Here’s an article about the Space Project album mentioned here earlier: The Sounds of Space, in Indie Music – Science Friday
And here are two of the songs on the album:
Here’s an article about the Space Project album mentioned here earlier: The Sounds of Space, in Indie Music – Science Friday
And here are two of the songs on the album:
Here’s sampling of recent space audio webcasts of interest:
Dr. Haym Benaroya from Rutgers University [...] discussed the NASA LADEE mission, lunar dust issues, the lunar surface, the importance our astronauts returning to the Moon and the Lunar Dust Experiment which so far has proven to be inconclusive regarding the questions it was to solve. Dr. Benaroya went over the toxic and corrosive nature of lunar dust to both humans and equipment, had similar things to say about Martian dust, and talked about how important it is for us to go back to the Moon.
We’re back at the California Science Center, final home of Endeavour, the shuttle that made 25 flights into space. Join the party as we celebrate the 53rd anniversary of humanity’s transition to spacefaring species with Yuri’s Night Executive Director Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, Virgin Galactic CEO and Yuri’s Night co-founder George Whitesides, and astronaut Ron Garan, who heads Fragile Oasis. You’ll also get a Curiosity update from Emily Lakdawalla, and we’ll find out what happened this week in space history with Bruce Betts.
This episode is bursting with conspiracy theories and strange hypotheses, but that doesn’t stop your own personal astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson from dropping some serious science. You’ll learn why the government isn’t secretly using HAARP to manipulate weather and why we shouldn’t dispose of pollution in our atmosphere. Find out where black holes go when they die, why there is no speed of dark, what would happen to the planets if we moved the Sun, the difference between black holes and white holes, and whether we could use quantum teleportation to explore inside a black hole. Neil also explains atmosphere, air pressure and vacuums, why hot air rises but air is colder at higher altitudes, and why time passes differently on Jupiter than on Earth. Plus, he tells comic co-host Eugene Mirman how to use physics to communicate with a 3-meter tall alien “gummy bear.”
Find more space radio programs in the HobbySpace SpaceCasts section.
A report from ESA/Hubble:
An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range from cosmic near neighbours to objects seen in the early years of the Universe. The 14-hour exposure shows objects around a billion times fainter than can be seen with the naked eye.
This new Hubble image showcases a remarkable variety of objects at different distances from us, extending back over halfway to the edge of the observable Universe. The galaxies in this image mostly lie about five billion light-years from Earth but the field also contains other objects, both significantly closer and far more distant.
Studies of this region of the sky have shown that many of the objects that appear to lie close together may actually be billions of light-years apart. This is because several groups of galaxies lie along our line of sight, creating something of an optical illusion. Hubble’s cross-section of the Universe is completed by distorted images of galaxies in the very distant background.
These objects are sometimes distorted due to a process called gravitational lensing, an extremely valuable technique in astronomy for studying very distant objects . This lensing is caused by the bending of the space-time continuum by massive galaxies lying close to our line of sight to distant objects.
One of the lens systems visible here is called CLASS B1608+656, which appears as a small loop in the centre of the image. It features two foreground galaxies distorting and amplifying the light of a distant quasar the known as QSO-160913+653228. The light from this bright disc of matter, which is currently falling into a black hole, has taken nine billion years to reach us — two thirds of the age of the Universe.
As well as CLASS B1608+656, astronomers have identified two other gravitational lenses within this image. Two galaxies, dubbed Fred and Ginger by the researchers who studied them, contain enough mass to visibly distort the light from objects behind them. Fred, also known more prosaically as [FMK2006] ACS J160919+6532, lies near the lens galaxies in CLASS B1608+656, while Ginger ([FMK2006] ACS J160910+6532) is markedly closer to us. Despite their different distances from us, both can be seen near to CLASS B1608+656 in the central region of this Hubble image.
To capture distant and dim objects like these, Hubble required a long exposure. The image is made up of visible and infrared observations with a total exposure time of 14 hours.
