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efaardvark

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Status Replies posted by efaardvark

  1. would you walk?

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  2. Looks like I have to go out to Goldstone on the 10th.  Damn.. I thought I was done with that when I switched jobs.  :(  

    1. efaardvark

      efaardvark

      @Wodahs Yes, it is very much a drive through (and hope you don't have to stop) sort of place.  :D

    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

  3. Looks like I have to go out to Goldstone on the 10th.  Damn.. I thought I was done with that when I switched jobs.  :(  

    1. efaardvark

      efaardvark

      @Ohayotaku Yes, though without the Banthas or Jawas.  There may or may not be sarlacc out there somewhere.  I have never been motivated to explore much beyond the inhabited (and air-conditioned) parts of the complex but there are antlions to be found in the sandy areas nearby.

    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

  4. Looks like I have to go out to Goldstone on the 10th.  Damn.. I thought I was done with that when I switched jobs.  :(  

    1. efaardvark

      efaardvark

      @Soramee_ It is more of a where than a what.  From Los Angeles you drive about 2-3 hours into the California high desert.  When you get to the middle of nowhere (aka Barstow, CA) between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, get off the highway and keep driving for half an hour or so until you reach the Fort Irwin army training facility.  Then turn left and drive for another 45 minutes.  (If you still have cell signal then you haven't gone far enough... the place is purposefully built as far as possible from anything resembling civilization in order to avoid stray RF interference.)  Quite some time after you lose cell coverage but a bit before you fall off the edge of the world you will have arrived at Goldstone📡🛰️  Assuming you haven't been flattened by a tank or run off the road by a herd of wild burro 🐎🐎🐎 first.  Watch out for coyotes 🐺, tarantulas 🕷️, and scorpions 🦂  if you leave your car.  Not to mention heatstroke! 🥵

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    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

  5. Can't fool me!  I know what's in the green.. and it isn't "mint chocolate"!

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  6. Will more than likely keep my HiDive subscription active through the spring season of anime. They’re picking up more titles now that Funi has stated it won’t be streaming seasonal/simulcast series anymore (letting CR handle that exclusively for Sony).

  7. I haven't even paid for my car repairs yet and now I need a new refrigerator as well.  💢

    Got to do taxes sometime soon as well.  😱

    Just shoot me now.  :(

  8. so if ive read it right i believe funimation is going to merge in to crunchyroll now with crunchyroll being the streamer

  9. I have to wonder if Putin would still have invaded Ukraine if he hadn't been enabled by all the oil money paid to Russia by Europe and others. This worldwide practice of funneling money to despots just because they have oil needs to stop. We should not even be burning it anyway. There are alternatives. Why do we keep enabling these assholes?

    1. efaardvark

      efaardvark

      @Wodahs I just know physics myself so I might be wrong as well but leaving things like politics aside and just going with the physics I think there’s already a very good economic case for things like big-rig diesel to switch to electricity, either directly on batteries or using ultra clean “synthetic” hydrocarbon fuel via fuel cell technology.  To produce such fuel with nuclear power we could run the chemistry “backward” to make carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuel from water and CO2 from the air.  That way nobody needs to switch right away, yet we still take the geopolitical risk issue(s) off the table.  (Though there would still be the distribution problem and point-of-use pollution issue putting pressure on the phase-out of internal combustion, especially within high-population areas.)

      I'll point out that electrification of the delivery industry is already happening at the short-range end for delivery by entities like fedex or Amazon but give the battery technology a couple years and an infrastructure / environmental demand for it and I think we’ll be seeing even the long-haul stuff switch a lot sooner than most people think.  This is where Tesla is going with their big-rig designs.

      Of course vehicles the size of ships could use nuclear directly.  There are designs for SMRs (small modular reactors) that could even be used without much in the way of training on the part of operators.  They’re designed to be simple, passive heat sources that do their thing for 20 years then get swapped out for another unit.

      Couple that / those to one of Stanford’s supercritical CO2 gas turbines and electric motors and you get a very simple, cheap design.  Simpler even than current diesel/bunker fuel designs.  Economically that’s a no-brainer for the merchant fleet.

      We don’t need to be digging up “fossil” fuels.

      (I do have concerns about nuclear waste because some of these designs are solid-fuel but if we also have larger molten-salt designs for grid power then the “waste” could be destroyed using them.  We just need to be reasonably intelligent about the overall system design.)

