Global Engineering

Understanding the Science Behind Solar Sails

On July 23, 2019, it was officially revealed by the Planetary Society that LightSail 2 had deployed its cutting-edge solar sails. The innovation is intended to further humanity’s plans for space exploration, and its launch came as a huge milestone for The Planetary Society – the world’s largest non-profit space exploration organisation.

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Exploring Modern Rocket Propulsion Systems

While many believe that the rocket is a product of a modern world, the technology actually dates back to 11th century China, where early chemists at the time were discovering the power of gun powder.

Over the years, many scientists around the world have taken the technology and refined to the point where rockets are able to generate enough thrust to not only lift off of the ground, but to propel themselves out of the planet’s orbit.

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4 Renewable Energy Projects That Will Change The World

With the increased seriousness of climate change and the amount of carbon emissions that we are putting into the air, it’s become imperative to create alternative, renewable forms of energy production that both meet our power needs and are not harmful to the environment.

Many countries are starting their own projects that will not only meet those two criteria, but ensure a safer future for all.

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The Most Promising Quantum Computer Projects Being Worked On

Quantum computing has been a phrase that’s been working its way around the science world for the last few years. The basic idea behind a quantum computer is to create a machine that is capable of calculating processes many times faster and more efficiently than even the most advanced computers we currently have.

Quantum computing fully realised would change the world of technology as we know it. Not only would online security be completely revolutionised, but it’s the hope of many that quantum computers would be able to help many of the problems that we’re facing today, but could also make its way into other industries, such as retail, video games, and online slots Australia.

These are the companies that are currently working on the technology.

1. Intel

Intel is the world-leader in the creation of CPU units, so it makes sense that the tech giant would be working on quantum technology of their own. Tangle Lake is their latest effort to try and break into the field, and they hope to release a device that can processes up to 49 qubits at a time.

The Tangle Lake test chip was first revealed during 2018’s CES, and consisted of a 3×3 inch chip that featured 108 gold radio frequency connectors, each able to carry microwave signals from each of its qubits.

Despite the advancement, the Tangle Lake project has a long way to go, and they estimate that it will need to produce a few hundred thousand qubits in order to become a true quantum computer.

2. IBM

IBM has always been ahead in the field when it comes to creating new technologies, and the engineers at IBM have long working hard on creating a commercially viable quantum system that they hope to release to the public.

Their latest release comes in the form of the Q System One, a system that the company hopes will become more popular as scientists, researchers, and businessmen seek more powerful computing solutions.

The machine itself lives in one of IBM’s research centres, and its computational power will be made available through the cloud.

3. Microsoft

Microsoft’s foray into the world of quantum tech sees them at a distinct advantage over most of its competitors thanks to its rank as the most valuable company in the world. The researchers at Microsoft are looking to make their version of the quantum computer truly scalable, hoping to give a much larger audience access to the tech.

Their machine makes use of ground state degeneracy and electron fractionalisation, meaning that they split an electron in half and utilising two ground states, which makes the computer far less vulnerable to quantum noise.

4.Google

The Internet giant hasn’t been left out of the race, and their most notable addition to the quantum race is their Bristlecone, a 72-qubit gate-based superconductive chop that was released by the company’s AI Quantum laboratory.

Bristlecone is being designed to act as a proof-of-concept for future projects,, and they will use it to test hardware, software, and algorithms.

6 Worst Engineering Failures

Although there have been multitudes of engineering success stories, there have also been some spectacular failures.

Unlike the online casinos Philippines, not every building is designed to offer the best end result. Take a look at some of the biggest disasters ever to befall the engineering world.

1. Quebec Bridge

The Quebec Bridge was opened to the public in 1887 and was a national intercontinental railway project that spanned the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. But this engineering feat failed not once but twice, and on its first opening to the public it collapsed only 15 seconds later.

A second chance saw it collapse again in 1916 before both the engineers that oversaw it were jailed.

