June 11, 2016

Will the first Mars crew be multi-year pioneers who build up Mars facilities for permanent colonization preparations

Elon Musk said 2022 would mark the first use of the Mars Colonial Transporter, a spaceship that’s big enough to carry scores of people to Mars. The first MCT would be uncrewed.

Elon Musk’s schedule calls for that first crewed mission to be launched in 2024, with a Mars landing in 2025. And unlike the Apollo missions to the moon, this would not be a short-term stay.

The full details of the Spacex Mars plan are expected in September.

Spacex could also send another unmanned MCT in 2024 to accompany the manned mission. This will mean that with the 2022 mission there will be a lot of pre-positioned gear for the crewed mission. One falcon heavy with 10 tons of material at Mars in 2018 and another two Falcon heavies in 2020.

Crew return to Earth Rockets could be brought with the MCT. However, I believe that the plan will be to have the first crew proto-colonist to stay for at least two years to build up the facilities on Mars.

“I do want to emphasize this is not about sending a few people to Mars,” Elon Musk told the Post. “It’s about having an architecture that would enable the creation of a self-sustaining city on Mars with the objective of being a multiplanet species and a true spacefaring civilization, and one day being out there among the stars.”

The super-heavy lift launch vehicle for MCT will lift the 100 tonnes (220,000 lb)+ payload of the MCT into orbit and is intended to be fully-reusable. The rocket has not yet been named by SpaceX. The MCT launch vehicle will be powered by the Raptor bipropellant liquid rocket engine.

Mars Colonial Transporter has been notionally described as a large interplanetary spacecraft capable of transporting 100 people at a time to Mars, although early flights are expected to carry fewer people and more equipment. It may use a large water store to help shield occupants from space radiation and have a cabin oxygen content that is up to two times that which is found in Earth's atmosphere.

The Mars colony envisioned by Musk would start small, with an initial group of fewer than ten people. With time, Musk hopes that such an outpost could grow into something much larger and become self-sustaining, at least 1 million people. According to Musk, "even at a million people you’re assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil. ‘Excluding organic growth, if you could take 100 people at a time, you would need 10,000 trips to get to a million people,’ he said. ‘But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we’re talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship.

100 bits recorded in e coli bacteria using CRISPR editing

Utilizing the bacterial CRISPR/Cas adaptive immune system, researchers at Harvard have developed a method for permanently recording molecular events in living cells

Before this experiment, the most information any scientist had ever permanently uploaded into a living cell was 11 bits of information. That's a mere 11 zeros and ones of binary data, and less information than your computer requires to code for two alphabetic letters. This new technique expanded this record to roughly 100 bytes of data. Shipman says the 100 bytes his team demonstrated is nothing near the limit. Certain cells, like the microorganism Sulfolobus tokodaii would have room for more than 3,000 bytes of data. And with synthetic engineering, it's not hard to imagine certain specially designed hard-drive bacteria with vastly expanded regions of their genetic code, able to rapidly upload vast amounts of data.

The CRISPR/Cas system works by snipping short DNA elements from the genomes of infecting viruses, integrating those elements into the bacterium’s genome (at the CRISPR locus), and using the RNAs produced from the integrated elements to direct destruction of the corresponding virus. In essence, the bacterium keeps a DNA account of its viral foes, and uses it against them.

Integration of these viral DNA elements—or oligomers—into the CRISPR locus is nonrandom: the most recent viral elements are consistently integrated ahead of older viral elements in the array. Harvard’s George Church and colleagues considered that this temporal ordering of integration could form the basis of a molecular recording device. If defined synthetic DNA oligomers could be integrated into CRISPR loci just as viral elements are, then sequencing the cells’ CRISPR loci would provide a log of which oligomers the cells had been exposed to and when, the researchers reasoned.

The team used an E. coli strain that contained a CRISPR DNA locus and a stripped-down version of the Cas protein machinery. The minimal machinery consisted of inducible versions of Cas1 and Cas2—enzymes required for integrating the DNA oligomers—but lacked all the Cas machinery required for virus destruction. The researchers found that, by introducing specific synthetic DNA sequences into these cells in a timed manner (different oligomers on different days, for example), the resulting sequences of the CRISPR loci did indeed accurately reflect the order in which the oligomers had been introduced.

Using directed evolution, the team went on to create new versions of Cas1 and Cas2 that could integrate oligomers in a subtly different and discernable way (though still temporally ordered) to that of wildtype Cas1 and 2. Putting these modified Cas enzymes under the control of a different inducer allowed the team to record DNA events in two different modes—depending on which versions of Cas1 and 2 were operational.

“Essentially, we’re measuring concentrations of nucleic acids,” said Church. “Ideally it would be messenger RNAs but in this case it is DNA. . . . This is a proof of concept on the way to other things,” he added.