Zoom in on CLASS B1608+656
This video begins with a view of the night sky before zooming in towards galaxy
cluster CLASS B1608+656. It homes in first on a view of the area around the
cluster from the Digitized Sky Survey (produced with a ground-based
telescope), before focusingon Hubble observations of the cluster.
Hubble’s very long exposure (14 hours) combined with advanced
instrumentation and a unique location above the distorting atmosphere
means that its observations are both much sharper and much brighter than
those taken from the ground-based telescope. Hubble’s image is clearly
visible as a square of brighter galaxies near the end of the zoom video.
Credit: NASA, ESA, Digitised Sky Survey 2, N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)
A critique of recent bombast in Congressional hearings : Editorial | A Feckless Blame Game on ISS Crew Access - SpaceNews.com
Those who bemoan NASA’s reliance on Russia, yet shortchange the very program designed to fix that problem, are at the same time adamant that the agency spend nearly $3 billion per year on SLS and Orion, vehicles that for all their advertised capability still have no place to go. Their size and cost make them poorly suited for space station missions, even as a backup to commercial crew taxis, and in any case the first SLS-Orion crewed test flight won’t happen before 2021.
NASA currently lacks an independent crew launching capability because of decisions made a decade ago, the consequences of which were fully understood and accepted at the time. The longer this situation lasts, however, the more culpable the current group of decision-makers will become.
In that vein, the current criticisms of NASA and the White House might be viewed as a pre-emptive strike by lawmakers who sense their own culpability. But in pressing arguments that fail to stand up to even modest scrutiny, they not only undermine their credibility, they give NASA cover to pursue a Commercial Crew Program approach that might not be sustainable.
If restoring independent U.S. access to station is as important as the administration’s congressional detractors say, they should fully fund the Commercial Crew Program, even if that means slowing development work on SLS and Orion, while ratcheting up the pressure on NASA to select a single provider. Only then can Congress truly say it has done its part to resolve the matter.
More space policy/politics related links:
* Tues 4/15/14 Hr 4 | John Batchelor Show - Bob Zimmermans twice-weekly report on space news and policy
This week’s European Southern Observatory (ESO) scientific highlight:
This new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that causes the surrounding hydrogen to glow with a characteristic red hue.
This area of the southern sky, in the constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur), is home to many bright nebulae, each associated with hot newborn stars that formed out of the clouds of hydrogen gas. The intense radiation from the stellar newborns excites the remaining hydrogen around them, making the gas glow in the distinctive shade of red typical of star-forming regions. Another famous example of this phenomenon is the Lagoon Nebula (eso0936), a vast cloud that glows in similar bright shades of scarlet.
The nebula in this picture is located some 7300 light-years from Earth. Australian astronomer Colin Gum discovered it on photographs taken at the Mount Stromlo Observatory near Canberra, and included it in his catalogue of 84 emission nebulae, published in 1955. Gum 41 is actually one small part of a bigger structure called the Lambda Centauri Nebula, also known by the more exotic name of the Running Chicken Nebula (another part of which was the topic of eso1135). Gum died at a tragically early age in a skiing accident in Switzerland in 1960.
In this picture of Gum 41, the clouds appear to be quite thick and bright, but this is actually misleading. If a hypothetical human space traveller could pass through this nebula, it is likely that they would not notice it as — even at close quarters — it would be too faint for the human eye to see. This helps to explain why this large object had to wait until the mid-twentieth century to be discovered — its light is spread very thinly and the red glow cannot be well seen visually.
This zoom sequence starts with a broad view of the Milky Way
and closes in on one of the more spectacular sections in the constellation
of Centaurus (The Centaur). In the final sequence we see the star formation
region known as Gum 41 in a new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.
Credit:ESO/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)/Hisayoshi Kato. Music: movetwo
This new portrait of Gum 41 — likely one of the best so far of this elusive object — has been created using data from the Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. It is a combination of images taken through blue, green, and red filters, along with an image using a special filter designed to pick out the red glow from hydrogen.
ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning the 39-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.