2. Hyatt Regency Hotel Walkway Collapse

In 1981 the Hyatt in Kansas City hosted a tea dance that over 1600 people attended. Sadly, the walkways between the buildings were not spec’ed to hold anywhere near these volumes of people and they collapsed, killing a total of 114 people.

The accident was declared one of the worst in engineering history, as it could have easily been avoided.

3. Lotus Riverside Complex

China is known for its impressive buildings and many of them are sheer feats of engineering ingenuity. But the Lotus Riverside Complex, despite its amazing design, had several fatal flaws and it collapsed in June 2009, with several recorded fatalities.

In the end, blame was aid solely at the feet of the engineers who had moved huge sections of land to accommodate a multi level underground car park, thus destabilising the entire area.

4. Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2E

France’s Charles de Gaulle airport opened its terminal 2E amidst great fanfare in 2004. Sadly, on the same day a huge section of the terminal collapsed and killed 4 people.

Initially, an expert team of engineers couldn’t find any fault with the building, but it later emerged that the roof simply wasn’t strong enough to support the structure, and this had led to its collapse.

5. Chernobyl

Possibly one of the most famous disasters ever, Chernobyl wiped out an entire city and to this day remains a disaster zone.

Bad safety features were blamed for the blast that effectively saw hundreds of thousands of people flee the area, leaving 31 dead and many to suffer the awful after effects of radiation exposure for years to come.

6. Skylab

America’s first space station, Skylab launched in 1973, but even at the initial launch many were wary of its design.

Engineers expressed concern over the loss of solar panels and the lack of meteoroid protective shield, and eventually the space station returned to earth, as it never really performed as intended and it cost the program more than $3.5 million just to keep it afloat.

7. Titanic

No list of engineering disasters is complete without the Titanic. This infamous ship was said to be sinkable, but the engineers behind it were proved to be fatally wrong. In 1912 the ship hit an iceberg and sank and took over 1500 people down with it.

In the end, an investigation revealed that there was no adequate protection system in place and the ships engineers had greatly over estimated its infallibility.

5 Of The Biggest Engineering Projects Currently Underway

Human beings have a distinct love of taking what they’ve created on paper and making it a physical reality. This is especially true when it comes to the large, international engineering projects that we’re currently working on around the world.

Many of these are being built for the benefit of mankind as a whole, hoping to provide a number of advantages to the many millions that will prosper once these projects have been completed.

1. Gotthard Base Tunnel

The Gotthard Base Tunnel, which was technically completed in 2016 but is till being worked on, is a series of the biggest underground tunnels of all time that have been created to connect Switzerland and Italy.

Drilled underneath the Alps, the tunnel was created to reduce travel times between Zurich and Milan while also cutting down on the amount of commercial and passenger traffic that has been clogging up the mountain highways above ground. More than 2500 works spent a total of 14 years to connect the tunnels from end to end.

2. The Three Gorges Dam

China, having both a massive industry and a massive population, quickly found that their power consumption was too high for conventional means of power production.

Thus began the Three Gorges Dam project, which is the world’s largest hydro-power dam, reaching more than 1.3 miles wide, and consisting of 32 turbines that are able to generate as much electricity as 18 nuclear power stations.

It’s been built to resist a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, and can allow 10000-ton ocean frigates to sail from the interior of China to the open sea.

3. The Marmary Project

As one of the largest transportation projects in the world, there are four main components that make up the Marmary Project.

It consists of a 13.6 kilometre tunnel that will be spanning underneath Istanbul and the Bosporus Straits to connect Asia to Europe that will feature a modern train system that will see passengers travelling beneath the ocean once the tunnel has been fully completed.

This will allow passengers to travel in luxury while they commute to work and enjoy online pokies Australia or the latest TV series in comfort..

4. Andasol Solar Plant

The Andasol Solar Plant is the world’s very biggest solar power station, and can be found in Andalusia, Southern Spain. The plant is made up of over 600,000 solar panels that are spread over 126 acres of open land.

They use massive tanks of molten sand to store the energy that the panels produce over the day, converting the solar radiation into heat energy.

