Category Archives: General

Applied Technology Institute sponsors this blog. The blog posts news about scientific and engineering topics, including links to industry news and articles, and announcements of continuing education for professionals who are working in the field. ATI’s instructors are the primary contributors.

Stunning Space Station photo of glowing auroras

Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) photographed brightly glowing auroras from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station on March 27, 2017. (ESA/NASA)
Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) photographed brightly glowing auroras from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station on March 27, 2017. (ESA/NASA)

NASA has released an amazing photo show by Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, who photographed bright auroras from the International Space Station on March 27, 2017.

“The view at night recently has been simply magnificent: few clouds, intense auroras. I can’t look away from the windows,” Pesquet wrote in a tweet that included the image.

Here’s what NASA wrote about the image:

“The dancing lights of the aurora provide stunning views, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun. Aurora are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.’

Check out more images from NASA’s Aurora Image Gallery

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OUR MOON QUIETLY GROWS TO SUPERMOON SIZE

 


Tom Logsdon
“Hi diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed,
To see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.”
My mother taught me that playful English nursery rhyme when I was about nine years old..
Notice how the poet who wrote it couldn’t think of anything more fanciful than having a living,
breathing creature ending up in the vicinity of the moon!
It took 300,000 of us a full decade of very hard work, but we did it! We sent two dozen
astronauts on the adventure of a lifetime and we brought all of them back alive. In 1961
President John F. Kennedy, youthful and exuberant and brimming over with confidence,
announced to the world that America’s scientists and engineers would—within a single decade
—land a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth. No cows need apply. But
potential human astronauts were bigly and hugely enthusiastic about their new opportunity
to fly through space to a different world.
By using the math and physics we had learned in school, we covered hundreds of pages with
with cryptic mathematical symbols to work out the details down to a gnat’s eyebrow.
We ended up hurling 24 American astronauts into the vicinity of the moon!. 12 of them
“kangaroo hopped“ on its surface.
Earlier this month, when the moon grew to its maximum apparent size, we were all reminded of
the excitement we felt during Project Apollo. Of course, the size of the moon did not actually
change, it merely moved up to its point of closest approach.
Systematic perturbations on the moon’s orbit coupled with rhythmic variations in its distance
from the Earth as it traveled around its elliptical orbit resulted in surprisingly large variations
in its apparent size and its brightness as seen from the Earth.
These distance variations, in turn, cause its observed diameter and its brightness to vary by as
much as 15 and 30 percent, respectively. When the moon approaches its maximum apparent
size and brightness, it is characterized as a supermoon. The biggest and brightest supermoons
are spaced out several decades apart.
My son, Chad, who participates in Special Olympics, used his cellphone camera to create the
two photographs that accompany this blog. He took the first picture at the crack of dawn
when the moon reached its maximum diameter at the edge of the parking lot at the Embassy
Suites Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky (population 360,000). He made the second photograph
12 hours later in my hometown of Springfield, Kentucky, ((population 2900). That second
picture was made on a small roadside hill beside the Bardstown Road above the IGA
Supermarket within sight of the yellow blinker light at the edge of town.
Author and short-course instructor, Tom Logsdon, who wrote this article, teaches the Launch
and Orbital Mechanics short course for The Applied Technology Institute. Click here for more
information on that course. He also teaches the GPS and Its International Competitors short
course. Click here for more information.

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Super-Moon Photos and Facts

One of the super-moon photos is a humorous hoax. Can you spot it? We knew that ATI’s instructors are world-class experts. They are the best in the business, averaging 25 to 35 years of experience, and are carefully selected for their ability to explain advanced technology in a readily understandable manner. We did not know that many are talented photographers. We challenged them to take some photographs of the November 13-14 super-moon.  See our previous post and then the resulting photographs.

http://www.aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2016/11/13/get-your-camera-ready-super-moon-november-13-14/

Tom Logsdon, who teaches Orbital & Launch Mechanics – Fundamentals provided us some of the orbits key parameters.

