Jun 21, 2012

Top 10: Green Defense Technologies

4 min
  10. Hybrid Vehicles The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) h...


10. Hybrid Vehicles

The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) has developed two concept hybrid Clandestine Extended Range Vehicles, or CERVs. With a silent run capability of eight miles, each CERV can ascend to a 60 percent grade and has a torque rating of 5,000 pounds. They also boast a 25 percent fuel savings compared to conventional vehicles.

9. Hybrid Humvees

The military is also currently developing a pair of solar-powered hybrid Humvees called the FED Alpha and FED Bravo. “Each vehicle will be important to the FED team’s mission — to improve mpg by about 70 percent compared to a current M1114 HMMWV and reduce the Army’s thirst for fuel on the battlefield,” Carl Johnson, FED team leader at TARDEC, tells MGS Tech.

Read more in May's issue of Energy Digital: The Military Edition

8. Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System (REPPS)

The Army's use of battery charging kits that run on renewable energy like the REPPS combine solar panels, connectors and adaptors for increased charging options in the field. The 10-pound device is portable and uses a flexible 62-watt, anti-glint solar panel, and can charge the most common military battery types in five to six hours.


7. Solar-Powered Tents

Harnessing energy from the sun makes a lot of sense when access to energy is scarce in remote deserts in Afghanistan. Solar-powered tents can provide power for communications devices as well as laptops and other electronic equipment. The US Army has developed variations of the tents referred to as the Power Shade, the TEMPER Fly and the QUADrant.


6. Mini Dragon Runner, IED Detector

Qinetiq North America launched a smaller, lighter version of its Dragon Runner military robot that can be thrown into hostile environments to protect first responders. Controlled with a wearable interface with sensors that allow it to operate day and night, the DR10 can carry out IED disposal missions and conduct surveillance.


5. Solar Powered Water Purification Systems

In Iraq, solar power water purification systems are doing more than just helping American soldiers, but also providing clean drinking water for local civilians. The US Military Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) has deployed several of the WorldWater systems to sustain clean water in many areas, reducing the risk of diseases. The 2KW of solar arrays can also provide extra energy to power appliances and telecommunication devices.

4. Robojelly

Scientists from the University of Texas at Dallas and Virginia Tech have developed robotic jellyfish, one foot-long submarines powered by hydrogen from seawater, for the US Navy to use on spy missions. Using hydrogen and oxygen vs electricity or batteries, the submarine drone can constantly refueling itself while performing surveillance.


3. Microgrids

Transporting fuel to typical diesel-powered generators comes at a significant financial and military cost as many fuel convoys are targeted for attack. As part of its mission to reduce energy-related vulnerability in Afghanistan, the Army has installed microgrids at many bases to pave the way for the use of renewable energy, reducing the need for fuel resupply.

2. Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System (SWIPES)

Arotech's SWIPES integrates force protection electronics and communications equipment with an advanced battery source. The Zinc-Air batteries allow for extended mission times without the burden of power source swaps or power source charging due to their high energy density, which also reduces battery weight soldiers carry by up to 30 percent.


1. Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy System (GREENS)

Attacks on fuel resupply convoys accounted for over one third of US Army casualties in Afghanistan in 2007, according to the Council on Renewable Energy. Employing renewable and energy efficient technologies that significantly cut diesel use is imperative in reducing the number of convoy trips—and the potential for ambushes or roadside bombs.

GREENS is a portable hybrid photovoltaic/battery power system developed for the Marine Corps. Its stackable 1600-watt solar arrays and rechargeable batteries provide 300 watts of continuous electricity for Marines in remote locations. The units can be rapidly deployed and transported by Humvee. Training to operate the system takes only about an hour, and they pay for themselves within a matter of weeks from the money saved in cutting fuel convoys.

"The cost benefit can be measured in dollars and cents, but really how we measure is the ability to take fuel tanks off the road,” Project manager Michael Gallagher told In Depth. “That allows us to protect the Marines and not have them exposed to as many of the explosive devices over there."




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Mar 20, 2020

Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19

Georgia Wilson
3 min
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s To...

Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management. 

As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient. 

In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared. 

“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner. 

Establish a preparedness framework

Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.

Monitor the situation

It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.

Revise finance

Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out. 

Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.

Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols

It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.

Review HR 

Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.

In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences. 


Establish a communication programme

People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.

Review the impact on the operation

Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.

Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?

Review IT 

IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.

In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications. 

Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response

Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.

Review after-action

Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.

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