Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Washington company wins $83 million contract for unmanned U.S. spy plane support services

by May 27th, 2011

SUMMARY: Insitu, Inc. of Bingen, Wash. yesterday won an $83.7 million contract to provide operations and maintenance support for the U.S. military’s ScanEagle unmanned aerial surveillance systems used by the Navy and Marines to support troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and against Somali pirates. Earlier, Insitu and its parent company Boeing also developed ScanEagle. Civilian applications of the system may ensue in coming years, if a safety rules framework is adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration. Early tests and research have shown ScanEagle can be used to count whale populations, monitor river flooding and aid in back country rescue.

Printing reforms could save Washington state up to $13.6 million per year

by April 25th, 2011

SUMMARY: According to a newly-released state performance audit, Washington could save between $5 million and $13.6 million per year by eliminating duplication in printing operations, controlling costs of printing equipment and supplies, using electronic technologies – more often than now – in place of paper printing, and by clearing obstacles that constrain competitive bidding including private firms.

U.S. Report: Seattle Can Model Next Steps Against Trafficking

by April 15th, 2011

SUMMARY: A recently released report by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. posits that Seattle and Western Washington partners in the battle against human trafficking would be well-suited to demonstrate new methods of information-sharing and innovative networked surveillance tools to combat the problem, which includes forced prostitution of domestic minors, and forced labor and domestic servitude of foreign nationals in the U.S., often at the behest of organized crime networks. To combat human trafficking, the report details recommendations for a multi-city high-tech West Coast vehicle surveillance network in known street prostitution corridors; a new, secure Web-based human trafficking data portal for law enforcement agencies; better standardization and sharing of information among myriad agencies involved; and better utilization of data from visa applications to identify potential victims of forced labor. It also proposes how to capture for law enforcement the valuable lessons learned by the U.S. intelligence community on the operations and tactics of far-reaching global networks involved in human trafficking, narcotics, weapons and terrorism; and accents the need for more shelter facilities in Seattle and Western Washington specifically for adult women victims of human trafficking.

U.S. Model Estimates Green Car Costs Per Mile

by April 12th, 2011

SUMMARY: Assuming that new technical and business strategies can be successfully adopted to accelerate transition to electric and hybrid electric vehicles, the potential long-term savings to consumers could be substantial. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy has developed a model for assessing the relative operating costs of a conventional vehicle, a hybrid-electric, a plug-in hybrid electric and an all-electric vehicle. The model yields an estimate of “levelized cost per mile” for a mid-size vehicle in each category, factoring in vehicle and component cost, battery and fuel prices, location, driving behaviors, charging costs, and infrastructure requirements. Predicted miles per gallon or equivalents are 26 to 32 for a conventional vehicle; 35 to 44 for a hybrid electric vehicle; 95 to 135 for an all-electric vehicle; and for the plug-in hybrid electric, 54 to 74 on gas and 263 to 327 when operating on electricity alone.