Here are the best, most appropriate, average orbital parameters for Earth’s.

perigee radius: 363,300 Km (for the super-moon it was 356,508 Km (or 221,524 miles)

apogee radius: 405,400 Km

Inclination to the ecliptic plane: 5.145 deg

(the plane containing the Earth and the moon)

orbital eccentricity: 0. 0549 (sometimes quoted as 5.49 percent)

recession rate from the Earth: 3.8 cm/yr

Siderial month: 27.3 days

Synodic month: 29.5 days

( the sidereal month is the time it takes for the moon to make one 360 deg trip around the earth;

the synodic month is the month we observe from the spinning earth…it involves a few extra degrees of travel beyond the sidereal month)

Dr. Peter Zipfel Shalimar, Florida

  Dr. Peter Zipfel

Six Degree of Freedom Modeling of Missile and Aircraft Simulations

Aerospace Simulations In C++

  James  Jenkins, Riva, MD

Sonar Signal Processing

 Matt Moran, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Engineering Systems Modeling with Excel / VBA

Thermal & Fluid Systems Modeling

  Matt Moran, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Richard Carande, Denver, CO

Fundamentals of Synthetic Aperture Radar

Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar

Richard Carande, Denver, CO

The photos that beat them all! Taken by the wife or Matt Moran

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Highlights from a Recent INCOSE Gathering

On Monday, September 19th, I attended an INCOSE gathering. It was organized by the Chesapeake Chapter of Women in Systems Engineering (WISE), with a presentation by Courtney Wright, who is an SEP-Acq. Ms. Wright gave an overview of the INCOSE Certification Program, focused primarily on the growth of the program and the benefits of certification. Since I am responsible for marketing and business development efforts in Canada and overseas, there were several interesting data points, which I caught my attention and that I would like to share:

  • Applicants have 1 year from the time of their application is received to complete their certification.
  • A CSEP is valid for 3 years, while an ASEP is valid for 5 years. An ESEP, which is the highest level of certification is valid indefinitely.
  • The top 6 organizations with active SEPs are:
    1. Airbus
    2. Lockheed Martin
    3. Booz Allen Hamilton
    4. Northrop Grumman
    5. Thales
    6. Honeywell
  • Out of approximately 10,000 INCOSE members, approximately 2,600 (or 26%) are SEPs.
  • A steady growth of active SEPs was reported from 2004 to present day.

ATI provides in-classroom, instructor-led CSEP course for those individuals who prefer this format:

http://www.aticourses.com/CSEP_preparation.htm

One reason why the Applied Technology Institute (ATI) also provides an online instructor-led ASEP and CSEP course that allows those systems engineers, who wish to take and pass the exam, a flexible alternative and the option the study at their own pace.

 

http://aticourses.com/ASEP_CSEP_Preparation.html

 

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How to Promote Your ATI Course in Social Media

How to Promote Your ATI Course in Social Media

LinkedIn for ATI Rocket Scientists

 

Did you know that for 52% of professionals and executives, their LinkedIn profile is the #1 or #2 search result when someone searches on their name?

For ATI instructors, that number is substantially lower – just 17%. One reason is that about 25% of ATI instructors do not have a LinkedIn profile. Others have done so little with their profile that it isn’t included in the first page of search results.

If you are not using your LinkedIn profile, you are missing a huge opportunity. When people google you, your LinkedIn profile is likely the first place they go to learn about you. You have little control over what other information might be available on the web about you. But you have complete control over your LinkedIn profile. You can use your profile to tell your story – to give people the exact information you want them to have about your expertise and accomplishments.

 

Why not take advantage of that to promote your company, your services, and your course?

Here are some simple ways to promote your course using LinkedIn…

On Your LinkedIn Profile

Let’s start by talking about how to include your course on your LinkedIn profile so it is visible anytime someone googles you or visits your profile.

1. Add your role as an instructor.

Let people know that this course is one of the ways you share your knowledge. You can include your role as an instructor in several places on your profile:

  • Experience – This is the equivalent of listing your role as a current job. (You can have more than one current job.) Use Applied Technology Institute as the employer. Make sure you drag and drop this role below your full-time position.
  • Summary – Your summary is like a cover letter for your profile – use it to give people an overview of who you are and what you do. You can mention the type of training you do, along with the name of your course.
  • Projects – The Projects section gives you an excellent way to share the course without giving it the same status as a full-time job.
  • Headline – Your Headline comes directly below your name, at the top of your profile. You could add “ATI Instructor” at the end of your current Headline.

Start with an introduction, such as “I teach an intensive course through the Applied Technology Institute on [course title]” and copy/paste the description from your course materials or the ATI website. You can add a link to the course description on the ATI website.

