Sound Engineers – Borealnet http://borealnet.org/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 14:30:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://borealnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-3-150x150.png Sound Engineers – Borealnet http://borealnet.org/ 32 32 How the Howard alum and GRAMMY-winning mixer became one of hip-hop’s most trusted sound engineers – The Hilltop https://borealnet.org/how-the-howard-alum-and-grammy-winning-mixer-became-one-of-hip-hops-most-trusted-sound-engineers-the-hilltop/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 14:09:53 +0000 https://borealnet.org/how-the-howard-alum-and-grammy-winning-mixer-became-one-of-hip-hops-most-trusted-sound-engineers-the-hilltop/ Photo courtesy of Cherris May: Young Guru djing a night at Howard Homecoming 2022. With classics like Jay-Z’s ‘The Blueprint’, Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’ and Eminem’s ‘8 Mile’ being some of the few notable tracks the DJ has hit, there is no doubt that there is one. one of the most respected engineers in […]]]>
Photo courtesy of Cherris May: Young Guru djing a night at Howard Homecoming 2022.

With classics like Jay-Z’s ‘The Blueprint’, Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’ and Eminem’s ‘8 Mile’ being some of the few notable tracks the DJ has hit, there is no doubt that there is one. one of the most respected engineers in recent hip-hop history, but how did Young Guru go from being a walker to being one of hip-hop’s most trusted engineers? Hard work, sure, but a vision at a young age and a passion for music is what took him to the top of the industry.

Born as Gimel Keaton in Wilmington, Delaware, Young Guru grew up amid two different but respected musical cultures. With his mother’s side of the family from Newark, New Jersey and his father’s from Southeast, Washington DC, Guru was able to garner influence from both unique sounds. Listening to Funkadelic and jazz records played by his parents at a young age, Young Guru found a love for hip-hop and beat digging.

With an older cousin coming to Howard, Young Guru visited Howard’s comeback in 1991. Upon arriving and seeing the scene DC had to offer, he knew this was where he wanted to be. The following year, he entered his first year with a clear vision in mind: to hone his DJ skills, gain exposure and earn money doing it.

“On the first day, my uncle and my mother helped set up the room. I literally walked over to the radio station and told them I needed a show. I came here for this, to be a DJ,” Guru said. “I won a DJ contest that year and that’s how I was introduced to my music team.”

As a freshman, Guru resided at Charles Drew Hall, one of Howard University’s freshman male dorms. With his gear in his bedroom, Guru moved the two desks closer together to make enough room for his turntables to hone his craft. He and a graphic design friend of his, Cephus, were throwing parties in Drew’s basement with a brilliant idea in mind.

“My guy, Cephus, drew a flyer by hand and literally walked up to the entrance to the Quad and put that flyer on the door. Then at night all the girls from the Quad would come to see Drew and we would have parties in the basement,” he explained. “It was sick because basically one person could sign three people. So we would go all over the dorm, whether you know the girls or not, and tell them to sign some of their friends.

While making a name for himself as a solid DJ in the DC area, Guru also had something else going for him. Howard’s musical culture at the time was booming. With prominent figures strolling around campus, the up-and-coming DJ was able to meet some of the most influential talent in the industry. It was the perfect time for Guru to learn from some of the best in the business.

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“All the hip-hop luminaries were walking around. Imagine Tupac being on campus. There was just a lot going on,” he said. “The R&B group Shai is walking around. Eric Roberson is there. My man Big Ben, who later became the fashion man of MF DOOM, was around. The scene was amazing.

By the time he was a senior, Guru established himself as a top DJ and mixer in the hip-hop scene. In 1996, Guru toured with rapper DC Nonchalant as their tour DJ. He then went on the “Ready or Not” tour with the Fugees the same year. In 1999, he went freelance as a sound engineer and came into contact with hip-hop legend Memphis Bleek. Through Bleek, he met New York’s hottest rapper at the time, Jay-Z.

In 2001, Jay-Z released “The Blueprint” which would become one of the most respected projects of all time, and Guru was the engineer.

“I didn’t know it was going to be one of the best because it happened so fast. The majority happened in one weekend,” Guru said. exists. That following Monday morning, at least seven of those songs are completely done. It happened so fast. Once it came out, it felt like it was one of the best.

Fast forward 20 years and Guru has done it all. For multiple GRAMMY nominations, working on Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” and Kanye West’s “DONDA,” Guru is a hip-hop legend. Yet Guru has never been one to relent, but rather to inspire. He is currently Director of the Music Technology, Entrepreneurship and Production Program at Long Island University’s ROC Nation School and advises emerging artists on the importance of consistency and creation.

“Do it now. To get where you want to go, you have to build that fan base,” he said. “Consistency is key because someone who is less talented than you can outdo you. Put the work in. Work has a lot to do with your consistency.

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Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee

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New Setback in Town, State Effort to Save LI Sound from Dredging Damage https://borealnet.org/new-setback-in-town-state-effort-to-save-li-sound-from-dredging-damage/ Fri, 18 Nov 2022 01:04:00 +0000 https://borealnet.org/new-setback-in-town-state-effort-to-save-li-sound-from-dredging-damage/ NORTH FORK, NY – It was another setback in Southold’s battle to save the Long Island Sound from dredged material as, despite a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the city, which was battling efforts to designate a new waste disposal site on the Sound, the United States Court of Appeals for the […]]]>

NORTH FORK, NY – It was another setback in Southold’s battle to save the Long Island Sound from dredged material as, despite a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the city, which was battling efforts to designate a new waste disposal site on the Sound, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Court ruled that the new EPA site “passes the mark”.

New York State and the City of Southold challenged the EPA’s designation of the site under the Administrative Procedure Act, alleging a violation of the Coastal Areas Management Act.

The Second Circuit upheld Judge Edward Korman’s decision, per the Sept. 2 ruling.

Find out what’s happening in North Forkwith free real-time Patch updates.

“It’s a disappointing setback,” said Southold Town supervisor Scott Rusell. “We continue to contend that the EPA’s approval of the dumping of contaminated dredge material in Long Island Sound is reckless, likely to cause environmental degradation, and is a complete violation of the very charge of the EPA. EPA as an administrative body.”

He added: “If we can’t count on the EPA to help us protect important national water bodies and estuaries like the Long Island Sound, then who can we count on? The approval of the agency to authorize the dumping of toxic waste from private dredging projects in Long Island Sound undoes years of efforts to restore it by conservation organizations, community and educational organizations and all levels of government agencies .”

Find out what’s happening in North Forkwith free real-time Patch updates.

The decision to allow the dumping of dredged material in Long Island Sound is causing local officials and environmentalists to see red.

A federal appeals court’s September decision to allow the US Environmental Protection Agency – after a long battle by environmentalists and local governments to rein in the idea – has sparked anger.

New York State Congresswoman Jodi Giglio met with community leaders and officials to oppose the decision.

According to the CT Examiner, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong argued the decision was a necessity to support the state’s maritime economy.

