The pilots and support crew for the Solar Impulse are back in Hawaii preparing for the continuation of their around-the-world flight, a flight made purely on solar energy. Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard looked refreshed and ready for second half of their trans-Pacific flight. Last year in July, they flew a marathon 118 hours non-stop from Nagoya, Japan to Honolulu. On that trip the batteries were pushed to their operational limits and overheated. As a result the Solar Impulse team had to reassess how they would proceed: re-engineer the battery insulation and risk the delay and changing weather or postpone the mission until 2016. The decision was obvious. Andre Borschberg told me that the batteries themselves were okay, it was the insulation that prevented them from cooling. As a result the team re-engineered the insulation housing in January. The green tubing in the photo is part of the cooling system necessary while on the ground. After landing, if the batteries aren't cooled the batteries run the risk of damage. The weather pattern will determine the next leg of the flight. During their time in Asia, the team learned that having multiple airport options can make or break a flight plan. Recall, Solar Impulse was supposed to fly from Nanjing, China to Honolulu but instead detoured to Nagoya, Japan. As of this writing, there are four possible West Coast options, Vancouver, British Columbia, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Phoenix, Arizona. There will be two stops in the U.S., one in the central U.S. and one in New York. The plane then continues to Europe and ending its around-the-world flight in Abu Dhabi. There will be two public viewings here in Honolulu. One on March 26 and April 2, 2016. Viewing times are from 10am to 4pm. Consult the Solar Impulse website for details. You can find more photos from today's viewing here. The Si2 is parked in the University of Hawaii hanger at Kalaeloa Airport. The planned departure is on April 15, 2016. In the meantime the crew continues with preparations, taking the plane out for test flights. Earlier this week test pilots (not Andre or Bertrand) flew the plane for 16 hours. We're all excited about this next leg of their journey. Hawaii benefits twice for having the Solar Impulse land here and then eight months later begin its journey from here. Solar Impulse and its theme of #FutureisClean brings attention to Hawaii's clean energy goals which are the most aggressive in the country. Very serendipitous!
There's a new co-working space opening up on Maui at the Maui Research & Technology Center (MRTC). If you are on Maui or planning a trip there on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, you can catch the open house at 590 Lipoa Parkway from 4pm - 7pm. Robbie Melton, Executive Director and CEO of the High Tech Development Corp (HTDC) will kick off the evening with a talk on New Money for Your Business. She is making an island hopping informational tour to promote a new HTDC program called the Neighbor Island Innovation Initiative (NI3), that will offer business, technical help and mentorship not readily available to technology-related small businesses on the neighbor islands. The goal is to help accelerate efforts in product development, sales or investment in those companies. She also plans to announce three new grant programs including:
- Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research (HSBIR) grants to develop new technologies and innovations. The state’s grant fund is expanding Phase II and Phase III awards to match up to 50 percent up to $500,000.
- Manufacturing Assistance Program (MAP) grants that offer a 20 percent reimbursement, up to $100,000, on purchasing manufacturing equipment, training and energy-efficiency projects.
- Hawaii Office of Naval Research (HONR) grants that offer up to 50 percent matching funds for alternative energy research and development projects.
Each week I pore through Google alerts to find Hawaii's science and tech news. These are the finds for February 15th:
- Northrop Grumman Foundation Congratulates CyberPatriot IV Finalists - MarketWatch - Northrop Grumman Foundation, the presenting sponsor for CyberPatriot IV, congratulates the 24 teams from across the country that have successfully battled three rounds of virtual competition to advance to the national finals showdown, to be held in Washington, D.C., on March 23.
- Mānoa: Student-built satellite selected for NASA launch | University of Hawaii News - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced today that a nanosatellite designed by a team of University of Hawai`i at Mānoa electrical and mechanical engineering students is one of 33 selected to fly as auxiliary cargo on NASA missions planned during 2013 and 2014.
- SHARK TREK TO HAWAII IS BOON TO RESEARCH | UTSanDiego.com - An electronic ID tag from a rare shark spotted off the county’s coast in June has popped to the surface near Hawaii, providing local marine researchers with an unprecedented look into the long-distance movements of the second-largest known fish.
- International Group Tests RFID for Food Safety to Hawaii - RFID Journal - The project is using radio frequency identification and GPS technologies to track the temperature and location of produce as it is shipped from Taiwan and California to Armstrong Produce, a food company in Honolulu.
- Molokai Science Projects Wow Judges | Molokai Dispatch - Molokai students have proved themselves to be some of state’s brightest minds. Seventeen Molokai High School students and 15 Molokai Middle students represented the island at this year’s Maui Schools' Science and Engineering Fair on Maui.
- Hula Girls Revive Quake-Hit Fukushima Town at Hawaii Theme Park - Businessweek - A Hawaiian theme park that propped up the economy of a rural Japanese town in Fukushima prefecture for 45 years was forced to close after the March 11 earthquake. Almost a year later, the hula girls have returned.