The power station is currently providing power to over 450,000 residents of Spain, making it one of the most environmentally friendly power stations globally, and the blueprint for many in the future.

5. Masdar City

Masdar City is set to be the world’s first zero carbon city, and is being constructed in Abu Dhabi.

The city will ban all automobiles, and will instead rely on mass public transport running completely on renewable energy, with the biggest solar farm in the middle east supplying the city’s energy needs.

The Worlds 6 Most Famous Engineering Projects

While modern engineering has certainly created some of the world’s most impressive structures, there have been many incredible feats of engineering throughout history which were once deemed impossible.

Not only impressive in terms of achievement, but these 6 structures also solved the riddle of some of modern day life’s most complex challenges. Fulfilling needs and implementing audacious measures, these famous engineering projects changed the world forever.

Transcontinental Railroad

Constructed between 1863 and 1869 and first known as the Pacific Railroad and later the Overland Route, the First Transcontinental Railroad was a 3,077km continuous railroad which connected the existing eastern U.S. rail network with the Pacific Coast on San Francisco Bay.

Revolutionising the settlement and economy of the American West, the Transcontinental Railroad made transporting good and passengers from coast to coast much faster and considerably less expensive.

Hoover Dam

In order to create the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River had to be diverted through an almost 5,000m series of tunnels, 17m in diameter, dug inside the canyon walls. Once the diversion had taken place, engineers had to create a structure strong enough to sustain future generations and keep the mighty Colorado River under control.

Upon its completion in 1935, the Hoover Dam – standing at 221m tall – was the world’s largest concrete structure and the foremost electricity producing facility.

Channel Tunnel

The longest tunnel with an undersea section in the world, the Channel Tunnel is a 50.45km rail tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover – an area populated with online blackjack lovers – which connects Kent, England to Pas-de-Calais, Northern France.

Bored through chalk marl stratum, the structure consists of three separate tunnels connected by cross-passage links and took 6 years to construct. The tunnel is used to transport passengers, vehicles, and goods and is one the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

Millau Viaduct

Spanning the Tarn river valley near Millau in Southern France, the Millau Viaduct is currently the tallest vehicular cable-stayed road bridge in the world. Standing at 343m, the Millau Viaduct is almost 20m taller than the Eiffel Tower and was opened in December 2004.

Designed by Michel Virlogeux, a structural engineer, and Norman Foster, an architect, the viaduct took 3 years to construct at a cost of approximately €394 million.

Burj Khalifa

Owing to its height and location, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai was created with the windy terrain and projected human demands on the building in mind.

Currently the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai stands at 829.8m tall and was built as the centrepiece of mixed-use development which includes homes, hotel, and parks.

Panama Canal

Prior to the opening of the Panama Canal in August 1914, a ship sailing from New York to San Francisco would have to sail around Cape Horn, at the tip of South America, which meant the journey took 67 days in total.

Upon the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, the 82km waterway provided a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans which significantly improved the conditions maritime trade.

4 International Aerodynamic Projects In The Works

NASA is currently the world’s leading authority when it comes to all things aerodynamic. They’ve sent men to the moon, they made valuable contributions to modern space flight, and they’ve had a big hand to place in the International Space Station.

But NASA is always working on its technology with the hope of making space travel cheaper, safer, and more widely available – which means researching and testing countless theories.

But their research isn’t limited to space, and much of NASA is devoted to making general aviation better for everyone; and these are some of their projects doing just that.

1. FUELEAP

FUELEAP, or Fostering Ultra-Efficient Low-Emitting Aviation Power, is one of the leading aviation projects currently underway at NASA, with the intention of creating an entirely new type of fuel cell that could be used to electrically power general aviation-sized aircraft.

Fuel cells use a combination of oxygen and hydrogen to generate electricity, and have been an important staple of much of their spacefaring programs, dating back to Project Gemini in the 1960s.

The latest project would see a fuel-cell many times more efficient than a standard piston engine, both reducing emissions and fuel consumption.

