Friday, January 7, 2011

The Multi-Billion Dollar Gorgon Industry

The name of an Ancient Greek mythological creature has adorned not just one, but two multi-billion dollar projects of significance:

1. Gorgon: The Air Force "all seeing sensor" to be used by unmanned aircraft.
Key to Gorgon Stare are its nine cameras -- five that can see in daylight, and four that can see in the dark using infrared. The system also comes equipped with a computer that can process the images. A bit like a fly, these cameras capture images from a variety of different angles, creating a huge field of view.
Seems like a slightly fancier version of Google Earth or essentially the type of spy equipment we have always assumed supervillains and/or some Pentagon Top Secret Black Ops organization were already using.

Maybe Gorgon will make it easier to find insurgents in mountain strongholds, but unless we know the full specs (which we won't), we'll have no idea how effective it will ultimately be.

2. Gorgon: The name of Chevon's liquified natural gas (LNG) field offshore near Western Australia.
Chevron, operator of the Gorgon LNG project offshore northwest Australia is pushing hard to get that mega-project on line by 2014. Chevron's major partners are Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil but the inside story is that of the tiny partners, Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas and Chubu Electric. Much of that LNG is clearly going to Japan. 
LNG is used in transporting natural gases between places where pipelines are impractical.
LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to –260 degrees Fahrenheit (–162° C), changing it from a gas into a liquid 1/600th its original volume. This dramatic reduction in size allows it to be shipped safely and efficiently aboard specially designed LNG vessels. After arriving at its destination, LNG is warmed to return it to its gaseous state and delivered to natural gas customers through local pipelines. 
Turning gas into liquid = turning men into stone? Bit of a stretch, there.

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