NASA’s Parker Solar Probe — designed, built and managed by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) — will launch in summer 2018 and travel to our star on a historic mission to “touch the Sun.” Now you can get on board and be a part of this voyage of extreme exploration.
NASA is giving everyone across the world the opportunity to submit their names for a journey to the Sun. Names will be added to a microchip that will fly aboard Parker Solar Probe as it makes its way from Earth to the Sun — the first mission to ever do so.
Along for the ride will be a revolutionary heat shield, which will protect the spacecraft from soaring temperatures as it plunges into the corona to get the first close-up view of Earth’s star.
After crashing together at nearly the speed of light, “radiating gravitational waves and a torrent of electromagnetic radiation that reached Earth at roughly the same moment 130 million years after the fact.”
This collision is “an astronomical gold mine of sorts” as supernova explosions create heavy metals, that cannot alone “explain the observed abundances of gold, platinum, uranium and other heavy elements.”
“Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity. The equations indicated that massive bodies under acceleration, like two merging black holes, neutron stars or the collapsing cores of huge stars in the death throes of supernova explosions, would radiate gravitational energy in the form of waves distorting the fabric of spacetime.”
In an article published by The National interest in Oct. 2017, Dave Majumdar cites that, “As rival powers rise to challenge the United States, the Pentagon is faced with the problem of how to face down a spectrum of challenges that range from nuclear deterrence to high-end conventional wars to the low-end counterinsurgency fights.” How will the Pentagon address all three at the same time? Secretary of Defense, John Mattis, defines it as the Pentagon;s “Problem Statement.” Speaking to an audience at the Association of the U.S. Army Exposition on Oct. 9th, Mattis indicated that “the Defense Department is taking a three-pronged approach to the problem.”
The Washington Post has great images of the the rainfall rate relative to historic averages. The claim is that some Texas areas had a rainfall rate that is a 0.1% chance flood event in a year or 1 in 1000 in a year.
“A new analysis from the University of Wisconsin’s Space Science and
Engineering Center has determined that Harvey is a 1-in-1,000-year flood
event that has overwhelmed an enormous section of Southeast Texas
equivalent in size to New Jersey.”
Harvey released 40 inches to 45 inches of rain in a few days over areas of Texas or about 24.5 trillion gallons of water. Huge amount! – that is 3.5 ft in some areas.
This updates an 8/18/2017 post. Unfortunately, the shutdown risk has grown!
This is a good article about the economic cost of a federal shutdown. It provides many detailed examples of the costs of the shutdown caused by the failure of the federal government to act in a timely way due to the shutdown.
Jeff Neal was the chief human capital officer at the Homeland Security Department and the chief human resources officer at the Defense Logistics Agency.
Planning training and travel for FY 2018 could be tricky if there is a government shutdown of unknown duration. Many of the people that ATI has talked to have “no remaining FY 2017 training funds and have no idea what training budget will be in the FY 2018”.
The last government shutdown occurred in 2013. The 16-day-long shutdown of October 2013 was the third-longest government shutdown in U.S. history, after the 18-day shutdown in 1978 and the 21-day 1995–96 shutdown. ATI was conducting training in 1995-1996. The 1995 shut-down was chaos.
The last time sequestration kicked in 2013, it forced many federal agencies to furlough employees, costing them up to 20 percent of their salary during the furlough period. Fortunately, all the government employees were eventually paid their full salary. Paying employees to not work and then rush to catch-up is a wasteful government practice. Many had to struggle until the late salary pay was received.
Standard & Poor’s estimated that the 2013 shutdown took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent.
Even after the shutdown was over there was confusion for several months as employees talked about the shutdown and tried to get all the affected programs back on track.Small businesses and tourist locations lost money that was never recovered. Training and travel funds were devastated for most of the year in 1995 and 2013.
Congress must pass a new government funding bill by Sept. 30 to prevent a shutdown on Oct. 1, which is when fiscal 2018 begins. In previous years, because of the limited amount of time on Capitol Hill in September, lawmakers have been forced to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running for a few more months.
