Tuesday, September 14, 2010

EEStor Controversy: Air Force Research Lab Wants to Know What Lockheed Martin is Sssssmokin'!!!!

If someone had pointed out to me 4 years ago that I would soon be authoring a blog about a breakthrough battery technology with thousands of daily readers, I would have asked what they were smoking and then laughed at how weird my life must be if that were to come true.  Later, I would have had a nervous breakdown.  

I don't know anything about batteries or capacitors or storing electrical energy.  But what I've learned over the past couple of years is that what mankind (archaic, I realize) knows about electrical energy storage is S C A N T.  Understand me here.   You can find a battery conference program and scan the academic papers presented to see that there are a ton of smart people looking into energy storage and it's complicated and their papers seem erudite and grand.  But there is a simple fact that no one disputes.  Electrical energy storage, ie, batteries aren't too much better than they were 100 years ago.   No, not 10 yrs or 30yrs ago,  ONE HUNDRED years ago.  Thomas Edison talked about batteries that could propel the vehicles of his day as far as the GM-VOLT does today.  (forget about weight for a second).

So, if someone suddenly emerges on the scene promising to bring to energy storage the sorts of gains in performance achieved in fabricated integrated circuitry, ie, computer chips, then my friend, they will stick out like a  SORE THUMB.   That's EEStor in a nutshell.

Imagine for a second, you've been immersed in the scientific culture that hasn't yielded an energy storage breakthrough in 100 years.   Same ole, same ole.  Incremental progress at a snail's pace.  Thomas Kuhn said scientific innovation occurs when thinkers abandon assumptions and tackle problems without inherited baggage.  But that's the rub.  If you abandon the baggage, do you slip off into UFO chasing?

To me, scientists seem particularly unforgiving to those who abandon inherited assumptions.  I think this is a function of academic culture which breeds arrogance rather than teamwork.  But I won't try to esplain it.  You may disagree.  Can you esplain it?

So finally, now that I've aired out my lungs and put a few people to sleep, we turn to our little EEStory.  


According to records released by the United States Air Force to Mr. Tom Villars (EEStory Genius), the United States Air Force Research Lab Kirtland Air Force Base Directed Energy Directorate AppleTurkey, New Mexico......a question has emerged for Lockheed Martin Corporation CEO Robert Stevens.

Lockheed CEO Bob Stevens. Source: Reuters.

Yes, thank you Mr. Stevens.  I am B the Magnificent EEStor blogger representing a Cadre of Fanboyz (and gurlz) at company B  and my question comes from the Air Force Research Lab.  Sir, as you are aware, this is the portion of the United States Defense Department responsible for ensuring the weapons in the movie Star Wars are developed from toys and movie effects into security for the free world.   This is literally the future of warfare, which if successful would put your jet fighter business OUT OF BUSINESS el rapido.   Sir,  I understand you are a Marine. Semper Fi, sir.  Thank you for your service.

But,   really,   if you have allowed your company to enter into a an agreement with EEStor Inc.,  who proposes that none of your geniuses can identify a reason why EEStor's energy storage technology will NOT work, then doesn't that mean that Lockheed Martin is smoking an illegal substance? Or samples of an illegal substance?  (Yes, I realize that the Lockheed Martin Corporation could obtain a medical prescription for smoked goodness in Californ-I-A, sir. )  Again, sir, this is not my question. I think you're doing a fine job and not smoking anything...good.  This is a question posed by the Air Force Research Lab in this released FOIA document.

Sir, very respectfully, I don't mind if Lockheed Martin is smoking something interesting.  And I don't think we should be too critical of our Air Force Research Lab subject matter expert.  NO, not at all.  But,  really, where there is smoke at Lockheed is there F I R E?    If so, let's light it up together. No?