According to a Lockheed Martin announcement October 15, 2014, the National Academy of Engineering may soon be able to “tick off” one of the 14 “Grand Challenges for Engineering” for the century ahead. If true, this would be a game changer that would provide humanity with a clean unlimited supply of energy and in one fell swoop eliminate pollution and possibly, end the threat of adverse climate change.
Lockheed Martin said it has made a significant breakthrough in nuclear fusion, the same process that powers the Sun, that will enable it to build a fusion reactor producing 100 MW of energy and powering 100,000 homes, and fit on the back of a truck; the new fusion reactor would be just 1/10 the size of current designs. The company says it will have its first prototype up and running over the next five years and a full working version by 2024.
Lockheed Martin developed the technology at its famous Skunk Works operation, which helped develop the U-2 spy plane, the F-117 stealth fighter jet and other cutting-edge technologies.
A quick look at the list below shows that if #2 can be checked off, nearly all of the other major challenges will be significantly easier to accomplish as a result.
- Make solar energy economical
- Provide energy from fusion
- Develop carbon sequestration methods
- Manage the nitrogen cycle
- Provide access to clean water
- Restore and improve urban infrastructure
- Advance health informatics
- Engineer better medicines
- Reverse-engineer the brain
- Prevent nuclear terror
- Secure cyberspace
- Enhance virtual reality
- Advance personalized learning
- Engineer the tools of scientific discovery
Related aricles on IndustryTap:
- ITER Nuclear Fusion Tokamak Could Be “The Way” to Solve World’s Energy Problems
- Fusion Reactions Captured On Camera, 1 Billion Frames Per Second!
- Can Fusion Energy Generate Unlimited Clean Energy by 2017?
References and related content:
- Fusion reactors still 10 years out as Lockheed Martin announces breakthrough – Business – CBC News
- Fusion Power Could Happen Sooner Than You Think | Popular Science
- Lockheed Martin claims five years away from a Compact Fusion Reactor – HPS Help