Another selection of space policy/politics related links:
Our Moon helps to reduce the earth’s wobbling, i.e. the variation in the tilt of the earth’s rotational axis relative to the plane of the earth’s orbit around the sun. This stabilizing effect, particularly with respect to climate, has been often presented as a necessary condition for the emergence and evolution of life on earth. However, a new paper is out that argues that an earth-like exoplanet without a big moon would benefit from the resultant wobbling because it would mean more even heating of that world and therefore less chance of freezing over. This is particularly important at greater distances from an exoplanet’s star and so the effect will expand outward the size habitable zones.
Here is a press release about the paper:
Astronomers: ‘Tilt-a-worlds’ could harbor life
A fluctuating tilt in a planet’s orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah’s Weber State University and NASA. In fact, sometimes it helps.
That’s because such “tilt-a-worlds,” as astronomers sometimes call them — turned from their orbital plane by the influence of companion planets — are less likely than fixed-spin planets to freeze over, as heat from their host star is more evenly distributed.
This happens only at the outer edge of a star’s habitable zone, the swath of space around it where rocky worlds could maintain liquid water at their surface, a necessary condition for life. Further out, a “snowball state” of global ice becomes inevitable, and life impossible.
The findings, which are published online and will appear in the April issue of Astrobiology, have the effect of expanding that perceived habitable zone by 10 to 20 percent.
And that in turn dramatically increases the number of worlds considered potentially right for life.
Such a tilt-a-world becomes potentially habitable because its spin would cause poles to occasionally point toward the host star, causing ice caps to quickly melt.
A plot showing star temperatures vs distance from the star
for the habitable zone. Credit: PHL@UPR Arecibo
“Without this sort of ‘home base’ for ice, global glaciation is more difficult,” said UW astronomer Rory Barnes. “So the rapid tilting of an exoplanet actually increases the likelihood that there might be liquid water on a planet’s surface.”
Barnes is second author on the paper. First author is John Armstrong of Weber State, who earned his doctorate at the UW.
Earth and its neighbor planets occupy roughly the same plane in space. But there is evidence, Barnes said, of systems whose planets ride along at angles to each other. As such, “they can tug on each other from above or below, changing their poles’ direction compared to the host star.”
The team used computer simulations to reproduce such off-kilter planetary alignments, wondering, he said, “what an Earthlike planet might do if it had similar neighbors.”
Their findings also argue against the long-held view among astronomers and astrobiologists that a planet needs the stabilizing influence of a large moon — as Earth has — to have a chance at hosting life.
“We’re finding that planets don’t have to have a stable tilt to be habitable,” Barnes said. Minus the moon, he said, Earth’s tilt, now at a fairly stable 23.5 degrees, might increase by 10 degrees or so. Climates might fluctuate, but life would still be possible.
“This study suggests the presence of a large moon might inhibit life, at least at the edge of the habitable zone.”
The work was done through the UW’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory, an interdisciplinary research group that studies how to determine if exoplanets — those outside the solar system — might have the potential for life.
“The research involved orbital dynamics, planetary dynamics and climate studies. It’s bigger than any of those disciplines on their own,” Barnes said.
Armstrong said that expanding the habitable zone might almost double the number of potentially habitable planets in the galaxy.
Applying the research and its expanded habitable zone to our own celestial neighborhood for context, he said, “It would give the ability to put Earth, say, past the orbit of Mars and still be habitable at least some of the time — and that’s a lot of real estate.”
Barnes’ UW co-authors are Victoria Meadows, Thomas Quinn and Jonathan Breiner. Shawn Domagal-Goldman of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is also a co-author. The research was funded by a grant from the NASA Astrobiology Institute.
Here’s a recent NASA article about an extreme case of a wobbly world: Kepler captures a weird, wildly wobbling world – NASA PlanetQuest -
The planet, designated Kepler-413b, precesses, or wobbles, wildly on its spin axis, much like a child’s top. The tilt of the planet’s spin axis can vary by as much as 30 degrees over 11 years, leading to rapid and erratic changes in seasons. In contrast, Earth’s rotational precession is 23.5 degrees over 26,000 years. Researchers are amazed that this far-off planet is precessing on a human timescale.
