Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Students enter competition to produce a zero-emissions snowmobile

01.03.2007
NSF supports four teams in Clean Snowmobile Challenge

Snowmobiles long ago replaced dogsleds for hauling people and cargo in the polar regions, particularly in remote research stations and field camps such as those on the Greenland Ice Sheet and in Antarctica.

But for all their utility, snowmobiles are not very environmentally friendly.

So, on March 19, 2007, four National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported teams will compete in the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge in Houghton, Mich., to produce a zero-emissions snow vehicle. The challenge attracts teams of undergraduate engineering students from across North America with the goal of designing a snowmobile with lower environmental impact, less noise, fewer emissions and a lighter footprint--all without sacrificing the performance snowmobile enthusiasts love.

The NSF-funded projects are coordinated by VECO Polar Resources, NSF's logistics contractor for Arctic research. The agency awarded the group $10,000 to support the four teams.

The competition grew from the demand for cleaner snowmobiles in national and state parks and forests. One alternative to restricting or banning snowmobiles on public lands is to find appropriate technological solutions to noise and pollution problems.

Now in its fifth year, the challenge is a competition for college and university student members of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to encourage young engineers to design quieter machines that produce low emissions, but still "smoke" in the performance department. The students are given the opportunity to apply their engineering skills to a difficult problem, working in teams to develop real-world solutions.

Making the machines more environmentally friendly is both practical and in keeping with the foundation's basic mission.

"NSF's mandate as a federal agency is to support integration of science and engineering and education," noted Renee Crain, who coordinates Arctic logistics for NSF's Office of Polar Programs. "We also take very seriously our stewardship of the environment where our grantees conduct research. Investing in this competition helps NSF achieve our goals in engineering, education and environmental stewardship."

NSF operates several research stations in remote, pristine environments, including three stations and numerous field camps in Antarctica and a research station on the summit of Greenland's ice cap. Cleaner snowmobiles may benefit science in these places, where locally produced snowmobile emissions can interfere with data from instruments sampling global atmospheric constituents, global transport of soot, and other highly sensitive measurements.

As a result, NSF has been working on several fronts to make operations more efficient and clean at these research outposts. At Summit Station in Greenland, for example, long-range plans include an incremental increase in renewable and alternative energy systems, including an oxygenated fuels program to reduce emissions, wind-power generation systems now in development, and an electric vehicle program. Results from the Clean Snowmobile Challenge may be incorporated into the plan.

Summit Station is the site of numerous national and international research projects and the NSF-sponsored Greenland Environmental Observatory, or GEOSummit, which monitors environmental conditions year round. Contest winners will travel this summer to Summit Station, courtesy of the NSF, to provide a real-world test of the technology. Renewable energy manager Tracy Dahl from VECO will participate in judging the contest and escort the winning teams to Greenland.

At Summit Station they will spend several days in one of the planet's most demanding environments, testing their snowmobiles in field conditions. They also will meet with world-class scientists to discuss research on such topics as global climate change.

"It will be exciting to take these young engineers to a place as unsual as the Greenland ice cap. It is a great opportunity for them to participate first-hand in supporting globally important research, and the experience can spark a passion for knowledge that will last a lifetime," said Dahl.

Peter West | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nsf.gov
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>