Church suggested, for example, that if a CRISPR/Cas system were to be combined with a reverse transcriptase—an enzyme that converts RNA to DNA—in cells or animals, it could be used to provide a record of which messenger RNAs are expressed, when.

Another possibility, suggested Arkin, is to use CRISPR/Cas-engineered bacteria to provide information about the other microorganisms present in an environment—be that the soil, the human gut, or wherever.

“[The bacteria] could kill a few neighboring [bugs], secrete an enzyme that cleaved their DNA, and express a competence system to take that DNA in,” Arkin said. “That sounds insane, but there are bacteria who do that naturally,” he added. The foreign microbial DNA could then be incorporated and logged at the bacteria’s CRISPR locus, he explained.

Science - Molecular recordings by directed CRISPR spacer acquisition

June 10, 2016

Spacex will use Falcon Heavy for 2018 Mars Mission, then at least two Falcon Heavies in 2020 and then a Mars Colonial Transporter in 2022

Starting as soon as 2018, Musk’s SpaceX plans to fly an unmanned spacecraft to Mars. The unmanned flights would continue about every two years, timed for when Earth and Mars are closest in orbit, and, if everything goes according to plan, build toward the first human mission to Mars with the goal of landing in 2025, Musk has said.

But in an interview with The Post this week, Musk laid out additional details for the first time, equating the spirit of the missions with the settlement of the New World by the colonists who crossed the Atlantic Ocean centuries ago. And he acknowledged the immense difficulties of getting to a planet that is, on average, 140 million miles from Earth.

Musk said the unmanned flights would carry science experiments and rovers to the planet. The equipment would be built either by SpaceX, or others. The early flights also would serve to better understand interplanetary navigation and allow the company to test its ability to safely land craft on Mars.

“Essentially what we’re saying is we’re establishing a cargo route to Mars,” he said. “It’s a regular cargo route. You can count on it. It’s going happen every 26 months. Like a train leaving the station. And if scientists around the world know that they can count on that, and it’s going to be inexpensive, relatively speaking compared to anything in the past, then they will plan accordingly and come up with a lot of great experiments.”

SpaceX's 2018 trip would use what the company calls its Dragon spacecraft boosted into space by Falcon Heavy, a massive rocket powered by 27 first-stage engines. When it flies for the first time later this year, it would become the “most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” SpaceX says on its website. Falcon Heavy would have more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, or about the equivalent of 18 747 airplanes.

By the next launch window, in 2020, Musk said the company would aim to fly at least two Falcon Heavy rockets and Dragon spacecraft, loaded with experiments. “By that time there will be quite a few organizations … that are interested in running experiments on Mars,” he said.

Then in 2022, Musk said he hoped to launch what the company now sometimes refers to as the Mars Colonial Transporter, designed to bring a colony to Mars.

Spacex would have to “get lucky and things go according to plan” to hit a launch window for manned flight in late 2024, with a landing in 2025.

Early plans for the MCT launch vehicle, made public in April 2014, consisted of one or three cores with a 10-meter (33 ft) diameter which is comparable to the Saturn V. At the time, the rocket was slated to use nine Raptor LOX/methane engines to power each core. The possibility of eliminating any tri-core version design, and modifying the MCT launch vehicle design to a single-core but larger-diameter vehicle—12.5 to 15 meters (41 to 49 ft) core diameter—was raised in late 2014 and further confirmed by Musk in early 2015.

Post 2015 single core MCT design

Google Hartmut Neven predicts that within 10 years there will only be quantum machine learning and no machine learning on classical computers

Google is working on error corrected adiabatic (analog) quantum computer designs. Tehy work less like a conventional computer and are less well understood theoretically. And they would still need a way to deal with errors. But the burden of error correction should be much smaller. As a result, it should be much easier to demonstrate the power of a quantum computer this way.

The team used the analog quantum computing approach to program a superconducting quantum chip to simulate nine atoms interacting magnetically. That was made possible by drawing on some of the error correction techniques developed in earlier work on the harder-to-scale-up digital quantum computing.

The chip used had nine of the basic building blocks of a quantum computer, known as qubits. It would take an analog quantum computer with 40 or more to demonstrate what researchers charmingly call “quantum supremacy”—meaning a system that can conclusively demonstrate things impossible for a conventional computer.

Google says it can scale up to that point relatively quickly, and other researchers in the field say it’s credible.
It would likely take scaling up a little further to do useful work with an analog quantum computer. If and when Google or some other company does that, the devices could be used to crack tough chemistry problems in health or energy by simulating atoms to a level of realism impossible today.

Google also believes that quantum supremacy could advance its research in machine-learning and artificial-intelligence technology, which underpins CEO Sundar Pichai’s claim that the company has entered an “AI first” era.

