Number News

Number News

A digest of the figures that are making headlines in engineering this month


One in every eight mobile users worldwide will either have a ticket delivered to their mobile phone or will buy a ticket with their phone by 2015 according to updated analysis from Juniper Research.

The primary markets are likely to be transport, major sporting events and entertainment, and tickets will be delivered by SMS, bar codes, mobile web, smartphone apps or NFC (near field communication).

Mobile tickets now are mainly issued by early adopting transport schemes in Japan and some parts of Europe, but the two years to 2013 are expected to see a big rise in uptake, fuelled by the availability of commercial mobile ticketing services and NFC commercialisation in countries other than Japan.

The report also says that one in seven bar-coded aircraft boarding passes will be sent to mobile devices within two years.


Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations around the world reached a new high of 18.2GW in 2010, according to the Marketbuzz 2011 report issued by Solarbuzz, a California-based solar energy consultancy. The PV industry generated $82bn in global revenues, up 105 per cent from $40bn in 2009.

The top five countries by market size were Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Japan and the United States, with Germany alone accounting for 42 per cent of world demand in 2010 and Italy 21 per cent. However, tightening incentives will dampen the European market, while demand in the US and Canada is expected to grow rapidly.


In one of the largest engine orders in recent aviation history, Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo has opted for Pratt & Whitney PurePower engines to power the 150 twin-engined Airbus A320neo aircraft that it ordered in January.

The airline has rapidly become a major domestic carrier in India and is expanding into international operations.

The PurePower engine uses an advanced gear system allowing the fan to operate at a different speed from the low-pressure compressor and turbine. This, combined with an all-new advanced core, delivers better fuel efficiency than older engines.


An £11m investment at the ISIS neutron source in Oxfordshire will help manu­facturers build more reliable electronic systems for cars and aircraft. The Chipir beamline will replicate the cosmic radiation affecting microchips from 100 years of flying time in the space of an hour.

Science minister David Willetts announced the funding during a visit to the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, where ISIS is located.


Demand for fossil fuels is outstripping deployment of clean energy technologies. Coal has met 47 per cent of global new electricity demand, says the International Energy Agency, eclipsing energy efficiency measures and rapid growth in the use of renewable energy.

The IEA presented its first Clean Energy Progress Report at a ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi on 6 April.


Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE has set a new record for data transmission, achieving a single-channel rate of 10 terabits per second over 640km of single-mode fibre-optic cable. This is the equivalent of sending 160 HD movies per second.

For the experiment, ZTE generated 112 coherent and frequency-locked optical sub-carrier signals, each sub-carrier bearing 100Gbit/s optical signals. The resulting single-channel rate of 11.2Tbit/s represents a net 10Tbit/s line rate plus overheads such as forward error correction (FEC).

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