Sonntag, 18. März 2018 - 22:15 Uhr

Astronomie - Inside a U-2 “Dragon Lady” Spyplane: Aurora Borealis as seen from 70,000 feet.


This Is What The Northern Lights Look Like From Inside a U-2 “Dragon Lady” Spyplane


Aurora Borealis as seen from 70,000 feet.

Do you remember the stunning photographs from U-2 Dragon Lady pilot and friend Ross Franquemont we have published here few days ago?

Few days after we published those incredible shots, Ross deployed for an overseas mission. Although we don’t know anything about the purpose of the mission, we know that he saw the Northern Lights: indeed, the amazing images you can find in this post were taken by Ross during his mission from the UK.


You can see the ring of the Aurora as it sweeps around the magnetic pole. (All images credit: Ross Franquemont)


The Northern Lights appear to be extremely bright in this shot.


The Dragon Lady’s left wing and Aurora Borealis.

“I had no idea how fast the aurora moved and changed. It danced around, changing shape several times a second. That made it a challenge for the photographer in a spacesuit sitting in shaking metal can moving 500 mph,” Ross commented after shooting these shots.


A panorama picture of Ross Franquemont and the Northern Lights.

Aurora (“Aurora Borealis” or “Northern Lights” in the northern hemisphere and “Aurora Australis” or “Southern Lights” in the southern one) is a natural light display caused by the collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere).


Aurora Borealis as seen from 70,000 feet.


The aurora had mostly died out by the time the U-2 was hitting Greenland.

Make sure you visit Ross profile on Smugmug where you can look at the photos and purchase prints or downloads. By the way, he’s also launched a Facebook group where you can see some of his best photographs.

Mehr lesen auf

Tags: Astronomie - Inside a U-2 “Dragon Lady” Spyplane: Aurora Borealis as seen from 70,000 feet. 


Sonntag, 18. März 2018 - 21:20 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Aerojet Rocketdyne Ships Starliner Re-entry Thrusters



Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner conducts a docking approach to the International Space Station
Photo courtesy of Boeing


REDMOND, Wash., Aerojet Rocketdyne recently completed delivery of all of the crew module engines for Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner spacecraft. Boeing will integrate the engines into the Starliner crew module at its Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Starliner crew module is designed to transport up to seven passengers or a mix of crew and cargo for missions to low-Earth orbit destinations. Developed in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program, the Starliner will carry up to four astronauts to and from the International Space Station for NASA missions. Each capsule is designed to be used up to 10 times and features 12 Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-104J engines to properly orient the spacecraft during atmospheric re-entry.

"Astronaut safety is paramount at Aerojet Rocketdyne, which is why we are providing a reliable propulsion system for the Starliner crew module to ensure a safe re-entry for all of Starliner's passengers," said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.

Each MR-104J engine produces more than 100 pounds of thrust and draws on a legacy dating back to NASA's Voyager probes, which have traveled farther in space than any other human-made objects. Key to the reusability of CST-100 Starliner crew module engines is a patent-pending design approach that strengthens the engine to withstand extreme operating temperatures without significantly increasing its weight. The total weight of the delivered flight engines met the Boeing requirement with more than a 12 percent margin.

In addition to the crew module engines, Aerojet Rocketdyne is providing launch abort engines, service module reaction control thrusters, and service module orbital maneuvering and attitude control engines for the Starliner program.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at and

Quelle: Aerojet Rocketdyne


Tags: Raumfahrt - Aerojet Rocketdyne Ships Starliner Re-entry Thrusters 


Sonntag, 18. März 2018 - 21:15 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Airbus launches photonics payload technology project - OPTIMA


Airbus has launched the OPTIMA project, which will deliver a proof of concept demonstrator for the use of photonic payloads in telecommunications satellites.

The OPTIMA project, which is led by Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage and part of Horizon 2020 funded by the European Commission, comprises specialist partners from across Europe, including: DAS Photonics, CORDON Electronics, SODERN, IMEC and Polatis. Airbus Defence and Space will define, assemble and test a photonic payload demonstrator based on the components and equipment developed by the other members of the consortium.

Photonic payloads have the potential to revolutionise the design, capacity and capability of future generations of telecommunications satellites.  The photonic payloads will use light to transfer the signals throughout the spacecraft, replacing current RF technologies, allowing for the development of more efficient and powerful satellites which are able to meet the increasing complexity and sophistication required by customers.    