Hartmut Neven, who leads Google’s work on figuring out what to do with quantum computers once they arrive, hopefully told [Technology Review] last year that the power of quantum-enhanced artificial intelligence could sweep away today’s technology. “I would predict that in 10 years there’s nothing but quantum machine learning—you don’t do the conventional way anymore,” he said.

They are expecting to go from 9 error corrected adiabatic qubits today to 40 by 2018.

Lenovo and Samsung will have smartphones that will wrap around your wrist in 2017 and Folio has 7.8 inch tablet that folds to 5.5 inch phone

Samsung and Lenovo are both promising bendable phones that can wrap around your wrist for 2017.

Lenovo says the screen features innovative bonding technology that allows for a strong grip when curled up; that means you can use it during a workout without worrying about dropping it.

Here is the smartphone before bending

This is the Folio concept of Phone to Tablet design. The device can work as either a 7.8-inch tablet or a 5.5-inch smartphone when folded up

Sweden will build ten new nuclear reactors and update on new nuclear reactors from 2015 to 2020

Sweden says it will build up to 10 new reactors in the coming years. Currently Sweden has nine functional reactors at three nuclear power plants, which generated 38 percent of the electricity used in the country in 2014.

The reactors were opened in the 1970s and 1980s. Most of them have lifespans of around 40 years and are in need of modernization.
One aging reactor at the Oskarshamn plant in southeastern Sweden is due to be decommissioned between 2017 and 2019.

Friday's agreement also set a target of 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, and called for investments in solar, wind, hydro and bioenergy.

An energy tax paid by producers will be abolished in 2019.
The tax accounts for about 30 percent of the operating cost of a reactor, and has brought in about 4.5 billion kronor (482 million euros, $545 million) in gross revenue to government coffers annually.

2016 BP oil world energy report showed that all of the nuclear output increase in 2015 was from China increasing nuclear power.

Global nuclear output grew by 1.3 percent in 2015 with China (+28.9 percent) accounting for all the net increase, the 65th edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy says. China passed South Korea to become the fourth largest supplier of nuclear power, while EU output (-2.2 percent) fell to the lowest level since 1992. The review, which looks at 2015, says nuclear power accounted for 4.4 percent of global primary energy consumption. Global primary energy consumption increased by just one percent in 2015, similar to growth in 2014 (+1.1 percent), but much slower than the 10-year average of 1.9 percent a year. Oil remained the world’s leading fuel, accounting for 32.9 percent of global energy consumption, and gaining market share for the first time since 1999. Coal remained the second largest fuel by market share (29.2 percent), but was the only fuel that lost global market share in 2015.

China will start up the Fang cheng gang 2 nuclear reactor later this year.

Lithium Sulfur batteries will be first commercialized by 2018 in electric bikes where energy density will be improved for eventual use in electric cars

OXIS Energy UK and Lithium Balance of Denmark have come together to build the first-ever prototype Lithium Sulfur E-scooter battery system primarily for the Chinese market. LiTHIUM BALANCE is a battery management expert who has supplied its BMS systems for Lithium-Ion based E-scooters for a decade.

The E-scooter itself will be manufactured in China. The volume of E-scooters in China is 30 million, of which 98% use lead acid with the remaining 2% using
Lithium-Ion. The current prototype battery has a capacity of 1.2kWh using 10Ah OXIS Long Life cells, weighs 60% less than the current lead acid battery and a significant increase in range.

The next stage is to build a 2nd prototype using an improved Long Life chemistry (up to 20Ah) which will increase battery capacity at a reduced weight. Crucially, production costs will be reduced to meet the demand of the Chinese market. The timescale for this second phase is 4th quarter of 2016.

According to the CEO of OXIS, Huw Hampson-Jones, “The development of the 1st Lithium Sulfur Escooter battery system will allow Chinese manufacturers to circumvent the use of unsafe, toxic and environmentally damaging battery systems such as lead acid and Lithium-Ion. It will allow Chinese consumers to travel longer distances with a significantly greater degree of safety and flexibility and with a battery system that's 60% lighter - the latter being very important to Chinese commuters living in high rise city apartments.

In effect, the market of rechargeable lithium batteries will undergo a quantum leap forward in the adoption of state of the art renewable energy technology. This will contribute to cleaner air quality in the major urban areas of China.”

LiTHIUM BALANCE CEO, Lars Barkler added, “This project represents a technology breakthrough for LiTHIUM BALANCE. In cooperation with OXIS Energy we have implemented dedicated BMS algorithms that optimizes the performance of Lithium Sulfur batteries. This could not be achieved with an ordinary Lithium-Ion BMS.”

OXIS and LiTHIUM BALANCE are on track to have their battery systems in China by Spring of 2018

Battery systems using metallic Lithium are known to offer the highest specific energy.

