inch on new generation aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350. The vehicle simulator has an automated heating system that allows engineers to replicate and analyze the damage that heavy commercial jets can cause to the top asphalt layer when runways are hot. The vehicle was designed to simulate the behavior and weight of aircraft tires, and can show how repetitive aircraft operations affect pavement.
FAA engineers will move the Heavy Vehicle Simulator-Airfields (HVS-A) by remote control between four outdoor pavement test strips and two strips inside a new building, to allow for testing in a controlled environment. FAA engineers recently used the HVS-A to test the performance of airfield paint markings. The HVS-A is 130 feet long, 16 feet wide, 14 feet tall and weighs 240,000 pounds.
The new center will enable the FAA to research environmentally-friendly airport pavement materials such as warm-mix and recycled asphalt pavements. The FAAs goal is to expand the use of greener materials, and pavement materials that can be modified to enhance pavement durability, workability and strength. This will help airport operators save money by lowering the costs of initial construction, maintenance, and repairs, and will provide a longer pavement life.
The FAA has not recommended the use of environmentally-friendly airport pavement materials yet because research on the effects of aircraft tire pressure and heavy gear loads on green airport pavement materials has been limited.
Construction of the test facility began in August 2013 and was completed in May 2015 at a total cost of $3.8 million. The FAA accepted delivery of the $4.2 million HVS-A on November 1, 2013.
A test drive of the Alfa Romeo 4C reveals what a difference carbon fiber can make in a car.
Car parts made of carbon fiber have been used for decades in $1 million-plus European supercars, from the likes of Ferrari and McLaren. But for the first time, a handful of 2016 models sold in neighborhood car dealerships will feature ultra-light yet expensive carbon fiber materials. The new BMW 7-series sedan, which starts at about $80,000, as well as the similarly priced Alfa Romeo 4C and Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sports cars, use carbon fiber elements.
As the government embarks on an ambitious renewables program, researchers seek technology solutions suited to India’s unique conditions.
In central Karnataka state, 120 miles north of Bangalore, the lush jungle of India’s west coast gives way to dry scrubland. Sunflowers, onions, chilis, and groundnuts grow in parched fields. In scattered, populous villages, concrete buildings alternate with ramshackle thatched huts. Cows nose through the garbage, and wooden carts drawn by horned oxen crowd the streets. Rough brick-producing factories belch black smoke into the air. Much of the scene appears as it did a century ago. But in a walled compound just beyond the town of Challakere sits an installation that could hold one of the keys to India’s energy future.
Wildlife strike reporting for both commercial and general aviation airports continues to increase, according to a new report by renowned wildlife expert Dr. Richard A. Dolbeer. At the request of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Dolbeer recently published the wildlife report, which shows that 47 percent of the wildlife strikes that occurred from 2009 to 2013 were reported to the FAAs National Wildlife Strike Database. That number is up from 42 percent for the previous reporting period of 2004 to 2008.
The report concludes that the FAAs proactive continuing outreach actions with its aviation industry and government partners have improved the quantity and quality of voluntary wildlife strike reporting. The report also highlights a decrease in the number of damaging strikes, greater reporting of birds of all sizes, and the decrease of damaging strikes within the airport environment. Other findings note a decrease in the average bird size involved in strikes, and an increase in the number of reports that identify the bird species.
The report concludes that the level of reporting is adequate to track national trends in wildlife strikes, so mandatory reporting is not necessary at this time. It also provides a scientific basis for the FAA to develop policies and guidance to mitigate wildlife strikes; and the reporting process complies with International Civil Aviation Organization standards.
The idea that particular individuals drive history has long been discredited. Yet it persists in the tech industry, obscuring some of the fundamental factors in innovation.
Since Steve Jobs’s death, in 2011, Elon Musk has emerged as the leading celebrity of Silicon Valley. Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors, which produces electric cars; the CEO of SpaceX, which makes rockets; and the chairman of SolarCity, which provides solar power systems. A self-made billionaire, programmer, and engineer—as well as the inspiration for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in the Iron Manmovies—he has been on the cover of Fortune and Time. In 2013, he was first on the Atlantic’s list of “today’s greatest inventors,” nominated by leaders at Yahoo, Oracle, and Google. To believers, Musk is steering the history of technology. As one profile described his mystique, his “brilliance, his vision, and the breadth of his ambition make him the one-man embodiment of the future.”