The use of optical fibre based equipment has already transformed Information Technology for ground applications, and its compact, lightweight and low power nature should enable reductions in mass on telecommunication satellites as they replace currently used technology.

Javad Anzalchi, Airbus project manager said: “By bringing together our industry partners who have complementary skills and expertise, we will develop OPTIMA to provide a roadmap for photonics technology available for telecommunications satellites - and we are targeting an in orbit demonstration as early as 2020. Full development of this technology should not only allow the European space industry to address the challenges of the EU’s Digital Agenda for Europe 2020, but also strengthen its position in a very competitive, global marketplace.”

Quelle: Airbus

Tags: Raumfahrt - Airbus launches photonics payload technology project - OPTIMA 


Sonntag, 18. März 2018 - 16:30 Uhr

Raumfahrt - 56-year-old first Isro woman to spend over a year in Antarctica



NEW DELHI: At 56 years of age, having never experienced a snowfall before, yet lugging kilos of equipment across an icy landscape, Mangala Mani, Isro’s first woman scientist who spent over 403 days in Antarctica, is a true embodiment of ‘Nari Shakti’.

Staying in the world’s coldest place where minimum temperatures can slide to -90 degrees Celsius, Mangala Mani was part of a 23-member expedition team that went to India’s research station, Bharati, in the icy continent in November 2016. She was the only woman in the all-men team.

In an exclusive interview to TOI, Mani, who successfully completed her mission last December, said, “The Antarctica mission was really a challenge. Climate there was very harsh. We were very careful while going out of our climate-controlled research station. One had to wear polar clothing. Even 2 or 3 hours out in severe cold was too much and one had to come back immediately for warm-up.”

When stationed at Bharati during the polar wintering, she was not only the solitary woman in the Indian expedition team but the only female in that zone as the Russian and Chinese earth stations also did not have any woman during the 2016-17 period. “My team members were very cooperative. Adjustments were made from both sides. Things went smoothly and there were no issues with any member. In fact, my team members celebrated my birthday at the earth station,” Mani said.

To get selected for the tough assignment, Mangala Mani and her team were first physically and mentally tested for weeks. She had to first undergo a series of medical check-ups at AIIMS, Delhi, for a week that included psychological assessment for long-term wintering. Thereafter, for next two weeks, she was taken to Auli in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district at 9,000 feet altitude for ice acclimatisation and later to Badrinath at 10,000 feet. There, she and her team had to go on long treks with heavy backpacks in order to test their physical endurance. Mangala Mani said, “The tests were meant not only to prepare our bodies to face the rigours of Antarctica but also meant to build a team spirit.”

“In summers, ships sail to Antarctica to provide food and fuel supply for a year’s duration as the world's coldest region remains cut off during winter. We collect all waste and pack them and send them back to the mainland so as to keep environment at the station completely clean,” she said.


On completing such a challenging task, the 56-year-old Isro scientist says, “Men may have physical strength. But women are emotionally strong. All women should have faith in themselves and should always try to put their best foot forward.”

On Mangala Mani’s nature of job at Antarctica, her boss, Dr Y V N Krishnamurthy, the director of Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), told TOI, “Mangala and her team where supposed to operate and maintain the Indian research station and collect loads of satellite data as we have polar-orbiting satellites. Unlike Hyderabad, where only two or three orbits are visible, Antarctica (south pole) is the place from where one can observe 14 orbits. The loads of space data are downloaded at the Antarctica station and sent to the Hyderabad centre via the communication satellite link for processing and distribution to users.”

On her ambition, the NRSC director said, “Mani always had a dream for exploration. It was an opportunity for her to prove her point. And she successfully performed the task. In fact, two parliamentary committees were highly impressed with her performance in Antarctica.”

“Drawing inspirations from Mangala Mani, a young woman Isro scientist volunteered to be part of the Antarctica mission and is currently camping at Bharati and willing to spend over a year there,” Dr Krishnamurthy said.

National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean research (NCAOR) under the ministry of earth sciences is the nodal point for Antarctic expeditions taken up by our country.

Tags: Raumfahrt - 56-year-old first Isro woman to spend over a year in Antarctica 


Sonntag, 18. März 2018 - 16:10 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Staring at Firefly Aerospace’s hot rocket-engine flames in a Texas pasture


“Hopefully you’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Hey, I knew those guys when they were nobody.’”