Sulfur represents a natural cathode partner for metallic Li and, in contrast with conventional lithium-ion cells, the chemicals processes include dissolution from the anode surface during discharge and reverse lithium plating to the anode while charging. As a consequence, Lithium-Sulfur allows for a theoretical specific energy in excess of 2700Wh per kg, which is nearly 5 times higher than that of Li-ion.

OXIS’s next generation lithium technology platform offers the highest energy density among lithium chemistry:
325 Wh per kg already achieved at cell level
400 Wh per kg forecast in 2016
450 to 500 Wh per kg forecast in 2018

OXIS Li-S cells have achieved an excellent cycle life: cells can be cycled approximately 1500 times (80% Beginning-of-Life). In the next 2 years, they expect this to reach 2500 cycles before the capacity reduces to 80% BoL.

Superhero vs superhero and superhero vs weapons

University of Leicester students use scientific principles to examine the feasibility of the powers behind renowned comic book superheroes -- and suggest Superman may have the greatest chance of winning in a fight.

The students appear to be focused on the physics of feats performed primarily in movies and occasionally in the comic books. They looked at how much energy it would take to perform certain feats for superman and how much solar energy would be need to power it. They looked at the tissue density needed to resist bullets (standard hand gun bullets).

They looked at Thor but gave him an iron hammer instead of a magic Uru metal hammer. Wolverine got an osmium reinforced skeleton instead of adamantium.

Based upon the comic book movies and television shows, Nextbigfuture would put Professor X or Dr. Strange as the winners of a superhero showdown. Superman is vulnerable to psionic mind control and to magic. Psionic or magic illusions could be used to misdirect any attacks from superman until control could be established with mind control or magic.

Another point is that in a world where superpowers were real and hand gun bullet resistance and rapid tissue regeneration was a common factor then everyone would use more powerful weapons.

Typical Tank Armor is 18 to 30 inches.

Tony Stark (iron man) developed hulk-buster armor when he needed to deal with the Hulk. Clearly he would create superman buster armor(s). He has developed multiple drone armors. Bruce Wayne (batman) has also developed gear specifically to deal with super-powered foes.

The gear I will list below exists in reality for infantry to go up against armored vehicles and tanks. Tony Stark has about a 10-20 year or more technological lead over reality. He has a portable fusion reactor.

I think Tony would head toward Bolo AI tanks

The RPG-7 has made it the most widely used anti-armor weapon in the world. The insurgent fighters who have to deal with tanks and armored vehicles have a lot of RPGs (rocket propelled grenades). Similarly anyone going up against a superman or wolverine would up-weapon themselves.

The Barrett XM109 is a prototype anti-materiel rifle, chambered for 25 × 59 mm grenade rounds and developed by Barrett Firearms Manufacturing. It was designed in accordance with a requirement set out in 1994, and is capable of defeating light armor and equipment out to 2 km (1.2 mi). Tests indicated about 2 inches of armor penetration at 500 meters.

There is a list of infantry anti-armor weapons here

The Mark 47 is a newer fully automatic grenade launcher. It is much lighter than the Mark 19, weighing 39 pounds as opposed to 77. It also has a capacity for airburst rounds, and the antiarmor round is the same HEDP as the Mk 19, offering the same 2200m range and 50mm armor penetration.

The Javelin ATGM is a ground-breaking weapon and was first used in combat in 2003 at the Battle of Debecka Pass. US Special Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga guerrilla engaged a force of eight armoured personnel carriers and four T-55 tanks. At least four of the APCs were destroyed by Javelin missiles. The Javelin was the first man-portable fire and forget antitank weapon. It uses an imaging infrared seeker to track the selected target. The Command Launch Unit and missile tube weigh just under 40 pounds. The Javelin has a maximum effective range of approximately 2,000 meters.

The BGM-71 TOW is the heaviest antiarmor missile operated by ground forces in the US Army. It is always vehicle-mounted, and can be found on the Bradley, Stryker ATGM vehicle and selected uparmored Humvee. The more recent variant is the TOW-RF, which unlike older models is not wire-guided and so has its range boosted to 4,500 meters as a result, as opposed to the A through H models’ range of 3,750 meters.

Spacex disrupting the global space industry so all future launch systems must be reusable, use additive manufacturing and tight development schedules to be relevant

Elon Musk and Spacex is disrupting the space industry worldwide. All launch providers including in China and India have to rethink their approach to drive down cost.

Space-launcher companies, which put satellites, cargo and humans in space, are seeking to bring prices down 50 percent or more.

In April, SpaceX landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket back on a drone barge about 200 miles off the U.S. Atlantic coast. It has since made two other successful landings, after sending payloads into the upper atmosphere. It will try again on June 14.