       

      As for the lithium supply issue, there are battery technologies out there that are even better than lithium.  Tesla is already moving away from traditional lithium batteries even for EV applications.  We're where we are now because the production was already there due to the consumer electronics industry.  For instance, Toyota's first Prius models actually used batteries that were taken out of laptop battery assemblies and remanufactured into the automotive assemblies for use in the cars.  Needless to say that was a highly uneconomic way to do it but even so it still made a profit for Toyota.  It also showed Panasonic and others that the demand was there to build dedicated factories for the automotive applications, which of course lead more or less directly to full EVs and Tesla's Gigafactories.

      Lithium will probably continue to be used in mobile applications because it makes for lightweight and energy-dense batteries.  Obviously that has advantages for things like laptops, cellphones, cars, and planes but I think everywhere else will find other battery technologies that are more optimal for those other uses.  For instance, I think that grid power storage and frequency control will probably switch to sodium-ion and/or iron-based batteries eventually simply for economic/profit reasons, especially if EVs become dominant and cheap electricity becomes common.

      Also, even now lithium is not exactly in short supply.  Worldwide there is plenty of the element.  "Reserves" (discovered deposits) are limited because historically there has not been the demand to justify searching for more sources.  Laptops and cellphones only require so much of it after all.  Ultimately there will be more prospecting now because the demand is now higher, which will no doubt lead to more discovered sources, just as it has for oil.

      We will never get into the same situation with lithium as oil in terms of geopolitics however.  Or at least doing so should not be necessary if our "leaders" do their job right.  There's a huge source of lithium readily available worldwide.  With nuclear power we will have enough power to separate things like lithium and sodium from seawater.  There's a lot of other stuff in seawater that we could also pull out at the same time that would help with the economics and make it happen sooner than later.  This would include fresh water, which is also in short supply worldwide.

      Already the Saudis, Israelis, and others are getting a significant amount of their fresh water from desalinization.  I'm in California in the middle of a severe multi-decade drought that's threatening everything from farming and food supply to hydro power generation.  Cheaper power would have an immediate economic benefit for us, and again help with the geopolitical risk issues.  I mean, I've already got solar on the roof (no-brainer here in the southwest US with SoCalEdison's $0.42/kWh electricity) but distributed solar is really only useful for residential power and personal transport.  It does not help much with water or industrial manufacturing/transport power needs.

    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

  10. I have to wonder if Putin would still have invaded Ukraine if he hadn't been enabled by all the oil money paid to Russia by Europe and others. This worldwide practice of funneling money to despots just because they have oil needs to stop. We should not even be burning it anyway. There are alternatives. Why do we keep enabling these assholes?

    1. efaardvark

      efaardvark

      Sorry for the dup.  I switched from my phone to the desktop and somehow sent essentially the same thing twice.

    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

  11. I have to wonder if Putin would still have invaded Ukraine if he hadn't been enabled by all the oil money paid to Russia by Europe and others. This worldwide practice of funneling money to despots just because they have oil needs to stop. We should not even be burning it anyway. There are alternatives. Why do we keep enabling these assholes?

    1. efaardvark

      efaardvark

      Not that complex.  We've had nuclear since the 60s.  Safe nuclear fission.  Not that solid-fuel, liquid cooled stuff like Chernobyl, Fukushima, or Three Mile Island either.  Even the guy who invented those thought that were a Really Bad Idea.  Nor that maybe-someday fusion stuff either.  Look up molten salt thorium reactors.  We had a very successful research program for them running from the 60s through the 80s.  1000s of hours of safe, successful, power-producing run-time.  If we could do it then then we could certainly do it now.  And the fuel is available plentifully world-wide, not restricted to certain countries.  Hundreds of times more common than fuel-grade uranium.  Today it is even considered waste from rare-earth minerals mining.  Mine operators will pay you to take it off their hands!

      We could even have been doing solar a lot earlier.  People here in the US were warning about importing oil and enabling despot regimes back in the 60s and 70.  US President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the roof of the Whitehouse.  Reagan took them down.

      We need to get a clue.  The only reason we keep doing stupid stuff like burning "fossil" fuels is because certain people make a lot of money and get a lot of political power from it.

    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

  12. Bonked my nose on a Model X yesterday.  :(

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    1. efaardvark

      efaardvark

      @deaaath yes I’m in California so by law I have to have insurance to drive legally on public roads.  I’ve got comp and collision so it will be covered by insurance - or at least what’s left after a $500 deductible.  The impact speed was very low and I don’t see any visible deformation of the metal.  Hopefully that means no metal/body work.  The cruise control still works too, so the radar emitter/sensor is working as well.  I’m hoping it is just the broken plastic around the radar.  Probably have to special order replacement parts from the manufacturer however so that might still get expensive.  I’ll have to see what the shop says.  The Toyota emblem that covers the radar is about $150 all by itself!

