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aries1988 : engineering   48

What is turbulence—and how can you calm down about it?

Rough air happens everywhere, from ground level to far above cruising altitude. But the most common turbulence experienced by flyers has three common causes: mountains, jet streams, and storms.

At NCAR, Sharman has been working since 2005 to build much more precise “nowcasting” turbulence tools.

Here’s how it works: an algorithm currently installed on around 1,000 commercial airliners analyzes information from onboard sensors to characterize each plane’s movement at any given moment. Using data on forward velocity, wind speed, air pressure, roll angle, and other factors, the algorithm generates a local atmospheric turbulence level, which is fed back into a national system every minute. Used in conjunction with national weather forecasts and models, the tool annotates forecasts with real-time conditions, which in turn helps to strengthen weather prediction models.
turbulence  aviation  travel  plane  engineering  app 
march 2019 by aries1988
China’s Ambitious Plan to Build the World’s Biggest Supergrid

But even as China celebrates the completion of more than 30,000 km of UHV lines, power engineers are struggling to master the resulting hybrid AC-DC transmission system. They must ensure that the new long-haul DC lines don’t destabilize China’s regional AC grids. For example, if the 8-gigawatt DC line from Gansu were to unexpectedly go off line, the power shock could cause widespread blackouts in Hunan and beyond.

To minimize the threat, the State Grid Corp. of China, a state-owned company that runs most of China’s transmission and distribution grids, intentionally limits the line’s throughput to no more than 4.5 GW. In practice, the line has carried less than one-quarter of its design capacity on average. That’s one reason why over one-third of Gansu province’s theoretical wind output and one-fifth of its solar potential went unused in 2017. Other UHV lines in neighboring regions have similarly operated below capacity. And eastern provinces don’t have sufficient incentive to import the cleaner power that the UHV lines offer.

State Grid’s long-term goal to interconnect its regional grids should also reduce curtailment, experts say. Zhang Ning, an authority on renewables integration at Tsinghua University, points out that the Southwest grid’s hydropower can balance the fluctuations in the Northwest’s wind and solar output. If we interconnect the West, curtailment of wind power there can be reduced from more than 20 percent to 5 percent, he estimates, and both regions’ use of coal can also be cut.
numbers  china  today  energy  eolien  technology  engineering  corporation 
february 2019 by aries1988
We decoded NASA’s messages to aliens by hand - YouTube
In 1977, twin golden records were sent into space on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft. Still sailing through space at nearly 60,000 km per hour, the records…
video  earth  image  information  engineering  decode  programming  science 
february 2019 by aries1988
Is the Algorithmification of the Human Experience a Good Thing?
Skeptics will point out that those algorithms are designed by corporations to serve their interests, not yours. Social media companies, for instance, want to keep you on their services as long as possible, which makes them prone to pushing emotionally charged content that might not be super healthy for you or for society. And even a benevolent algorithm can produce negative or unwanted results.

The video wasn’t directly crafted by a machine. But it wasn’t totally a human creation, either. Rather, it was optimized to appeal to YouTube’s content algorithm, which automatically plays related videos one after the other. “Johny Johny Yes Papa” copies enough elements of popular kid’s videos — a certain length, musical beat, color palette and visual style, along with key words and lyrics — that YouTube’s algorithm will line it up after more popular songs.

At least on a symbolic level, there is something unsettling about a global, faceless content empire that hoovers up human culture and processes it into homogenized nothingness to be fed to kids via tireless social media algorithms that seek, above all else, to maximize time spent on site.
society  engineering  crisis  question  future  children  video  ai  algorithm 
september 2018 by aries1988
水利工程的明珠——灵渠 | 力学园地

china  geography  engineering 
august 2018 by aries1988
‘Daisy-chain’ gene drive vanishes after only a few generations | New Scientist
Each element contains one or more genes that contribute towards the whole gene drive. In Esvelt’s design, element A can only copy and paste itself if element B is present. Element B can only copy and paste itself if element C is present. And element C, crucially, cannot copy and paste itself at all – it can only spread by normal breeding, to half of offspring.

