Dan Cohen AUTHOR While the Defense Department continues to push for a new BRAC round as the most effective way to deal with excess infrastructure, the Army has begun consolidating personnel into its newest facilities and shuttering unused buildings to manage its surplus capacity.The Army has ordered garrison and senior mission commanders to develop installation reduction plans, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, told the House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee last week.“The strategy for right-sizing within the installation means that we consolidate personnel into the best-quality buildings and we are able to shut down those buildings, which means you modify the temperature controls, you don’t have lights that you have to manage, and you put them pretty much in cold storage,” Hammack said.Officials believe the consolidation initiative will save the Army $140 million annually by mothballing about 40 million square feet of space. The service previously has said it spends an estimated $500 million to maintain excess or underutilized facilities.“It’s going to take us a while to consolidate into the best buildings,” Hammack said. The Army estimates that 21 percent of its infrastructure will be excess to it needs by fiscal 2018 when its active-duty end strength drops to 450,000.The Air Force, however, can’t take advantage of a similar consolidation effort since much of its excess space stems from a sharp drop in its aircraft inventory, Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, told Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), the panel’s ranking member.“A lot of our excess infrastructure has to do with iron, with actual aircraft, so we have extra parking spaces, excess hangar space, excess maintenance space,” Ballentine said. “And really, the only way that we can get at that excess is to consolidate by closing bases entirely. And that’s really where the big dollar savings come,” she said.Written testimony and a webcast of the hearing on the installations, environment and energy budget request for fiscal 2017 submitted by DOD and the military services are available on the committee website.
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Share Monday, August 19, 2019Top afternoon stories:Florian Martin/Houston Public MediaHISD’s Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.10 Reasons Why TEA Recommends A Takeover Of HISDSecret meetings, misleading investigators and pressuring vendors are just some of the violations flagged in the Texas Education Agency’s initial investigation into the Houston school board.In the 34-page report sent to the board, the head of the agency’s special investigations unit, Jason Hewitt, detailed those and other reasons why he believes the Texas Education Commission should replace all nine elected board members and install outside managers. One of the findings is that, based on emails, interviews and text messages, five school board members — Sergio Lira, Anne Sung, Elizabeth Santos, Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca and board president Diana Dávila all “secretly met” with former HISD superintendent Dr. Abelardo Saavedra at a local restaurant, in a meeting that was not publicly posted, as required by state law.The report also indicates that Dávila, Flynn Vilaseca and Lira didn’t fully cooperate with the investigation, and details multiple examples of what investigators determined was board members exceeding their authority. Click here to read the full story by News 88.7 Education Reporter Laura Isensee.Florian Martin/Houston Public MediaHouston’s skyline from the air.Census Starts Canvassing Some Houston NeighborhoodsThe U.S. Census Bureau is starting a major field operation for the 2020 population count Monday. The agency is sending people door-to-door to verify addresses, including in Houston.The canvassing is in addition to the Census Bureau’s new use of satellite technology to identify new housing developments throughout the United States.The Census Bureau’s geography division chief, Diedre Dalpiaz Bishop, said they are also using information from the U.S. Postal Service and from local, state and tribal governments.Canvassing will go on until October. Once all addresses are validated, the Census Bureau will mail out invitations asking people to respond to the Census.Andrew Schneider/Houston Public MediaFormer Kemah mayor and Houston mayoral candidate Bill King.Mayoral Candidate Bill King Announces 7-Point Flood Mitigation PlanHouston mayoral candidate Bill King has unveiled a seven-point plan to reduce future flooding in Houston. He said the most important step he’d take for flooding as mayor would be to stop the diversion of city drainage fees into other uses, and spend the funds exclusively on drainage projects.“The drainage fee is not held in a segregated account, which, by the way, state law says it’s supposed to be,” said King at a news conference held Monday.A spokesperson for Mayor Sylvester Turner’s reelection campaign said that King’s plan would halt the city’s ability to pay down debts on drainage projects as they’re incurred.King also pledged to buy up more vacant land for green space and fast-track flood control projects in the most flood-prone areas.Harris County’s Limitations To Counter Gun ViolenceHarris County leaders are looking at options to toughen gun control in the wake of El Paso’s mass shooting. But Judge Lina Hidalgo acknowledges state law sharply limits the county’s ability to pass gun control measures. Dave Fagundes, research dean of the University of Houston Law Center, says the state has effectively preempted all cities and counties from passing gun control measures tougher than those passed by the State Legislature.Mark Jones, professor of political science at Rice University, says that any new county gun control ordinance would likely be overturned by the next state legislature, if not by the courts.Hidalgo says the county will take a fresh look at whether to allow gun shows on its property.
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. According to Guerin, a scientist at the Institute d’Optique Graduate School in Palaiseau (south of Paris), in order for an atom laser to be practicable for many applications, a method for creating longer wavelengths needs to be found. And, with his colleagues from Aspect’s Atom Optics Group of the Laboratoire Charles Fabry, he has. An article published in Physical Review Letters by Guerin and his coworkers Riou and Gaebler from the team led by Josse and Bouyer, is titled “Guided Quasicontinuous Atom Laser”; it demonstrates how this longer wavelength can be achieved.“By making our atom laser into a wave carrier, we can get rid of the acceleration of gravity,” says Guerin. “We can create an atom laser with a constant.” The French team’s Letter describes how such a laser works with trapped Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC):“The BEC, in a state sensitive to both trapping potentials, is submitted to a rf outcoupler yielding atoms in a state sensitive only to the optical potential, resulting in an atom laser propagating along the weak confining axis of the optical trap.”“By using quasicontinuous outcoupling,” Guerin further explains, “we can get a beam with much less interaction.” A guided quasicontinuous atom laser, such the one described, would allow for better atomic motion control during propagation. Better atomic control would pave the way for more coherent atom sources for use in atom interferometry. Additionally, this set-up for a guided atom laser has the potential to provide a variety of other useful future applications. Quantum transport is another field that could benefit from the work performed by the team led by Josse and Bouyer. The members of the team, though, are especially interested in the interferometry aspects illuminated by this new type of atom laser: “We could use this scheme not only to guide atom laser beams, but also to separate and then recombine them to get an interferometer, which can be used to measure rotations or accelerations.” Guerin also points out that such interferometer could also be realized on atom chips.Designs that can produce atom-wave interferometry can yield progress in sensor technology. One of these technologies, says Guerin, includes “Creating a gyroscope with coherent atomic beams.” The applications and information that could come from the work by the team in France are varied and many. But rather than getting too carried away with the future, Guerin sticks with the basics. “There are two main points that we have realized because of this work,” he says. “First, we have a well-defined and large wavelength. This is new.” He continues his explanation: “And, second, we can control the amounts of interaction. It is great that we can control the flux of the atom laser, by controlling the flux, we control the density inside the beam.” And it is great for the world of atomic science as well.By Miranda Marquit, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com Explore further Is random lasing possible with a cold atom cloud? One of the biggest differences between photons and atoms is that the latter are massive particles, making gravity is a huge factor. It can be seen as an advantage when designing new high accuracy atom interferometers based inertial sensors, but can be a major drawback when controlling atom laser beams. “Gravity makes for higher velocity,” William Guerin explains to PhysOrg.com, “and that means wavelengths become small.” Citation: Guiding an Atom Laser (2006, November 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-11-atom-laser.html