Long considered a brash upstart nipping at the heels of staid aerospace giants, SpaceX is coming of age 14 years after it was founded by Musk with the lofty -- and many have said unrealistic -- goal of revolutionizing spacecraft and colonizing Mars. SpaceX is now within striking distance of becoming dominant in the payload business. It says it plans to fly 18 missions this year, triple the number in 2015.

The California-based company said it plans to use a previously-flown Falcon 9 booster stage later this year and cut the flight price further down from the current $61 million it says it charges for commercial payloads. Arianespace, one of the world’s biggest commercial satellite launchers, which will use the Ariane 6, claims its prices will be close to those of SpaceX.

The space industry represents 38,000 jobs in Europe, most of them in France, according to Aerospace Defense Industries, an industry group.

The space payload launcher market is a $6 billion global market.

While the cost of re-usable rockets, technical hurdles and market viability have yet to be tested, Le Gall says Musk is well advanced and that Europe must move faster.

Europe worries Ariane 6 (not ready to fly until 2020) may already be yesterday’s story in the global market

China will mass produce over 1000 Y-20 strategic heavy lift airplanes to greatly extend air force reach

China plans to build more than 1,000 heavy strategic transport aircraft. In January, the China Daily reported that the People's Liberation Army Air Force was preparing to develop a new fleet of stealth fighters and heavy transport aircraft. The latter, the Xian Y-20 transport, was in particularly high demand, given Beijing's lack of a "fast and reliable platform" to deliver arms and soldiers over long distances.

Heavy transport aircraft are critical to extend the operational range of China's airforce. They can be used for mid-air refueling. It will also allow for rapid deployment of troops and tanks to different locations.

In terms of payload the Y-20 fits between a larger Boeing C-17 Globemaster III (77 t) and similar in size Russian Ilyushin Il-76 (50 t). It is worth noting that the Il-76 is in service with Chinese air force. However the Y-20 is also superior to the Il-76 in terms of aerodynamic arrangement and performance.

In Jan 2016, Chinese military recently released a video, showing that a Su-30 fighter jet was being refueled by an IL-78 air-refueling aircraft. The Y-20 is larger than the Antonov 70.

During a technology exhibition in Beijing this month, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) elaborated on these plans. "More than 1,000 Y-20s will be needed," Zhu Qian, head of AVIC's Large Aircraft Development Office told reporters, according to IHS Jane.

Analysts note that one thousand aircraft is a significant increase from earlier reports that suggested Beijing would acquire some 400. According to Zhu, the new estimate is "based on the experience of the United States and Russia." The Y-20 weighs roughly 220 tons, has four turbofan engines, and can carry up to 66 tons of cargo. The aircraft has a range of about 3230 miles.

"This means it can reach everywhere in Europe and Asia, the US state of Alaska, Australia, and North Africa," the People's Daily reported. The aircraft's heavy payload indicates that it could be used to transport tanks, including China's 64-ton Type 99A2 main battle tank.

Beijing may have its sights set on an even larger transport aircraft, however. According to Zhu, China plans to build "300-tonne, 400-tonne and even 600-tonne aircraft."

A plane of that size would rival Russia's Ukranian Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft in the world. Weighing over 700 tons, the Mriya has the largest wingspan of any plane in service and holds the world record for carrying a single item payload of 418,834 pounds.

Sony Playstation 4.5 with 4K super high definition will be coming late this year

The PS4 Neo -- or PS4 4.5 as some are calling it -- is real. You just won't see it at next week's E3 video-game trade show next week in Los Angeles.

"We are developing high-end PlayStation 4," said a Sony Interactive Entertainment spokeswoman.

The new model will have processor and graphics upgrades, as well as support for 4K resolution games, Sony said. Support for Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray discs was not mentioned, but may be included.

The new PS4.5 will also cost more than the current PS4, which starts at $350. The company declined to give a price or release date at this time.

You'll be able to play any existing PS4 games on the new system.

Currently PS4 and Xbox One games output at 1080p.

June 09, 2016

China's future per capita GDP based on the South Korea and Japan growth model

China’s economy has grown enormously over the past three-and-a-half decades. Its gross domestic product (GDP), the most common measure of economic output, was $10.4 trillion in 2014, making it the world’s second-largest economy—only the U.S. economy is larger.2 This growth has propelled China’s standard of living, formerly one of the lowest in the world, to a level that the World Bank characterizes as “upper middle income.” China’s annual per capita GDP rose from $1,300 in 1980 to $7,700 in 2010, an increase of almost 500 percent.

Using fundamental growth theory, data from China and from Korea and Japan’s similar “miracle” growth experiences, we provide a suggestive calculation for China’s future per capita income. Our ballpark estimate is that China’s per capita income relative to that of the United States will grow by a factor of two to three over the next half-century.

