A British-built solar powered drone with a 115ft wingspan that can stay in the air for over a year will be an alternative to low Earth orbit satellites, its developers claim. PHASA-35 is a cutting edge drone being developed by BAE systems at their facility in Warton, Lancashire that can fly about at 70,000ft above the surface for 20 months. It harnesses power from the Sun to stay airborne, charging a bank of small batteries during the day to keep it flying overnight, allowing for longer operations. The 150kg drone is able to carry a payload of up to 15kg including cameras, sensors and communications equipment to allow troops to talk to each other or provide internet access to rural locations during a natural disaster or emergency. BAE systems say it will be available by the middle of the decade and provide a'persistent and affordable alternative to satellite technology.'
Welcome back to our "Life in 2050" series! In previous installments, we looked at how accelerating change and environmental issues will affect the future of warfare, economy, education, everyday living, and space exploration (in two installments). Today, we look at how people will get from A to B by mid-century, whether it's across town, from one city to the next, or one continent to the next. Transportation is another sector that is expected to undergo a major revolution in the coming decades. In several respects, this revolution is already underway thanks to the introduction of autonomous vehicles, the wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles, the growth of renewable energy, and the advent of commercial spaceflight. Between now and 2050, these technologies and trends will accelerate and lead to the creation of new transportation infrastructure, radically different from what we know today. Of course, the infrastructure of tomorrow will be built on existing transportation networks.
Humanity needs food for survival, and maintaining consistent crop yields is essential. Recently, the world of artificial intelligence (AI) entered the agricultural industry, providing farmers with sustainable solutions. Engineers developed an autonomous robot that eliminates weeds and increases food production. Weeds are difficult to manage because of their unpredictable growing patterns. Insect and disease management have designated tools and tactics where weed control differs.
The names of many of the new companies and technologies created to combat the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems can evoke thrilling acts of derring-do on the high seas. WaveKiller uses compressed air systems to create "walls" of bubbles up to 50 feet thick, to guard against erosion and contain waste and oil spills. The Inceptor is a solar-powered barge deployed by the Dutch nongovernmental organization Ocean Cleanup along rivers in Southeast Asia to gather tons of waste before it hits the sea. Saildrone and WasteShark build and deploy fleets of autonomous drones to ply the oceans, gathering meteorological and marine data in the former case and trash in the latter. This sample of (often menacingly-named) technologies represents the increasingly diverse approaches to combat marine degradation--diversity which is desperately needed, as climate change wages war on the health of the world's oceans on many different fronts.
Welcome back to the "Life in 2050" series! So far, we've looked at how ongoing developments in science, technology, and geopolitics will be reflected in terms of warfare and the economy. Today, we are shifting gears a little and looking at how the turbulence of this century will affect the way people live from day to day. As noted in the previous two installments, changes in the 21st century will be driven by two major factors. These include the disruption caused by rapidly accelerating technological progress, and the disruption caused by rising global temperatures, and the environmental impact this will have (aka. These factors will be pulling the world in opposite directions, and simultaneously at that.
With NASA aiming to get humans to Mars by 2030, the idea of a long-term settlement on the Red Planet is getting closer to reality and scientists are working on innovated ways to power these habitats. Researchers in the Netherlands propose using massive kites to harness high Martian winds that would transformed into energy for colonists. The kite is attached by cable to a spindle. Similar kites are being developed to harness wind power on Earth, but these would be much larger, with a surface area of 530 square feet. Wind turbines and batteries are too heavy to bring to Mars via rocket, and the planet doesn't get enough sunlight to consider solar power.
Any long-term base camp on Mars will need to be powered by renewable energy. A proposal developed in response to a competition run by the European Space Agency suggests using a giant kite flown by robots to harness high Martian wind speeds, which could provide enough energy to sustain several astronauts in their everyday work. Producing and storing renewable energy on Mars is difficult. It is further from the sun than Earth, so it only gets 43 per cent of the sunlight Earth does, making solar power less effective.
AI - Artificial Intelligence AGI - Artificial General Intelligence ANN - Artificial Neural Network ANOVA - Analysis of Variance ANT - Actor Network Theory API - Application Programming Interface APX - Amsterdam Power Exchange AVE - Average Variance Extracted BU - Business Unit CART - Classification and Regression Tree CBMV - Crowd-based Business Model Validation CR - Composite Reliability CT - Computed Tomography CVC - Corporate Venture Capital DR - Design Requirement DP - Design Principle DSR - Design Science Research DSS - Decision Support System EEX - European Energy Exchange FsQCA - Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis GUI - Graphical User Interface HI-DSS - Hybrid Intelligence Decision Support System HIT - Human Intelligence Task IoT - Internet of Things IS - Information System IT - Information Technology MCC - Matthews Correlation Coefficient ML - Machine Learning OCT - Opportunity Creation Theory OGEMA 2.0 - Open Gateway Energy Management 2.0 OS - Operating System R&D - Research & Development RE - Renewable Energies RQ - Research Question SVM - Support Vector Machine SSD - Solid-State Drive SDK - Software Development Kit TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol TCT - Transaction Cost Theory UI - User Interface VaR - Value at Risk VC - Venture Capital VPP - Virtual Power Plant Chapter I
Since 2007, two professors at the TU Delft have been researching ways to harvest energy from the wind using a kite. The robotic kite looks set to make its debut in the energy sector, but often inventions are used in unexpected ways. In this series of articles, we take robot innovations from their test-lab and bring them to a randomly selected workplace in the outside world. From kindergarten teacher Fransien, we learn that big kites could also be child's play, quite literally. A robot wheels in the kite and then slowly releases it, painting 8-shaped loops on the sky.