Giglio fired back with concerns, shared by many years on Long Island, about the glaring environmental impacts.

“Long Island prides itself on keeping its shores clean and beaches pristine, a job that is extravagantly taxed thanks to this federal court ruling,” Giglio said. “Our state, federal and local governments have invested millions and millions in local ecological restoration and maintenance to ensure Long Island Sound remains a clean, healthy place for generations to come to enjoy.”

The federal court, she said, “condemned the Sound” — currently a stewardship and priority site for conservation because of its highly sensitive eelgrass beds, which are protected by New York’s Sea Grass Protection Act. York of 2012 – to pollution and degradation following the decision.

The proposed location, the Eastern Long Island Sound Disposal Site, Giglio said, “leads the race and has some of the strongest tidal currents on the East Coast.”

“The site is in an extremely shallow part of the Sound,” Giglio added. “The contaminants will be deposited directly on the shores of Fishers Island and will have a detrimental effect on what is arguably New York State’s last bastion of healthy and thriving seagrass beds. There are few places so ill-suited that this one.”

Giglio called on the EPA, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to re-evaluate dredge spoil disposal options and “make decisions acceptable to all stakeholders and consistent with their mission to protect the environment, the economy, and the people who live along the strait.

“Long Island Sound should absolutely not be a dumping ground for questionable waste dredged from Connecticut rivers,” Rep. Lee Zeldin said.

Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski agreed. “I would have thought that in our time there would have been more scientific decision on how to dispose of contaminated dredged material, and alternatives would have been thoroughly explored before choosing to dump it in Long Strait. Island. This is contrary to all efforts for this nationally significant estuary,” he said.

Environmentalists fought against the idea for years.

“The court’s decision to allow the dumping of dredged material from Connecticut’s urbanized rivers and harbors into the clean waters of eastern Long Island Sound is a costly and reckless step backwards in the multi-billion dollar public investment of dollars that has been committed to restoring the Sound for decades,” said Bob DeLuca, group president for the East End.

North Fork Environmental Council Chairman Mark Haubner added, “This amounts to a license to pollute our waterway and defeats the EPA’s mission to protect the environment.”

Russell has also voiced his concerns for years.

“The EPA’s decision to allow the dumping of contaminated dredge material from private companies at a dump site less than two miles from Fishers Island not only poses a threat to the residents of Southold Town, it will have profound negative effects on the environmental health of the Sound and those who depend on the Sound for their livelihoods – and will undo years of coordinated efforts to restore this nationally recognized estuary,” he said.

He added: “This decision will lead to nearly 54 million cubic meters of contaminated dredged material in Long Island Sound over the next 30 years. . . This is a nationally recognized estuary and the dumping of spoil is not only reckless, it is in fact in conflict with the very laws that the EPA has helped create over the years.The EPA’s mission is to protect us from acts like these, not to be part of them.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine also objected. “New York is not dumping its dredged material in Long Island Sound and neither is Connecticut. This dumping will affect the aquamarine life and health of Long Island Sound and all who live off the sound,” did he declare.

In 2016, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo filed a lawsuit to stop the spill in the eastern part of Long Island Sound.

In a letter signed by more than 30 federal, state, and local elected officials, the governor advised President Barack Obama and EPA officials that the state would take the necessary steps to prevent the EPA from issuing a rule allowing material dredged from Connecticut to be dumped in the eastern region of Long Island Sound.

Currently, two dredged material disposal sites exist in the Sound where sediment has been dumped since the 1980s, including Western Long Island Sound and Central Long Island Sound. The EPA has designated western and central Long Island Sound as disposal at sea sites for long-term use. The US Army Corps of Engineers uses the eastern sites for short-term disposal and the EPA has proposed making the sites permanent long-term sites, he explained.

The EPA said the central and western disposal sites do not have the capacity to accept additional dredged material.

A New York State review found that the East Long Island Sound Disposal sites are not needed because there is sufficient capacity at the Central and West Long Island Sound sites. to meet the needs of future disposal of dredged material, Cuomo said.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, has long supported spill prevention: “Environmental and civic groups have consistently and vigorously opposed the EPA’s dredge spill program,” she said. . “We view the Sound as our front yard, or our backyard, but never as a dumping ground. We expect the EPA to protect the sound, not pollute the sound.”


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Transit records: Amtrak, NYMTA, SEPTA, Sound Transit, Tri-Rail https://borealnet.org/transit-records-amtrak-nymta-septa-sound-transit-tri-rail/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 17:57:34 +0000 https://borealnet.org/transit-records-amtrak-nymta-septa-sound-transit-tri-rail/ Written by Marybeth Luczak, Editor-in-Chief Brookville’s latest VLR supporting Sound Transit’s T Line Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension has arrived in Tacoma, Washington. (Photograph courtesy of Sound Transit) Amtrak completes station upgrades in northeast Missouri. In addition, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is conducting a Station Operations Exercise at Grand Central Madison; The […]]]>

Written by

Marybeth Luczak, Editor-in-Chief

Brookville’s latest VLR supporting Sound Transit’s T Line Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension has arrived in Tacoma, Washington. (Photograph courtesy of Sound Transit)

Amtrak completes station upgrades in northeast Missouri. In addition, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is conducting a Station Operations Exercise at Grand Central Madison; The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) celebrates “a century of elevation”; the last of five LRVs arrived to support Sound Transit’s 2.4-mile extension of the Tacoma (Wash.) Link line; and South Florida’s Tri-Rail commuter railroad comes a little closer to serving Miami Central Station.

Amtrak held a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 13 for the completion of its $6 million station accessibility project in La Plata, Missouri, according to a KTVO report. The station, built in 1887, is served by Amtrak’s Southwest Chief long-distance service between Chicago and Los Angeles.

“We had an ADA project a few years ago that did the interior and deck upgrade,” Bob Cox, an Amtrak depot custodian, told the outlet. “And then we recently completed a repair project in good condition, which gave us new windows, bricks, roof, gutters, siding, practically a new building. It’s still the original structure in below, but it is still upgraded for continued Amtrak service here for many years.

“Before COVID, we served 11,000 people through this station,” Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told KTVO. “That’s 10 times the population of La Plata because people come from far and near to take Amtrak trains here in La Plata.” The purpose of the station project, he said, was “[m]make it more welcoming, fixing the building systems, but not modernizing it. We wanted to keep the same look that people had in 1945 when the station was last rebuilt, and we are very proud of the work.

Grand Central Madison in New York. (Photograph courtesy of New York MTA)

On November 13, MTA held a station operating exercise in Grand Central Madison, which is scheduled to open later this year. Some 200 volunteers navigated the concourse and took notes on travel routes through the terminal, signage and general wayfinding.

The event included finding exits; platforms; lifts; several indoor locations such as the ticket office; ticket vending machines; and the MTA Police Department office. It also included external locations, such as subway connections and taxi ranks, as well as connections to MTA Metro-North Railroad, Citi Bike, and other destinations.