Calculation implies that China will improve its per capita income at a faster pace than that of the United States for about the next 45 years. By around 2061, it will reach close to half of the U.S. income per capita. While China’s income per capita relative to the United States will more than double from today, its absolute income per capita will increase by much more, by about a multiple of five.

On a PPP per capita GDP basis, the IMF has current year estimates of per capital GDP and future year forecasts
2016  $15095  [About 26% of US per capita level, 85th in the world]
2017  $16172 
2018  $17405
2019  $18752
2020  $20190 
2021  $21733  [about 32% of US level, 79th in the world] Overall China economy would 132% of the US economy on PPP basis

Lockheed designing mach 1.4 plane with a quiet sonic boom

The Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) X-plane will make supersonic flight greener and quieter. The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works team is trying to deliver high-speed flight with revolutionary low-impact sound.

NASA selected a team led by Lockheed Martin to complete a preliminary design for the QueSST X-plane. This endeavor supports NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project, which aims to better understand acceptable commercial supersonic aircraft sound levels across the country and develop a way for piloted aircraft to fly fast with low boom.

QueSST is designed to fly at Mach 1.4, 55,000 feet above the ground. The aircraft is shaped to separate the shocks and expansions associated with supersonic flight to reduce the volume of the shaped signature. QueSST’s “heartbeat” will be dramatically quieter than the traditional “N-wave” sonic boom associated with the current supersonic aircraft in flight today.

Fourth Generation composites used for the blades of the GE9X engine which will be used in the 777X

GE’s largest jet engine will be made with epoxy and carbon fibres instead of titanium and steel

The carbon-fibre composite blades allowed GE’s aerospace engineers to design the GE90, still the world’s largest and most powerful jet engine.

GE is still the only company with composite fan blades in service. They work inside the GE90 and the GEnx engines that power many Dreamliners. The material allowed GE engineers to design blades that result in lighter and more efficient engines, allowing airlines to save fuel by shedding precious pounds.

Kray and his team are now working on a fourth generation of the blade for the GE9X, GE’s largest engine yet. It is designed exclusively for Boeing’s next-generation wide-body jet, the 777X.

GE has already received orders and commitments for 700 GE9x engines valued at $29 billion (list price) from several growing Middle Eastern airlines like Emirates, Qatar and Etihad, as well as Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific and All Nippon Airways

The team says the blades will feature several new components. Stiffer carbon fibres will be used, meaning the blades can be made longer and thinner. Their trailing edge will be made from a special structural glass fibre composite that can better absorb impact energy. “Carbon fibre is very stiff and not that flexible so that when something hits the blade, it creates a shockwave deep inside it,” Kray explained. “But the glass composite can deform better and deflect stress on the blade.”
GE will also replace the titanium leading edge that is currently used on GE90 and GEnx blades with steel.

Where the GE90 has 22 blades and the GEnx has 18, the GE9X will have just 16, even though it is the largest of the three engines with a fan diameter of 134 inches.Besides making the engine lighter, the fewer and thinner blades will also spin faster, giving greater overall engine performance.

New breakthrough steel with high strength and high formability

NanoSteel®, a leader in nanostructured steel materials, and the company’s joint development launch partner, AK Steel Corporation, have won the Platts Global Metals “Breakthrough Solution of the Year” Award.

The Platts Global Metals Award recognizes the product’s groundbreaking properties, which offer the combination of both high strength (1200 MPa) and high formability (50% elongation), exceeding the third generation advanced high strength steel (AHSS) target set by automakers. The strength properties enable the design of parts with thinner gauges that reduce weight and the formability properties enable component designs with unique geometries for increased stiffness. Exceptional elongation also allows automakers to use existing manufacturing infrastructure without additional capital investment and operator re-training.

Nanoscale Diamonds Could Enable Huge Nanotechnology Advances

Nanomaterials have the potential to improve many next-generation technologies. They promise to speed up computer chips, increase the resolution of medical imaging devices and make electronics more energy efficient. But imbuing nanomaterials with the right properties can be time consuming and costly. A new, quick and inexpensive method for constructing diamond-based hybrid nanomaterials could soon launch the field forward.

University of Maryland researchers developed a method to build diamond-based hybrid nanoparticles in large quantities from the ground up, thereby circumventing many of the problems with current methods. The technique is described in the June 8, 2016 issue of the journal Nature Communications.

The process begins with tiny, nanoscale diamonds that contain a specific type of impurity: a single nitrogen atom where a carbon atom should be, with an empty space right next to it, resulting from a second missing carbon atom. This "nitrogen vacancy" impurity gives each diamond special optical and electromagnetic properties.

Nature Communications - Nanodiamond-based nanostructures for coupling nitrogen-vacancy centres to metal nanoparticles and semiconductor quantum dots

Quantum Simulator ‘Entangles’ Hundreds of Ions

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have “entangled” or linked together the properties of up to 219 beryllium ions (charged atoms) to create a quantum simulator. The simulator is designed to model and mimic complex physics phenomena in a way that is impossible with conventional machines, even supercomputers. The techniques could also help improve atomic clocks.

