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 Energys
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 nations energy activities.
Were very proud of this technology, and grateful for the recognition
weve 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 were 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 suns energy to electricity
a world record in conversion efficiency for solar cells, according
Spectrolab shares the award with NREL, the Department of Energys
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.