“As visually impressive as Grand Central Madison is, functionality is always key,” said Catherine Rinaldi, interim president of MTA Long Island Rail Road and president of Metro-North Railroad. “These drills are an important part of preparing to welcome our customers to the new Grand Central Madison terminal, and we look forward to the day it opens its doors to all of New York.”

The 750,000-square-foot Grand Central Madison, whose name was announced May 31 by New York Governor Kathy Hochul and MTA officials, is part of LIRR’s $11.1 billion project that will bring services on the East Side of Manhattan.

Last month, LIRR crews entered the final stages of testing.

LIRR passengers will see weekday service increase systemwide by 41% when Grand Central Madison opens. The commuter railroad will add 269 trains per weekday to its current 677 for a total of 936 trains per weekday.

Construction of the East Side Access (ESA) project – originally conceived in the 1960s and developed in the 1990s – began in 2006 (see map below) and represents the largest expansion of the LIRR service since the opening of the original Pennsylvania station and its East River tunnels. September 8, 1910. The project includes Grand Central Madison, located below Grand Central Terminal, which currently serves MTA Metro-North Railroad and MTA New York City Transit. Among the benefits of the new service: more evenly spaced trains and fewer major service interruptions; more frequent service to Queens; more frequent service on Ronkonkoma and West Hempstead branches; a 28% increase in Brooklyn service; reduced travel times from Long Island to Manhattan; and fewer people at Penn Station, according to MTA.

“The new route will also allow LIRR to meet all of the anticipated customer demand to Manhattan when Amtrak begins a project in 2024 to rebuild its East River tunnels to Penn Station,” according to MTA. “The project will take one of four tunnels out of service, in order, over a three-year period, reducing LIRR’s capacity at Penn Station – capacity that LIRR will be able to sustain all the way to Manhattan with its new tunnels to Grand Central Madison. As ridership continues to recover from the pandemic, the new terminal allows LIRR to continue growing for years to come.

On November 11, officials from SEPTA and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania marked the 100th anniversary of the elevated Frankford section of the Market-Frankford line.

“For 100 years, the Frankford section of the Market-Frankford Line has connected northeast Philadelphia with downtown, and today [Nov. 11] we are so proud to mark this special milestone,” said SEPTA CEO and Managing Director Leslie S. Richards. “We are grateful to the more than 1,000 SEPTA employees who work tirelessly to operate and maintain what has become our most-used line.”

The line spans 13.5 miles with 28 stations, allowing riders to get from Upper Darby/West Philadelphia to Frankford in Southeast Philadelphia in just 45 minutes.

The original Market Elevated Railroad opened on March 4, 1907, with approximately six miles of track for service east to west from 69th Street to City Hall at 15th Street. The Frankford Extension extended the line from the Old City to Bridge Street in northeast Philadelphia.

“Construction of the long-awaited 6.5-mile line of the Frankford section began on September 13, 1915 and took seven years to cost $11.6 million, which equates to over $200 million today. ‘today’, according to SEPTA. “For the first time, residents of Northeast Philadelphia had access to downtown in an hour or less. The line boasted innovations such as concrete in the support beams to reduce vibration and noise from passing trains, as well as carriage doors that automatically retracted if they hit a passenger.

“The route of the ‘Frankford El’ changed slightly in the late 1970s, when the construction of I-95 through downtown caused the line to be moved to the freeway median and the construction of Spring Garden station to replace the old Fairmount station.Between 1987 and 2000, SEPTA completely rebuilt the line to improve structural integrity.

Brookville Liberty NXT LRV for Sound Transit. (Photograph courtesy of Sound Transit)

On November 10, Sound Transit reported that the last light rail vehicle supporting its T Line Hilltop Tacoma Link extension had arrived in Tacoma. It is part of a $26.5 million five-car contract that was awarded to Brookville Equipment Corporation in 2017.

In March 2022, Brookville began shipping Liberty® NXT LCVs to Sound Transit for operation on the agency’s 2.4-mile extension of the 1.6-mile Tacoma Link line, scheduled to open in the first quarter 2023.

Measuring 66 feet long and 8 feet wide, each VLR will offer space for more than 100 passengers, with approximately 68.570% low-floor standing space available, and can accommodate up to 26 people, with four accessible seats. for those with bicycles and wheelchairs. . The new fleet will also be ADA compliant with deployable deck plates.

Sound Transit’s $217 million Hilltop Tacoma Link expansion project (see map above) is expected to more than double the length of Tacoma Link, starting with a relocated theater station and adding six new stations connecting the stadium district, Wright Park and major medical centers. facilities before reaching the new terminus in the Hilltop district. It also includes an expansion of the transit agency’s operations and maintenance facility in Tacoma.

Over the next few weeks, crews will grind the rails and test cars on the new track, according to Sound Transit.

On November 14, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) announced that it had received a signed tripartite agreement, with Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway and Brightline, which allows SFRTA personnel to begin training and testing for the implementation of the Tri-Rail commuter train. rail service at Miami Central Station. “The agreement shows progress in ongoing negotiations for SFRTA to operate Tri-Rail trains across the approximately eight-mile span of the FEC Corridor that connects to the South Florida Rail Corridor, and opens the door to Tri-Rail trains to be tested at MiamiCentral Station,” SFRTA said.

SFRTA engineers and drivers will be trained to familiarize themselves with routes, test drive units and check rides, according to the agency. Once the qualifications are completed, they will be allowed to train additional SFRTA employees. Testing of automatic train control (ATC) and positive train control (PTC) technologies will also begin during this process, ensuring that Tri-Rail trains meet the requirements set on the FEC corridor, SFRTA said.

Plans to begin training and testing have been approved by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and all signatory parties, SFRTA reported.

“This final step has been made possible by building a great partnership which has been essential in moving things forward,” said SFRTA Executive Director David Dech, who took office earlier this year. “One of my main goals coming to South Florida was to make sure we had quality conversations with our partners at Brightline and FEC, knowing that’s the only way to overcome the hurdles. who held us back.”

The $70 million project to bring Tri-Rail trains to downtown Miami is expected to be completed in 2023, Dech told the SFRTA board on September 23, according to miami today. The announcement came four months after former executive director Steven Abrams “assured the public that Tri-Rail trains would be in downtown Miami by November.”

To learn more about the project, read “Will Tri-Rail Reach Downtown Miami in 2022?”


Key words: Amtrak, Breaking News, Brookville Equipment Corporation, MTA, MTA Long Island Rail Road, MTA Metro North Railroad, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, NYMTA, SEPTA, SFRTA, Sound Transit, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Tri- Rail

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Monarch Systems Ltd. Named North American Official https://borealnet.org/monarch-systems-ltd-named-north-american-official/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 10:12:00 +0000 https://borealnet.org/monarch-systems-ltd-named-north-american-official/ The iXOOST XiLO Scuderia wireless audio system Monarch Systems Ltd. is pleased to announce its appointment as an official North American distribution partner of iXOOST Artistic Audio, an Italian manufacturer of officially licensed Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG, Pirelli and Abarth automotive audio products, as well as unique products made in from salvaged Formula 1® or GT racing […]]]>

The iXOOST XiLO Scuderia wireless audio system

Monarch Systems Ltd. is pleased to announce its appointment as an official North American distribution partner of iXOOST Artistic Audio, an Italian manufacturer of officially licensed Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG, Pirelli and Abarth automotive audio products, as well as unique products made in from salvaged Formula 1® or GT racing parts, MotoGP racing helmets and, in some cases, artfully crafted aptX and Bluetooth wireless audio systems.