CEDAR PARK, Texas—"Last time you came out here, it was just a pile of dirt," Firefly Aerospace CEO and rocket scientist Tom Markusic tells me. I looked it up afterwards—he's not lying. Back in 2014 when Ars Senior Editor Lee Hutchinson traveled just north of Austin to visit Markusic's then-infant new space company, he essentially got a rocket science lesson (charts and everything) and walked the patch of non-grass where the company would one day build its engine testing facilities. It looked like this...

But during this week's South by Southwest conference, Markusic has a different offer for the small group of press and rocket enthusiasts willing to ditch the main convention for a few hours. Not only would we get to see Firefly's revamped R&D facility, but this trip to the testing site in rural Briggs, Texas, would offer views of vintage rocket parts, functioning clean rooms, testing rigs of both the vertical and horizontal variety... and a genuine, 15,000lbs-of-thrust test fire of Firefly's upper-stage Lightning engine. I didn't take a single snapshot of dirt.

The bus turns right at the chain Tex-Mex restaurant and pulls into what seems like a nondescript strip mall. Flanked by a church and portrait studio, this unmarked office building is what Firefly's R&D folks call home.

Walking through the open-concept space, you're reminded of just how young this rocket company is (established January 2014) and how ambitious its goal may be. In a little more than a year, Firefly hopes to send a 1,000kg payload to low Earth orbit on top of its Alpha launch vehicle powered by its Lightning engine. Yet four years ago the testing site didn't really exist, and just two years ago the company had to reemerge from bankruptcy.

Thus, employees here all seem quite busy today. A machine shop buzzes in the back, and a Mission Control stands in the center so the team here can coordinate with the testing facility during the company's daily engine routine. To oversimplify, the engineers and analysts in Cedar Park continually collect information to perfect the in-progress equipment. Notably as part of this initiative, Firefly partners with the nearby University of Texas for access to Stampede, one of the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world.

"We're a startup company, so you're getting to see us at the infancy. Hopefully when we become the Google of space, you'll be able to look back and say, 'Hey, I knew those guys when they were nobody,'" Markusic tells us on the ride over. "So what you're going to see today is really a new space perspective on how to do this—lots of space, lots of young enthusiastic engineers, and people trying to do things creatively without building a bunch of infrastructure we don't need."

Make no mistake about it, Firefly Aerospace is a business. The ultimate goal is to profit via delivering small payloads to orbit cheaper than the other guys. Markusic tells us the industry metric to watch is dollars per kilogram, with the average cost being roughly $40,000-to-$50,000/kg at the moment. If all goes well, Markusic says Firefly can do $10,000/kg and hopes to get into the single-thousands.

"We are trying to build the world's most economic and convenient small satellite launcher; the business is going in that direction," Markusic explains. "If you look at what people are trying to put in space, it no longer makes sense for Battlestar Galatica-style huge satellites that cost a billion dollars. People are building much smaller satellites in startup companies with the capability of these larger satellites. It's kind of like Moore's law being applied to satellites."

The Briggs test facility is part of that pitch—compared to other space companies, Firefly enjoys close proximity between its R&D and testing / production facilities (maybe the ride takes 20 to 30 minutes) while still being within earshot of an attractive city. So as we pull into a classic ranch-style gate with neighboring cows grazing in the distance, those launch goals feel tangible. These days, Firefly's Briggs 200-acre compound has a number of impressive production buildings (the goal is full-scale component manufacturing and launch-vehicle assembly), but the centerpieces here are the massive test stands—the horizontal rig is already in use, while its vertical counterpart is in progress. It's the first public tour of this space in 3.5 years according to Markusic. "We do everything except let it go out here," he explains.

Eventually, we tour all the production spaces and peek into Firefly's collection of vintage space gear, but the real reason we came is the daily test. Testing for the upper stage Lightning engine started last year on the horizontal stand. The stand can handle up to 450,000lbs of thrust, and today's 30-second hot fire will hopefully hit 15,000lbs (Markusic believes they'll be testing with about 10 percent more strength by the summer).

Emails about RSVP'ing for this day emphasized there was no guarantee of a successful test, but all attendees seemed giddy and all Firefly employees confident. A few minutes out, some small clouds emerge from the priming engine. Scanning the giant dirt pile flanking where the flames would be in these pre-go moments, you can see discoloration marking how long the fire gets. When "15" gets called out, all chatter seems to stop.