This example from Tom Logsdon’s profile, shows how you might phrase it:

 

Here are some other examples of instructors who include information about their courses on their LinkedIn profile:

  • Buddy Wellborn – His Headline says “Instructor at ATI” and Buddy includes details about the course in his Experience section.
  • D. Lee Fugal – Mentions the course in his Summary and Experience.
  • Jim Jenkins – Courses are included throughout Jim’s profile, including his Headline, Summary, Experience, Projects, and Courses.
  • 2. Link to your course page.

In the Contact Info section of your LinkedIn profile, you can link out to three websites. To add your course, go to Edit Profile, then click on Contact Info (just below your number of connections, next to a Rolodex card icon). Click on the pencil icon to the right of Websites to add a new site.

Choose the type of website you are adding. The best option is “Other:” as that allows you to insert your own name for the link. You have 35 characters – you can use a shortened version of your course title or simply “ATI Course.” Then copy/paste the link to the page about your course.

This example from Jim Jenkins’ profile shows how a customized link looks:

 

3. Upload course materials.

You can upload course materials to help people better understand the content you cover. You could include PowerPoint presentations (from this course or other training), course handouts (PDFs), videos or graphics. They can be added to your Summary, Experience or Project. You can see an example of an upload above, in Tom Logsdon’s profile.

4. Add skills related to your course.

LinkedIn allows you to include up to 50 skills on your profile. If your current list of skills doesn’t include the topics you cover in your course, you might want to add them.

Go to the Skills & Endorsements section on your Edit Profile page, then click on Add skill. Start typing and let LinkedIn auto-complete your topic. If your exact topic isn’t included in the suggestions, you can add it.

5. Ask students for recommendations.

Are you still in touch with former students who were particularly appreciative of the training you provided in your course? You might want to ask them for a recommendation that you can include on your profile. Here are some tips on asking for recommendations from LinkedIn expert Viveka Von Rosen.

6. Use an exciting background graphic.

You can add an image at the top of your profile – perhaps a photo of you teaching the course, a photo of your course materials, a graphic from your presentation, or simply some images related to your topic. You can see an example on Val Traver’s profile.

Go to Edit Profile, then run your mouse over the top of the page (just above your name). You will see the option to Edit Background. Click there and upload your image. The ideal size is 1400 pixels by 425. LinkedIn prefers a JPG, PNG or GIF. Of course, only upload an image that you have permission to use.

 

Share News about Your Course

You can also use LinkedIn to attract more attendees to your course every time you teach.

7. When a course date is scheduled, share the news as a status update.

This lets your connections know that you are teaching a course – it’s a great way to reach the people who are most likely to be interested and able to make referrals.

Go to your LinkedIn home page, and click on the box under your photo that says “Share an update.” Copy and paste the URL of the page on the ATI website that has the course description. Once the section below populates with the ATI Courses logo and the course description, delete the URL. Replace it with a comment such as:

“Looking forward to teaching my next course on [title] for @Applied Technology Institute on [date] at [location].”

Note that when you finish typing “@Applied Technology Institute” it will give you the option to click on the company name. When you do that ATI will know you are promoting the course, and will be deeply grateful!

When people comment on your update, it’s nice to like their comment or reply with a “Thank you!” message. Their comment shares the update with their network, so they are giving your course publicity.

If you want to start doing more with status updates, here are some good tips about what to share (and what not to share) from LinkedIn expert Kim Garst.

8. Share the news in LinkedIn Groups.

If you have joined any LinkedIn Groups in your areas of expertise, share the news there too.

Of course, in a Group you want to phrase the message a little differently. Instead of “Looking forward to teaching…” you might say “Registration is now open for…” or “For everyone interested in [topic], I’m teaching…”

You could also ask a thought-provoking question on one of the topics you cover. Here are some tips about how to start an interesting discussion in a LinkedIn Group.

9. Post again if you still have seats available.

If the course date is getting close and you are looking for more people to register, you should post again. The text below will work as a status update and in most LinkedIn Groups.

“We still have several seats open for my course on [title] on [date] at [location]. If you know of anyone who might be interested, could you please forward this? Thanks. ”

“We have had a few last-minute cancellations for my course on [title] on [date] at [location]. Know anyone who might be interested in attending?”

10. Blog about the topic of the course.

When you publish blog posts on LinkedIn using their publishing platform, you get even more exposure than with a status update:

  • The blog posts are pushed out to all your connections.
  • They stay visible on your LinkedIn profile, and
  • They are made available to Google and other search engines.