Based in Modena, the heart of Italy’s Motor Valley, iXOOST (pronounced ‘exhaust’) was established by Giovanni Panini to create audio products for automotive enthusiasts that were good looking enough to put on display. iXOOST Artistic Audio designs stand-alone music systems from parts sourced from racing or supercar legends such as Automobili Lamborghini, Abarth, Mercedes-AMG and Pirelli, transforming these original components into aptX Bluetooth audio products for home use, in the office, garage, or workshop. In some cases, the tribute Formula 1® racing helmets of James Hunt or Niki Lauda, ​​the authentic and autographed racing helmets of MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso, or salvaged exhaust system pipes are converted into exhaust systems. wireless speakers that can be displayed as stunning works of art or collectibles with the added benefit of simple wireless music connectivity.

Additionally, iXOOST is able to support individual orders to turn various salvaged automotive parts or assemblies into one-of-a-kind personalized audio art pieces capable of playing music from any mobile phone. , tablet or computer source.

“What draws us to iXOOST isn’t just the mix of audio and automobiles. The iXOOST team of talented designers and engineers have combined exquisite craftsmanship with some of our favorite brands. The mix evokes the romantic past of sports cars,” said Jon Baker of Monarch Systems Ltd. Rich Maez added, “Combining automotive and audio products has been done many times before, but in our opinion, it’s never been done to this level of creativity, beauty and execution. I can’t see how an automotive geek wouldn’t want a part of their own We are thrilled to have been named the North American importer.

Effective immediately, Monarch Systems Ltd. will assume the importation of iXOOST Artistic Audio products, the establishment of retail (distribution) networks in the United States, Canada and Mexico, the establishment of marketing channels and the development of appropriate relations with the media and reviews. . Various demo and evaluation units are available immediately and more units should be available within weeks. To discuss an audition or inquire about review opportunities, please contact Monarch Systems Ltd at 720-399-0072 or info@monarch-systems.com.

Logos, photo images and videos of iXOOST products can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l21799xktwavf1g/AAC60ohuf-yHlvFhuatow4YSa?dl=0

About iXOOST Artistic Audio:
iXOOST was founded in 2012 in Italy’s “Supercar Valley” near Modena and produces a full range of wireless audio systems as a tribute to the automotive and racing industry centered there. All iXOOST products are handcrafted, entirely in Italy, one at a time, and everything associated with any car manufacturer, such as Automobili Lamborghini, Pirelli or Mercedes-AMG, is properly licensed and co-designed. with the builder. The products are large in size. Parts are sourced direct from Formula 1™ or automotive supplier and real carbon fiber and stainless steel are used to create their sound systems. No corners are cut and each piece takes time to create, sometimes quite a long time.

Monarch Systems Ltd.
16 Inverness Place East
Building B
Englewood, Colorado 80112
UNITED STATES

Phone. : 720-399-0072
email: info@monarch-systems.com
the Web: https://www.monarch-systems.com

press and information contact: Rich Maez, rich@monarch-systems.com
photo, illustration and logo contact: Jaclyn Schnirring, jaclyn@monarch-systems.com

About Monarch Systems Ltd. :
Monarch Systems Ltd. was founded by two longtime high-performance audio industry veterans, Jon Baker and Rich Maez, and is a high-end sound component importer and retail environment consulting firm. Monarch’s core operating principles are that a High Performance Audio Distributor should provide exceptional customer service, proper product storage and availability, superior product knowledge, be a proactive and trustworthy business partner, and most importantly , be pleasant to work with.

This press release was published on openPR.

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The 2023 BMW i7 proves a luxury car doesn’t need internal combustion https://borealnet.org/the-2023-bmw-i7-proves-a-luxury-car-doesnt-need-internal-combustion/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 22:01:25 +0000 https://borealnet.org/the-2023-bmw-i7-proves-a-luxury-car-doesnt-need-internal-combustion/ Enlarge / BMW is now confident enough in its EV powertrains that it has created an all-electric 7 Series alongside gasoline versions. Jonathan Gitlin PALMS SPRINGS, Calif.—For decades, automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have competed in collective testing for the title of “world’s best car,” an honor awarded by various magazines. The battle has usually […]]]>
Enlarge / BMW is now confident enough in its EV powertrains that it has created an all-electric 7 Series alongside gasoline versions.

Jonathan Gitlin

PALMS SPRINGS, Calif.—For decades, automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have competed in collective testing for the title of “world’s best car,” an honor awarded by various magazines. The battle has usually been between the 7 Series and the S-Class, with occasional challenges from Lexus. Jaguar and Cadillac often lag behind.

Today, there’s a serious new contender for the crown as BMW’s next-generation 7-Series goes on sale.

I got hooked on cars as a technology in the early 90s, and how far have cars come since then, as powertrains pushed new limits and energy sources, and interiors became more comfortable and protective for their occupants.

The Bavarian OEM made the decision a few years ago to invest in a powertrain-independent vehicle architecture, so the new 7 Series will be available with an internal combustion engine, as a plug-in hybrid (which will arrive in the US in time), and in an all-battery electric version called the i7. BMW brought both gasoline and BEVs to Palm Springs for the first international drive, and you can read more about the 760i xDrive elsewhere on these pages today.

But the star of the show is the i7, which proves once again that if you want to make a luxury car even better, give it electric motors.

Electronic power truly makes a better luxury car.
Enlarge / Electronic power truly makes a better luxury car.

Jonathan Gitlin

The electric version has full feature parity with its gas-powered partner, including a new advanced driver assistance system that lets you navigate hands-free on pre-mapped split-lane highways and a huge curved cinema screen for the lucky rear passengers. BMW even managed to make the car fun to drive.

The i7’s electric powertrain technology is now relatively familiar. This is BMW’s 5th generation EV powertrain, and it debuted in the i4 sedan and iX SUV last year. It uses the same family of electrically excited synchronous motors for both axles, powered by a lithium-ion battery that uses prismatic cells. (BMW is switching to cylindrical cells for its sixth-generation electric vehicle platform, which we’ll see in the 2025 Neue Klasse.)

There’s only one i7 on sale right now, the i7 xDrive60 at $119,300. The vehicle uses a 255 hp (190 kW), 296 lb-ft (401 Nm) front engine and a 308 hp (230 kW), 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) rear engine with a total combined power of 536 hp (400Nm). kW) and 549 lb-ft (745 Nm). The battery has a useful capacity of 101.7 kWh out of a total capacity of 105.7 kWh.