The ensuing noise is unmistakable. A hot blue flame comes out at first, eventually settling into a striking red that elicits some huge dust clouds behind. Every second involves two gallons of fuel and 3.5 gallons of liquid oxygen meeting to power the spectacle. When it ends, there's audible yelping and chuckles, even the Firefly folks seem to still get a kick out of it.

The test is definitely more memorable than dirt, but the tour moves on from this moment without much fanfare. After all, Firefly makes it clear throughout the day they have larger goals quickly approaching on the calendar.

Quelle: arsTechnica


Tags: Raumfahrt - Staring at Firefly Aerospace’s hot rocket-engine flames in a Texas pasture 


Sonntag, 18. März 2018 - 16:00 Uhr

Astronomie - The sign of an invisible star


Modelling suggests an unseen second star explains an unusual gas disc 800 light years away. Andrew Masterson reports.  


Dust disk around the young star HD 142527 observed with ALMA.

Is this the birth of a planet, or the signature of an unknown twin?

This image, captured by the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array radio telescopes in Chile in 2016, shows a distinctive horseshoe-shaped dust cloud surrounding a star called HD142527.

The cloud has been of intense interest to astronomers ever since it was first discovered in 2013, and now researchers led by Daniel Price of Monash University in Australia think they might have at last worked out how it arises, and how it develops its shape.

HD142527, in the constellation of Lupus, about 800 light years from Earth, is a very young star, perhaps only about one million years old. Because of its age, it has a vast amount of dust orbiting it, in a formation known as a protoplanetary disc – an accretion of matter out of which planets form. The disc has a mass equivalent to about 15% of our sun.

ALMA imaging has shown a number of peculiarities about HD142527’s disc, including an enormous cavity in the middle, fast flowing material across it, visible streamers of gas, and spiral patterns.

Understanding how these arise has been the focus of several research projects, but now Price and his colleagues believe they may have found an answer – HD142527 has a twin.

To make their finding, the researchers ran simulations based on ALMA data through a supercomputer. The model that best recreated the look and activity of the protoplanetary cloud included the influence of second star.

“For the first time, we have shown how the dust horseshoe, cavity, fast flows, streamers, spirals and shadows could be explained with one simple answer: the disc orbits two stars not one,” explains Price.

“We showed how the second star carves a hole in the middle of the disc, creates a giant `horseshoe’ in the dust, produces spirals and streamers feeding across the hole and even the shadows that are seen.”

Binaries – two stars locked together by gravity – are not unusual, but Price’s team shows that the HD142527 set-up differs from most.

“Normally we would expect the two stars and the gas disc to orbit in the same direction — like the planets in our solar system all orbit in almost the same plane,” he says.

“In this case, the models show the two stars are orbiting in a plane which is almost 90 degrees to the disc. We used to think of planet formation as this quiet, slow process, but the new observations and models tell us that in some cases it may be chaotic and violent.”

The research is published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Quelle: COSMOS


Tags: Astronomie - The sign of an invisible star 


Samstag, 17. März 2018 - 22:45 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program -Update-20



"GO FAST" Footage from Tom DeLonge's To The Stars Academy. Bird?


Makes sense. We only know the altitude of the object is stable so it is moving in a plane parallel to the surface. The cos(left) assumes we know it is moving parallel to the jet but this may not be the case, though it seems to be if you look at the movement of the sea compared to the movement of the object.


Thanks Kaen. I'm eager to include the left bank if someone wants to pull the roll angles for me as a function of time.

Here it the image that was broken in my previous post. Thanks @Mick West for the instructions.

The blue line is the plane flying straight and level looking down and to the left at the object.
I can confirm that the left bank will reduce the speed of the object. I cranked in a guess of 1 m/s^2 left turn and reduced the object speed to 50 kts.

James Thorpe on FB noted a different way of calculating the position of the target, assuming it is not moving.

Black triangle is in the horizontal plane. Distances are in meters. A to B is the movement of the plane between when the angle is 43, and when it's 57

The other angle at B is 180-57 = 123. The last angle (C) in the black triangle is hence (180-1230-43) = 14. The lengths of the other two sides can be calculated as 3610/sin(14 degrees)*sin(43 degree) = 10177 and 3610/sin(14 degrees)*sin(123 degree) = 12514

However this put the range at 13.9km = 7.5 NM, when the "RNG" is reading 4.4 NM.

Can these two things be reconciled?
Thank you for that.

I read the brochure and some of the others posted here. Mostly they're over my head.