A blog post published on LinkedIn will rank higher than one posted elsewhere, because LinkedIn is such an authority site. So this can give your course considerable exposure.

You probably have written articles or have other content relevant to the course. Pick something that is 750-1500 words.

To publish it, go to your LinkedIn home page, and click on the link that says “Publish a post.” The interface is very simple – easier than using Microsoft Word. Include an image if you can. You probably have something in your training materials that will be perfect.

At the end of the post, add a sentence that says:

“To learn more, attend my course on [title].”

Link the title to the course description on the ATI website.

For more tips about blogging, you are welcome to join ProResource’s online training website. The How to Write Blog Posts for LinkedIn course is free.

Take the first step

The most important version of your bio in the digital world is your LinkedIn summary. If you only make one change as a result of reading this blog post, it should be to add a strong summary to your LinkedIn profile. Write the summary promoting yourself as an expert in your field, not as a job seeker. Here are some resources that can help:

Write the first draft of your profile in a word processing program to spell-check and ensure you are within the required character counts. Then copy/paste it into the appropriate sections of your LinkedIn profile. You will have a stronger profile that tells your story effectively with just an hour or two of work!

Contributed by guest blogger Judy Schramm. Schramm is the CEO of ProResource, a marketing agency that works with thought leaders to help them create a powerful and effective presence in social media. ProResource offers done-for-you services as well as social media executive coaching. Contact Judy Schramm at jschramm@proresource.com or 703-824-8482.

 

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Russian Frigate Yaroslav Mudryy Harasses the San Jacinto

Christopher P. Cavas, Defense News6:18 p.m. EDT June 30, 2016

This petty harassment by Russian ships continues!

At the time, the USS San Jacinto was enacting plans against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria along with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, an aircraft carrier. This is a mission that both the US and our “friend”  Russia jointly support. With friends like this, who needs enemies?

This is personal to me.  He was also onboard in October 2012 when the San Jacinto and the USS MONTPELIER (SSN 765) collided while both vessels are conducting exercises off the coast of Florida. I have a son-in-law on the USS San Jacinto (CG-56). He has posted on Facebook that things were very tense and there was some concern about an attempt to board as a possibility.

USS San Jacinto involved in incident

http://navysite.de/cg/cg56.html
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/3271959/russian-warship-accused-of-aggressive-maneuvers-near-us-navy-ship-the-second-cold-war-style-action-in-weeks/#hpqrL3K0RAV11MIi.99

For more details and photos see the links below and the source article at

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense-news/2016/06/28/russia-navy-destroyer-frigate-gravely-yaroslav-mudry-neustrashimy-mediterranean-truman-carrier-collision-encounter/86481616/

WASHINGTON — The same Russian frigate that, according to the US Navy, spent more than an hour June 17 maneuvering erratically and unsafely near a US aircraft carrier and destroyer in the Mediterranean Sea was at it again Thursday June 30, this time near a different carrier. And this time, the ship’s reputation as a dangerous driver was anticipated.

The Yaroslav Mudryy, a Project 1154 Neustrashimy-class frigate wearing pennant number 777 was, according to a US Navy report, conducting shadowing operations of the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group as the flattop was flying combat operations against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq.

The Russian frigate closed on the cruiser San Jacinto, operating as the carrier’s air defense commander, in an action a Navy message characterized as “abnormal, [un]safe and unprofessional.”

The message details how the Yaroslav Mudryy was observed by the San Jacinto to be approaching “with ten personnel topside and weapons uncovered but unmanned.”

“The actions of FF-777 were abnormal as they displayed maneuvers rarely seen by professional mariners at sea combined with an aggressive approach of [the San Jacinto],” the message continued.

The Yaroslav Mudryy, after the close approach, took station in the San Jacinto’s wake about 3,000 yards astern of the cruiser and, according to the message, began broadcasting “do not cross my bow,” an action the US characterized as “inconsistent with the spirit of the [Incidents at Sea] agreement,” a longstanding agreement between the US and Russia to deal with such situations.

“I think it is very important that sailors and officers on the bridge of a ship —whatever nationality it is—act prudently and communicate frequently to avoid any mistakes or miscalculations,” Vice Adm. James G. Foggo IIIwho is simultaneously commander of the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet, Joint Force Maritime Component Commander Europe and NATO’s Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO

https://news.usni.org/2016/06/30/truman-strike-group-flight-operations

 

 

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Jim vs. First Mars tomato: Scientists announce edible space harvest!

