January 25, 2013

Argonne helps Boeing

In response to a request by a U.S. Congressman, officials at Argonne National Laboratory, which is managed by the University, have offered to advise the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company with battery problems related to its 787 Dreamliner plane, according to the Chicago Tribune. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), who issued the request, is a senior appropriator on the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the House and Appropriations Committee.

Argonne is preparing to launch the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, a research institute dedicated to developing advanced battery technology, with funding from a $120 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The FAA was prompted to “issue an emergency airworthiness directive” requiring that “before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the batteries are safe,” as mentioned in a statement it made on January 16th.

Despite Argonne’s offer, both Boeing and the FAA have yet to comment.