This is the second BMW 7 Series launch held in Palm Springs that Ars has attended;  someone must love mid-century architecture as much as I do.
Enlarge / This is the second BMW 7 Series launch held in Palm Springs that Ars has attended; someone must love mid-century architecture as much as I do.

BMW

The i7 has an official EPA-estimated range of 318 miles (512 km) on the smaller 19-inch wheels and 308 miles (496 km) when fitted with 21-inch wheels, as it was the case for our test car. During a 2.5 hour ride with lots of elevation and very little city driving, I averaged 2.7 miles/kWh (23 kWh/100 km), slightly better than the 2.6 miles/kWh (23.9 kWh/100 km) EPA rating.

Load highs and lows

DC fast charging takes 34 minutes to bring the battery back to 80% state of charge (SoC), or 80 miles (129 km) every 10 minutes, and i7 owners will get three years of unlimited charging sessions at Electrify America. I attempted to charge my i7 test, but my quick charge attempt was partially successful. I arrived at the charger with 56% SoC remaining, but the session was terminated due to a crash or error after only a few minutes and 9.5kWh, bringing the battery to 67% SoC .

If I really needed to charge the battery up to 80%, I would have unplugged the car and plugged it back in to try and troubleshoot, but I didn’t need 80% and didn’t feel like to waste half an hour on the phone only to be told no one else knows why this is happening either.

When I got back I informed BMW engineers of the problem, and when they found out I was using an EVgo charger, they nodded knowingly and said yes, they had had problems with that bank all month. (BMW brought in waves of international media for several weeks to drive the i7; Ars and the other US and Canadian outlets were the last.) Beyond that, they didn’t know what the problem was, which only reinforces my argument about the reliability of the early summer fast charger.

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How Trainline’s CTO stays on track with professional development https://borealnet.org/how-trainlines-cto-stays-on-track-with-professional-development/ Thu, 03 Nov 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://borealnet.org/how-trainlines-cto-stays-on-track-with-professional-development/ Few would trade San Francisco sunshine and Silicon Valley innovation for a rail ticketing company serving disgruntled British commuters, but try telling Trainline CTO Milena Nikolic. A lifelong Googler, who as Director of Engineering saw her lead the Google Play developer ecosystem, Nikolic wanted something new that offered a greater sense of social purpose. “I […]]]>

Few would trade San Francisco sunshine and Silicon Valley innovation for a rail ticketing company serving disgruntled British commuters, but try telling Trainline CTO Milena Nikolic.

A lifelong Googler, who as Director of Engineering saw her lead the Google Play developer ecosystem, Nikolic wanted something new that offered a greater sense of social purpose.

I was at Google so long that I stopped counting,” she says. “It had been almost 13 years…and I was craving a bit of a change.”

In a growing technology market, Nikolic waited for the right opportunity. Nothing clicked until she spoke to Trainline, the international digital technology platform for trains and coaches, headquartered in London.

“Everything fell into place; every box was checked,” she says. “I really liked the mission, connecting people to places in a greener and more sustainable way.”

The first 100 days

As the new CTO tasked with setting technical strategy, delivering technical team delivery, and aligning product and business strategies, Nikolic had a lot on his plate for the first 100 days.

She spent time understanding the technology stack, business challenges, and a full technology team split between infrastructure, product development, security, privacy, and technical compliance.

Trainline had strong technical systems and a good level of autonomy, but Nikolic believed that team members themselves felt less able to step out of their comfort zone, which impacted results commercial.

“We had engineers who were really good at their stuff, but I think people felt less able to really own the end-to-end goals and outcomes,” she says. “It’s all these brilliant people who have a lot to add beyond coding their part of the technical system. They were more glued to their part of the tech stack and just contributing to that.

This thinking drove Nikolic to make changes to the way technology teams worked across the organization and support a new target operating model.

Drive business growth with new teams

Trainline has been a technology-driven company since its launch in 1997, with online ticket sales available from 1999. More recently, under former CTO Mark Holt, Trainline has grown into a story of scale and mobility , moving to DevOps, agile principles, and leveraging computing power through Amazon Web Services (AWS).

In 2018, the Trainline platform hosted more than 80 million customer visits per month, more than 80% of them via mobile devices. The company sold over 204 tickets every minute.

Today, its One platform, with 78 million visits each month across all channels, covers more than 270 rail and coach companies in 45 countries, including more than 80% of rail routes in Europe.

Milena Nikolic

Such large-scale growth has resulted in a steady increase in resources. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic pushing the company to nearly £250m in debt in 2021 (the company has since recovered to achieve net ticket sales of £2.5bn and a profit net of £90m in its latest financial results), Trainline now employs around 400 engineers, data and technology specialists who work on Platform One and process over 600 system releases each week. The company has approximately 800 employees in total across the company.

Since joining a year ago, Nikolic has divided its teams into horizontal and vertical functions to support operational efficiency and product development.

Horizontal team members own the platforms to ensure their robustness, reliability, latency, and scalability so engineers can be productive. Vertical teams, on the other hand, operate across the entire technology stack, so they are not localized to certain operating systems, orchestrations, or data layers. These cross-functional teams, including product support, user experience, and data, offer different levels of expertise on front-end and back-end infrastructure.

“These teams have a clear mission…that they own the product or the business outcome,” says Nikolic. “They have complete autonomy to decide what they want to do…to achieve this goal, this mission and move this forward [business] metric in the way we expect.

Training of engineers and building products

As part of reskilling teams, Nikolic has focused on building a T-shaped skill set and allowing staff to gain broader experience. For example, she says an iOS developer could learn e-commerce, or a web developer could study back-end infrastructure.

There have been a number of vehicles to do this, from an internal ‘tech summit’ with speakers from within and outside Trainline presenting on all things technology, product and data, to a community of “Craft Culture” which offers regular activities, such as coding dojos, workshops, hackathons and meetups. The company also provides access to the O’Reilly Technology Learning Platform, where team members can attend live conferences and access books and content.

The team celebrated many accomplishments in its first year. Nikolic says Trainline now has a robust and scalable platform capable of supporting 10x search traffic and transactions, while the company recently launched STicket barcode technology to reduce friction when shopping and prevent fraud. It also launched delay notifications in France and the UK – a smart move considering 600 combined train delays every minute, while the new Trainline What is the next step ? The app integrates with Apple MapKit so iOS users can plan their trip without having to leave the app.

Platform One is the strong foundation for all technology and innovation at Trainline, with microservices and infrastructure as code (IaaC) both in vogue.

“Our technology stack is built on a solid foundation provided by AWS,” she says. “Using a variety of technologies, such as EC2, ECS, Fargate, Kinesis and RDS, Trainline is able to realize the large-scale infrastructure needed to enable us to provide our customers with a world-class platform.”

Attracting more women into engineering

Having worked in the industry for 15 years, Nikolic remains frustrated with a leaky pipeline when it comes to women in engineering. She admits the tech industry can still feel less inclusive for women, and this “society issue” can push women out of the industry mid-career.

