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Jan 1, 2013

Gravity Modification – What Went Wrong?

Posted by in categories: business, chemistry, defense, education, engineering, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space, transparency

Recently, I met Josh Hopkins of Lockheed’s Advanced Programs, AIAA Rocky Mountain Region’s First Annual Technical Symposium (RMATS), October 26, 2012. Josh was the keynote speaker at this RMATS. Here is his presentation. After his presentation we talked outside the conference hall. I told him about my book, and was surprised when he said that two groups had failed to reproduce Podkletnov’s work. I knew one group had but a second? As we parted we said we’d keep in touch. But you know how life is, it has the habit of getting in the way of exciting research, and we lost touch.

About two weeks ago, I remembered, that Josh had said that he would provide some information on the second group that had failed to reproduce Podkletnov’s work. I sent him an email, and was very pleased to hear back from him and that the group’s finding had been published under the title “Gravity Modification by High-Temperature Semiconductors”. The authors were C. Woods, S. Cooke, J. Helme & C. Caldwell. Their paper was published in the 37th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 8–11 July 2001, Salt Lake City, Utah. I bought a copy for the AIAA archives, and read it, reread it, and reread it.

Then I found a third team they published their lack of findings “Gravity Modification Experiments Using a Rotating Superconducting Disk and Radio Frequency Fields”. The authors were G. Hathaway, B. Cleveland and Y. Bao. Published in Physica C, 2003.

Both papers focused on attempting to build a correct superconducting disc. At least Wood et al said “the tests have not fulfilled the specified conditions for a gravity effect”. The single most difficult thing to do was to build a bilayered superconducting disc. Woods et al tried very hard to do so. Reading through Hathaway et all paper suggest that they too had similar difficulties. Photo shows a sample disc from Woods’ team. Observe the crack in the middle.

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Jan 1, 2013

2012 was Great and may 2013 be Extraordinary

Posted by in categories: business, education, engineering, ethics, fun, human trajectories, lifeboat, media & arts, open access, open source, policy, scientific freedom, space, transparency

May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy
May the problems you had, forget your home address!

In simple words .….….……May 2013 be EXTRAORDINARY … the best year of your life!!! Simply the best New Year greeting anyone has sent to me. This was from Robert White of Extraordinary People.

This morning I checked the Lifeboat stats for 2012. When I started blogging for Lifeboat at the end of July, we ended July 2012 with 42,771 unique visitors. We closed 2012 with 90,920 unique visitors for the month December. Wow! Our blogging has become more relevant, and more thought provoking. As a community of bloggers (with the exception of one) we have moved away from the 3 Cs of pseudoscience. Clouding the field. Confusing the public’s perception. Chasing away talent.

How did we do this? By backing up our discussions with hard facts, robust debate and real numbers. From years if not decades of investigation in our field of research. By speaking from our own unique experience. By sharing that unique experience with our readers.

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Dec 30, 2012

Gravity Modification – New Tools

Posted by in categories: business, cosmology, defense, education, engineering, general relativity, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, space

To understand why gravity modification is not yet a reality, let’s analyze other fundamental discoveries/inventions that changed our civilization or at least the substantially changed the process of discovery. There are several that come to mind, the atomic bomb, heavier than air manned flight, the light bulb, personal computers, and protein folding. There are many other examples but these are sufficient to illustrate what it takes. Before we start, we have to understand four important and related concepts.

(1) Clusters or business clusters, first proposed by Harvard prof. Michael Porter, “a business cluster is a geographic concentration of interconnected businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions in a particular field. Clusters are considered to increase the productivity with which companies can compete, nationally and globally”. Toyota City which predates Porter’s proposal, comes to mind. China’s 12 new cities come to mind, and yes there are pro and cons.

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Dec 19, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 4)

Posted by in categories: business, economics, engineering, geopolitics, philosophy, policy, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space. Here is Part 4.

In Part 4, I dwell more into the economic concepts necessary for a spaceports’ long term success. The single most important concept one has to understand with any type of port, airport, seaport and spaceports is the concept of the hinterland economy. The hinterland economy is the surrounding local economy that the port services, either by population demographics, commercial & industrial base or transportation hub per its geographic location.