The idea is to release thousands of mosquitoes, say, carrying all three elements. When they mate with wild mosquitoes, all the offspring will inherit element A and B, but only half will inherit element C. In the following generations, element B will spread rapidly and A will spread even more rapidly, but C will gradually die out. Once it does, B will start to disappear, and finally A will too.
biology  engineering  explained  dna 
february 2018 by aries1988
First for Chicago's skyline: Open floor to cope with wind, keep residents from getting queasy - Chicago Tribune
The engineers for Chicago's future third-tallest skyscraper had issued a warning: Wind tunnel tests showed that the plan for the building, three thin, interconnected high-rises designed by star architect Jeanne Gang, had a flaw: High winds would push it around, making people inside feel like they were on a storm-tossed ship.
engineering  building  wind  safety 
august 2017 by aries1988
D.I.Y. Artificial Intelligence Comes to a Japanese Family Farm
The Koikes have been growing cucumbers in Kosai, a town wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the brackish Lake Hamana, for nearly fifty years.

For his project, he used TensorFlow, which Google released to the public in 2015.

He began by building a custom photo stand, which allowed him to photograph each cucumber from three angles. Then, to analyze the images, he adapted a popular piece of TensorFlow software used for recognizing handwritten numerals. Before he could turn the A.I. loose, though, Koike had to train it. He captured seven thousand photos of cucumbers that his mother had already sorted, then used the data to teach his software to recognize which vegetables belonged in which categories. Finally, he built an automated conveyor-belt system to move each cucumber from the photo stand to the bin designated by the program.
agriculture  ai  business  city  countryside  engineering  example  family  japanese  story 
august 2017 by aries1988
How Checkers Was Solved
“From the end of the Tinsley saga in ’94–’95 until 2007, I worked obsessively on building a perfect checkers program,” Schaeffer told me. “The reason was simple: I wanted to get rid of the ghost of Marion Tinsley. People said to me, ‘You could never have beaten Tinsley because he was perfect.’ Well, yes, we would have beaten Tinsley because he was only almost perfect. But my computer program is perfect.”

And then there is his most quotable line: “Chess is like looking out over a vast open ocean; checkers is like looking into a bottomless well.”
ai  competition  duel  engineering  game  genius  human  maths  story 
august 2017 by aries1988
Nature interrupted: photographs by Claudius Schulze
Natural catastrophes of unbelievable scope have occurred around the world in the past couple of decades, worsened by global warming, erosion, deforestation and ocean acidification, and taking thousands of lives. The fact that Europe has largely been spared is not only due to its specific topography and climate. More than 250 people died in the Alps during the “avalanche winter” of 1951, and more than 300 people in the North Sea floods of 1962. Those were the last natural catastrophes of that scale in central Europe, and provided the impetus for gigantic protective building projects.
europe  flooding  engineering 
july 2017 by aries1988
Airlines bid to beat their weight problem
Engine makers, too, are finding ways to lighten their turbines — on average weighing 6,350kg each for large jets. Roughly 340kg can be cut from a wide-body engine by using composite materials for fan blades and the fan case, according to Rolls-Royce. Titanium aluminide, an even newer material that replaces heavier nickel alloys, can make further reductions in the hottest parts of an engine. It is a virtuous circle, says Mr Parker. “If you put on a blade that is one-third the weight you can have a turbine disc that is lighter as well. And then the casing can be lighter and thinner. The positive benefit goes round and round.”
Composite materials are reducing the weight of wings but a lightning strike would punch straight through without the inclusion of metallic elements.
aviation  future  engineering 
december 2016 by aries1988
新能源的并网给电力工程师带来了更为头疼的难题:天气。用户老爷们的需求已经够难对付了,这下又来了一个看老天爷脸色的奇葩……这日子没法过了(╯ ̄Д ̄)╯┻━┻ 2012 年吉林省的弃风率达到 32%,也就是 1/3 的发电量被白白丢在了风里。除了当地消费能力有限的原因之外,控制上的难题同样也是原因。风力和光伏短时间内的波动性非常严重,难以与电网同步,俗称“垃圾电”,如果直接并网会导致整个电力系统的不稳定。
eolien  electric  batteries  energy  engineering 
october 2016 by aries1988
Marconi forged today's interconnected world of communication | New Scientist
He may not have had Einstein's orginality, but Marconi pioneered the modern communication systems that led to cellphones and the internet

