Automotive & Transportation

Video: Some Hacking Is OK Says U.S. Agency, Biodegradable Electronics with Organic Components, and more.

03 November 2015

Nuclear Construction Shakeup as Westinghouse Acquires CB&I

Westinghouse Electric Co. agreed to acquire CB&I Stone & Webster, the nuclear construction and integrated services businesses of CB&I. The deal is expected to be completed by December. Financial details were not immediately disclosed. Westinghouse says it will assume project operations and assets, including AP1000 plant project contracts in the U.S. and China; heavy cranes and equipment; and 11 facilities in the U.S. and Asia. Westinghouse says that Fluor (Flew-er) Corp. will manage a "significant portion" of the construction of Vogtle (Voe-gull) Electric Generating Plant’s Units 3 & 4 and two units at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station. (Flewer) management plans for construction to become effective at the close of the CB&I acquisition.

Some Hacking Is OK, Says U.S. Agency

The U.S. Librarian of Congress, who makes final rulings on exemptions to copyright rules, granted several exceptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The exemptions allow for "good-faith security research" to be performed on computer programs that run on lawfully acquired cars, tractors and other motorized land vehicles; medical devices designed to be implanted in patients and their personal monitoring systems, along with other consumer devices. The exemption had been opposed by companies and groups from the auto and medical device industries.

Biodegradable Electronics with Organic Components

Researchers from Missouri and Brazil say they are on the path to creating biodegradable electronics by using organic components in screen displays. The technique could help reduce electronic waste in landfills. The researchers developed organic structures that could be used to “light” handheld device screens. Using peptides, or proteins, the researchers showed that these structures, when combined with a blue light-emitting polymer, could successfully be used in displays.

Are Aircraft Design Changes Needed to Protect Against Drones?

Virginia Tech researchers are urging changes in how commercial aircraft engines are designed in the wake of the possibility of drones being sucked into turbofan engines at high speeds. Such an impact could be devastating to the engine after ingesting the hard-shell center of a drone’s electronics housing. Computer-simulated tests completed by researchers at Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering suggest that an 8-pound quadcopter drone can rip apart the fan blades of a 9-foot-diameter turbofan engine during take-off in less than 1/200th of a second. Broken blades also would create more fragments contributing to potential engine failure.

A facility opened in the Netherlands that is designed to help the country adapt to rising sea levels and extreme weather events by enabling researchers to test full-size structures against battering waves.

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