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Project Hathor
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Saturday February 27, 2016 @ 11:58pm
3 replies ]

So a project I've been up to lately is building a ring launcher which I call Hathor.

Details on the project are over on my site here:

Video of the full power test firing is here:

It's probably my favorite build to date.

SatNOGS Wins the 2014 Hack-a-Day Prize
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Tuesday December 2, 2014 @ 07:50pm
3 replies ]

This project is pretty cool. SatNOGS is a distributed, open source, satellite tracking system, that gives people access to satellite data. I want to build one of them.

SatNOGS project is a complete platform of an Open Source Networked Ground Station. The scope of the project is to create a full stack of open technologies based on open standards , and the construction of a full ground station as a showcase of the stack.
SatNOGS provides the basis for:

Bulk manufacturing and deployment of affordable Satellite Ground Stations
Modular design for integration with existing and future technologies
A platform for a variety of instrumentation around Satellite Ground Station operations
A firm platform for a Ground Station collaborative network (one to one, one to many, many to many)
A community based approach on Ground Station development
A solution for massive automation of operator-less Ground Stations based on open standards

Blacker than black
Science! ]
Posted by MadArab on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 11:54am
7 replies ]

For your Obsidian heart Krux, I present you with Vantablack!

Caliber, you should go talk to this chap:

Stephen Westland, professor of colour science and technology at Leeds University, told the paper: 'These new materials, they are pretty much as black as we can get, almost as close to a black hole as we could imagine.'

ISEE-3 Reboot Project
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Saturday May 31, 2014 @ 12:25pm
6 replies ]

They did it!

A group of citizen scientists has successfully established communication with an inactive NASA spacecraft in an attempt to breathe new scientific life into a more than 35-year-old agency mission.

NASA signed a Non-Reimbursable Space Act Agreement (NRSAA) with Skycorp, Inc., in Los Gatos, California, on May 21 that allows the company to contact, and possibly command and control, NASA's International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) spacecraft as part of the company's ISEE-3 Reboot Project. On May 29, the project team established two-way communication with the ISEE-3 spacecraft and began commanding it to perform specific functions.

First contact with ISEE-3 was achieved at the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico. The initial contact was a tone followed by specific commands. The team has changed modes so the spacecraft will broadcast telemetry information. Over the coming days and weeks they are planning to assess the spacecraft's overall health and refine the techniques required to fire its engines and bring it back to an orbit near Earth.

Speaking of Hams, a call for Hams and Hackers to communicate with ISEE-3
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Saturday March 1, 2014 @ 12:56am
7 replies ]

ISEE-3, one of America's most dedicated space exploration vessels is on its way home. Unfortunately, when it gets here, no one will be talking to it. NASA decommissioned the equipment needed to communicate with the satellite nearly 15 years ago. [Emily Lakdawalla] at the planetary society has been following the long traveled probe for years. Her recent article on the topic includes the news that NASA essentially gave up the battle before it even started.

In 1999, NASA contacted the probe to verify it was still functioning. All systems were determined to be operating fine. On September 18, 2008, NASA attempted to receive the probe's carrier signal. To the space agency's surprise, they found that the probe was never shut down after the 1999 status check. It was still transmitting data, and amazingly, 12 of its 13 science instruments were still operational.

This brings us to 2014. ICE/ISEE-3 is on its way home. It will return for a close Earth pass in August. NASA has determined that the equipment needed to contact ICE/ISEE-3 was decommissioned from the Deep Space Network (DSN) in 1999. Due to budget limitations, rebuilding the equipment is not possible. If NASA won't reach out to ICE/ISEE-3, perhaps Makers, Hackers, and Ham radio operators could. ICE/ISEE-3 includes two 5 watt S-Band transponders. Receiving the signal may not be a major problem. Transmitting however, will be. Without the gain of the large DSN dishes, contact will be difficult.

Where does time come from?
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Saturday March 1, 2014 @ 12:48am
1 reply ]

This was interesting to watch. Dr. Demetrios Matsakis, Chief Scientist for the U.S. Naval Observatory's Time Services, gives a tour.

Robots Army!
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Saturday February 1, 2014 @ 09:17am
5 replies ]

So Sarah just launched her Kickstarter for her Robot Army Starter Kit!

It's a Delta Robot kit, that by purchasing also helps her build her art installation where she will have a field of delta robots that can be interacted with. It's a cool project, and I'm excited to see it come into being.

Oh and buy a kit!

more ]

Hey I build a Tesla Coil Winder
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 11:42pm
8 replies ]

Check out the details over here:

But I'm really happy with how well the time lapse video of the coil winding turned out.


Playing with 3D printers..
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Thursday December 5, 2013 @ 11:24pm
11 replies ]

So while my Air is coming along well, someone at work mentioned this thing called a Peachy Printer. I guess they had a pretty good kickstarter and are finishing up getting ready for production. I got to say, the idea is very interesting and very creative. It seems like the material is a bit soft, squishy.. but maybe with bigger walls it could be better. Anyways.. check out the videos. Very cool stuff.

10 Years of Weather History in 3 Minutes
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Monday September 2, 2013 @ 01:58pm
1 reply ]

This is awesome.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a video showing weather footage of the Southern Hemisphere from the past ten years captured with the recently decommissioned GOES-12 satellite.

NOAA's GOES-12 satellite was decommissioned on August 16th, 2013 after 3,788 days in service. From April 2003 -- May 2010, GOES-12 served as GOES East, providing "eye in the sky" monitoring for such memorable events as the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and the series of blizzards during the winter of 2009-2010. After suffering thruster control issues, GOES-12 was taken out of normal service and moved to provide greater coverage of the Southern Hemisphere as the first-ever GOES South. During that time it provided enhanced severe weather monitoring for South America.

This animation shows one image from each day of the satellite's life -- a total of 3,641 full disk visible images.

more ]

Microwave Relativity Engine
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Sunday February 10, 2013 @ 11:00am
4 replies ]

Hey Rub, can you sneak one of these out of the country?

China claims successful test of microwave relativity engine

Researchers in China say that they've successfully managed to test an engine that runs on electricity, requires no propellant and produces no exhaust. It's called the EmDrive, and it's able to convert microwave energy directly into thrust inside a sealed chamber. Oh, it's totally silent and highly efficient, too. If it seems too good to be true, well, you're not the only one who feels that way. But the researchers have a prototype that apparently works, and they've just published a paper detailing it.

Mini Maker Faire to put the spotlight on creators' handiwork
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @ 08:01pm
17 replies ]

Hey, I'm famous!

Mini Maker Faire to put the spotlight on creators' handiwork

If you ask the organizers of Las Vegas' Mini Maker Faire, "Why?," they will simply tell you, "Because it's cool."

The event is part of a larger, nationwide maker movement. Makers are anyone who believes the do-it-yourself route is the way to go -- homemade shoes that light up while dancing, a machine that makes pinatas, anything they can imagine.

The people at the SYN Shop, a downtown maker hive at 117 N. Fourth St., slated to open next month, are attempting to unite their laser cutter- wielding community Feb. 2 at the Historic Fifth Street School for the Mini Maker Faire.

"It's really one large show and tell," said Pawel Szymczykowski, an organizer of the event. "People bring their projects and share how it's made."