Saturn’s rings may be birthing a new moon:
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons.
The disturbance visible at the outer edge of Saturn’s A ring in this image from
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft could be caused by an object replaying the birth
process of icy moons. Full image and caption
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
The object is not expected to grow any larger, and may even be falling apart. But the process of its formation and outward movement aids in our understanding of how Saturn’s icy moons, including the cloud-wrapped Titan and ocean-holding Enceladus, may have formed in more massive rings long ago. It also provides insight into how Earth and other planets in our solar system may have formed and migrated away from our star, the sun.
“We have not seen anything like this before,” said Carl Murray of Queen Mary University of London, and the report’s lead author. “We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is just leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right.”
The object, informally named Peggy, is too small to see in images so far. Scientists estimate it is probably no more than about a half mile in diameter. Saturn’s icy moons range in size depending on their proximity to the planet — the farther from the planet, the larger. And many of Saturn’s moons are comprised primarily of ice, as are the particles that form Saturn’s rings. Based on these facts, and other indicators, researchers recently proposed that the icy moons formed from ring particles and then moved outward, away from the planet, merging with other moons on the way.
“Witnessing the possible birth of a tiny moon is an exciting, unexpected event,” said Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. According to Spilker, Cassini’s orbit will move closer to the outer edge of the A ring in late 2016 and provide an opportunity to study Peggy in more detail and perhaps even image it.
It is possible the process of moon formation in Saturn’s rings has ended with Peggy, as Saturn’s rings now are, in all likelihood, too depleted to make more moons. Because they may not observe this process again, Murray and his colleagues are wringing from the observations all they can learn.
“The theory holds that Saturn long ago had a much more massive ring system capable of giving birth to larger moons,” Murray said. “As the moons formed near the edge, they depleted the rings and evolved, so the ones that formed earliest are the largest and the farthest out.”
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
To view an image of the Saturn ring disturbance attributed to the new moon, visit: www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA18078
For more information about Cassini, visit: www.nasa.gov/cassini
A NASA image taken in San Jose, California
Image Credit: NASA Ames Research Center/Brian Day
And lots of imagery is collected in this video:
3D printing, also known as “additive printing”, will benefit space activities in manifold ways as described in this ESA article : Ten ways 3D printing could change space – ESA.
For example, it can make structures that can’t be made with conventional machining techniques:
A lightweight titanium lattice ball manufactured using the Additive Manufacturing
or 3D printing process. This design is a good example of AM capabilities: these
hollow balls possessing a complex external geometry could not have been
manufactured in a single part using a conventional manufacturing process.
But they are incredibly light while also stiff, opening up possibilities for future
At the other end of the scale, entire large structures on the Moon and elsewhere could be built with the 3D printing technique:
Multi-dome lunar base being constructed, based on the 3D printing concept.
Once assembled, the inflated domes are covered with a layer of 3D-printed
lunar regolith by robots to help protect the occupants against space
radiation and micrometeoroids
Update: The ESA article mentions making models with 3D printing. Here is a video showing an animation using 50 models made with 3D printing:
Tonight there will be an eclipse visible in North America (at least where the clouds part). It will
start a few minutes before 1 a.m. EDT and slowly continue over the next two hours until it peaks (reaches totality) about 3 a.m. Tuesday. On the West Coast, it starts about 10 p.m. Monday night and reaches totality just after midnight.
A bonus: This eclipse will be a “blood moon,” in which our nearest celestial neighbor will look the color of a desert sunset. The reason? Because “even when the Earth moves directly between the moon and the sun, filtered sunlight still shines through Earth’s atmosphere, making the moon appear red.”
If you miss this one, there will be three more in the coming year and half.
Skunk Bear‘s Adam Cole welcomes the eclipse with a song:
More about the eclipse and four other sky highlights this month: 5 Sky Events This Week: Full Lunar Eclipse and Lord of the Rings – National Geographic
A selection of space policy/politics related links:
* Open Lines, Sunday, 4-13-14 | Thespaceshow’s Blog - Discussion among the Space Show audience and David Livingston on a range of topics.