This year could be different. “Build that wall,” Mr. Trump said. “Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it. But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”
We’re months away from agreeing on the annual budget, and if Congress and President Trump fail to appropriate funds, government departments won’t be able to spend money. This means contractors won’t get paid.
“If the budget debate gets ugly, which is a clear possibility, we could see the stock shares weaken in September, and then potentially rebound fairly quickly with the conclusion of (or lack of) any shutdown, as was the case in 2013,” Wells Fargo analyst Ed Caso wrote in a Thursday note.
See this link for continuing news updates on the potential 2017 shutdown.
During the federal shutdown of 2013, contractor stocks fell as much as 6 percent, while annual revenue and earnings per share were estimated to average a 1- to 1.5-percent hit, according to Wells Fargo. IFCI also lowered guidance.
But this year’s shocks could be amplified.
“We should note that in 2013 the defense sector was at through EV/EBITDA (enterprise value to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) multiples, while now they are in the upper quartile suggesting the potential for more volatility,” Caso wrote.
But How Worried Should We Be?
Given the current political climate, Caso considers a one-day shutdown possible and a multi-day shutdown modestly likely. Still, the caprice of the Trump administration merits preparation.
“The political calculus, in our view, is even more unstable than in 2013, so uncertainty going into GFY end (September) should only be higher even with the memory that no one gained politically from the 2013 shutdown,” he wrote.
Additionally, the drastic budget changes proposed could sustain debate more contentious than that driving the previous 16-day shutdown. Government agencies and employees do not know how to plan training and travel. Confusion will result for several months.
Breaking Defense reports that “Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, has ordered a review of service’s longstanding shortfalls in electronic warfare, officers told me in an exclusive interview. The ultimate goal: give commanders from platoon to corps the ability to shut down enemy radio and radar as readily as they now call in airstrikes and artillery. It’s a critical part of the Army’s plan to hit future enemies from all possible angles at once, a concept called Multi-Domain Battle.”
Col. Mark Dotson noted that an already apparent issue is the problem that the Army’s current plan to rebuild EW “focuses on combat brigades and neglects higher-level formations, like divisions and corps.”
Col. Chris Walls, a cyber/EW expert on the Army staff, notes that the Army wishes to do the same with the invisible artillery of electronic and cyber warfare that it did, since World War II, “when [they had] mortars, artillery, rockets, attack aviation if I had it, all firing at the target at the same time… to force them to face multiple dilemmas simultaneously.”
ATI offers a variety of EW and EW-related courses, some of which are offered at the end of September 2017. These include:
For all the women in our lives who need a power boost of encouragement, this Girl Power Album Playlist is for you!
It’s for smart and courageous young ladies like my nieces (Ivy & Eden) and my daughters (Alice & Quinn). It also goes for the ladies like Jim’s daughter Julie. Julie and my nieces are breaking down barriers in traditionally masculine fields. Julie is now a practicing law for the VA in Washington, DC. Ivy and Eden are enrolled in honors pharmaceutical and law programs where girls are outnumbered four to one (as they often are in science, technology, engineering, and math). Alice & Quinn are too young to demonstrate their intellectual prowess, but nevertheless, every day they demonstrate that they are gritty as well as pretty.
This is a list of the top 10 Girl Power Albums in alphabetical order.
Pick your favorite top 3 and guess what 3 National Public Radio selected as the greatest albums. The answers are below, but pick you favorite first. You can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post your votes.
Amy Winehouse Back To Black (Island, 2006)
Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You (Atlantic, 1967)
Beyoncé Lemonade (Parkwood/Columbia, 2016)
Janis Joplin Pearl (Columbia, 1971)
Joni Mitchell Blue (Reprise, 1971)
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia, 1998)
Missy Elliott Supa Dupa Fly (The Goldmind/Elektra, 1997)
Nina Simone I Put A Spell on You (Philips, 1965)
Patti Smith Horses (Arista, 1975)
Lastly, this female empowerment playlist is a shout-out to women like my mother and sister-in-law who have assumed care giving roles. Unless you’ve walked in those shoes or witnessed the work that goes into such care taking, it’s hard to truly appreciate the investment of time, resources, and emotional energy.
Why not make a custom album list to encourage the special women in your life — or yourself — to keep being brave, strong, and fighting
the good fight?