After Marconi’s death, Franklin wrote of his boss with a mixture of respect and criticism: “His scientific knowledge was weak, his engineering knowledge was weak, but he had a damned lot of intuition and common sense. He may have initiated the beam system but he didn’t know a thing about it.”
book  leader  communication  italia  engineering  radio  invention 
august 2016 by aries1988
Obituary: Artur Fischer, German inventor -
Artur Fischer, who has died aged 96, was the German inventor of the camera flash bulb, the plastic wall plug and the Fischertechnik construction toys that inspired generations of engineers. Fischer secured 1,100 patents in his long life, a score
engineering  invention  deutsch  toy  buy  children 
february 2016 by aries1988
What It's Like to Fly Into a Thunderstorm
WMI planes are equipped with silver iodide burners on both wings, each capable of running for about two to two and a half hours. Silver iodide flares sit in racks under the wings. Upon release, they last anywhere from around 30 seconds to two minutes and deliver a concentrated dose to the would-be ice particles. When suppressing hail, the goal for pilots is to release the silver iodide directly into the storm’s updraft, which is the vertically-oriented region of warm moist air rising up off the ground that fuels thunderstorms. Hail forms when cloud droplets get shot up the updraft of a storm into the taller parts of the cloud and freeze. The stronger the updraft, the longer the hailstone can stay suspended in the storm, the more liquid water it can freeze onto its surface, the bigger the hailstone can become.
weather  engineering  plane  agriculture  usa 
november 2015 by aries1988
La Grande Muraille Verte au Sénégal - RFI
Construire une Grande Muraille Verte contre la désertification, c'est le pari un peu fou de planter des arbres sur toute la largeur du continent africain, de l'océan Atlantique à la mer Rouge, de la Mauritanie à Djibouti....
environment  desert  engineering 
november 2015 by aries1988
Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers
consider how often your late-model car fails to start inexplicably or your office elevator traps you inside its shaft. Computing has become infrastructure, but it doesn’t work like infrastructure.

When it comes to skyscrapers and bridges and power plants and elevators and the like, engineering has been, and will continue to be, managed partly by professional standards, and partly by regulation around the expertise and duties of engineers. But fifty years’ worth of attempts to turn software development into a legitimate engineering practice have failed.

Software wasn’t ever really akin to manufacturing and construction, where changes were difficult or impossible after initial implementation.

First, the pressure to get things right the first time around was relieved, because updates and changes could be applied centrally, as in the mainframe era.

As a result, software development has become institutionally hermetic. And that’s the opposite of what engineering ought to mean: a collaboration with the world, rather than a separate domain bent on overtaking it.

California, for example, issues Professional licenses for agricultural, chemical, civil, control system, electrical, fire protection, industrial, mechanical, metallurgical, nuclear, petroleum engineering, and traffic engineers.

Engineers bear a burden to the public, and their specific expertise as designers and builders of bridges or buildings—or software—emanates from that responsibility.
engineering  programming  culture  comparison  opinion 
november 2015 by aries1988
List of Highest International Bridges

bridge  civil  engineering  list  world 
november 2015 by aries1988
4 Ways Elevators Will Get Totally Insane In 2016
Right now, the fastest elevator in the world is located in the Shanghai World Financial Center. It travels at 3,600 feet per minute, which is about as fast as you can go without making people uncomfortable due to rapid depressurization. Future elevators, though, will have pressurized cabins, like an airplane. This will allow elevators to shoot up as fast as anyone could want. Going down, though, is another story: even with pressurized cabins, Bass says, elevators can't descend faster than around 2,000 feet per minute without people's ears starting to hurt.