1. Monday, April 14, 2014, 2-3:30 PM PDT(5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome BRETT STROOZAS, the Director of Flight Operations for Elysium Space Burial Company. See elysiumspace.com.
2. Tuesday, April 15, 2014:, 7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): We welcome back JOHN POWELL of JP Aerospace. See www.jpaerospace.com.
3. SPECIAL TIME: Friday, April 18, 2014, 11:30 AM-1 PM PDT (2:30-4 PM EDT; 1:30 PM-3 PM CDT): We welcome authors DAVID MEERMAN AND RICHARD JUREK regarding their new book, Marketing The Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program .
4. Sunday, April 20, 2014, 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT). No Show Due to Easter. Happy Easter to all.
The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.
NASA held its latest NASA Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday and Saturday:
NASA today declared the winners of the first NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, held April 11-12 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Student racers from the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology in Reno, Nev., claimed first place in the high school division; the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao Team 2 won the top prize in the college division.
They raced to victory against 70 high school, college and university teams from 19 states, Puerto Rico, Germany, India, Mexico and Russia. All told, more than 500 students — drivers, engineers and mechanics, plus team advisers and “cheering sections” — took part in the competition.
The winning teams posted the fastest vehicle assembly and race times in their divisions, with the fewest on-course penalties. The team from the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology finished the half-mile course in 3 minutes, 37 seconds. The University of Puerto Rico at Humacao Team 2 finished in 4 minutes, 9 seconds. In addition to the winning trophy, first-place teams received a cash prize of $3,000, courtesy of The Boeing Co. of Huntsville.
Finishing in second place in the high school division was Team 2 from the Vocational High School Teodoro Aguilar Mora in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. In third place was the International Space Education Institute team from Moscow, Russia. Southern Illinois University Carbondale Team 2 won second place in the college division and Team 1 from the school finished in third place. (For a complete list of additional awards for design, most improved and spirit, see below.)
Organized by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville and building on two decades of competitive student innovation in the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race (held in the “Rocket City” from 1994-2013), the new event challenges students to design, build and race lightweight, human-powered roving vehicles, solving technical problems along the way just like NASA engineers must do.
Those NASA engineers are paying attention: Students’ most innovative vehicle and hardware designs could help inform NASA’s own development of rovers and other space transportation systems for future exploration missions across the solar system.
Just as importantly, the experience is designed to provide the future workforce to realize those new missions, inspiring students to pursue careers in the technical “STEM” fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — so crucial to the agency’s endeavors.
The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is sponsored by the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, and organized by the Marshall Center’s Academic Affairs Office. Major corporate sponsors for the race are The Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., Aerojet Rocketdyne, Jacobs Engineering ESSSA Group, and Northrop Grumman Corp., all with operations in Huntsville.
Full replays of the race will be available in coming days on the Marshall Center’s official UStream site, where Marshall Center media personnel and television crews provided continuous, streaming coverage of the event: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-msfc
For more information about the race, visit: www.nasa.gov/roverchallenge
For information about other NASA education programs, visit: http://education.nasa.gov
Continue to list of award winners.
ANS 103 Weekly AMSAT Bulletin – April 12, 2014:
* March/April 2014 AMSAT Journal is Ready
* NASA, SpaceX Officials Continue Preparations for 14 April Launch
* KickSat CubeSat to Deploy Smallest Earth-Orbiting Satellites
* AMSAT at the Dayton Hamvention – 2nd call for volunteers
* N8PK appears with students in YouTube video
* ISS HamTV moves to 2369 MHz
* FUNcube/AO-73 Transponder plans for the future
* Upcoming AMSAT Events
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
More AMSAT/student sat news:
More space policy/politics related links:
* Dr. Clay Moltz, Friday, 4-11-14 – Thespaceshow’s Blog - Dr. Moltz talked about his new book, Crowded Orbits: Conflict and Cooperation in Space,
Dr. Moltz told us why he wrote the book which was to address orbital crowding, possible conflict in space and to bring these issues and others to the attention of the general public as space impacts everyone everyday. A major topic for our discussion was space debris. Using this field as an example, Dr. Moltz made a very strong case for rules of the road, space traffic control issues, and responsible behavior by both governments and the private sector. We talked about entrepreneurs and private groups resisting a more regulated environment and he made the case for the need for cooperation to avoid conflicts.