10. Carole King Tapestry(Ode, 1971)
With Tapestry,Carole King cemented her place as one of the key architects of 20th-century popular music. Here, she fully claims the spotlight, not only as a top-notch composer, but as a deeply soulful lyricist and singer.
9. Amy Winehouse Back To Black (Island, 2006)
The late ’00s saw an explosive, cross-genre revival of retro-sounding soul music that continues to shape the pop landscape to this day. Arguably, that trend’s catalyst was Amy Winehouse‘s earth-shaking final album.
8. Janis Joplin Pearl(Columbia, 1971)
One of rock’s most misunderstood artists, Janis Joplinwas often portrayed as victim, a dysfunctional mess who only fronted a band, who didn’t have the power to call the shots. Until Pearl. In 1971, with Monterey Pop, Woodstock, and Festival Express behind her, the vision of blues, rock and soul coming together with a band that could follow her was realized. It was her high point, and tragically, she didn’t live to see it. Janis had put the band together — saying “it’s my band, it’s finally my band” — and approved all the songs. (It was unusual at the time for a female artist to actually have that control, the very reason we need this list.)
7. Patti Smith Horses(Arista, 1975)
The very nature of Patti Smith‘s debut album Horsesrails against what many other “best of” albums are celebrated for — broad appeal, sonically pleasing aesthetics and hits. Horses is confrontational, defiant and completely unafraid of the ugly.
6. Beyoncé Lemonade(Parkwood/Columbia, 2016)
One of the most recent projects to be part of our new canon, Lemonade is a masterful excursion through terrains at once visually fantastical and emotionally all too real, exploring shattered trust in a broken relationship; the singular pain borne by the mothers of men like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown; the battering down of black women throughout history; the scars of all of these kinds of trauma; white-hot rage and hopeful, though not blind, reconciliation.
5. Missy Elliott Supa Dupa Fly(The Goldmind/Elektra, 1997)
This album dismantled the hip-hop boy’s club. For the first time in history a woman rapped, sang, wrote and produced every song on a major rap release. Within the first sounds that we hear, Missy Elliott invites you to become engulfed with the undeniable Virginia-based funk, a region that’s equally Southern and Eastern, through aquatic synth sounds paired with earthy drum patterns.
4. Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You (Atlantic, 1967)
In the universe of popular music, this album exploded like a brand new sun. It took Aretha Franklin eleven songs to shift the canon of AM radio away from the realm of girlish glee to the cataclysms of womanly love. I Never Loved a Man connected with black and white audiences and became the biggest commercial success of her building career.
3. Nina Simone I Put A Spell on You (Philips, 1965)
Nina Simone knew her own power. Not only did she cover the song “I Put A Spell on You,” but she also used it as the title of her autobiography. The song, originally released in 1956 by Jay Hawkins, cemented his “Screamin” moniker. But in Simone’s hands, it became something more, a kind of simmering sorcery.
2. Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia, 1998)
The Fugees struck gold in the late 1990s with albums like The Score, a feat that also made their resident wordsmith, Lauryn Hill, a household name. But when Hill went out on her own two years later and dropped her debut, the neo-soul masterpiece The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, she schooled everyone all over again in new and necessary ways.
1. Joni Mitchell Blue (Reprise, 1971)
After nearly fifty years, Blue remains the clearest and most animated musical map to the new world that women traced, sometimes invisibly, within their daily lives in the aftermath of the utopian, dream-crushing 1960s. It is a record full of love songs, of sad songs; but more than that, it is a compendium of reasonable demands that too many men in too many women’s lives heard, in 1971, as pipe dreams or outrageous follies.
The Principal Investigator (PI) for the LORRI instrument is Andy Cheng, and it is operated from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) in Laurel, Maryland. Alan Stern is the PI for the MVIC and Ralph instruments, which are operated from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas. And as you can plainly see, the maps are quite detailed and eye-popping!
