Speaking of lasers, just a navy laser (not a 5 mW laser pointer) shooting down a drone. Mars rovers don’t have a monopoly on laser fun.
Archive for the 'Navy' Category
The navy is pushing toward green fuels and energy efficiency, but not always with the agreement of Congress.
Four times in history it has overhauled old transportation paradigms—from sail to coal to gasoline to diesel to nuclear—carrying commercial shipping with it in the process. “We are a better Navy and a better Marine Corps for innovation,” Mabus says. “We have led the world in the adoption of new energy strategies in the past. This is our legacy.”
It goes beyond supply lines. Rising sea levels lapping at naval bases? A melting and increasingly militarized Arctic? The Navy is tackling problems that freeze Congress solid. What it learns, what it implements, and how it adapts and innovates will drive market changes that could alter the course of the world.
But not without a fight.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.
What if I took a swim in a typical spent nuclear fuel pool? Would I need to dive to actually experience a fatal amount of radiation? How long could I stay safely at the surface?
Spoiler alert, but necessary for my comment
In fact, as long as you were underwater, you would be shielded from most of that normal background dose. You may actually receive a lower dose of radiation treading water in a spent fuel pool than walking around on the street.
This jibes with my experience in the navy — the crew had their exposure monitored, and the word was that it wasn’t unusual for someone on a sub not directly being exposed to radioactive/contaminated materials or hanging out near the reactor compartment to have their dose be lower than what one would get on the surface. The benefitted from spending most of their time several tens of meters blow the surface, and all of the attenuation that afforded.
Retro Science – Part 1
Mostly about Matthew Fontaine Maury, the first superintendent of the US Naval Observatory.
Maury embarked in crowdsourcing data in 1842 when, as a lieutenant, he was placed in charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments of the Navy Department. Sailors followed a strict routine and were systematic in recording very specific observations around the clock. Ships were mobile weather stations, accumulating a standardized set of weather variables with the strictest regularity at 15 minute intervals. As much as sailors emphasized these routines, once a voyage was completed, the logs were practically viewed as rubbish.
But when Maury saw the Navy’s stockpile of old ships logs, he quickly realized the collective information could improve navigation. Maury developed a method to systematically extract key information from each log book.
In modest amounts, at least.
This position is located in the Time Service Department, Clock Development Division, U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO), Washington, DC. The United States Naval Observatory is responsible for Department of Defense standards for time, and for the establishment of the Department of Defense precise time and time interval (PTTI) requirements for operations and research on time and time interval, and for the coordination of Department of Defense activities in these fields.
The official duties listed are what we all do, translated into HR-speak. We play with physics toys in the area of atomic physics, but, like the private sector, we expect results.
When I was in the navy, we (well, me, mostly) used to joke about doing a movie about Nuclear Power School in the format of Top Gun. (Top Chalk?). Similarly, there’s a reason they never do movies like that. (Not having call signs was but one of many fatal shortcomings)
Grace Hopper on Letterman! This is a nice little view of the Great Lady after retiring from the Navy.
There’s a good bit on nanoseconds and, later on in the interview, picoseconds, to go with the the rest.
The Naval Observatory makes an appearance in Blondie
I have gotten phone calls from people expecting the voice announcer telling them what time it is. My original phone number was apparently listed as such in some old government handout. It’s a little like the reaction when people call and were expecting (or hoping for) voicemail.
Reminiscent of my navy days; when the enlisted students would walk around outdoors they had an uncanny knack of separating themselves into individuals or small groups, and you would have to return their salutes as you/they walked by. They only called me “Sir” though, not “My Lord”.
There are technical terms for this kind of disintegration. Austal USA, Independence’s Alabama-based builder, calls it “galvanic corrosion.” Civilian scientists know it as “electrolysis.” It’s what occurs when “two dissimilar metals, after being in electrical contact with one another, corrode at different rates,” Austal explained in a statement.
A reason you aren’t supposed to mix aluminum and copper wiring in your abode.
It’s not just the guns that are going electromagnetic.
Propelling a 5 ton jet to liftoff speed over short distances has been the key to US Naval success for 50 years and the reason why their aircraft carriers are unique. Their steam “catapults” allowed fast enough acceleration for launch.
It was a good run, but it’s time to run out of steam.
The Navy made history Saturday when it launched the first aircraft using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, technology.
There’s a video at the link, but it’s anticlimactic; acceleration is acceleration. If you watch, I recommend skipping the first 1:50; it’s all boring character development and plot dead-ends that have no bearing on the story line.
In 1861, astronomer Simon Newcomb got a U.S. Naval Observatory job because many Confederate sympathizers left their jobs.