I'm looking for the simple ATFLIR camera numbers that I can plug into a "3ds Max Camera" in order to recreate the scene in 3D:


Obviously, these elementary details are not available to the public. If they were I guess the dizzying array of math calculations here wouldn't be quite as necessary. I say that with the utmost respect.

In the to look at but perhaps a futile effort (someone on Reddit apparently took the obvious road and tweeted at Raytheon asking for the specs of the camera), I stabilized the better resolution WAPO version of the video:

I think I see what is going on here once I realized that the blue triangle is slanted down toward the object. Looks like they too are assuming level flight (easiest assumption). Any path connecting the 13, 923 line with the 12,275 line will represent a trajectory constant with the angular measurements. So put a point on the 13,923 line 8150 meters [4.4 nautical miles] from A and on place another 6300 meters [3.4 nautical miles] from B on the blue line labeled 12,275 and connect the two new points with a line. The red line is a path that is consistent with the angles and distances.

Last edited by a moderator: Tuesday at 9:08 PM
James Thorpe had a similar approach:

I tried doing a geogebra of this in plan view to get the direction
Metabunk 2018-03-13 21-55-23.
Not entirely sure the numbers are right
Some Albatross research (assuming this is still an option)

The maximum documented speed for an Albatross I found is 104 mph, stated in this study.

168 kph = 104 mph

The Albatross is not native to the North American East Coast. However, the ranges of long-distance fliers are quite variable and accordingly there are dozens of sightings of Albatross along the East Coast, including at least one shot by a hunter :(. This study catalogues 171 observed Albatross, 13 in Florida:

While rare, I suspect Albatross are much more common than extraterrestrial aircraft.

The Albatross flies in what's called dynamic soaring, depicted here:


So the question arises if the object in the Go-Fast video could be an Albatross based on its flight path. The question would be if during a 30-second snapshot an Albatross could maintain a fairly straight flightpath. I suspect the answer is yes.
The dynamic soaring pattern in the graph is close to the water, not two miles high. Do albatrosses fly high? It could be another bird, though I'm not convinced that a bird would look colder than water in IR.
I think temperature could for sure be lower then the surface water being that the bird can fly as fast as 100 mph and would be getting air cooled then. However it would need to be able to fly for at least 30 secs in a straight line which should not be impossible for it to do. And relatively high altitude of 2 miles which seems like the only harder part to explain..
JFDee posted this footage as an attachment, which I've converted to a GIF animation:


The gull is cooler than land, but warmer than sky. If the ocean was reflecting the sky's temperature, you're probably right.

So, imo, the next non-extraordinary option to consider is a weather balloon recently released, and so still climbing to its upper altitude. A balloon also fits the shape of the thermal signature. Take for example:


FSU releases two of those balloons per day (see also). I'd say the thermal signature of Go Fast once locked-on by the ATFLIR looks exactly like one of those weather balloons. 
The ocean does reflect the sky and is about the same brightness, except for the horizon and clouds and such.

I also found a huge effect from adding in the left turn on the two point analysis. Here's the plane's flight in a straight line (green), and the same distance with a very slight left turn (red). The two sight lines at 43° and 57° are shown. The initial 43° is unchanged, but the the 57° changes significantly.

Metabunk 2018-03-14 09-18-38.

The blue line (F-G) shows the horizontal path of the target assuming straight line of the jet

With the slight left turn, this now becomes the very different short orange line.
This animation shows the effect of varying the turn rate on the calculated speed. The blue line is the simple two point analysis with jet traveling in a straight line. The orange line is with a variety of turn rates from the jet.
GO FAST effect of turn.

The minimum is around 270m in 19 seconds, about 28 knots, 32mph.

Metabunk 2018-03-14 10-39-06.

The bank angle of the jet varies though. So a more sophisticated analysis might reveal more.
A balloon seems plausible. But I would expect a weather ballon to be climbing more. Still, there's lots of different types of balloon.
Hi everyone. I just joined after reading up on this subject after becoming extremely skeptical of Tom DeLonge's "To The Stars" companies and their intentions, and the implication of Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean (of the New York Times) in what appears to be promotion of Tom's business venture.

I don't have much to add outside of the great work already done by everyone else, just came to say I sent in a FOIA request to the Defense Intelligence Agency asking for the full videos being used by the New York Times and Tom DeLonge's companies.