Dr. Stern, who is also the PI of the New Horizons mission, commented on the release of the maps in a recent NASA press statement. As he stated, they are just the latest example of what the New Horizons mission accomplished during its historic mission:
“The complexity of the Pluto system — from its geology to its satellite system to its atmosphere— has been beyond our wildest imagination. Everywhere we turn are new mysteries. These new maps from the landmark exploration of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons mission in 2015 will help unravel these mysteries and are for everyone to enjoy.”
Two years ago on July 14, 2015, the New Horizon spacecraft reached Pluto. To celebrate this anniversary NASA released a Pluto flyby video.
Using actual New Horizons data and digital elevation models of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, mission scientists have created flyover movies that offer spectacular new perspectives of the many unusual features that were discovered and which have reshaped our views of the Pluto system – from a vantage point even closer than the spacecraft itself.
This dramatic Pluto flyover begins over the highlands to the southwest of the great expanse of nitrogen ice plain informally named Sputnik Planitia. The viewer first passes over the western margin of Sputnik, where it borders the dark, cratered terrain of Cthulhu Macula, with the blocky mountain ranges located within the plains seen on the right. The tour moves north past the rugged and fractured highlands of Voyager Terra and then turns southward over Pioneer Terra — which exhibits deep and wide pits — before concluding over the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa in the far east of the encounter hemisphere.
Digital mapping and rendering were performed by Paul Schenk and John Blackwell of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.
New Horizons is a space probe launched by NASA on 19 January 2006, to the dwarf planetPluto and on an escape trajectory from the Sun. It is the first man-made spacecraft to go to Pluto. Its flight took eight years. It arrived at the Pluto–Charon system on July 14, 2015. It flew near Pluto and took photographs and measurements while it passed. At about 1 kilobit per second, it took 15 months to transmit them back to Earth.
The New Horizons spacecraft
The primary mission of New Horizons is to study Pluto and its system of moons. The secondary mission is to study any objects in the Kuiper Belt if something became available for a flyby.
The space probe set the record for the fastest man-made object ever launched, with the Earth-relative speed of about 16.26 km/s, although, arguably, the Helios probes got a faster Sun-relative speed. It used a gravity assist from Jupiter to get its high speeds without having to burn as much monopropellant (weak rocket fuel) as needed to fly directly to Pluto.
ATI instructors who helped plan, develop and engineer the New Horizons Mission. These include the following engineers and scientists, with their bios and links to their related ATI courses.
Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant, and author. In 2010, he was elected to be the President and CEO of The Golden Spike Company, a commercial space corporation planning human lunar expeditions. Additionally, since 2009, he has been an Associate Vice President at the Southwest Research Institute, and since 2008 has had his own aerospace consulting practice.
Dr. Stern is the Principal Investigator (PI) of NASA’s $720M New Horizon’s Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission, the largest PI-led space mission ever launched by NASA. New Horizons launched in 2006 and is arriving July 14, 2015. Dr. Stern is also the PI of two instruments aboard New Horizons, the Alice UV spectrometer and the Ralph Visible Imager/IR Spectrometer.
Eric Hoffman has designed space-borne communications and navigation equipment and performed systems engineering on many APL satellites and communications systems. He has authored over 60 papers and holds 8 patents in these fields. Mr. Hoffman was involved in the proposal (as well as several prior Pluto mission concepts). He chaired the major system level design reviews (and now teaches the course� Effective Design Reviews). He was Space Department Chief Engineer during the concept, design, fabrication, and test of New Horizons. His still actively consulting in the field. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and coauthor of the leading textbook Fundamentals of Space Systems
Chris DeBoy leads the RF Engineering Group in the Space Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and is a member of APL’s Principal Professional Staff. He has over 20 years of experience in satellite communications, from systems engineering (he is the lead RF communications engineer for the New Horizons Mission to Pluto) to flight hardware design for both Low-Earth orbit and deep-space missions. He holds a BSEE from Virginia Tech, a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins, and teaches the satellite communications course for the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Pittelkau was previously with the Applied Physics Laboratory, Orbital Sciences Corporation, CTA Space Systems (now Orbital), and Swales Aerospace. His experience in satellite systems covers all phases of design and operation, including conceptual design, implementation, and testing of attitude control systems, attitude and orbit determination, and attitude sensor alignment and calibration, control-structure interaction analysis, stability and jitter analysis, and post-launch support. His current interests are precision attitude determination, attitude sensor calibration, orbit determination, and optimization of attitude maneuvers. Dr. Pittelkau earned the B.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and the M.S. degree in EE from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Douglas Mehoke is the Assistant Group Supervisor and Technology Manager for the Mechanical System Group in the Space Department at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He has worked in the field of spacecraft and instrument thermal design for 30 years, and has a wide background in the fields of heat transfer and fluid mechanics. He has been the lead thermal engineer on a variety spacecraft and scientific instruments, including MSX, CONTOUR, and New Horizons. He is presently the Technical Lead for the development of the Solar Probe Plus Thermal Protection System. He was the original thermal engineer for New Horizons, the mechanical system engineer, and is currently the spacecraft damage lead for the flyby Hazard Team. Other JHU/APL are currently teaching the Spacecraft Thermal Control course.