The new NIST system can generate quantum entanglement in about 10 times as many ions as any previous simulators based on ions, a scale-up that is crucial for practical applications. The behavior of the entangled ions rotating in a flat crystal just 1 millimeter in diameter can also be tailored or controlled to a greater degree than before.

Described in the June 10, 2016, issue of Science, NIST’s latest simulator improves on the same research group’s 2012 version by removing most of the earlier system’s errors and instabilities, which can destroy fragile quantum effects.

“Here we get clear, indisputable proof the ions are entangled,” NIST postdoctoral researcher Justin Bohnet said. “What entanglement represents in this case is a useful resource for something else, like quantum simulation or to enhance a measurement in an atomic clock.”

Crystals, quantum simulator. NIST physicists have built a quantum simulator made of trapped beryllium ions (charged atoms) that are proven to be entangled, a quantum phenomenon linking the properties of all the particles. The spinning crystal, about 1 millimeter wide, can contain anywhere from 20 to several hundred ions.
Credit: NIST

Journal Science - Quantum spin dynamics and entanglement generation with hundreds of trapped ions

Google team predicts quantum computing supremacy over classical computing around 2018 with a 40 qubit universal quantum computer

Google is to trying to combine the Adiabatic Quantum computing AQC method with the digital approach’s error-correction capabilities.

The Google team uses a row of nine solid-state qubits, fashioned from cross-shaped films of aluminium about 400 micrometres from tip to tip. These are deposited onto a sapphire surface. The researchers cool the aluminium to 0.02 degrees kelvin, turning the metal into a superconductor with no electrical resistance. Information can then be encoded into the qubits in their superconducting state.

The interactions between neighboring qubits are controlled by ‘logic gates’ that steer the qubits digitally into a state that encodes the solution to a problem. As a demonstration, the researchers instructed their array to simulate a row of magnetic atoms with coupled spin states — a problem thoroughly explored in condensed-matter physics. They could then look at the qubits to determine the lowest-energy collective state of the spins that the atoms represented.

This is a fairly simple problem for a classical computer to solve. But the new Google device can also handle so-called ‘non-stoquastic’ problems, which classical computers cannot. These include simulations of the interactions between many electrons, which are needed for accurate computer simulations in chemistry. The ability to simulate molecules and materials at the quantum level could be one of the most valuable applications of quantum computing.

This new approach should enable a computer with quantum error correction, says Lidar.

“With error correction, our approach becomes a general-purpose algorithm that is, in principle, scalable to an arbitrarily large quantum computer,” says Alireza Shabani, another member of the Google team.

The Google device is still very much a prototype. But Lidar says that in a couple of years, devices with more than 40 qubits could become a reality.

“At that point,” he says, “it will become possible to simulate quantum dynamics that is inaccessible on classical hardware, which will mark the advent of ‘quantum supremacy’.”

Spin-chain problem and device. a, We implement one-dimensional spin problems with variable local fields and couplings between adjacent spins. An example of a stoquastic problem Hamiltonian with local x and z fields, indicated by the gold arrows in the spheres, and σzσz couplings, whose strength is indicated by the radius of the links, is shown. Red denotes a ferromagnetic (J = +1) and blue an antiferromagnetic (J = −1) link. The problem Hamiltonian is for the instance shown in c. b, Optical picture of the superconducting quantum device with nine Xmon22 qubits Q0–Q8 (false-coloured cross-shaped structures), made from aluminium (light) on a sapphire substrate (dark). Connections to read-out resonators are at the top; control wiring is at the bottom. Scale bar, 200 μm.

Dwave Chip which has no error correction by 1000-2000 qubits

Nature - Digitized adiabatic quantum computing with a superconducting circuit

Google's progress on inventing the future - diagnosing disease, AI advancing genetics and much more

Eric Schmidt wants to invent the future. He sees the need to produce more entrepreneurs everywhere, right, in every industry, all around the world. This will create literally millions of jobs and ultimately trillions of dollars of wealth for all of us as shareholders and all of the people that we know.

Schmidt is personally tired of the zero-sum gain, that everybody says well nothing can change. Schmidit thinks they’ve got evidence that an awful lot is going to change and get much, much better.

DeepMind Artificial intelligence won a series of Go games against a world champion human.

Verily, our life sciences group, Verb Surgical, is a joint venture, it would change a medical [indiscernible] to joint ventures, is developing surgical solutions that incorporate a leading edge robotic capabilities using machine learning.