As others have said, I suspect these are routine training videos where young pilots are testing target lock systems. You can take almost any video like this and splice it to seem like the pilots "don't know what they targeted" and are "extra shocked" because often they don't unless they get closer, and often are excited they achieved a target lock on something as stupid as a bird. Imagine your reaction if you, a new pilot flying a fighter jet, were able to get a multimillion dollar laser target lock device to lock onto an albatross or weather balloon.

If the objects in these videos were perceived as threats or truly unidentified objects the size of an aircraft, they wouldn't be sending young pilots out on training missions, un-armed, to intercept them. And they certainly wouldn't be de-classifying and releasing the videos. Add to that the fact that these videos allegedly came out of an agency which was nothing but a pork project for US Sen. Harry Reid to give his friend and fellow UFO enthusiast, Robert Bigelow, a boatload of cash. The whole concept is just ridiculous.

I'll post here if and when I hear back.

PS: Here's my FOIA request
This idea coincides with my assumption that the three videos are recordings of training and practice flights of the NAVY in which training objectives are used and approached with deceptive missiles.
You need not bother filing any request. As I just wrote on my Bad UFOs Blog, dozens of such requests have already been filed by UFO researchers and by reporters. Nobody has turned up anything so far, they are all coming back "no records."
From a graph in this study it looks like with no wind a 1-meter radius helium weather balloon @ 10,000 ft would ascend around 383 ft over 30 seconds or if it was hydrogen filled would ascend around 433 ft over 30 seconds. The fact that the study says, "We will assume throughout this paper that there is no wind, so that the balloon velocity is vertical," implies that wind can have a considerable impact on ascent rate. I'd presume that impact would be to reduce the ascent rate. Looking at the sea surface in the Go Fast video, I'd say there's significant wind occurring.

Here's a graphed helium weather-balloon ascent case study:


The range relevant to our analysis is, I believe (if I follow, the Go Fast object is around 10,000 ft), at the edge of the uncontrolled-ascent phase, zone 1. The ascent during 30 seconds with high winds might be trivial or even too small to detect on the ATFLIR.
  1. To confidently recreate the scene in 3D I really am going to need that cmos/ccd image sensor size.

    Here is the first stage at setting up the 3D. For now the camera is just perpendicular to the ocean surface and I started with plugging in 1050mm for the focal length, you can see the camera settings highlighted in red.


    Also, I saw the RNG in some of the math equations, can someone explain what it is? And what is the Vc?

  2. RNG is the distance to the target, presumably in nautical miles
    Vc is the closing velocity, presumably in knots. i.e. the component of the relative velocity of the object parallel to the line of sight.
    So from what I can work out the ATFLIR is modelled in the F/A18 Hornet pack for flight sims so the devs know the specs.
    Thank you for the help.

    Yes, I've been following along, but I see the math and become simultaneously intrigued and discouraged.

    Things don't start to gel until I try a practical approach for myself.

    Applying a -26° angle and changing the FOV to .7 drops the sphere in my Max scene down to a 1'-2' radius.


    I'm not sure why TTSA is pushing this video.

    But, I would like to get an approach down because Mr. Elizondo has said there are about 24 other UFO videos being declassified for release to the public in the coming months. 
    Essentially the same size as a weather balloon like the one above.

    Gas released from a pressurized tank can be freezing cold. I wonder if that would cause the gas in a recently filled weather balloon to be markedly colder than the surrounding atmosphere, like Go Fast. In a quick search I didn't find such a weather balloon imaged on FLIR.
    Quelle: Mick West/ Metabunk

Tags: UFO-Forschung - The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program -Update-20 


Samstag, 17. März 2018 - 21:30 Uhr

Planet Erde - Himmelsphänomene Teil-61

Spektakuläre Sonnenuntergänge sowie Wolken sind in unserer Atmosphäre immer wieder zu sehen

und oft sind es nur Minuten welche ein Farbenspiel am Himmel zaubern. 

Nachfolgende Timeline Aufnahmen wurden bei Sonnenaufgang im November 2008 über Mannheim aufgenommen:







Fotos: ©-hjkc

Tags: Planet Erde - Himmelsphänomene Teil-61 


Samstag, 17. März 2018 - 19:30 Uhr

Planet Erde - Scientists accurately model the action of aerosols on clouds



Global climate is a tremendously complex phenomenon, and researchers are making painstaking progress, year by year, to try to develop ever more accurate models. Now, an international group including researchers from the Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Japan, using the powerful K computer, have for the first time accurately calculated the effects of aerosols on clouds in a climate model.

