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21
That's why we rotate the driver masses to drag the torsion  balance forwards. At some speed, it will "strobe" and there will be no increase in torque with further increases in rotational speed.
22
Quote from: Expectant_Philosopher
I further think our black boxes are not enough measures to record an aircraft's flight.
Europe is a very closely monitored airspace, so there was no way that this particular plane would get "lost". In this case, the cockpit voice recorder (one of two black boxes) was rapidly recovered and the data analysed.

This is very different from Flight 370, which disappeared into the Southern Indian Ocean, far from air traffic control radars. At this point in time, nobody is publicly admitting that they know where MH370 now lies. But once the location is identified, the black box will provide considerable information in tracing the flight.

Over the years, the black box has been invaluable in investigating accidents - to the extent that some insurance companies are now providing an "app" that can be loaded on a car driver's smartphone. This acts as a black box, using the GPS for location, and accelerometers to detect impacts (conceivably, the phone's microphone and camera could provide additional information, but that may really cause concerns about "Big Brother"!). Some insurance companies are aiming to be notified of an accident within 2 minutes - so they call you before you call them!

Quote
if during the flight the flight data were sent in bursts over a communications link to the ground
I think that many players in the industry are now thinking that this is a good idea, and it is getting much easier with high-capacity satellite links with almost-global coverage.

But if the satellite link is still under pilot control, there is a risk it could be turned off by the pilot (just as Flight 370 turned off its radar transponder).

Quote
if the AI recognizes a crash parameter...

Most modern airliners have a series of warnings, covering things like "you are approaching the ground, and you haven't put your wheels down, yet". So even if the autopilot is not in control, the plane will warn the pilot of potentially dangerous situations.

But with today's technology, the pilot is still needed to adapt to unexpected situations.
23
Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology / Re: measuring the speed of gravity
« Last post by evan_au on Today at 09:52:59 »
Quote from: alancalvard
the long period of the torsion balance will simply integrate the gravitational pulses into a continuous tidal force
When the nearest driver mass is a bit ahead of the test mass, it will provide a torque in (say) the clockwise direction.
When the nearest driver mass is a bit behind the test mass, it will provide a torque in the anticlockwise direction.
As I understand the description, the long period of the torsion balance average out these two effects, resulting in zero overall torque?

I don't see how a torsion balance with no torsion can measure the speed of gravity?
24
Hmm. My waist measurement in inches can be very closely approximated as 4n/7 where n is my age in years, but I wouldn't suggest it as a means of measuring either! However if we can determine vG with sufficient accuracy, the constant may well turn out to have interesting properties.
25
Little difference between a "crash parameter" and a normal or emergency landing configuration, except for the presence of a mountain or the bit of the Hudson you have chosen to ditch in. Even with terrain recognition, the difference between a crash into a hill and an emergency uphill landing (or even a normal landing on a sloping runway) is a matter of seconds: a late override will break the plane anyway. And the problem with permanently-engaged  autopilots is that (1) they are quite happy to stall the aircraft in severe turbulence, when a human pilot would (should) simply accept inevitable departures from the assigned height (I think this was the Air Asia problem)  and (2) long periods of envelope protection can lead to complacency and loss of situational awareness when things go slightly adrift (Air France).

Looking at the Germanwings wreckage I dobt that anything could have been "jettisoned". Longhaul jets do transmit data bursts but most pilot suicides involve rather smaller aircraft, and there's not a lot you can do with the data from 2000 miles away unless you want all airliners to be completely remote-piloted. Which is an absolute gift for any terrorist: imagine being able to crash 200 planes at once!

The advantage of having a bloke at the front of the plane is that 99.999% of the time his principal interest is to get there and back safely, so everyone else gets a good ride. This leaves just two bad apples: the malevolent and the depressed. Not much you can do about malevolence, but I'd like to keep some time-expired trainers in a desert so that anyone who wants to end his life doing what he likes best, can do so without taking farepaying passengers with him.   

PS the one time I was persuaded to let a very simple autopilot handle the initial climbout, it tried to barrel-roll the aircraft as soon as we left the ground. So we disengaged, landed, and tried again: same problem. A limited autoland system is a great stress reliever, but machines do not generally recognise their own arrogance, and it is important that the pilot can override the gadget - otherwise you wouldn't have the benefit of my delightful prose!   
26
Just Chat ! / Re: How do you think about my love poem?
« Last post by Colin2B on Today at 06:34:56 »
I like it very very much....Its written very much like a dream..like a crazy wonderful dream....

 Nice job!

See jccc, another fan.
You really ought to publish more.
27
General Science / Re: Need help understanding please.
« Last post by Colin2B on Today at 06:27:10 »
Hello, I just need some clear information about the genetic process of blood types. My husband and I are both blood type A+ but our daughter is blood type B+. I was curious as to how this happened. I have read countless information that says two As=A or O. I have been trying to gather information on both of our families, looking for recessive Bs but it takes time contacting everyone especially when my husband's family lives in another country. When I gave birth the most shocking part was hearing that she had B+ blood because I was so sure she'd have A+ so it would be so helpful for an educated explanation because so far everything I have read has lead me no where. Thank you so much!

It might be worth posting a question here http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask71
28
Could we improve automation of an aircraft for failsafe's to be built into the autopilot so that if the AI recognizes a crash parameter it would automatically seize control of the planes wing surfaces, to put the plane into a normal flight envelope?  If such a system had been in place for the Germanwings 9525 incident, the AI would've recognized a crash condition, taking into account the planes speed, GPS position, terrain map, and direction that the course of action initiated was not survivable, and would have altered wing control surfaces to recover the plane to a safe flight envelope.  I further think our black boxes are not enough measures to record an aircraft's flight.  With cloud computing and improved sensors, I believe even more data could be recovered from a flight, if during the flight the flight data were sent in bursts over a communications link to the ground for temporary storage until the aircraft's next flight.  I also think an aircraft should have a jettisonable beacon/drone that would provide the last known position of the aircraft and have on board the entire set of flight data, including voice and sensor readings.  And if a drone then the drone should attempt to track and follow the aircraft after jettison. 
29
Peter (I'm guessing that's your name, although forgive me if it's not), if you don't have a problem with this video being public... I can upload it on my website and anyone who's interested in watching it can straight away, without download, watch it there. (Yes, I will credit you for the video and no my website is not famous.)
30
New Theories / Re: Aether Displacement
« Last post by PmbPhy on Today at 04:37:04 »
Still talking to yourself, huh?
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