Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Major SPIDERS Update, Advancing Energy Security & Barbarians at the Gate

This mega post just in from Mr. Harold Sanborn, Program Manager at Construction Engineering Research Lab (CERL), US Army and technical manager for the SPIDERS Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD).  It's chock full of good news and you'll want to read it top-to-bottom to get the full picture. ab

Starting from the vantage point (30 years of civil service) that "no good idea goes unpunished" allows me the freedom to work complex problems knowing that the threat of doom comes with the territory. Being twisted and enjoying pain keeps me in the zone.

SPIDERS Phase I has finished the "history tour" as we codify and publish the lessons learned. First lesson, see sentence one... Acquisition of both Military Construction and Research and Development on the same contract at a firm fixed price (not a cost plus AFRL contract) isn't done every day. The Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) guidance for a minimum of Technology Readiness Level 6 as a pre-condition, to accelerate the deployment of technologies, while needing to leave behind a functioning, sustainable and useful real property improvement in energy security, stretches one's mind. Arguably we accomplished what we set out to do.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Alternative Energy and the DOD Battlefield of the Future

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs, Sharon Burke shared a few mid 2013 insights in an interview published last week.  Here's an excerpt that signals more of the same ... and a subtle shift:

Status Quo
Though alternative energy use is increasing, the military will continue to depend heavily on petroleum.  "We do expect that we will continue to be a very petroleum-dependent force. Petroleum has an energy density and a universal availability that's very, very important for a military force," Burke said. "We have equipment in our arsenals that's designed to use liquid fuels that are going to be around for many decades." 

New Deal
But because energy diversity guidelines were added into the requirements and acquisition processes, Burke said she anticipates an increase in the implementation of tactical solar panels, fuel cells, flywheels, more efficient batteries and other energy-saving measures and practices in the future.
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