PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, June 6, 2011

US Military Pioneers New Solar Power Technologies

Here & Now Guests:

  • Keith Johnson, Wall Street Journal national security correspondent
  • Dennis Slafer, president and chief technology officer for MicroContinuum, Inc.

Scientists have been searching for years to find the holy grail of solar power– an efficient and inexpensive way to harvest energy from the sun.

As has often been the case with new technology, the U.S. military is at the forefront of exploration into new and more effective ways to use solar power.

Some U.S. Marines are pioneering new solar technology by taking portable, roll-up “mats” to remote combat outposts where there are no other power sources.

“They could  actually re-power their gear on the move,” Wall Street Journal national security correspondent Keith Johnson told Here & Now’s Robin Young, speaking about how Marines are using solar power in Afghanistan. “They were able to become a lot more mobile… more lightweight, lethal, effective.  It was a real tactical bonus, and that really surprised the Marine Corps.”

A Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company called MicroContinuum, Inc., is developing the same kind of technology for civilian use in the next few years, using plastic as thin as newspaper bags.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson are hitting the road. Our Tumblr brings you behind the scenes of our election coverage.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

February 10 Comment

A Look At Prisons Around The World, With A Spotlight On Our Own

Baz Dreisinger visited prisons in nine countries and wrote about her experiences in a new book, "Incarceration Nations."

February 10 4 Comments

Needle Exchange Tries To Keep Pace With Rising Drug Use

Facilities like this one on Skid Row could receive a boost now that Congress has lifted a ban on federal funding.

February 9 13 Comments

Aviation Factory Struggles To Attract Young Workers

Business is booming at the GE Aviation plant in New Hampshire, but it's having trouble drawing young workers.

February 9 13 Comments

Opiate Addiction In New Hampshire

Robin Young visits a clinic called Recover Together that charges patients $65 a week for group therapy and a Suboxone prescription.