- Abercrombie, Korea in smart grid development deal | Hawaii 24/7 - Government officials and private sector leaders on Friday joined Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Choi Kyu-Chong, Director of the Electricity Market and Smart Grid Division at the Republic of Korea Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), at the Hawaii State Capitol as the two leaders signed a letter of intent to pursue mutual interests in smart grid development in the Hawaiian Islands.
- High-tech models help guide restoration efforts to save threatened plants - A team of scientists from the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) and two universities will begin research using sophisticated topographic models to identify areas within dry forests that have the most potential for ecological restoration.
- NASA Study Solves Case of Earth’s ‘Missing Energy’ - Two years ago, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, released a study claiming that inconsistencies between satellite observations of Earth’s heat and measurements of ocean heating amounted to evidence of “missing energy” in the planet’s system.
Each week I pore through Google alerts to find Hawaii's science and tech news. These are my finds for January 23rd through January 25th:
- Hawaiian Islands will be first to feel stresses of ocean acidity - A newly released study says man-made activities such as the burning of fossil fuels is raising ocean acidity at an 'unprecedented' rate, threatening corals and marine life.
- APEC student conference to be hosted in Hawaii | KHON2 Hawaii's News Leader - Hawaii will again host representatives from the 21 APEC countries in February.
- Lowell astronomer, project team among last recipients of Keck Interferometer time | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference - A Lowell Observatory-led research team recently received one full night of observing time with the Keck Interferometer, a near-infrared instrument that combines the largest pair of telescopes in the world. Principal investigator Dr. Gerard van Belle of Lowell Observatory says this is the last call for proposals on the instrument, as it will soon be retired.
Each week I pore through Google alerts to find Hawaii's science and tech news. These are my finds for January 18th through January 23rd:
- Astronomers find a dark matter galaxy far, far away - A faint “satellite galaxy” 10 billion light years from Earth is the lowest-mass object ever detected at such a distance, says University of California, Davis, physics professor Chris Fassnacht, who aided in the satellite’s discovery.
- Patient Receives Hawaii's First Telescope Implant for Macular Degeneration by Retina Institute of Hawaii - MarketWatch - A team of surgeons from Hawaii, Dr. Michael Bennett of Retina Institute of Hawaii and Dr. Michael McMann of McMann Institute, has successfully implanted the FDA-approved eye telescope, a first in Hawaii, at one of the leading medical centers in Honolulu.
- 100 Years Of Observing Volcanic Activity At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park | National Parks Traveler - For a century now researchers have been studying volcanic activity from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, a facility that has provided many insights into volcanoes and earthquakes in the Pacific.
- Astronomers release unprecedented data set on celestial objects that brighten and dim - Astronomers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Arizona have released the largest data set ever collected that documents the brightening and dimming of stars and other celestial objects—two hundred million in total.
- NASA Airborne Radar 'Sees' Inside Hawaii Volcano | Hawaii Volcano News, Images & Updates, Kilauea Eruption News, Images & Updates | Most Active Volcanoes, Volcano Monitoring | Space.com - This mission has returned to Hawaii for the third time to see how the volcano's surface is changing, which holds clues about what's happening inside the world's most active volcano.
- China, India to jump forward with Hawaii telescope - China and India will pay a share of the construction cost - expected to top $1 billion - for the Thirty Meter Telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea volcano. They will also have a share of the observation time.
Each week I pore through Google alerts to find Hawaii's science and tech news. These are my finds for January 9th through January 12th:
- Coast Guard Helps Univ. of Hawaii Research Vessel - A boat carrying a group of scientists on a University of Hawaii Marine Center research trip was headed back to shore Friday after it began taking on water 60 miles north of Oahu.
- The Tallest Mountains in the Solar System | Surprising Science - Earth just squeaks into this top ten list with this active volcano on the island of Hawaii (remember, mountains are measured from their base to their peak, and Mauna Loa’s base is far beneath the ocean surface).
- Student Teams Take Up NASA Rocket Launch Challenge | NASA & Student Launch Projects Initiative | Rockets & STEM Education | Space.com - More than 500 students from middle schools, high schools and universities across the country will show off their rocketeering skills during a NASA contest in April.
- Hawaii launches web directory of green employers - 05 Jan 2012 - News from BusinessGreen - Industries that want a clearer picture of green employment in Hawaii can tap into a new online resource that lists companies with green jobs on their payroll.
- Dark matter's 'cosmic web' revealed - The Daily Record - The international project involved studying images collected over a period of five years by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHC) on Mauna Kea mountain in Hawaii.
- Final Health IT Innovators Win Funding For Cancer Treatment Apps | Vadvert - UK Paid Press Release Distribution Service - Innovative winners of an HHS public data and cancer challenge have created health IT applications that use public data and existing technology to help patients and health care professionals prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer.