Verily group has projects in Virtual reality and augmented reality. They use it for diabetes monitoring. There is a contact lens which has the world’s smallest battery which then essentially WiFi out the status of your glucose level. Now if you’re one of the very many people who have diabetes in America and by the way it’s worse in many other countries, this is going to be a life saver, in terms of keeping you alive especially as the disease progresses.

[Google Loon internet] balloons are floating around in the southern atmosphere providing test signals for LTE, signals for people in incredibly rural area and when you study the globe, the hardest area to get a cell signal in and in the most improvised areas, over the southern hemisphere in place like remote Brazil and in Africa, in the ways everybody here knows, that that stuff actually works.

7 loons are flying in Peru now. Two are in Brazil. HBAL328 - HBAL322 [google Loon project page] 3:13 GMT May 25, 4 balloons are in the airspace of Panama and another entering airspace of Costa Rica. Google Loons are over South Africa and other places.

Google plans to wirelessly transmit gigabit internet to your home. Google gigabit wireless technology is being tested in Kansas City. Alphabet hopes to set Kansas City up as a commercial demonstration by next year, and is testing several wireless technologies.

A group under Alphabet called Sidewalk Labs is re-thinking the way cities work. Now most people live in cities, cities are the engines of growth, there is more productivity in cities, there is lots of crowd, and lots of issues. They think they can apply new technologies of one kind or another in conjunction with and in this case a group called transportation of America, but to do this and in fact there are now best cities initiatives, which we’re competing in.

There are over one billion users of Google Chrome.
In the enterprise space we have more than 2 million paid businesses using Google Apps for work

the complete transcript of the June 08, 2016 Alphabet's (GOOG) Management 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

US High speed rail partnership between XpressWest and China has fallen apart

XpressWest, the private U.S. firm proposing to build a high-speed rail link between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, terminated a joint venture with Chinese companies less than nine months after the deal was announced, citing delays faced by its partner.

Las Vegas-based XpressWest said the decision to end the relationship stemmed from problems with "timely performance" and challenges that the Chinese companies, grouped under a consortium called China Railway International (CRI), faced "obtaining required authority to proceed with required development activities".

XpressWest was started by Las Vegas developer Marnell Companies. It formed the venture with the Chinese consortium in September, infusing $100 million into the project. XpressWest had expected to break ground as soon as this year on the project, which one analyst estimated to be worth $5 billion.

The announcement is a blow to China, which has built the world's largest high-speed rail network in less than a decade. The XpressWest project was seen as a foothold into a burgeoning U.S. high-speed rail market and an opportunity to showcase China's technology.

China's CRRC Corp the world's biggest train maker by revenue, joined the consortium in September.

XpressWest chief executive Tony Marnell said in a statement that his company's "ambitions outpace CRI's ability to move the project forward timely and efficiently".

Many startup companies have died waiting too long for money from the Chinese government or companies

After 30 years of reform, China's economy remains bound by red tape, which drags down productivity considerably. Anti-corruption efforts have made it more difficult to grease the wheels. So excessive delays in providing funds and making decisions is what is left. Even Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed irritation with bureaucracy, asking, “Why is it so difficult for ordinary people to get things done?”, and “Why does the government put up so many obstacles that stop people getting things done?”

The Chinese government introduced a seven-day rule for ministries to issue new policies once they had been approved by China’s cabinet, the State Council.

Latest Isreali weapons like a tiny four wheel grenade drone

A video preview produced by Defense-Update, in cooperation with SIBAT, the defense export directorate within Israel’s Ministry of Defense (MOD), provides insights into some of the Israeli systems and new products expected at Eurosatory 2016, held in Paris June 13-17.

Some of the systems are a small 7 inch long car drone that is very simple and throwable and surrounds a grenade. It lets a soldier throw the car into a building and then drive it around corners to reach its target where it blows up.

There are other soldier combat drones with single missiles or other weapons.

There are squad level systems for displays that look through walls.

Iron Vision provides 360 'Xray' display for tank crew through buttoned up tank walls

At the international defense and security industry trade show Eurosatory, Elbit will unveil the IronVision, the first Helmet Mounted Display (HMS) designed for the crews of armored vehicles. IronVision is a 360-degree panoramic situational awareness system, part of Elbit’s See-Through Armor (STA) architecture, that enables tank and infantry crewmen to “see-through” their vehicle’s armor in real-time, creating a clear and complete visualization of the battlefield, even when the hatches are down.

IronVision’s cis projected in full color and zero latency to the wearer’s visor, offering a bright and vivid display of the surroundings in both day and night and all types of weather.

The helmet support system collects information from different digital sources within and around the vehicle, displays and tracks the positions of various features of interest ranging from a single person standing or crawling several meters near the vehicle to a moving vehicle located 150–300 meters away. By using the helmet, the wearer obtains the complete freedom of movement and can shorten the sensor-to-shooter cycle, all while remaining protected, under closed hatches.

The IronVision fits all types of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

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