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Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Engineers are responsible for building planes, trains, and automobiles, but what about those who are more aquatically inclined? Budding Captain Nemos may want to consider pursuing Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, a field of study dedicated to the design, construction, and maintenance of ships.

Since we haven’t mentioned this particular engineering discipline on our blog before, we’d like to take a moment to provide our readers with a brief overview of what it’s like to be a naval architect and a marine engineer.

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Attacking Enemies With the Blink of an Eye

Thanks to a revolutionary new helmet, fighter pilots will be able to shoot down planes simply by looking at their enemies.

The Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), designed by BAE Systems for the Eurofighter Typhoon, has the ability to look at multiple targets, lock-on to them, and then prioritize them by voice-command. The pilot can even do this when looking at targets over the shoulder, or when an aircraft is directly underneath the Typhoon.

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Commuter Rail to the Moon

In April, President Obama asked engineers to come up with a less expensive method for launching a spacecraft. So NASA has come up a system that it says would save millions of dollars in propellant and allow more frequent flights – all while improving astronaut safety.

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Tree Bombs: Old Idea Revived by Blogs

CLARIFICATION: Our original story, “Tree Bombs to Combat Deforestation,” was based on a report by the blog Treehugger, which cited an original article published in 1999. We can find no indication that the idea ever received funding for trials or implementation. A corrected story follows:

Look up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … a tree?

In 1999, an MIT researcher designed a plan to take a fleet of old, unused C-130 Hercules cargo planes – originally created to drop land mines – and recommission them to drop “tree bombs” that would aid growth in deforested areas.

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U.S. Military Going Green

The Army is currently developing tanks that run on hydrogen fuel cells

The U.S. military often struggles – unsuccessfully – to supply enough batteries for troops’ equipment.  GPS units and radios demand a lot of energy, so a sustainable source would be really beneficial.

That’s why the U.S. Army has created the Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System (REPPS), which collects solar energy for the troops in Afghanistan, where there are high levels of sunlight.

The REPPS features a 62-watt, anti-glint solar panel blanket tucked into a backpack.  Not only can the system recharge batteries in a matter of hours, it can also be hooked up to electronic devices, providing them with more power.

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