These may one day be miniaturized into portable devices, meaning that people could use their phones and laptops that much longer, making that game of online pokies NZ last for a few hours at a time.

2. LION

One of the biggest drawbacks of electrically powered aircraft is the high demand for storing the right amount of energy in batteries, even for planes that are only travelling short distances. The answer may come in the form of Lithium-Air batteries, which theoretically have the highest energy storage capacity of any battery.

These are known as ‘breathing batteries’, meaning that the battery pulls in oxygen as it expends energy, allowing the oxygen to react with the Lithium ions. It remains theoretical, but researchers hope to refine the technology and prevent it from naturally breaking down over time.

3. Spanwise Adaptive Wing

The vertical tail on modern aircraft exists for a reason, but they also increase drag and increase the amount of fuel consumed. The tail keeps the aircraft in line when landing and taking off, but once in the air it essentially becomes useless.

One concept in the works to circumvent this problem is by having the wings have adaptive rudders on either end that work much in the same way as the tail, but can be “put away” once the aircraft is in the air. This would allow the main vertical tail to be much smaller, and to cut down on the drag it creates by a substantial amount; meaning less fuel is lost per trip.

4. Additively Manufactured Electric Motor

Electrically powered aircraft are the main focus of NASA’s drive to provide cleaner forms of international transport. Creating long-lasting batteries is a challenge on its own, but they also hope to improve the motors that power the aircraft.

The most ambitious plan at the moment is to create smaller motors that generate the same thrust, and thanks to innovations in the 3D printing world, we may yet see these motors become more commercially viable.

4 Classified Engineering Projects From History

Since the start of the 20th century, governments from all over the world have worked on countless classified projects. These were mainly based on war-related experimentation, and gave rise to some of the most advanced technologies in the world.

These range from truly destructive weapons to modern jet fighters and more, and for year were hidden from public knowledge.

But many of the once-classified projects have been released to the general public, and for the first time in decades, we can learn about the testing that was done by governmental engineering teams over the years.

1. The Baker Test

The Baker Test was part of Operation Crossroads, and saw the detonation of a 23-kiloton nuclear weapon that was set off before the surface of the ocean. The test was conducted in the Marshall Islands, and has given rise to one of the world’s most famous recordings.

The US battleship Arkansas was completely flattened by the blast and pushed out of the water. In the pictures we have today from the event, some believe it’s possible to see the ship in the blast, although the US government has yet to release any more information about the tests conducted.

It set the scene for much of what we know of modern nuclear weapons, which have become part of every day life, from the energy we produce to the games we play, such as slots NZ.

2. The U-2 Projects

The Advanced Development Program of Lockheed Martin known as Skunk Works, was in charge of a number of secret projects over the years. Lockheed Martin is one of the US government’s leading contractors, and has introduced countless aircraft technologies into the world, both for use in war and commercial transportation.

The U-2 is one of their most well kept secrets, and was designed as a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. The plane, which is able to hang around 21 kilometres in the air, made world news when it was shot down by Russia in 1960 while it was carrying Francis Gary Powers.

3. The B-2 Stealth Bomber

One of the most formidable aircraft in the sky today is the stealth bomber. These planes are almost completely undetectable by radar, they’re incredibly fast, and they’re able to fly at altitudes that keep them safe from most forms of danger.

They’re also some of the only vehicles in the world that are equipped with nuclear weapons, making them also one of the most dangerous war machines right now. The development of the B-2 was done in secret, and was created as a replacement for the B-1.

The plane was designed to be almost invisible to all forms of radar, and saw the green light during the Cold War as the US and Russia attempted to build better and more powerful war machines.

4. The Manhattan Projects

Before World War 2, our understanding of the atomic world was extremely limited. Scientists were aware of the power trapped within atoms, thanks to work done by Albert Einstein, and it didn’t take long for a project to start to try and harness this power.

The Manhattan Project was perhaps the best kept secret of the war, and by 1945, the US famous took the results of the project to Japan in the from of two nuclear weapons, changing history forever.