      Too bad I don’t have a 3D printer or I might just print my own replacements.  :) 

    2. (See 3 other replies to this status update)

  13. Had to explain the term "CRT" today.  Am I really that old?  Didn't everyone at one time stare into a particle accelerator for their motion picture enjoyment?

  14. Think I'm going to start waking up and staying up at 4AM during the week days. So much more time to do things I need to do plus I'm not as sleepy either. Just need my coffee as usual, lol.

    It's currently 3PM and I'm just now feeling tired.

  15. Finally starting my vacation!  Theoretically anyway.  Gotta work at 12:10-9AM (pacific time) Christmas day for JWST, then sometime over the weekend move furniture so I can move Mom out of her nursing home and into an assisted-living arrangement next week.  Hopefully the new year will be.. less eventful.

  16. I took the offer so next week it’s goodbye Peraton and real-time operations, hello JPL/Caltech and integration/test.

  17. https://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2021/12/09/the-ancient-magus-bride-the-boy-from-the-west-and-the-knight-of-the-blue-storm-oad-launches-today-on-crunchyroll
     

    Definitely plan on checking this out this evening (assuming the power doesn’t get knocked out by the predicted storms)

  18. Just applied for a job working for JPL!  I've actually been working -at- JPL for years now but as a contractor, not as a direct employee.  This will mean my paycheck comes directly from JPL.  (Well, CalTech actually since the university manages JPL as a NASA center.)  It will also mean I'll probably wind up being even more busy but it'll be pretty much the same job with more money, better benefits, and fewer contract management chiefs to deal with.  And in fact my immediate boss will probably be one of my old bosses too so that will be a nice side-benefit since I got along pretty well with him back in the day.  🤞 Really hoping I get this "lateral promotion" 🤞

  19. DART launch team photo.  (I’m the guy in back with the lid.)
     

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    1. efaardvark

      efaardvark

      Thanks @Kit.  Might be changing jobs in the near future tho.  I’m currently working for a contractor but JPL/Caltech has made me an offer that looks good.  It is in integration and testing and moves me away from real-time ops but it is more in tune with my training as a systems engineer.  Benefits are better and it comes with a bigger paycheck too.

      The downside is it drops me right in the middle of GDS - ground data system - testing for all those cubesats going up on Artemis in a couple/few months.  😱  (Currently there’s one guy doing it full time and one loaner half-timer and they’re apparently not getting much sleep.  How do you schedule testing with JAXA, Goddard, and ESA in the same day and still find time to sleep?)

    2. (See 4 other replies to this status update)

  20. DART launch team photo.  (I’m the guy in back with the lid.)
     

    D2CB20A1-393B-4552-929F-3088C5EB3D41.jpeg

    1. efaardvark

      efaardvark

      @Kit Maybe a bit.  :D  

      It is a very cool job, at least when it isn't driving me cucking frazy.  :crazy:  One of the byproducts of all the new launchers (SpaceX's Falcon 9, NASA's SLS, India's PSLV and GSLV series, China's latest, etc.) and the expanding capabilities of small spacecraft hardware like cubesats is that everyone and their dog seems to be launching new spacecraft, a lot of which are venturing into deep space and requiring the services of JPL's Deep Space Network for communication.  As a result we've been extremely busy for the past few years.  Software installation, personnel training, and "level-1" event support has been an ongoing nightmare.  (Then of course there's been the virus BS on top of it all.)

      There's no let-up in sight either.  I'll start with last month's LUCY launch, then add DART and Italy's LICIAcube (which went up with DART), the James Webb telescope going up next month, and then NASA's Artemis/EM1 launch after that in February.  We're also going to be supporting NOAA's GOES18 with their launch in March, India's CHANDRAYAAN-3 in June, South Korea's KPLO in July, and NASA's Psyche in August.   Artemis by itself is going to put up 10 new DSN-supported spacecraft in a single launch, including another cubesat for Italy and JAXA's OMOTENASHI and EQUULEUS cubesats.  That's 8 launches and 17 new spacecraft in the next 12 months alone!  (My current favorite is Psyche BTW.)

      And for us in the DSN launches are just the start of the mission.  We're still providing realtime data processing, tracking data, and communications services for decades-old missions like Voyager as well.  If all the launches go as planned then we will be supporting a total of 97 spacecraft, landers, and rovers by this time next year.

       

    2. (See 4 other replies to this status update)

  21. One day... probably.. maybe..   :D

     

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  22. My rank on AF is currently rookie, oh neat.  

  23. A pun has not completely matured until it is full groan.

    Until then it is just puny.

    ok I’m leaving…

    :D 

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