Aerosols play a key role in cloud formation, as they provide the "seeds" - called cloud condensation nuclei - that allow clouds to form and affect their life cycle. The water in the air condenses onto the tiny particles, and gradually grow into droplets and finally into raindrops that precipitate. The action of aerosols is an important element of research on climate change, as they partially counteract the heating action of greenhouse gases.

It was previously believed that increasing aerosol density would always lead to more clouds, but recent satellite observations showed that this is not necessarily true. It is now understood that, due to temperature differences between the top and bottom layers of clouds, there is a delicate balance of evaporation and condensation, with aerosols in the lower parts of the clouds promoting cloud formation, but those in the upper parts allowing the water to evaporate.

Previously, climate models were unable to model the response of these micro-processes within the clouds to aerosol variation, but using the K computer, the RIKEN-led group combined a model that simulates the entire global weather over a year, at a horizontal resolution of just 14 kilometers, with a simulation of how the aerosols behave within clouds.

Unlike conventional models, which show a uniform increase in clouds over the earth when there is an increase in aerosols, the high-resolution model, which takes into account the vertical processes inside clouds, accurately depicted how large areas experience a drop in cloud cover.

According to Yosuke Sato from the Computational Climate Science Research Team at RIKEN AICS and Nagoya University, "It was very gratifying to see that we could use a powerful supercomputer to accurately model the microphysics of clouds, giving a more accurate picture of how clouds and aerosol behave in the real world. In the future, we hope to use even more powerful computers to allow climate models to have more certainty in climate prediction."

Quelle: SD

Tags: Planet Erde - Scientists accurately model the action of aerosols on clouds 


Samstag, 17. März 2018 - 16:10 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Start von Long March 2D mit Land Survey Satelliten


China to resume intense space launch schedule with Long March 2D rocket on Saturday


The LKW-2 satellite launched by a Long March 2D rocket from the Jiuquan launch site in December 2017. CGWIC


China appears set to resume space launches following a break for the Chinese New Year period, with a Long March 2D rocket ready to lift-off from Jiuquan on Saturday.

Airspace closure notices released on Wednesday reveal that launch will take place around 07:10 UTC (15:10 Beijing time), suggesting that the payload will be the fourth in a series of 'Land Survey Satellite', the third of which launched during a similar launch window in January.

Little is known about the satellites, the first two of which were launched in December.

While Chinese media tersely state the satellites are 'remote sensing exploration of land resources', some outside observers suggest they belong to the Yaogan series of remote sensing birds, and are therefore providing reconnaissance capabilities for the country's military.

Land Survey Satellite-1 after separation from the Long March 2D second stage and prior to deployment of solar panels.



Land Survey Satellite-1 after separation from the Long March 2D second stage and prior to deployment of solar panels. CCTV/Youtube

They are developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), which researches, develops and manufactures satellites and spacecraft and is a subsidiary of the state-owned main contractor for the Chinese space programme, CASC.

The Long March 2D rocket arrived at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, also the site for launch of China's Shenzhou human spaceflight missions, in late February.

Delivery to Jiuquan in the Gobi Desert followed a week-long 3,000 kilometre train journey from the east coast, after manufacture by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), another CASC subordinate.

Shenzhou-10 stands atop a Long March 2F rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in June 2013.



Shenzhou-10 stands atop a Long March 2F rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in June 2013.

The launch on Saturday will be China's eighth of 2018, with 36 Long March launches planned for the year. Together with other, commercial launches, the country could reach over 40 orbital flights this year.

China aimed for around 30 launches in 2017, but two launch issues - notably the failure of the second Long March 5 rocket - halted activities for 89 days and derailed the schedule. The third Long March 5 is expected to fly in the second half of the year, following an investigation, corrective measures and rocket engine testing.

The upcoming launch will fly over land, with drop zones for stages and payload fairing in remote regions of the provinces of Qinghai and Sichuan.

The first stage debris from a Long March 2D rocket launch of Jilin-1 Earth observation satellites in October 2015, which crashed down in Qinghai Province.



The first stage debris from a Long March 2D rocket launch of Jilin-1 Earth observation satellites in October 2015, which crashed down in Qinghai Province. CNS

Quelle: gbtimes


Space tracking ship leaves port to support Chinese Beidou and telecommunications satellite launches


China's Yuangwang 7 space tracking vessel after completing tasks related to the launch of the Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft in April 2017. CNS


Chinese space tracking vessel Yuanwang-3 has left port in east China ready to support upcoming launches of a pair of Beidou navigation satellites and a commercial telecommunications satellite.

