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

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

From controversial new textbooks to a Maverick family reunion, here are stories from Jeremy Hobson's week in Houston and San Antonio.

Robin and Jeremy

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

June 26 4 Comments

What Happens When Mavericks Gather For Family Reunion

Their family name inspired the English word we know today. We drop in on their unusual family reunion in San Antonio.

June 25 79 Comments

Controversial New Textbooks Go Into Use This Fall In Texas

The books contain information challenged by academics, that critics say is making education far too political.

June 24 9 Comments

Houston’s Mayor On Race, Roads And Gay Rights

Jeremy Hobson sits down with Annise Parker, the city's second female mayor and first openly gay mayor.

June 24 Comment

10 Years Later: Hurricane Katrina Evacuees In Houston

Syeda Hasan of Houston Public Media spoke with two New Orleans evacuees about what it took to call Houston home.