“It’s difficult, of course,” she says, “and, having been in this fight for 15 years, it can be disheartening at times, how slow the pace of change is.”

Nikolic, however, hopes the industry can narrow the representation gap. She cites examples at Trainline, where the company has set up various recruitment panels and D&I targets, as well as partnerships with the ADA school of coding technology in Paris and Future Frontiers, a charity that equips students from disadvantaged backgrounds in 200 secondary schools in London and Edinburgh.

She believes the key to improving the number of women in engineering is adding more talent to the top of the field, for example by nurturing disadvantaged groups in school into early-career careers.

“The only sustainable way for us to prove this is to break down barriers for underrepresented groups as they enter the tech world,” she says.

Trainline remains on an upward trajectory. There is reported international expansion on the horizon, government contracts up for grabs and a new CDO, hired by Meta, who now reports to Nikolic. “I really want to make sure we’re executing well,” she says. “If there’s anything that keeps me up at night, it’s making sure the team is set up to succeed in the best possible way so that we capitalize on those opportunities.”

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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor, October 28, 2022 https://borealnet.org/shelter-island-reporter-letters-to-the-editor-october-28-2022/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 10:05:47 +0000 https://borealnet.org/shelter-island-reporter-letters-to-the-editor-october-28-2022/ (Credit: Journalist file photo) Sewage Project and the Manor For the editor: Sylvester Manor commends the City’s ongoing efforts to improve water quality in the Center and their search for solutions to improve sewage systems for municipal buildings and the school, and the Island as a whole. Shelter Island is unique among our neighboring communities […]]]>

Sewage Project and the Manor

For the editor:

Sylvester Manor commends the City’s ongoing efforts to improve water quality in the Center and their search for solutions to improve sewage systems for municipal buildings and the school, and the Island as a whole.

Shelter Island is unique among our neighboring communities in that the majority of households rely on private well service from a single-source aquifer.

Protecting the quality and quantity of this aquifer is of utmost importance to maintaining a vibrant community on Shelter Island.

In recent public meetings, the town council discussed a proposed municipal sewage treatment system which will be located on Manwaring Road opposite the windmill field at Sylvester Manor.

During a city council meeting on October 11, the city’s consulting engineer incorrectly claimed that

Sylvester Manor fully endorsed this project. This is not correct. While we continue to support the City’s efforts to find solutions, including the possibility of a wastewater treatment system that serves City buildings, we are unable to approve the project or site. currently offered at the moment.

On the contrary, we remain committed to studying this proposed project further and following the science wherever it leads.

We work closely with our own consulting engineer to assess the proposed project and its potential impacts on the neighbors of this proposed site, and we support a full environmental review as required by law.

We look forward to working collaboratively with the City, experts in the field and environmental advocates to improve the Centre’s water quality while addressing any impacts this project may have on our work to preserve and protect. Sylvester Manor and share this 236 acre historic property with the whole community.

STEPHEN AW SEARL, Executive Director, Sylvester Manor

A thought and a suggestion

For the editor:

Instead of contentious squabbles with NIMBY over where to install a sewage treatment facility and arguing over competing engineering proposals, why not really get creative?

We should consider involving the EPA, their engineers and grants and affiliated state and county entities in funding a system that recycles wastewater into usable water, even for drinking, that will protect and preserve our shrinking aquifer indefinitely.

The science, technology and practicality of this approach have been proven (see last week’s New York Times) and Shelter Island, being a closed system, is the perfect place to support a demonstration project.

It would have so many benefits, including providing relief to residents near Sound and Bay who, due to loss of water from the reservoir, are currently only getting saline in their taps.

I don’t want to underestimate the difficulties that such an undertaking could present, but we should all agree that Shelter Island being a unique, exceptional and remarkable place, we could probably achieve it.

JAMES WEBSTER, MD, Shelter Island

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Tennessee Tech develops sensors to help detect flooding https://borealnet.org/tennessee-tech-develops-sensors-to-help-detect-flooding/ Sun, 23 Oct 2022 00:54:00 +0000 https://borealnet.org/tennessee-tech-develops-sensors-to-help-detect-flooding/ At least 35 states now have mesonets — sensor systems that track environmental conditions like soil moisture and barometric pressure in real time. TENNESSEE, USA – To respond to the risk of dangerous flooding that follows extreme rainfall events, climatologists, engineers and emergency managers rely on environmental data – data that is scarce in Tennessee. […]]]>

At least 35 states now have mesonets — sensor systems that track environmental conditions like soil moisture and barometric pressure in real time.

TENNESSEE, USA – To respond to the risk of dangerous flooding that follows extreme rainfall events, climatologists, engineers and emergency managers rely on environmental data – data that is scarce in Tennessee. For example, the State largely lacks, outside of rivers close to urban centers, flood sensors.

This risk increases as the climate warms

“Rural areas are where we have no eye on the ground,” said Alfred Kalyanapu, professor of engineering at Tennessee Technological University.

The problem is similar to the lack of Mesonet in Tennessee, a system of sensors that track environmental conditions such as soil moisture and barometric pressure in real time. At least 35 states now have mesonets, which scientists say improve extreme weather forecasting.

In 2017, Kalyanapu decided to look into flood-specific sensors that can complement mesonet data. He worked with students to create a low-cost solution to what he discovered was a significant infrastructure shortage, often viewed by heads of state as a funding challenge. He garnered initial support for the project through a grant from the US Geological Survey.

His team has built ultrasonic devices that sit vertically above a body of water. Each device sends out sound waves at a frequency of 42 kilohertz and records the time it takes for the sound echo to reflect. This provides an accurate measurement between the sensor and the water, and it can be recorded at 15 minute intervals.

If the data points start to increase, there is likely a flood. Most of the time, these graphs will look boring.

Yet data can help us better respond and prepare for inevitable disasters, Kalyanapu said. It can shorten the time between official warnings and danger, allow scientists to recreate a flood event in models, and help emergency officials understand risk.

“You can’t just blindly say, ‘Hey, I have a sixth sense that tells me it’s going to be flooded,'” Kalyanapu said. “You need data to inform your decisions.”

These flood sensors cost around $500, Kalyanapu said, while a commercial equivalent typically costs around $20,000. To test their accuracy, Kalyanapu placed one of its sensors next to an official USGS gauge.

“Preliminary data shows it’s as good as commercial sensors, especially considering the cost,” Kalyanapu said.

Any community can contact the university to request a sensor. The city of Waverly, which experienced Tennessee’s second deadliest flood to date, installed two.

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Remembering Renee Pringle, NPR’s Pioneering Sound Engineer: NPR https://borealnet.org/remembering-renee-pringle-nprs-pioneering-sound-engineer-npr/ Thu, 20 Oct 2022 18:02:49 +0000 https://borealnet.org/remembering-renee-pringle-nprs-pioneering-sound-engineer-npr/ Renee Pringle, pictured on a reporting trip to Paris in early 1989 (she can be seen hoisting journalist Renee Montagne in the photo on the right). NPR’s longtime sound engineer died Oct. 16. Lemon balm block/NPR hide caption toggle caption Lemon balm block/NPR Renee Pringle, pictured on a reporting trip to Paris in early 1989 […]]]>

Renee Pringle, pictured on a reporting trip to Paris in early 1989 (she can be seen hoisting journalist Renee Montagne in the photo on the right). NPR’s longtime sound engineer died Oct. 16.

