Agriculture unites with aviation to develop biofuels

miércoles, 3 de noviembre de 2010

The US Department of Agriculture has teamed with the Federal Aviation Administration on a five-year agreement aimed at developing biofuels for use in aviation

Biomass Crop Assistance Program Will Help Create National Biofuels Industry; New Agreement with the FAA Will Promote Production and Demand for Biofuels; USDA Report Shows Domestic Biofuel Production Benefits the Economy

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2010 – As part of the Obama Administration's effort to promote production of fuel from renewable sources, create jobs and mitigate the effects of climate change, Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a series of measures during a speech to the National Press Club in Washington.

"Domestic production of renewable energy, including biofuels, is a national imperative and that's why USDA is working to assist in developing a biofuels industry in every corner of the nation," said Vilsack. "By producing more biofuels in America, we will create jobs, combat global warming, replace our dependence on foreign oil and build a stronger foundation for the 21st century economy."

The Secretary announced several measures, including the publication of a final rule to implement the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Under the BCAP final rule, USDA will resume making payments to eligible producers. The program had operated as a pilot, pending publication of the final rule. Authorized in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, BCAP is designed to ensure that a sufficiently large base of new, non-food, non-feed biomass crops is established in anticipation of future demand for renewable energy consumption.

"The Obama Administration is aggressively supporting our nation's farmers, ranchers and producers of biofuels as they work to bring greater energy independence to America," Vilsack said. "BCAP will help the nation's power, biobased product, and advanced biofuel industries produce energy from sustainable rural resources and create jobs that will stimulate rural economies across the nation."

The BCAP final regulation reflects policies developed as a result of more than 24,000 comments received on previous Federal Register notices and a proposed rule, and knowledge gained by implementing a portion of the program in 2009.

BCAP uses a dual approach to support the production of renewable energy. First, BCAP provides assistance for the establishment and production of eligible renewable biomass crops within specified project areas. Producers who enter into BCAP contracts may receive payments of up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing eligible perennial crops. Further, they can receive payments for up to five years for annual or non-woody perennial crops and up to 15 years for woody perennial crops. FSA is accepting project area proposals and, after project area proposals have been approved, eligible producers may participate by enrolling at their FSA county office.

In addition, BCAP also assists agricultural and forest landowners and operators by providing matching payments for the transportation of certain eligible materials that are sold to qualified biomass conversion facilities. The facilities convert the materials into heat, power, biobased products or advanced biofuels.

The Secretary also announced jointly with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) a five year agreement to develop aviation fuel from forest and crop residues and other "green" feedstocks in order to decrease dependence on foreign oil and stabilize aviation fuel costs. Under the partnership, the agencies will bring together their experience in research, policy analysis and air transportation sector dynamics to assess the availability of different kinds of feedstocks that could be processed by bio-refineries to produce jet fuels.

The participants will develop a tool to evaluate the status of different components of a feedstock supply chain, such as availability of biomass from farms and forests, the potential of that biomass for production of jet fuel, and the length of time it will take to ramp up to full-scale production. The agencies already have existing programs and collaborative agreements with private and public partners and resources to help biorefiners develop cost-effective production plans for jet aircraft biofuels.

This cooperative agreement supports a larger research plan led by USDA through its five Regional Biomass Research Centers, which will help accelerate the development of a commercial advanced biofuels industry across the United States. Just as important, the plan sets out to include as many U.S. rural areas as possible to maximize the economic benefits of biofuel production across the country. The Centers will provide the critical mass needed to develop high-performance teams that will guide biomass research to address needs in both the public and private sector, including commercial aviation, military transportation, and other activities.

The Secretary also discussed a biofuels report prepared by USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS)that says replacing more petroleum with cost-competitive domestic biofuels reduces crude oil imports, thereby lowering prices for energy and benefiting the U.S. economy. The report also includes these findings:

The biofuels industry becomes more productive as cost-reducing technology is applied, which results in higher wages for workers.
Gains in Gross Domestic Product and real income are driven largely from the contribution from technological progress in biofuels, which increases the productivity of the economy.
Next generation biofuels are considered to be a decreasing cost industry. This means that the cost of producing ethanol will decline as output increases.
The entire ERS report is available at

Information about the USDA agreement with the FAA is available at Biomass conversion facilities, eligible material owners and producers interested in the BCAP program should contact their FSA state offices or visit for more information. Complete information about USDA's renewable energy programs is available through the energy matrix at Information about state contacts for USDA energy programs is available at

Press Release


F-35 JSF Faces New Delays, Additional Costs

Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon’s costliest program, may see more price increases and new schedule delays of as much as three years, two government officials familiar with the matter said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is scheduled to be briefed tomorrow on new cost and schedule assessments for the F-35 and other aircraft, said the officials, who requested anonymity because details aren’t public. Software, engineering and flight difficulties are greater than expected, the officials said.

UCAV Could Cut UK JSF Buy(<= This remembers me the cancellation of TSR...)
The UK's acquisition of Joint Strike Fighters could be reduced if UCAVs become available, Britain's vice-chief of the defense staff said in Washington on Monday.

Speaking at a forum Monday organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Gen Sir Nicholas Houghton said that he was "not in a position to give figures" on the UK's JSF buy, but indicated that the aircraft will be acquired in two tranches (batches), one to equip the carrier and the second to replace Tornado in land-based operations. "We know the numbers that we need for carrier operations but we have not fully identified the number we need for ground-based capabilities."