The Canadian General Fusion project, whose investors include Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com fame, is aiming to start building a working prototype of their innovative fusion power system this year:
On their website it says,
In the next phase of development, General Fusion will be constructing a full scale prototype system. The prototype will be designed for single pulse testing, demonstrating full net energy gain on each pulse, a world first.
Here’s a video showing a schematic of their design:
The Planetary Society opens a new contest to provide a cool name for the orbital gymnastics the Cassini spacecraft will do in the final phase of its mission at Saturn : Help name the last phase of the Cassini mission! – The Planetary Society
The name “proximal orbits” is a Vulcan-sounding phrase, all logic and science. But getting this science is going to take navigational bravery of which Captain Kirk would be proud. To help the public understand just how cool this part of the mission is going to be, the Cassini team is asking the public to learn about Cassini’s final phase and then weigh in on a name for the final phase that has more punch to it. You can either cast a vote for one of the team’s suggestions, or write in your own.
Meanwhile, the Mars Society selects a winner of its poster contest:
The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 Mars Society Poster Contest is Scott Porter, a Ph.D. student studying architecture at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Each participant (12 in total) in this year’s competition was required to submit a poster design that best represented the theme – ‘Blazing the Path to Mars’ – for the 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention, to be held August 7-10 in League City, Texas (just outside Houston).
In addition, the Mars Society would like to express its appreciation to the second and third place winners – Jamie Polancic and Miguel Cooper (respectively). The organization would also like to recognize two additional artists for honorable mention – Katarina Eriksson Marka and Joseph Sweeney.
To view the winning poster as a PDF document, please click here.
The Black Knight TRANSFORMER is a “transformer” style vehicle from Advanced Tactics, Inc. that combines a roadable truck with a multi-copter suite of rotors to achieve vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and horizontal flight. This week it left the ground and achieved a stable hover: The Advanced Tactics Black Knight Transformer Successfully Completes First Flights – Advanced Tactics, Inc.
The vehicle is concept
was spurred by several things: the growing popularity and acceptance of “multicopter” aircraft, the military’s need for a low-cost platform for casualty evacuation and cargo resupply missions, and our passion for developing game-changing military and civilian vehicle technology. The aircraft is designed specifically for autonomous casualty evacuation and unmanned cargo resupply missions. Its unmanned capabilities keep pilots out of harm’s way during dangerous missions while a pilot-optional capability allows it to be flown like a conventional helicopter. Advanced Tactics began work on the AT Black Knight Transformer in 2010 with funding from the United States Congress. In 2012, Advanced Tactics began work on the AT Panther Transformer, a similar vehicle designed specifically for Special Operations missions. It is a low-cost vehicle that carries two passengers and their gear, is transportable in a CV-22 Osprey cargo hold, and is operable with minimal training. Advanced Tactics is also currently developing a modular, cargo carrying aircraft capable of delivering up to 3,500 lb payloads in a detachable cargo pod. The AT Transformer technology is scalable and reconfigurable.
The Black Knight Transformer is larger than a Ford F350 crew cab truck,
shown for scale. The engines are stowed against the side of the vehicle
in driving configuration.[High Resolution]
It can be transformed into multiple configurations:
The AT Transformer design is highly modular for rapid repair and reconfiguration. For instance, each of the propulsion subsystems can be replaced in the field by two people and the mission package can be rapidly reconfigured from casualty evacuation to cargo resupply. Additionally, the modular automobile portion of the vehicle can be removed for additional payload capacity or replaced with a boat hull or an amphibious hull for water operations.