Steve Gemeny is a Principal Program Engineer and a former Senior Member of the Professional Staff at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he served as Ground Station Lead for the TIMED mission to explore Earth’s atmosphere and Lead Ground System Engineer on the New Horizons mission to explore Pluto by 2020. Mr. Gemeny is an experienced professional in the field of Ground Station and Ground System design in both the commercial world and on NASA Science missions with a wealth of practical knowledge spanning nearly three decades. Mr. Gemeny delivers his experiences and knowledge to his ATIcourses’ students with an informative and entertaining presentation style. Mr Gemeny is Director Business Development at Syntonics LLC, working in RF over fiber product enhancement, new application development for RF over fiber technology, oversight of advanced DOD SBIR/STTR research and development activities related to wireless sensors and software defined antennas.
John Penn is currently the Team Lead for RFIC Design at Army Research Labs. Previously, he was a full-time engineer at the Applied Physics Laboratory for 26 years where he contributed to the New Horizons Mission. He joined the Army Research Laboratory in 2008. Since 1989, he has been a part-time professor at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches RF & Microwaves I & II, MMIC Design, and RFIC Design. He received a B.E.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1980, an M.S. (EE) from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in 1982, and a second M.S. (CS) from JHU in 1988.
Timothy Cole is a leading authority with 30 years of experience exclusively working in electro-optical systems as a system and design engineer. While at Applied Physics Laboratory for 21 years, Tim was awarded the NASA Achievement Award in connection with the design, development, and operation of the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Laser Radar and was also the initial technical lead for the New Horizons LOng-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI instrument). He has presented technical papers addressing space-based laser altimetry all over the US and Europe. His industry experience has been focused on the systems engineering and analysis associated development of optical detectors, wireless ad hoc remote sensing, exoatmospheric sensor design and now leads ICESat-2 ATLAS altimeter calibration effort.
Robert C. Moore worked in the Electronic Systems Group at the JHU/APL Space Department since 1965 and is now a consultant. He designed embedded microprocessor systems for space applications. He led the design and testing efforts for the New Horizons spacecraft autonomy subsystem. Mr. Moore holds four U.S. patents. He teaches for ATIcourses and the command-telemetry-data processing segment of “Space Systems” at the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering.
Jay Jenkins is a Systems Engineer in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA and an Associate Fellow of the AIAA. His 24-year aerospace career provided many years of experience in design, analysis, and test of aerospace power systems, solar arrays, and batteries. His career has afforded him opportunities for hands-on fabrication and testing, concurrent with his design responsibilities. He was recognized as a winner of the ASME International George Westinghouse Silver Medal for his development of the first solar arrays beyond Mars’ orbit and the first solar arrays to orbit the planet, Mercury. He was recognized with two Best Paper Awards in the area of Aerospace Power Systems.
To celebrate this anniversary, Michael Dunn of Electronic Design News’ (EDN’s), has compiled a number of blogs on Canada’s technological past and present with a focus on engineers, technologies, institutions, and facilities. Many are informative and fascinating, such as the time in 1978 when a Soviet satellite, with a nuclear reactor still on board, burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Northwest Canada.
The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) has taught a number of space-related courses at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and defense-related courses for Armed Forces Canada and Canada’s Defense, Research, and Development.