Boeing Frontiers
June 2002 
Volume 01, Issue 02 
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Tech Talk
Sound-stealthy wallpaper

Boeing Business JetImagine a high-tech “wallpaper” that uses compressed air to block out noise in a commercial or military airplane, protect sound-emitting military equipment from detection in the field, or shield sensitive satellites from deafening rocket sounds.

Such a solution is not so off-the-wall.

Scientists at Boeing are working on a technology that could actively suppress unwanted noise inside airplanes and even make life more comfortable for astronauts in space. The technology called “fluidic wallpaper” has many potential applications for protection, privacy and stealth.

Anders Andersson, a Technical Fellow at Phantom Works in Seattle, said the system promises to be “a breakthrough in acoustics technology.”


Spectrolab honored for high-efficiency solar cell technology

Spectrolab, a Boeing subsidiary, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, have received an award for a jointly developed terrestrial solar cell capable of record-breaking efficiency.

The research and development award was presented last month by the National Energy Resources Organization, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization focused on the nation’s energy activities.

“We’re very proud of this technology, and grateful for the recognition we’ve received,” said David Lillington, president of Spectrolab.

The award is for a type of terrestrial solar cell that has the potential to be cost-competitive with conventional electricity-generation technologies, when used in the appropriate light-concentrating system. “These solar cells, and the even more advanced versions we’re now developing, offer tremendous promise,” Lillington said. “Because they are highly efficient and yet relatively inexpensive to manufacture, these solar cells could dramatically reduce the cost of electricity generation from solar energy.”

The cells can convert 34 percent of the sun’s energy to electricity — a world record in conversion efficiency for solar cells, according to Spectrolab.

Spectrolab shares the award with NREL, the Department of Energy’s premier laboratory for renewable-energy and energy-efficiency research. Spectrolab and NREL have collaborated on advanced solar cell techonogies since the mid-1990s.

One public utility, Arizona Public Service, already has ordered these cells from Spectrolab.

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