Resurfacing Heathrow Airports runway

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Digital switchover on schedule for Sub-Saharan Africa, while three-quarters of a million digitally skilled workers needed in the UK by 2017.


One thousand LED aeronautical ground lights (AGLs) are currently being installed in the surface of Heathrow Airport’s southern runway, connected by more than 130km of cabling. Installing the lights, which help guide pilots during poor visibility, is the latest phase in a £20m runway resurfacing project that has already seen 22,000 tonnes of asphalt removed and replaced. The ATG Airports LED fittings are replacing halogen luminaires. All the work takes place overnight so the runway can remain in daily operation. The northern runway will be resurfaced next year.



More than three-quarters of a million digitally skilled workers will be needed by 2017 to meet the UK’s digital potential, says telecoms business O2. It commissioned a study by Development Economics, which used econometric modelling to identify and predict the skills needs of the digital economy over the next five years. The report was launched at the Campus Party Europe technology festival, held at London’s O2 Arena.



A group of nations identified as the ‘Rising-15’ will be the key competitive battleground for the global automotive industry from 2020, says a report by Ricardo Strategic Consulting. Sluggish demand for cars and commercial vehicles in Europe, Japan and North America will be offset by growth in the BRIC markets up to 2020, Ricardo says, but as these economies mature the main growth will come - given political stability - from the ‘Rising-15’ automotive markets.



The switchover to digital TV across Sub-Saharan Africa is on schedule for June 2015 (for UHF) and June 2020 (for VHF), following an agreement on frequency coordination. Final plans were thrashed out at a meeting in Nairobi organised jointly by ITU and the African Telecommunications Union. The countries involved will be able to allocate the digital dividend to mobile services in the 694-862MHz band as a regionally harmonised implementation.



E.On has inaugurated a power-to-gas unit in Falkenhagen, Germany, that uses wind power to electrolyse water, producing hydrogen for injection into the regional natural gas network. The unit, which has a capacity of 2MW, can produce 360m3 of hydrogen per hour, making this one of the first industrial-scale demonstrations of a technology that is, in effect, storing surplus wind energy.



The Technology Strategy Board will invest in two new Catapult centres covering Energy Systems and Diagnostics for Stratified Medicine, which will be launched in 2015-16. The Catapults are a network of seven technology and innovation centres set up with public and private-sector funding to help businesses take innovative ideas through to commercial products and services. Sectors covered so far are: High-Value Manufacturing, Satellite Applications, Cell Therapy, Offshore Renewable Energy, Future Cities, Transport Systems and the Connected Digital Economy.

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