And this isn't just some futuristic fantasy: the technology's proven, and ThyssenKrup will finish building the first fully functioning MULTI elevator system in Rottweil, Germany, by the end of 2016.
engineering  building 
june 2015 by aries1988
4 Ways Elevators Will Get Totally Insane In 2016
Right now, the fastest elevator in the world is located in the Shanghai World Financial Center. It travels at 3,600 feet per minute, which is about as fast as you can go without making people uncomfortable due to rapid depressurization. Future elevators, though, will have pressurized cabins, like an airplane. This will allow elevators to shoot up as fast as anyone could want. Going down, though, is another story: even with pressurized cabins, Bass says, elevators can't descend faster than around 2,000 feet per minute without people's ears starting to hurt. And this isn't just some futuristic fantasy: the technology's proven, and ThyssenKrup will finish building the first fully functioning MULTI elevator system in Rottweil, Germany, by the end of 2016.
building  engineering 
may 2015 by aries1988
Flight Paths
Projects like this give us imaginative access to the lives of wild creatures, but they cannot capture the real animals’ complex paths. Instead we watch virtual animals moving across a world of eternal daylight built from a patchwork of layered satellite and aerial imagery, a flattened, static landscape free of happenstance: There are no icy winds over high mountain passes, heavy rains, soaring hawks, ripening crops or recent droughts. Despite these simplifications, following a tagged animal on a map is an addictive pursuit. It’s hard not to become invested in its fate. The bird might die, the tag might fail. You do not know where it will travel next. The bird is unaware of the eyes that watch its progress, and you veer from a sense of power at your ability to surveil at a distance to the knowledge that you are powerless to influence what happens next.
engineering  biology  tracker  story  animal  continent 
may 2015 by aries1988
Rosetta, une réussite européenne
En 1981, la décision unilatérale de la NASA d’arrêter sa participation à la mission ISPM de survol des pôles du Soleil par un satellite américain et un européen provoqua une crise politique majeure et vint renforcer une croissante volonté d’autonomie renforcée par le succès du premier lancement d’Ariane en 1979.

Après une large consultation de plus de 2 000 scientifiques européens, l’ESA établit, en 1984, un programme de vingt ans, « Horizon 2000 », composé de pierres angulaires, choisies par consensus de tous les scientifiques, représentant les domaines phares de leurs intérêts : observation du Soleil et de son influence sur l’environnement ; astronomie des hautes énergies et du rayonnement infrarouge lointain ; exploration des comètes et des astéroïdes concrétisée par les missions Soho et Cluster, XMM-Newton, Herschel et Planck, Giotto et Rosetta.

Conçu pour être autonome, le programme répondait à la volonté d’indépendance, tout en permettant la participation de partenaires non européens. Son coût total avoisinait 4,5 milliards d’euros sur vingt ans en exigeant une augmentation régulière du budget scientifique de l’ESA – en stagnation depuis 1971 – au niveau annuel de 27 millions d’euros, soit un dixième du programme équivalent à la NASA.

Succès politique majeur, dont Rosetta est l’illustration scientifique spectaculaire. Sa mise en œuvre exigeait une discipline de contrôle des coûts des missions. Son acceptation enclencha une révolution des méthodes de travail tant de la communauté scientifique que de l’ESA et de ses Etats membres. Le programme devint une référence européenne et internationale. Une fois accepté, il attisa l’intérêt des Américains, des Japonais, des Russes et, plus tard, des Chinois. L’Europe offrait et ne mendiait plus !
europe  space  science  engineering  comparison 
november 2014 by aries1988
Un « mur » qui discipline les ondes
« C’est une très belle idée », ­confirme Ping Sheng, de l’université de Science et Technologie de Hongkong. Lui-même songe à la développer, avec l’équipe de l’Institut Langevin, pour les ondes acoustiques. Dans une pièce bruyante, une personne pourrait alors parler à une autre, à l’autre extrémité, comme si elles étaient voisines.
engineering  science 
october 2014 by aries1988
L’opération de séduction de Valeo auprès des jeunes ingénieurs
Pas moins de 969 équipes de 55 pays ont participé à ce concours destiné à imaginer l’équipement qui rendra d’ici à 2030 la voiture plus intelligente et plus intuitive. Les 20 meilleures, sélectionnées en avril, avaient reçu 5 000 euros chacune pour élaborer en l’espace de quatre mois une maquette ou un prototype. Sept équipes finalistes élues début septembre se sont retrouvées à Paris pour soutenir, jeudi 16 octobre, leur projet devant un jury présidé par Jacques Aschenbroich, directeur général de Valeo, et comprenant des personnalités telles que Claudie Haigneré, présidente d’Universcience et ex-ministre de la recherche, le scientifique Joël de Rosnay ou le directeur de l’institut d’adaptronique et d’acoustique de l’université de Dresde (Allemagne), Welf-Guntram Drossel.