The Sweden-America model, like Westport Malaysia requires that a hinterland economy will eventually be built close to the port. Westport’s then Vice-Chairman of the Board, Gnanalingam (we called him ‘G’) whom I reported to, had the foresight, the influence and the connections within the Malaysian public sector, to encourage the infrastructure development within Pulah Indah and the neighboring locations.

The hinterland is critical to the success of the port. Therefore the key to a port’s success is the clarification of the term ‘local’ in the definition of the concept of the hinterland. When I joined Westport in 1995, a hinterland was defined as within approximately a 15 mile (24 km) radius of the port. In my opinion that was too small a segment of the economy to facilitate the success of Westport. That definition did not match up with Westport’s ambition to be a world class seaport and transshipment hub that could give PSA (Port Authority of Singapore, then largest container port in the world) a run for its money.

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Dec 18, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 3)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, education, engineering, geopolitics, policy, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space. Here is Part 3.

In my last post I had mentioned that there were 2 business models for spaceports. I’ll name the first Sweden-America model after spaceports Sweden & America. The second, I’ll name Colorado-Singapore model after (yet to be) spaceports Colorado & Singapore.

The Sweden-America model basic premise is that spaceport ought to be built in remote locations, and then a hinterland economy is eventually built around the spaceport. This approach was originally driven by safety concerns and the need for a rocket range or vacant land for launching rockets to crash back to.

The basic premise of the Colorado-Singapore model is that launch vehicles are safe and that spaceports ought to be built close to centers of commerce and intermodal transportation networks. That is, spaceports are to be built in an existing hinterland economy.

Continue reading “The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 3)” »

Dec 16, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 2)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, engineering, policy, scientific freedom, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space. Here is Part 2.

What is a spaceport?

Wikipedia gives a very broad definition of a spaceport, that anything and everything that is used to launch vehicles into orbit, space and interplanetary missions are now termed spaceports. ICBM sites are termed launch sites. There is, however, a distinction between a military site and a commercial site. In the aviation world a military site is termed an ‘airbase’ while a commercial civilian site is termed an ‘airport’. Similarly in the marine world the respective terms are ‘naval base’ and ‘seaport’. In that vein there are ‘spacebases’ and ‘spaceports’. So bear in mind that not everything that is labeled a ‘spaceport’ is one.

As far as I can remember the term ‘spaceport’ caught the public’s imagination only recently with the advent of Spaceport America at Las Cruces, NM. So let’s clarify. A spaceport is port for launching vehicles into suborbital, orbital and interplanetary space whose primary mission is to support and manage commercial activities, not military, not government sponsored launches. And therefore, in the United States there are only 10 existing or proposed spaceports. They are (1)Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island, VA (2)Cecil Field Spaceport, Jacksonville, FL (3)Spaceport Florida, Cape Canaveral (4)Spaceport Oklahoma, Burns Flat, OK (5)Spaceport America, Las Cruces, NM (6)Mojave Air and Spaceport, Mojave, CA (7) California Spaceport, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompac, CA (8)Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak Island, AK, (9) Spaceport Colorado, Watkins, CO and (10)Spaceport Hawaii, HI.

Continue reading “The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 2)” »

Dec 15, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 1)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, engineering, finance, geopolitics, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space.

On April 19, 2012, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill that limited a spaceflight entity’s liability for spaceflight participants and paved the way for Spaceport Colorado’s development. The Front Range Airport Authority situated on 3,900 acres will allocate 900 acres towards the development and construction of Spaceport Colorado and ancillary facilities. The next steps are the completion of an environmental assessment, and feasibility and marketing study. This is expected to be completed by end of 2013.

