Yea, ah, right, yes! …
Originally posted by Softpedia:
The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) is currently engaged in a research effort that holds the promise of coming up with a brand new type of materials to be used in coating the Navy's ships.
According to the engineers involved, the move will considerably reduce the drag that the ships are currently experiencing even in the calmest of waters, will increase speed and also decrease pollution levels. Less drag means less burnt fuel, and therefore less carbon dioxide for those ships not running on nuclear propulsion.
In the open waters, biofilm can add as much as 20 percent drag to a ship, as well as barnacles of over 60 percent, drastically reducing speed, and requiring the consumption of a large amount of fuel to counteract the effects of the drag.
Basically, the ONR is now involved in research seeking to understand how bio-fouling actually works, and what the best method of reducing its spread is, or getting rid of it completely. In search for their answers, the researchers again turned to nature for inspiration, and inspiration they found.
Researchers at the Office enlisted the help of Anthony Brennan, PhD, a professor of material science and engineering at the University of Florida. The expert noticed that, in nature, large marine animals such as sharks and whales remain relatively clean from barnacles, despite their sizes.
Brennan found that, in fact, it wasn't a substance that prevented the micro-organisms from depositing themselves on the skin of the animals, but specially-designed patterns in the skin itself. After careful analysis of these intricate and effective models, he built a biomimetic[?] “biofilm-repellent” coating named the Sharklet.
“I saw a Navy ship going by, flowing with green algae. I thought that's why we are doing this research, to stop that biofouling, to give our Navy the ability to perform at a higher level,” Brennan said.
“ONR has brought together biologists, geneticists, chemists, material engineers, chemical engineers, physicists and we end up sharing. It says a lot of our Navy to have that forethought to reach beyond what everybody sees in front of them and go for something new and innovative that will help the Navy and benefit the world,” he concluded, adding that the commercial fleets could eventually benefit from the innovation as well.
From "The Log from the Sea of Cortez" by John Steinbeck we get an outside opinion of "Military Intelligence" that says something like the following:
A Marine Biologist heard the US Navy was conducting tests on an anti-fouling coating long before WW2. But she was a woman and a professor so they declined her help. They set up a plant to grow marine fauna on their test pieces and after three months not one sample of the test coatings had any barnacles.
They had seen how dirty the water was in Bremerton Harbour and decided to use filtered water as it was hygienic.
Also before WW 2, Japan had occupied a lot of the Asian side of the Pacific. They sent in their professors and researchers to comb the area to get a picture of all its resources.
This they duly reported in all the world's popular scientific magazines. But the US Navy never found out about it.
So next time you feel smug about the way "our" intelligence was much better than "theirs" remember things like The Somme, Ypres and Galipoli in WW 1 and Dieppe and Operation Market Garden in WW 2. And all the countless US Marines that died storming countless coral islands when they could have been better trained whilst waiting for the resources to invade Japan directly.
Anyone care to guess just how many Arabic speaking security advisers the US had prior to events under Bush Co?
["ن فضلك يا سيدي. أنا لست ارهابيا."
"Whaddah he say"
"I've no idea Colonel."
"OK! Torture him some more Chuck, don't stop till he learns to speak English."
من فضلك يا سيدي. أنا لست ارهابيا. glugg glugg.]