Kazakhstan Engineering creará una empresa conjunta de UAV con Sagem, que también colaborará con Ucrania


Astrium to study new solutions for the monitoring of aircraft over the oceans

  • Astrium Services to study innovative satellite solutions to improve the monitoring and positional tracking of aircraft while in oceanic or remote airspace
  • Astrium Services to study advanced streaming services for flight data and cockpit voice (“Black Box”) recorders
  • Astrium Services to supply a comprehensive assessment of existing and future satellite infrastructure able to support such innovations

Paris, 2 November 2010 – Astrium, Europe’s leading space company, has been awarded a study to assess the provision of satellite services for accurately tracking aircraft over remote locations, particularly over the oceans.

Astrium Services will undertake the Satellite Oceanic Position Tracking Improvement and Monitoring Initiative (SAT-OPTIMI) to propose innovative satellite solutions for improving aircraft safety and optimising coordination between both air transit services and search and rescue services in remote or oceanic areas.

Eric Béranger, CEO, Astrium Services said:

“Astrium is a recognised expert in providing dependable satellite services worldwide with high availability. Through this study, Astrium is playing an important role in enabling Europe to develop a reliable and effective system using innovative solutions, such as advanced aeronautical services to improve the safety of flights.”

“By taking advantage of the fully-integrated resources and skills across the business and building upon the range of cutting-edge technologies already at our disposal, Astrium Services is determined to play a key role in developing solutions that in future will dramatically enhance the safety of air traffic across our skies”.

The five-month study has been awarded by the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking, one of the most ambitious research and development projects ever launched in Europe, which is tasked with developing a modernised ATM system..

Astrium Services’ SAT-OPTIMI study will provide a comprehensive assessment of the satellite infrastructure that can enhance the positional tracking and monitoring of aircraft. The study will also consider cutting-edge solutions, such as satellite communications technologies able to provide continuous access to flight data and cockpit voice (“Black Box”) recorders.

Astrium Services will contribute to solutions that are both technically feasible and economically viable to access in-flight positioning and monitoring data. These solutions are intended to help speed up rescue reaction times and accident analysis and diagnosis over the oceans in the near term.

As part of the study, Astrium Services will work closely with France’s General Directorate for Civil Aviation (DGAC) and STAR Navigation Systems of Canada.



Top 10 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Taking Flight


Joint carrier operations, UAV developments in UK/France defence pact

Particular attention has been given to the creation of a joint capability using the nations' planned lone aircraft carriers.

"We will develop the ability to deploy a UK-French integrated carrier strike group, ensuring that either a British or a French carrier is always available for operations," Cameron says. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France hailed the UK's recent decision to equip its one operational Future Aircraft Carrier with catapults and arresting gear. "This is going to enable us to have a truly integrated aircraft carrier group," says UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

France, UK arrange to jointly fund future UAS capability

As part of a wider ranging defence cooperation agreement announced today, France and the UK have agreed to work on developing next generation MALE UAS and UCAS capabilities, which has immediately prompted interest from industry.

A statement released by the UK government said: 'Unmanned Air Systems have become essential to our armed forces. We have agreed to work together on the next generation of Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Air Surveillance Systems.' The statement went on to add that: 'In the longer term, we will jointly assess requirements and options for the next generation of Unmanned Combat Air Systems from 2030 onwards.'

BAE says in talks with Dassault on UAV link up
"We welcome ... their (Britain and France's) intention to collaborate on a future Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) programme and a potential Unmanned Combat Aircraft System," BAE said in a statement.

"Given the strong research and development investment that has already been made in this area by both BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation, we have entered into discussions with Dassault to explore how we could best deliver this opportunity."


Laser-Powered Helicopter Breaks World Record by staying aloft for 12 hours using energy beamed up to it by lasers.

Developed by LaserMotive, the quadrocopter has photovoltaic panels installed all along its belly, which absorb laser light to power the vehicle. The quadrocopter hovered at 30 feet for 12 hours

Read more: Laser-Powered Helicopter Breaks World Record | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World



Reino Unido echa una mano a Airbus en el concurso del avión cisterna

En concreto, el general Nicholas Houghton, número dos del organigrama
de Defensa británico, explicaba en Washington que ambos países (por
Reino Unido y Estados Unidos) podrían tener beneficios comerciales si
operaban con el mismo avión de reabastecimiento.


EADS ya admite que el Talarion puede cancelarse

EADS ya admite que el Talarion, su proyecto estrella de aviones no tripulados (UAV), puede no ver la luz. El acuerdo de cooperación firmado ayer entre Francia y Reino Unido apunta en este sentido.

Francia, Reino Unido y Alemania apuestan por sistemas no tripulados al margen de Talarion de EADS,-Reino-Unido-y-Alemania-apuestan-por-sistemas-no-tripulados-al-margen-de-Talarion-de-EADS


Nuevas patentes de Airbus

Gracias a Aviation Week hemos descubierto estas patentes de Airbus en Estados Unidos: patentes número 7819358, D624480 y D624868.

Lo que sorprende es que en ninguno de los dibujos, que podrían perfilar el airliner del futuro, aparezca algo parecido a un ala volante o un cuerpo sustentador. Se tratan de fuselajes convencionales, con configuraciones atípicas de empenaje y cabina. Tan solo la última configuración es un poco más 'arriesgada'. Por otro lado, tampoco nos sorprende no encontrar más que fuselajes tubulares, por los problemas que hemos expuesto en otras ocasiones: el límite psicológico que supone convencer a un pasajero de que compre billetes para subirse a una 'cosa' que no se parece a lo que le dijeron que se tenía que parecer un avión, y el problema de las distancias a las salidas, a la hora de cumplir los tiempos mínimos de evacuación.

Ahora vamos a echar un ojo a las 3 patentes que enlazamos atrás.


APES 0023 A partir de ahora, a registrar todas nuestras obras


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