In the 1995–96 I was Head of Corporate Planning at Westport, a $1 billion seaport infrastructure project in Malaysia, where I created and deployed the 7-hour port strategy, streamlined financial controls, container handling and container tariffs, reducing incoming (wharf to gate) dwell time to zero hours compared to the then world’s largest container port, Port Authority of Singapore’s (PSA) 18-hours. Westport was able to grow substantially, to the point where, in 2011, Westport handled 6.4 million TEUs compared to PSA’s 29.9 million TEUs. (TEU = Twenty-foot Equivalent Units or half a container)

So it caught my attention when Dennis Heap said Spaceport Colorado will be 33 miles (53 km) east of the city of Denver and about 6 miles (10 km) south of Denver International Airport (DIA).

Continue reading “The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 1)” »

Nov 12, 2012

Our Youth, Thinking Outside the Box

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, education, engineering, human trajectories, military, philosophy, space, sustainability

Recently I attended the AIAA Rocky Mountain Region’s First Annual Technical Symposium, October 26, 2012. Link to Symposium Photos, here. Link to Symposium Presentations, here.

I must congratulate many of the presenters, our youth, our next generation leaders, for thinking outside the box. And I congratulate their supervisors, advisors and team members for facilitating a supportive environment that nurtures outside the box thinking.

Here is why. Several remarkable papers were presented. For example, Tom Joslyn (Lt. Col, PhD) presented “Use of Liquid Droplet Stream Momentum Transfer for Lunar and Interplanetary Missions”. By using liquid droplets to conserve and transfer momentum between the momentum storage spacecraft and the lunar landing spacecraft, one could reduce the LEO mass from 200,000 kg to 24,500 kg. The presentation wasn’t about theory. It was about the how such a concept would be Engineering Feasible. The type of liquids required, and the ejection and capture systems required. That is impressive.

Second, “Cockpit of the Future” by the Capstone Team. They presented many new concepts like Palm Piloteer, haptic feedback suits, wrap around displays and seat designs.

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Nov 7, 2012

The Kline Directive: Technological Feasibility (2b)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, education, engineering, military, particle physics, philosophy, physics, scientific freedom, space, transparency

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In this post I discuss three concepts, that if implemented should speed up the rate of innovation and discovery so that we can achieve interstellar travel within a time frame of decades, not centuries.

Okay, what I’m going to say will upset some physicists, but I need to say it because we need to resolve some issues in physics to distinguish between mathematical construction and conjecture. Once we are on the road to mathematical construction, there is hope that this will eventually lead to technological feasibility. This post is taken from my published paper “Gravitational Acceleration Without Mass And Noninertia Fields” in the peer reviewed AIP journal, Physics Essays, and from my book An Introduction to Gravity Modification.

The Universe is much more consistent than most of us (even physicists) suspect. Therefore, we can use this consistency to weed out mathematical conjecture from our collection of physical hypotheses. There are two set of transformations that are observable. The first, in a gravitational field at a point where acceleration is a compared to a location at 0 an infinite distance from the gravitational source, there exists Non-Linear transformations Γ(a) which states that time dilation ta/t0, length contraction x0/xa, and mass increase ma/m0, behave in a consistent manner such that:

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Nov 3, 2012

The Kline Directive: Technological Feasibility (1)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, engineering, military, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Technological Feasibility. At the end of the day that is the only thing that matters. If a hypothesis is not able to vindicate itself with empirical evidence it will not become technologically feasible. If it is not technologically feasible then it stands no chance of becoming commercially viable.

If we examine historical land, air and space speed records, we can construct and estimate of velocities that future technologies can achieve, aka technology forecasting. See table below for some of the speed records.

Year Fastest Velocity Craft Velocity (km/h) Velocity (m/s)
2006 Escape Earth New Horizons 57,600 16,000
1976 Capt. Eldon W. Joersz and Maj. George T. Morgan Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird 3,530 980
1927 Car land speed record (not jet engine) Mystry 328 91
1920 Joseph Sadi-Lecointe Nieuport-Delage NiD 29 275 76
1913 Maurice Prévost Deperdussin Monocoque 180 50
1903 Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk Wright Aircraft 11 3

A quick and dirty model derived from the data shows that we could achieve velocity of light c by 2151 or the late 2150s. See table below.

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Technological Feasibility (1)” »