Microsoft and Accenture, Spray-on solar panels, Brazil and China launching satellites

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Microsoft and Accenture partner up, offer hybrid cloud solutions

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In an attempt to get more enterprise companies to use their new cloud service, Microsoft’s together with partners Accenture and Avanade have have funded and developed a new hybrid cloud bundle

Called “The Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure”, the system incorporates and builds upon features and services already available via Microsoft Accenture and Avanade which is a solution provider created and launched by Microsoft and Accenture back in the year 2000 to help enterprises and companies deliver “everything as a service”

The newly built hybrid cloud includes Azure, Windows Server, System Center and Azure Pack, and is designed to run in customer data centers; the Accenture Cloud Platform, which gives the user a central dashboard, in addition to governance, security and operations services which are needed to run the hybrid solution and other services from Accenture and Avanade.

By using Azure Packs, users are able to run hosters and larger enterprise shops via certain Windows Azure technologies in their own data centers. These packs include a management portal; service management programming interface; a Web sites service; a virtual machines service; and service bus support.

The Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution will be commercially available in 2015. At present it is currently being tested in private pilots.

Researchers attempt to create spray-on solar panels

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Researchers from the University of Toronto have devised a new method of spraying solar cells onto thin, flexible surfaces, which in turn could then be affixed onto rooftops. Being thin in nature, they would be hardly noticed

One of the researchers, Illan Kramer, who is also an electrical and computer engineer says in a press release that “My dream is that one day you’ll have two technicians with Ghostbusters backpacks come to your house and spray your roof”.

In order to achieve this, Kramer and his team mixed miniscule particles of materials which are light-sensitive known as “colloidal quantum dots” into a chemical solution after which they used a normal spray nozzle used in steel mills and a few air brushes sold in art stores.

In order to apply the solution to a flexible surface, they also adapted a roll-to-toll method common to that which is used in newspaper printing but rather than spraying ink on paper, they used the nozzle to spray the quantum dot solution onto a film.

In experiments it was seen that their technique resulted in solar panels that had about the same efficiency as other panels which were more costly and labor-intensive

They call the technique sprayLD or Spray Layer Deposition which is a common manufacturing process where a coating is applied to a surface one atom-thickness at a time.

Brazil and China launch Satellite

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Incurring a cost of approximately $61 million), a satellite, named Cbers-4, was developed under the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite program and incorporated four extra-high resolution cameras intended to help preserve areas such as the Amazon rainforest by identifying possible illegal fires and devastation areas.

The third and fourth satellites in Europe’s Galileo constellation, a civilian-controlled alternative to the US’s GPS, are scheduled for take-off on Friday from a French Guiana spaceport.

Launched on Sunday the 7th from Taiyuan (which is in northeast China), the project was considered a success upon reaching an altitude of 778 kilometers which in turn is the distance needed for the equipment to get into orbit and for the opening of its solar panels, an essential task in order to maintain the equipment’s battery life.

This is right after previous attempts by both countries to launch observation satellite Cbers-3, which failed due a malfunction of the launch vehicle that prevented the equipment from being positioned in orbit.

Cbers-4 has a projected lifespan of around three years and is built according to the exact same specifications as its predecessor, apart from some improvements in the cameras. Another new feature is MUX, a satellite camera entirely developed and made in Brazil.

In addition to Cbers-4, under the Brazil-China Satellite Program, a total of four more satellites have been launched. The first three, with Brazilian participation in project financing limited to 30 percent, were launched in 1999, 2003 and 2007. Starting with Cbers-3, the governments decided to extend the initial agreement in 2002 and accordingly Brazil increased its participation to 50 percent.

 

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