Skip to main content

On airports and electric vehicles.

Before we even start, let me digress a little. I think there are two kinds of passengers at the airport - either you stand in line at the boarding counter of the gate or you don't, either you stand up as soon as the flight stops or you happily wait for the rest to deplane.

Using electric vehicles in the airport, for official purposes

Now, coming back to the point, I was flying to Delhi from Pune yesterday and noticed that there are a lot of vehicles running around, helping with the day-to-day operations of the airport. For example, small airports have tracktors which I presume are being used to move luggage between the airplane and the terminal. Bigger airports have buses to shuttle people from the airplane to the terminal. There are oil tankers carrying air fuel. There also seem to be a few private 4 seater vehicles, which I presume are used to shuttle the cabin crew to and from the airplane.

Now, coming to the point, what is the carbon footprint of a terminal/airport? I will need to look this up but i'm confident that most of these vehicles are running on petrol/diesel and are not electricity. And I don't see why the vehicles can't be electric. They are used intermittently. The vehicles operate in a very constricted area and there are specific paths/routes/locations where the vehicles can move and can idle.

All of this makes me believe that airports are the perfect place to go full electric, reducing the carbon footprint of the airport and maybe even get awards for being the most green airport. Because awards and recognition are what we all care about in the end, isn't it? (Sarcasm).

Taking the airport off the grid

I remember reading about an airport in Kerela going full electric, which you can read more about here : It's a move in the right direction, to cut the airport completely off the grid and relying on solar. It would've been much more awesome if all vehicles in the airport, being used for airport's official duties, were switched to run on electric and not petrol/diesel. Hey, i'll be happy if they atleast switch to using CNG instead of petrol/diesel for the moment and charting a plan to slowly replace existing vehicles.

If you think about it a little, you might think that glare from the solar panels might be a problem to incoming airplanes. I thought so too. But, after duckduckgo-ing a little, I came across this interesting article - As pointed out in the article, solar panels reflect a little more than what ashpalt does. And as pointed out towards the end of the article, because the nose of the plane is slightly tilted upwards while descent, the reflected light, as small as it is, will fall mostly on the underside of the plane, not in the cockpit.

In conclusion, setting up a solar farm at an airport and converting all of the official vehicles from being petrol/diesel based to electric will make a huge difference to the environment. Think all airports. It's going to be a decade-long, if not longer, effort but it's a worthy investment, of time and money.

The only question now is, whether or not the government has any plans of doing so. If not, what all information do they need to be convinced.

Popular posts from this blog

Animation using GNUPlot

Animation using GNUPlotI've been trying to create an animation depicting a quasar spectrum moving across the 5 SDSS pass bands with respect to redshift. It is important to visualise what emission lines are moving in and out of bands to be able to understand the color-redshift plots and the changes in it.
I've tried doing this using the animate function in matplotlib, python but i wasn't able to make it work - meaning i worked on it for a couple of days and then i gave up, not having found solutions for my problems on the internet.
And then i came across this site, where the gunn-peterson trough and the lyman alpha forest have been depicted - in a beautiful manner. And this got me interested in using js and d3 to do the animations and make it dynamic - using sliders etc.
In the meanwhile, i thought i'd look up and see if there was a way to create animations in gnuplot and whoopdedoo, what do i find but nirvana!

In the image, you see 5 static curves and one dynam…

on MOOCs.

For those of you who don't know, MOOC stands for Massively Open Online Course.

The internet is an awesome thing. It's making education free for all. Well, mostly free. But it's surprising at the width and depth of courses being offered online. And it looks like they are also having an impact on students, especially those from universities that are not top ranked. Students in all parts of the world can now get a first class education experience, thanks to courses offered by Stanford, MIT, Caltech, etc.

I'm talking about MOOCs because one of my new year resolutions is to take online courses, atleast 2 per semester (6 months). And I've chosen the following two courses on edX - Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Server and Data Science Essentials for now. I looked at courses on Coursera but I couldn't find any which was worthy and free. There are a lot more MOOC providers out there but let's start here. And I feel like the two courses are relevant to where I …

On programmers.

I just watched this brilliant keynote today. It's a commentary on Programmers and the software development industry/ecosystem as a whole.

I am not going to give you a tl;dr version of the talk because it is a talk that I believe everyone should watch, that everyone should learn from. Instead, I am going to give my own parallel-ish views on programmers and programming.
As pointed out in the talk, there are mythical creatures in the software development industry who are revered as gods. Guido Van Rossum, the creator of Python, was given the title Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL). People flock around the creators of popular languages or libraries. They are god-like to most programmers and are treated like gods. By which, I mean to say, we assume they don't have flaws. That they are infallible. That they are perfect.
And alongside this belief in the infallibility of these Gods, we believe that they were born programmers. That programming is something that people are born wit…