Most of us who anticipate and advocate the development of advanced nanotechnology also like to track the development of current uses for incremental nanoscience and nanotechnology in the expectation that demonstration of superior products from incremental nanotechnology will create knowledge, tools, profits, and demand for developing advanced nanotechnology. Zyvex corporation evinced a similar outlook with its reorganization in 2007 into Zyvex Labs to develop atomically precise manufacturing and several other companies devoted to exploiting near term opportunities. Here from Jaclyn Bacallao for Zyvex Technologies is an example of a very macroscale application of nanomaterials technology:
Zyvex Technologies announced that its 54-foot‚ boat named Piranha completed sea trials near Puget Sound in the Pacific Ocean and demonstrated record fuel efficiency. After six months of extensive testing, the Piranha this morning completed its final sea trial; a 600-nautical mile, rough-weather test in the Pacific Ocean in Washington and Oregon.
Piranha finished the tests in time to travel to its debut at the Sea Air Space show in Washington, DC, on April 11th. There, defense contractors are evaluating the Piranha for use as an unmanned platform with a variety of mission applications, including anti-piracy, harbor patrol, and oceanographic surveying
A conventional aluminum or fiberglass boat would have consumed 50 gallons or more per hour, while test results prove that Piranha consumed only 12 gallons of fuel per hour while cruising at 25 knots. The Piranha demonstrates Zyvex Technologies‚ ability to produce products with nano-enhanced materials that are 40% stronger than metals, such as aluminum, and 75% lighter, resulting in increased fuel efficiency.
Zyvex produced Piranha in just 90 days. The makers believe it can help coastal city leaders in ports like Seattle, San Diego, Miami, Norfolk, and New York better protect their harbors. In 2009, the New York City Police Commissioner testified before Congress that even with the Coast Guard’s assistance, the department could not fully protect the harbor, especially considering the vast amounts of uninspected cargo that enters the Ports of New York and New Jersey, pointing out that Mumbai was just another reminder. Two years later, there is still an urgent need for better port and maritime security.
The recent Oman piracy tragedy for four Americans from Seattle underscores the need for additional civilian and commercial security. In addition to the U.S. Navy, unmanned surface vessels such as Piranha can be deployed by Customs and Border Patrol, Port authorities and harbor police in high risk areas. Pirates can be tracked over long ranges with a clear picture of location so commercial vessels can avoid them. Piranha is an alternative to costly aircraft carriers. With its range and endurance, military personnel could remain on station for weeks and still protect designated areas. Piranha can be leased as an escort for commercial or private sailors through dangerous areas.
For Zyvex Technologies