Each week I pore through Google alerts to find Hawaii's science and tech news. These are my finds for December 26th through December 28th:
- Solar Companies Get Another Boost from the PUC - State regulators have rejected a proposal by Hawaiian Electric Co. to require solar companies to install expensive remote monitoring systems for small solar photovoltaic systems.
- Navy gets OK to buy two Hawaiian superferries - Congress has given the Navy the green light to spend up to $35 million to acquire two Hawaiian superferries from the U.S. Maritime Administration.
- Honolulu Civil Beat - Civil Beat Business - OluKai To Present TEDxMaui Conference - Olukai has announced it will present its first version of the independently produced TED conference. The spin off, dubbed TEDxMaui, will be a one-day event featuring 18 speakers from the islands of Hawaii and beyond.
- Pilot program to advance Race to the Top initiatives | Hawaii 24/7 - The state Department of Education has announced the creation of a new three-year pilot program to begin in the 2012-13 school year.
Each week I pore through Google alerts to find Hawaii's science and tech news. These are my finds for December 18th through December 24th:
- Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning does pipeline survey - Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning announced Monday it has completed a pipeline survey that moves its $250 million project forward.
- Earth Has Two Moons, But It's Not What You Think - Technology - The Atlantic Wire - In a day packed with astronomy news, researchers at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu came out today and declared that earth probably has two moons at any one time.
- Hawaii utility to make gas from vegetable oil - Hawaii's gas utility has a new plant that will transform vegetable oil, coconut oil, and other fats and oils into gas.
- Closest Type Ia supernova in decades solves a cosmic mystery | e! Science News - On August 24 of this year, searching data as it poured into DOE's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) from an automated telescope on Palomar Mountain in California, Nugent spotted a remarkable object. It was shortly confirmed as a Type Ia supernova in the Pinwheel Galaxy, some 21 million light-years distant.
- Cosmic Log - Moon telescope tested on Earth - After a wild night on top of Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano, researchers report that they've successfully tested the remote-control system for a prototype telescope that could someday be looking at the cosmos from the surface of the moon.
- Governor Tours Proposed Maui Food Innovation Center | Maui Now - Governor Neil Abercrombie visited the University of Hawai’i Maui College and toured the site of a proposed food innovation center that would be housed in the college’s former cafeteria.
Each week I pore through Google alerts to find Hawaii's science and tech news. These are my finds for June 8th:
- Plovers tracked across the Pacific - Scientists have monitored Pacific Golden Plovers for the first time as they migrate thousands of kilometres nonstop from Hawaii to Alaska in spring and back again in autumn.
- New explanation for Hawaiian hot spot - Scientists in the US have suggested that volcanic activity in Hawaii could be fed by a giant hot rock pool 1,000 kilometers west of the islands and in the Earth’s mantle, rather than being fed by a hot plume of magma as previously thought.
- Alien life may huddle under hydrogen blankets - space - 12 ... - Earth could still support life even if it were as far from the sun as Saturn, claim two scientists in the US, as long as the air abounded with hydrogen.
- Ancient Hawaiian agriculture studied - UPI.com - Archaeologists say a pattern of earthen berms on the big island of Hawaii shows how ancient Hawaiians farmed long before Europeans arrived in the islands.
- Going Virtual to Get Healthy: Kaiser Permanente Hawaii uses new media to help people thrive | Hawaii Reporter - Kaiser Permanente Hawaii announced today the launch of a new online physical activity program: Thrive Across Hawaii.
- 'Million-Dollar Reef Sharks' an Economic Driver for Palau -- WASHINGTON, May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- - A single reef shark can contribute almost US$2 million in its lifetime to the economy of Palau.
- Release No. 0176.11 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced a $25 million grant to the University of Hawaii to develop obesity prevention strategies among native populations in the Pacific Region, continuing USDA's commitment to meet the rising challenge of obesity in the United States, especially in American youth.
- TeamPraxis Selects Microsoft Amalga to Create Hawaii’s First Online Physician Network for Healthcare Information Sharing | TTKN News - TeamPraxis, Hawaii’s pioneering physician management services organization, has selected Microsoft Amalga to bolster TeamPraxis’ existing physician information network.
- Referentia Opens Hawaii’s First Cyber Collaboration Center | EON: Enhanced Online News - Referentia Systems, an award-winning advanced cybersecurity solutions leader headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, announced today the opening of its new Cyber Collaboration Center
- Hawaii’s First Electric Car Charging Network Installed | Hawaii Reporter - Better Place today announced the initial deployment of its electric car network infrastructure in Hawaii.
- Blue Mars names new CEO – Hypergrid Business - Avatar Reality, developers of the Blue Mars 3D virtual world and iOS app, today announced the appointment of company Co-Founder Henk Rogers as CEO.