3-D printing, new materials and the Industrial Internet are all game changer technologies in Santa's new ride.
NISKAYUNA, N.Y. & NORTH POLE—Just in time for Christmas, a team of GE scientists and engineers have upgraded Santa’s sleigh to travel greener, faster and more efficiently.
The Reindeer Union is behind the move, siting occupational health and safety benefits.
“The new feature that allows Santa to switch to electric power is welcomed,” said union president Rudolph. “Covering the entire globe can be pretty exhausting and having the opportunity to rest along our journey will help us remain in peak condition.”
New features of the sleigh include:
• A thin cooling solution improves jet engine aerodynamics and a cooler, thinner flight control laptop.
• Air Traffic Management Technology to control the planes en route on Christmas Eve.
• An Electric Traction Motor with MEMS switching technology quickly transfers power to the electric motor.
• 3-D printed sleigh blades are more aerodynamic and, when paired with a tough, flexible fabric, give Santa greater lift and maneuverability.
• An upgraded sleigh frame made from GE’s high temperature Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) saves energy and time by enabling space flight.
• A Durathon battery powers Santa’s accouterments—The Big Guy can’t go a day without his foot massager and espresso machine.
“With the advancements GE scientists have made in 3-D printing, new materials like CMCs and the great opportunities to make machines smarter with the Industrial Internet, we have incorporated several new technologies to give Santa and his reindeer team a greener, smarter sleigh,” said Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Director of GE Global Research.