Le but premier de ce concours n’était pas de faire surgir de nouvelles idées. Mais de faire connaître Valeo dans les grandes universités et écoles d’ingénieurs de la planète. L’équipementier automobile se voit plus comme une entreprise technologique et électronique qu’automobile. « Dans le recrutement des ingénieurs logiciels, nous sommes en concurrence avec les Google et autres », explique M. Aschenbroich. Et ses besoins sont importants. Alors que le groupe compte créer 30 000 emplois dans les cinq ans à venir, il procède à 1 500 recrutements nets d’ingénieurs par an.

Chez Valeo, ces « experts », qui sont au nombre de 700, ont une délégation du directeur général pour décider de cultiver telle ou telle expertise technique. Ils sont au cœur de la recherche et développement, à laquelle le groupe consacre 1,1 milliard d’euros par an (10 % de son chiffre d’affaires). « L’innovation 100 % en interne, cela n’existe plus, tranche M. Aschenbroich. On a les meilleurs ingénieurs du monde, mais, quoi qu’il arrive, il y a plus d’intelligence en dehors de Valeo qu’à l’intérieur. »
business  research  youth  engineering  automobile  corporation 
october 2014 by aries1988
Living City | A City Shaped by Steam - Video -
With more than 100 miles of steam piping and nearly 2,000 buildings served, New York’s steam system is the largest in the world.
city  story  explained  wonder  video  engineering 
october 2014 by aries1988
Inside Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program
“What excited us from the beginning was that if the right thing could find anybody just in the moment that they need it, the world might be radically better place,” Teller said.

“Google X has this experience all of the time in all of these different projects,” Teller said. People count all the problems created by our current way of life as zero because that's what we’re used to as the societal default, he contended. Conversely, people immediately see the negatives of any new thing. “We are not deaf to those issues and we’re really eager to talk to society about how to mitigate those,” Teller said. “But part of our conversation with society is about us listening, but also trying to remind the people that we talk to that the place we’re starting from is not zero. In this case, for delivery, cars, airplanes create a very large carbon footprint and have a lot of safety issues.”

The idea goes like this: Because people can’t assume near-instantaneous delivery of whatever they need, they stockpile things. They might have a bunch of batteries, slowly decharging in a drawer, or a drill that they use for 10 minutes a year. Each of these things is a personal possession that sits around, embodying all this energy and industrial effort unproductively.
google  reportage  drone  idea  buy  lifestyle  future  engineering 
august 2014 by aries1988
A Model Disaster
Have engineers learned anything from the loss of the unsinkable Titanic? Will they ever?
engineering  disaster  future 
august 2012 by aries1988
除了庆祝3月14日π日外,圆周率的爱好者也许更应该庆祝7月22日,因为22/7约等于3.142857,它比3.14更接近π的真实值。3.14和22⁄7都是圆周率的近似值,如果我们在实际中使用π,需要取多少位才合适?显然是根据实践需要,如为半径100米的游泳池建造防护栏,与总长度628.3185米相比,差几毫米并不重要;国际空间站的引导与导航控制系统使用的π要精确到15位,空间一体化全球定位系统/惯性导航系统(SIGI )需要取16位,SIGI被用于控制和稳定宇宙飞船;物理学宇宙基本常数使用的π要精确到32位。
engineering  numbers  scale 
july 2012 by aries1988

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