Lemon balm block/NPR


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Lemon balm block/NPR


Renee Pringle, pictured on a reporting trip to Paris in early 1989 (she can be seen hoisting journalist Renee Montagne in the photo on the right). NPR’s longtime sound engineer died Oct. 16.

Lemon balm block/NPR

Colleagues pay tribute to NPR sound engineer Renee Pringle, who died Sunday after experiencing a number of health issues in recent months.

Pringle has helped shape and preserve the sound of NPR for over 40 years. She is remembered as a pioneer in her field, a prolific and unwavering presence – even on the busiest night shifts – and a friend to many.

In 1979, she started at NPR as one of its first black sound engineers, at a time when few women worked professionally in audio.

“Renee joined NPR at a time when our engineers were carrying bulky 20-pound recorders in the field and everything was recorded on reel tape,” said Chris Nelson, NPR’s senior vice president of technology operations. “She has recorded and engineered countless on-the-spot interviews, musical performances, and NPR shows.”

You don’t know her voice, but you know her work

Pringle has mixed countless parts for morning edition and the overnight newscast, among other programs, and is be remembered by many colleagues for his invaluable technical advice (several reporters credit him with having “saved” them at the start of their careers).

Her work has taken her abroad, across the country and into the halls of government. To mark her 40th birthday in 2019, Pringle shared a snapshot from her Congressional press pass (expiring in 1992) and a photo of her and First Lady Barbara Bush beaming at each other.

While NPR fans wouldn’t have heard Pringle speak on the radio, they “heard her voice through all the sounds of humanity she brought to listeners for over 40 years,” as correspondent to vote Hansi Lo Wang said it.

Pringle also served as technical director for the Peabody Award-winning 26-part film. Wade in the water gospel music documentary series, which NPR produced with the Smithsonian Institution in 1994.

Speaking at a 2019 panel on the series, Pringle said engineering takes a lot of really hard work, but that at NPR and especially with Wade in the water, “I was home. I could feel it in my bones.” And she reflected on her favorite recording from the show, which was of the Howard University choir performing a particularly quiet (“wise engineer”) number in a century-old DC church.

“They did this one so many, many times, because it was just really quiet bits,” Pringle recalled. “I’d go crazy if I heard someone swallow. If I heard them blink, I’d hear it. And I’d be like, ‘Who did that? They had to start over. And luckily everyone has been so cooperative.

Quick to share his expertise with others

Pringle’s dedication to his craft stood out from many of his colleagues. Sound engineer Stu Rushfield remembers that “Renee cared deeply about sound and was generous with her knowledge.”

Tom Cole, an arts editor who retired in 2021 after more than three decades at NPR, said there was no one else like Pringle, but the two had a lot in common: She knew his late first middle school wife, was one class ahead of him in high school and they both drove old Volvos. But he really got to know her when they worked together at NPR, “dubbing LPs into RCs; mixing on reel to reel.”

“Renee had a musical ear – she could really make a song sing (a mundane phrase but it was definitely true in her case). She didn’t use too much EQ – she wanted the humanity in the vocals to shine through” , did he declare. written, referring to equalization in audio processing. On top of that, he added, “She commanded your respect and she didn’t suffer from fools.”

Carline Watson, executive producer of Here Nowsays it was Pringle who taught him how to cut duct tape (a process that was very different in the 1990s than it is today).

“When I was a student at Howard University learning radio production, our teacher brought in Renee to teach us how to cut duct tape, with a razor blade, duct tape and a grease pencil,” he said. -she writes. “When I joined NPR two years later, she remembered me. She was unfailingly kind.”

A highlight for many NPR visitors

Many colleagues have shared similar memories of Pringle’s kindness and generosity – with his knowledge, his time and his friendship – not only with them, but with their own families and guests.

Watson recalls that when his niece and nephew visited NPR years ago, Pringle let them sit behind the microphone and recorded them, “much to their excitement.” Even years later, when they became adults, they never forgot the experience – and Pringle still asked her how they were doing.

Wang remembers the kindness Pringle showed one of his former college professors and his wife as he showed them around the building. Not only did she let them into the control room while she worked, but she took the time to show them the equipment and answer their questions.

“She made their day with a warm welcome from someone who has helped build this institution over the decades,” he said.

Special correspondent Susan Stamberg, one of NPR’s “founding mothers,” says Pringle was loved by many, whether they worked with her for days or weeks.

She came to know and admire Pringle when they traveled to Nairobi, Kenya together to cover the International Women’s Decade conference in 1985.

“She handled all the complicated international audio business, always with a smile and looking for the next challenge,” Stamberg said. “The Kenyans we worked with gave her a nickname: Jiri. It meant something lovely, like ‘dear’ or something. … For the next 30 years, that’s how I got her called.”

The ‘secret fashionista’ will be greatly missed

Pringle has had an impact not only on the audio she’s worked on over the decades, but also on the people she’s worked with – whether it’s sending birthday notes to Stamberg, d ‘supervise teenagers or share organic vegetables with colleagues at night.

Michel Martin, host of All things considered weekend, says she’s seen a side of Pringle up close that many haven’t seen: “She was a secret fashionista.” It was a bit of an open secret, however, as several others also used words like fashionable and stylish to describe Pringle.

There used to be a clothing store they both liked down the street from NPR’s old office, and Martin writes that “we might, uh, sometimes both end up there [on] an afternoon…just, you know, once in a while.”

She says Pringle knew the store’s inventory so well that she suggested items for her to look at and more than once helped her pick out Christmas gifts for friends (and for Martin herself).

“I rarely worked with Renée as a [technical director] in a studio but somehow I felt she was part time [technical director] of my wardrobe,” added Martin.

Colleagues over the years say they will miss Pringle’s voice on the other end of the line, his sense of humor and his honesty — both with herself and with others.

“It was always a pleasure to bump into her in the hallways,” Stamberg says. “I wish I could look forward to the next time that happens.”

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Airlines prepare for a greener future https://borealnet.org/airlines-prepare-for-a-greener-future/ Sat, 15 Oct 2022 05:03:01 +0000 https://borealnet.org/airlines-prepare-for-a-greener-future/ This story originally appeared in our November/December 2022 issue under the title “Greener Skies Ahead”. Click here subscribe to read more stories like this. There’s a reason all passenger jets are shaped like tubes. As an aircraft increases in altitude, the outside air pressure naturally decreases along with oxygen levels. To prevent passengers from fainting, […]]]>

This story originally appeared in our November/December 2022 issue under the title “Greener Skies Ahead”. Click here subscribe to read more stories like this.