Yuanwang-3 departed from a military harbour on the Yangtze River on March 12, the People's Liberation Army Daily reported on Tuesday.

The Yuanwang vessels belong to the China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General, which is responsible for telemetry, tracking, and command for Chinese space missions.

The first task for Yuanwang-3, which was active earlier in the year, will be to support the launch of two Beidou phase 3 satellites, which will join a constellation of satellites which form China's own Global Navigation Satellite System, Beidou, similar to America's GPS, Russia's GLONASS and Europe's Galileo systems.

The satellite duo will launch in late March on a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province in the country's southwest, for direct insertion into medium Earth orbits with a Yuanzheng-1 upper stage.

A total of 10 launches of Beidou navigation and positioning satellites are planned in 2018, with eight of these to loft pairs of Beidou satellites to medium Earth orbits.

Two such missions have already been carried out, with boosters both times landing in populated areas downrange.

A burning booster which fell to Earth in Guangxi from the Long March 3B launch on January 12, 2018.



A burning booster which fell to Earth in Guangxi from the Long March 3B launch on January 12, 2018. Sina Weibo

Following this will be the launch of a telecommunications satellite for APSTAR. This is due to launch to geostationary orbit in mid-to-late April, following the satellite's arrival at the Xichang Qingshan Airport on March 9.

The APSTAR-6C satellite is based on a DFH-4 satellite platform developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and will be equipped with 45 transponders in C, Ku, and Ka bands, providing VSAT, video and other services for Asia-Pacific region customers.

It will also be launched by three-stage hypergolic fuelled Long March 3B rocket with four strap-on boosters.

The modified Long March 3B that launched the Chang'e-3 lander and rover towards the Moon on December 1, 2013 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.



The modified Long March 3B that launched the Chang'e-3 lander and rover towards the Moon on December 1, 2013 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. CNS

Upcoming launches

Precise details of China's reliably nebulous and opaque launch schedule are slowly emerging. Newly released airspace closure notices revealed today that China's eighth launch of the year is set for Saturday.

The mission involves sending a remote sensing 'Land Survey Satellite' into a 500 km altitude orbit inclined by around 98 degrees from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre using a Long March 2D rocket.

Other possible launches in the near-term include the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) from Taiyuan, and a number of Zhuhai-1 satellites for Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Co.,Ltd.

The launch will be via a Long March 11 light solid rocket, carrying one OVS-2 video satellite and four hyperspectral satellites.

The launch on Saturday will be China's eighth of 2018, with 36 Long March launches planned for the year. Together with other, commercial launches, the country could reach over 40 orbital flights this year.

A Long March 2D launch vehicle lifts off from Taiyuan on January 9, 2018, carrying the SuperView-1 03 and 04 Earth observation satellites, also known as Gaojing-1 (03+04).



A Long March 2D launch vehicle lifts off from Taiyuan on January 9, 2018, carrying the SuperView-1 03 and 04 Earth observation satellites, also known as Gaojing-1 (03+04). Xinhua

Quelle: gbtimes


Update: 17.03.2018


China launches land exploration satellite


A Long March-2D rocket carrying a land exploration satellite is launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, March 17, 2018. China launched a land exploration satellite into a preset orbit from here at 3:10 p.m. Saturday. The satellite is the fourth of its kind and mainly used for exploration of land resources by remote sensing. (Xinhua/Wang Jiangbo)

JIUQUAN, March 17 China launched a land exploration satellite into a preset orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert of the country's northwest at 3:10 p.m. Saturday.

The satellite is the fourth of its kind and mainly used for exploration of land resources by remote sensing.

A Long March-2D rocket carried the satellite into space.

The launch was the 268th mission of the Long March rocket series.


A Long March-2D rocket carrying a land exploration satellite is launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, March 17, 2018. China launched a land exploration satellite into a preset orbit from here at 3:10 p.m. Saturday. The satellite is the fourth of its kind and mainly used for exploration of land resources by remote sensing. (Xinhua/Wang Jiangbo)

Quelle: Xinhua



Tags: Raumfahrt - Start von Long March 2D mit Land Survey Satelliten Raumfahrt - Startvorbereitung für Long March 2D mit Land Survey Satelliten 


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