By Anthony Capkun
December 22, 2012 – Just in time for Christmas, a team of GE scientists and engineers have introduced several new features to Santa’s sleigh. The updated vehicle incorporates a number of new technologies that promise to make Santa’s travels greener, faster and more efficient. Features of the sleigh include:
• A thin cooling solution that can improve jet engine aerodynamics and outfit Santa with a cooler, thinner laptop.
• Air traffic management technology to help Santa and the reindeer steer clear of the planes en route on Christmas Eve.
• An electric traction motor with MEMS switching technology to quickly and efficiently transfer power of Santa’s sleigh over to the electric motor to give the reindeer a break.
• 3-D printed sleigh blades for a more aerodynamic design to improve energy efficiency paired with a tough, flexible fabric to give Santa greater lift and maneuverability.
• An upgraded sleigh frame made from GE’s high-temperature ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) that will save energy and time by enabling flight into outer space and back.
• GE’s Durathon battery for powering the accouterments in Santa’s sleigh. The battery can function under extreme temperature conditions.
“It has been three years since we introduced a new sleigh for Santa, and we figured it was time to provide a few upgrades to make his ride even better,” said Mark Little, senior vice-president and director of GE Global Research.
(Note: Electrical Business has not heard from representatives of the North Pole for confirmation of this information.)