There’s a reason all passenger jets are shaped like tubes. As an aircraft increases in altitude, the outside air pressure naturally decreases along with oxygen levels. To prevent passengers from fainting, planes pump air into the cabin. This increases the pressure and the amount of breathable oxygen inside.

But filling the enclosed space with air is a bit like inflating a balloon. The challenge, says R. John Hansman, pilot and director of the MIT International Center for Air Travel, is to design a cabin strong enough to resist breaking. “The most efficient shape for this is actually a tube,” he says.

That’s why planes on tarmacs around the world have undoubtedly looked alike since the first jet airliner took off in 1949. The iconic tube shape and twin swept-back wings, each supporting one or more engines, are the characteristics of the modern jet. This proven model has propelled humans far into the world of flight, both literally and figuratively.

Despite what you see on the surface, airplanes have actually changed a lot over the past 70 years. Energy efficiency and noise reduction, for example, have been continuously improved in the industry. And the new challenges posed by climate change are driving engineers to get creative and rethink the future of aviation.

Jet engines have been modified to improve aviation efficiency over the past half century. New designs increase airflow surrounding the combustion core to reduce engine noise. (Baranozdemir/Getty/E+ Collection)

Increase efficiency

About 60 years ago, the airline industry entered the age of the jet. Gone are the days when passengers traveled on small propeller planes such as the Douglas DC-3, the world’s first commercial airliner, which debuted in 1935 with a maximum capacity of 28 passengers. The demand for air travel – and its increasing accessibility and safety – drove aircraft manufacturers to build larger commercial airliners, such as the Boeing 707, which could carry up to 181 passengers on a single flight.

But the first generation of big jets, which came out in the late 1940s through the 1960s, were “very, very noisy,” says Janet Bednarek, an aviation historian at the University of Dayton. The constant noise of roaring engines caused tension between the airline industry and the people who lived around the airports.

The noise problem influenced the next wave of jet aircraft design. In the 1970s, Boeing unveiled the 747, which was two and a half times larger than the 707 and could seat 366 passengers. Increased passenger seating has lowered ticket costs, while new innovations in engine design have also reduced noise.

“Even though it was much, much larger, it was quieter than the original 707,” says Bednarek.

Larger planes have also helped airlines become more fuel efficient and cost efficient per passenger. “Airlines are very cost sensitive,” says Bednarek. “So having an aircraft that can fly higher, further, faster on less fuel is very important to them.”

Finding ways to improve efficiency and noise has a lot to do with engine architecture. One tactic is to increase the bypass rate of a gas turbine engine so that more air flows around the combustion chamber instead of through it. This increases engine efficiency, with the added benefit that the jet also makes less noise.

The larger bypass rate increased motor size over time. “If you go back and look at pictures of planes from the 60s, they had tiny little jet engines,” says Hansman. “If you look at airplanes today, they look a bit similar, but the engines are much bigger.”

But, he adds, a bypass rate can’t get so high before the material around the engine gets too big and creates excessive drag, making the plane less efficient. “We’re kind of at a point where… you have to do something different. There are proposals to make very different configurations,” he says – meaning we could start to see planes that don’t have the standard tube and wing design.

For example, there is the “double-bubble” airplane, an idea of ​​MIT, NASA and Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing. The design would double the width of the plane’s body and place the engines all the way back, rather than under the wings. It was first proposed in 2010, and in 2017 NASA awarded a contract to research the design of its new subsonic X-plane.

A more recent push for innovation comes from climate change and the push to reduce emissions, a challenge Hansman and Bednarek describe as “existential” for the industry.

Air travel produces “about 2 to 2.5 percent of global carbon emissions,” says Sean Newsum, director of environmental strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “And although it’s a small percentage, it’s a significant percentage.”

Alice is an all-electric aircraft from Eviation. The plane, shown here in a render, was preparing for its first test flight in late 2022. (NASA/Lockheed Martin)

In search of sustainability

Making air travel greener will take more than a one-size-fits-all solution, like a new shape for pressurized cabins, experts say. Boeing and other aerospace companies are looking at multiple applications at once to target different parts of the industry.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) are a promising and most scalable innovation today. These alternatives to fossil jet fuels are usually made from natural materials, including cooking oils, animal fats, typical agricultural crops, or algae. And some SAFs are already burning in today’s jet engines, mixed with traditional jet fuels. Researchers are working to increase the ratio of SAF that can be used in current and future aircraft. But ready-to-run infrastructure is why Newsum says SAFs are the most immediate solution to decarbonizing aircraft.

Hydrogen has also emerged as a promising fuel alternative, as it leaves only water vapor behind. But storing it on planes poses challenges, as it must stay below minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit to be used as a liquid. So far, no commercial jet runs on this fuel source. “It will be a while before this can hit the market,” says Newsum. This is why Boeing is focusing on SAFs as a short-term solution, as they are developing hydrogen for long-term use.

On the other hand, some recent efforts have given rise to small aircraft equipped with electric motors. Rolls-Royce conducted a test flight of the single-passenger Spirit of Innovation in 2021, and a nine-seat jet plane developed by Israeli aerospace company Eviation, called Alice, is in the testing phase. The hurdle here, however, is the weight and power density needed to power larger electric planes. The relatively small Spirit of Innovation required 6,000 battery cells, enough energy to power 250 homes.

“The potential for these small planes is quite exciting,” says Newsum. “But it will be a long time, perhaps decades, before that is mature enough to power a 737-sized aircraft.”

For now, Boeing and other companies are building prototypes of small electric planes called eVTOLs, or electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles. Most are designed to carry a handful of people on short commuter flights. A startup, Kelekona, has unveiled plans for a 40-passenger “minibus” that looks like it’s straight out of a sci-fi movie. Some eVTOLs can also fly autonomously.

The money is certainly there – Boeing invested an additional $450 million this year in its eVTOL joint venture with Kitty Hawk Corporation, called Wisk – but the road to the runway remains long for this type of aircraft.

“Any new technology is going to have its challenges – it’s inherent in the innovation process,” says Newsum. “If there were no challenges, we would already be doing it.


The recent increase in space travel, thanks to the addition of private sector companies, is creating new demand for greener options. (Credit: SpaceX)

Space flight needs an upgrade

It’s no secret that launching a rocket into space is not good for the environment. Many traditional rocket fuels are dirty, toxic, and shoot soot particles into the upper levels of the atmosphere as they pass through Earth’s orbit. And humans are launching more rockets these days than ever before.

In the face of climate change, more efficient and sustainable rocket fuels are in the spotlight. A mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, leaving only water vapor behind, powered Jeff Bezos’ New Shepard ride last summer. And SpaceX uses methane, which burns cleaner and more efficiently than traditional rocket fuels, to propel its Starship rocket.

Startups like blueshift Aerospace are even studying the viability of biofuels made from plant materials to get rockets off the ground. But in practice, it’s still a heavyweight in the burgeoning space travel industry – where frequent, farther travel will require reliable, high-performance power.

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