Our president, Jim Jenkins is an avid gardener and known to his family and friends as “Farmer Jim”.  He was the first of our “gardening club” to get a big red tomato this year!  The news below should be of interest to our readers especially of a gardening conviction.

 

Several groups including NASA, Elon Musk and Mars-One hope to take people to Mars in the next ten to fifteen years. Returning to the Moon may happen in the next five years. If we get there it will be to stay for extended periods. People will also have to eat there and what is more logical than to grow your own food locally? In 2013 and 2015  the scientists conducted two experiments to investigate whether it was possible to cultivate peas, radishes and tomatoes on Mars and moon soil simulant supplied by NASA. The 2015 experiment provided the first radishes, peas, tomatoes and rye, but it is also safe to eat them?

 

The Mars and lunar soils contain several heavy metals that are toxic to humans such as lead, cadmium and arsenic. Plants are not too bothered by these and just carry on growing. We don’t know if the harvested fruits contain heavy metals and we don’t know if it is safe to eat them – which is what we aim to address in this project. If the project is successful, and shows that it is indeed safe to eat the plants and fruits, it brings the journey and the establishment of a long term human presence on Mars and a more or less permanent base on the moon one step closer.

 

Researchers at Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands are growing edible space vegetables in soil similar to the surface of Mars and the moon.

 

The new experiment will be carried out according to a procedure developed in 2015, with some improvements. It will use experimental trays, with one crop per tray, containing respectively peas, tomatoes and radishes and two other crops. The experiment will be replicated five times and the soils (Mars and lunar simulants and terrestrial control) will be enriched with organic material in order to improve the structure and nutrient supply. For Mars the nutrient will consist of the parts of the plants that would not be eaten and human faeces. Fruits and edible parts will be harvested and analysed for heavy metals at the Wageningen UR institute Rikilt.

 

 

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Jim and Fun At Sea or The Best Fishing Trip Ever 2. This time in Maryland!

 

 

Jim Jenkins, Susan McCarthy, Ed McCarthy, Pat McCarthy, Carolyn Jenkins & Julie Jenkins

The Jenkins House a.k.a. The Ruling Clan of ATI are avid fishermen.  Their fishing prowess has been proven by many years of bringing home large and yummy fish of all varieties.  Their latest jaunt took them out of Chesapeake City into the water of the Chesapeake Bay.

The weather was perfect!  Sun was shining, fish were biting and the good natured taunts exchanged.

The rest of us (good landlubbers) were waiting ashore sharpening our knives and shining our silver.

Sure thing, the fishing party has returned victorious!

Eleven big rockfish were caught, out of the limit of 12. Many smaller rockfish were released. Julie Jenkins caught the biggest rockfish today, 28 inches. The next trip is scheduled in August off the coast of Delaware.

Our share of the catch was prepared on the grill and served with Chili Lime Dressing.  The recipe is to die for!  While this recipe for grilled rockfish with an Asian chile-lime dressing is super-fast and easy, it doesn’t taste or look super-fast and easy. Your guests will be impressed, and it will be our little secret.

 

 

Grilled Rockfish with Chili-Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced, or more to taste
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chile pepper sauce (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 4 (4 ounce) fillets rockfisth
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, or as needed
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, or to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  2. Whisk garlic, lime zest, rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, chile pepper sauce, and sesame oil in a glass bowl.
  3. Brush both sides of rockfish fillets with vegetable oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. Cook on the preheated grill until fish is opaque, shows good grill marks, and springs back when pressed lightly, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer fillets to a serving platter.
  5. Whisk dressing again; taste and and adjust seasoning. Drizzle dressing over warm fish. Sprinkle fillets with cilantro leaves.

 


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Why engineers are better than everyone else

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, and signal processing. We believe the news summarized below would be of interest to our readers.

February 16 marked the beginning of National Engineers week in the U.S.  EDN celebrated engineers with six reasons Why engineers are better than everyone else!  The tongue-in-cheek piece elaborated on these engineering qualities:

  • Team work, not cut-throat competition
  • You’re boring at parties
  • Start-ups don’t happen without you
  • Your degree is worth more than the paper it’s printed on
  • Go ahead, argue
  • Others make problems, engineers find solutions.

For the logic, see the entire article (Why engineers are better than everyone else) by Suzanne Deffree, February 20, 2014.

 

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