Saturday, February 23, 2013

Aerotech announces single use HPR motors

AeroTech Unveils Pro-SU Motor Line at NARCON Convention in Santa Clara, CA
AeroTech is introducing a game-changing new product for the high power rocketry market, the Pro-SU line of single use motors.  Pro-SU motors are different from previous and existing reloadable and single use motors in the following important ways:
 • No hardware to buy, load, clean or lose
 • High strength, light weight filament-wound fiberglass casing
 • Lighter weight casing means higher performance
 • User adjustable time delays in 2 second increments
 • User adjustable ejection charge- no more "one size fits all" charges
 • High reliability due to less potential for user error while retaining superior customer adjustability
 • Low cost

 The time delay of Pro-SU motors is shortened using AeroTech's new Universal Delay Adjustment Tool, which will be provided free of charge to each customer who purchases one or more Pro-SU motors (one free tool to a customer, please). Pro-SU motors feature a glass-reinforced composite phenolic nozzle, a new molded plastic bulkhead and ship with a FirstFire igniter and bondable thrust ring. Motor performance data including a sample time-thrust curve are printed on the motor label. Pro-SU motors are packaged in a distinctive yellow shipping tube with AeroTech logos printed on the outer spiral wrapping, and the same motor label applied to the outside of the tube for easy identification and performance evaluation by the flyer. Caps on the ends of the tube are applied externally and are easier to remove than internal caps that are stapled to the tube. 

The Pro-SU line will be initially produced in 29, 38 and 54mm diameters. The first Pro-SU motor is the 29mm H135W-14A, a 226 N-sec design using AeroTech's ever-popular White Lightning propellant. This motor is already TRA certified and California State Fire Marshal approved, and can be purchased by certified flyers attending NARCON from Mike Gentile of Bay Area Rocketry. The H135W-14A is competitively priced with existing reload kits at $29.99 each retail. Other Pro-SU motors under development include the 38mm I140W-14A and J270W-14A, which will be submitted for certification shortly. These motors are perfect for Level 1 & 2 certifications and general sport flying and will also be priced competitively with similar reloads.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Massive meteorite explodes in atmosphere causing serious damage

"Breaking news, a tremendous flash in the skies just couple hours ago happened in Chelyabinsk city followed by a devastating sonic boom leaving hundreds of windows broken and lighting the streets of the city with light hundred times stronger than normal. Lots of people left their houses thinking that an atomic bomb went off near the city. We’ve got very awesome footage here collected from multiple dashcams and surveylance cams around the city – hottest footage you can watch now on the Internet, including the full sound shocking sonic boom. This is really some weird stuff! Authorities currently broadcast warnings to citizens not to panic and carry on. In a few minutes we will add some photos too."

                                                           (Sound warning.)

Considering the damage below, and the brightness of the flash, at this distance, I would expect a 1+ KT yield for this one! These happen a few times per year, mostly over the ocean, but boy this was a close call... A few KM lower and over a city like London...

"Moscow (CNN) -- A meteor streaked through the skies above Russia's southern Chelyabinsk region Friday morning, before exploding with a flash and boom that shattered glass in buildings and left hundreds of people hurt. The number of people reporting injuries climbed to more than 500 by lunchtime, according to Vladimir Stepanov, of the National Center for Emergency Situations at the Russian Interior Ministry.

Of those, 22 are hospitalized, he told state broadcaster Russia 24. About 270 buildings have sustained damage -- mostly broken glass -- as a result of the shock waves caused by the blast, Stepanov said, with hospitals, kindergartens and schools among those affected."

This is very funny timing indeed because today is the day when 2012 DA14 will make a close pass to the Earth. But make no mistake, this was not 2012 DA14! (People in Spain and Beijing would have heard that explosion.) More at Bad Astronomy.  Phil suggests that this damage was caused by a sonic boom rather than explosion, but I think the damage at this range indicates a significant explosion.  A small part of the remaining smoke trail shows what looks like convention, what I would expect from hot explosion vapor.  And I question if a sonic boom from a small object (this must have been fridge to bus sized, to use the technical terms) could do damage this severe.  Again my guess would be an explosion in the 1 to 10 KT range at high altitude. However, one can see some remains of the object continue on, so perhaps this is not the case after-all. The confirmation will come with analysis of the video footage that allows the altitude to be determined, and recovery of any meteorite remains.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Spontaneous Capillarity-Driven Droplet Ejection

"The first large length-scale capillary rise experiments were conducted by R. Siegel using a drop tower at NASA LeRC shortly after the 1957 launch of Sputnik I. Siegel was curious if the wetting fluid would expel from the end of short capillary tubes in a low-gravity environment. He observed that although the fluid partially left the tubes, it was always pulled back by surface tension, which caused the fluid to remain pinned to the tubes' end. By exploiting tube geometry and fluid properties, we demonstrate that such capillary flows can in fact eject a variety of jets and drops. This fluid dynamics video provides a historical overview of such spontaneous capillarity-driven droplet ejection. Footage of terrestrial and low earth orbit experiments are also shown. Droplets generated in a microgravity environment are 1 million times larger than those ejected in a terrestrial environment. The accompanying article provides a summary of the critical parameters and experimental procedures. Scaling the governing equations reveals the dimensionless groups that identify topological regimes of droplet behavior which provides a novel perspective from which to further investigate jets, droplets, and other capillary phenomena over large length scales."

More at F**k Yeah Fluid Dynamics.

Scale distance between Earth and Moon

Friday, February 8, 2013

Qaher F313 - Supposed Iranian stealth fighter

The Qaher F313 certainly looks as if it is either a fake aircraft, perhaps simply a plastic and fiberglass model, or at best, a poorly performing subsonic jet that is not capable of combat. Even that is a real stretch as the thing simply does not look like a real aircraft at all. Note no engine details shown, no rivets, not much in the way of electronics, and a cockpit and nose that are way too small for a piloted aircraft... the canopy looks like acrylic lifted from a theme park ride.

Why even bother with this when you can just use F14s or MiG-29s? Iran is a crazy country, or the leaders are anyway, but they are no North Korea. Yet this fake jet would only make sense coming out of a country like NK.  It is too dumb, even for Iran.

I know Iran is part of the axis of evil and all, but I cant help feel sorry for a country that does this sort of thing.

There are videos that are supposed to show the jet flying at high speed (with obviously fake sound effects) and to me they resemble an RC jet more than anything.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Supersonic Ping Pong Ball

"What happens when a ping pong ball moving at supersonic speed hits a paddle? Here's a video explaining the physics of how a ping pong ball can be accelerated to supersonic speed along with some clips showing test shots."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vines on a nosecone

"Within the culture of biotechnology, the blurry distinction between what we grow and what is designed has become increasingly populated with the products of our contemporary world. Commercially available GLOfish™ pets and herds of silk producing BioSteel® goats set the tone for our own research. Investigations explored the manifestations of these emerging technologies where they infiltrate at scales from the domestic to the landscape."

The rockets of Gaza