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Author Topic: Steampunk in space.  (Read 1027 times)
The Technician
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« on: December 07, 2014, 11:19:25 am »

I've been exceptionally lucky in my career and for more than 20 years have worked for a company that designs and builds instruments for scientific spacecraft. I have recently come to suspect that some of our mechanical design engineers are secret admirers of all things brass, geared and riveted.




























« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 11:27:29 am by The Technician » Logged
SeVeNeVeS
Immortal
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England England



« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2014, 03:17:41 pm »

Okay, I might have to officialy hate you, not only do you manage to construct the coolest ceiling fan from scratch, you now reveal you have a really cool job ta' boot! You absolute &^%$#@  Grin

Green with intergalactic envy.
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Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States


« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2014, 08:18:39 pm »

That last one would make an interesting hard hat.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2014, 09:16:49 pm »

*Snip*  I have recently come to suspect that some of our mechanical design engineers are secret admirers of all things brass, geared and riveted.



*Ahem*  
http://brassgoggles.org/forum/index.php/topic,34409.msg755504.html#msg755504



Okay, I might have to officialy hate you, not only do you manage to construct the coolest ceiling fan from scratch, you now reveal you have a really cool job ta' boot! You absolute &^%$#@  Grin

Green with intergalactic envy.


The envy is double on my side because I have been jobless for a number of years.  I should be one of those engineers  Angry  

*swift kick to the groin*

~ ~ ~

Steampunk space suit:

http://propnomicon.blogspot.com/2013/08/steampunk-spacesuit.html


And its creator
http://www.skillpages.com/steampunk-artist/pico-rivera-united-states/john.harrington

« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 09:39:11 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Antipodean
Zeppelin Captain
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 07:01:52 am »

J. Wilhelm - If you are happy to move? - They are hiring here in New Zealand.
Test your luck they may actually pay your moving costs. - Seriously!
http://www.rocketlabusa.com/ are based in New Zealand.



http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/gadgets/60372738/kiwi-rocket-company-ready-to-blast-off.html

Link to Jobs Here:
http://www.seek.co.nz/jobs/in-new-zealand/#dateRange=999&workType=0&industry=&occupation=&graduateSearch=false&salaryFrom=0&salaryTo=999999&salaryType=annual&advertiserID=&advertiserGroup=&keywords=rocket&page=1&displaySuburb=&seoSuburb=&isAreaUnspecified=false&location=&area=&nation=3001&sortMode=KeywordRelevance&searchFrom=quick&searchType=
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The Technician
Deck Hand
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2014, 06:31:37 pm »

Who would have thought being hated could be a compliment?

I can't claim any great inteligence, I failed as an electronics engineer but they discovered I was reasonaly adept at soldering, wiring and generally screwing things together.

Secretly, I suspect they keep me on as some sort of pet.
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Rory B Esq BSc
Snr. Officer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2014, 10:34:42 pm »

OK I think the 5th picture is for monitoring the effects of solar flares on the Van Halen belts but the others have me stumped.
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Atterton
Time Traveler
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2014, 11:04:13 pm »

The last one that looks like the shell of a steampunk turtle, I remember seeing in images from Cern on here. Some magnetic chamber or such.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2014, 11:23:35 pm »



I just might do that!  Thank you for the tip!
I do have a job but is a really humble job (part time), and my Steampunk business has really been reduced to a hobby after last year...
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 11:29:28 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
SeVeNeVeS
Immortal
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2014, 11:06:22 am »

Who would have thought being hated could be a compliment?

All said in jest sir, all said in jest.
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Maets
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 02:19:03 pm »

Very interesting.  Thanks for sharing the pictures.  Any more?
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The Technician
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2014, 04:06:41 pm »

I'll have a look for more photos of hardware, though most of the stuff just tends to be cool rather than steampunkish.

I didn't give any indication of the hardwares function.

1.  Engineering model plasma analyser for ESA's Solar Orbiter mission.
2.  Engineering model of camera head for ESA's ExoMars rover.
3 & 4.  Flight model calibration assembly for the ESA NirSpec instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope.
5.  Public outreach display for magnetic fields.
6.  Filter wheel assembly for ground based calibration system.
7.  Prototype planetary penetrators. I love these things, drop them from orbit and they survive impact. We tested a couple on rocket sleds into ice and they survived 24,000g.
8.  Filter wheel assembly for an instrument on the ISO spacecraft.
9.  Half of an integrating sphere ground based calibration system (photo #6). Eventually gold plated, the pipes have liquid nitrogen running through them. 
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Drew P
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2014, 01:16:49 am »

So...besides plowing into something and staying intact, what do those large bullet-type planetary penetrators actually do?
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2014, 05:18:47 pm »

They help keep us safe from aliens. Drop a few big ones from orbit and those martians will think twice about attacking.
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Inflatable Friend
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Italy Italy



« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2014, 06:55:44 pm »

The ESA secretly wants to undertake a kinetic bombardment of any threatening extraterrestrial threats!

Also handy for slum clearance and providing a dramatic finish to any and all series of big brother!

It's clearly the ESA trying to circumvent the 1967 Outer Space Treaty by hiding their no doubt UN mandated space-WMDS in plain sight by masquerading them as innocent 'scientific' objects.

/tin foil hat

Ahem, according to the ESA they're.. Well, they've got this video of stuff exploding with some handy text. I think I'll have to go up the road to ESRIN and ask for a job!

Cool video..
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/High-speed_impacts_test_tech_for_future_missions
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The Technician
Deck Hand
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2014, 02:07:46 pm »

Inflateable Friend, that's the video of one of the tests. The final versions were painted a horrible blue and had a flared skirt at the rear but were otherwise the same as the pair in the photo.

Penetrators have two advantages over conventional soft landers:
1. They can put instrument below the surface (though in all honesty you have very little choice in this, the instruments will be below the surface quite soon after impact, like it or not).
2. They are relatively cheap compared to soft landers. Soft landers will have an aeroshell, parachutes, retro rockets and/or air bags. If you are going to control your decent you probably need to know altitude so an altimeter may be required. All this costs money to design, develop, build and test. Then you have lift this mass from Earth and move it to another body. If you can get down to the surface of a planet or moon without these systems you save an awful lot of mass, and in this business mass is money.

We were looking at Europa as the mission for these penetrators and I was researching battery technologies that might be appropriate. The main criteria for the battery were:

  • Primary cells (non-rechargeable).
  • Can be produced in custom shapes to maximise packing density. The penetrators have no internal voids, any free space is filled with a combination of glass balls and an epoxy. Ideally the battery cells would fill the battery bay 100%. It's a terrible waste of mass if we have to use individual cylindrical cells and fill the gaps between with epoxy.
  • Minimum 11 year shelf life (deliver instruments 1 year before launch, approximately 9 years transit orbit to Jupiter + margin).
  • Performance not degraded by radiation.
  • Performance not degraded by deep cold storage (the penetrators are stored on the outside of the spacecraft).
  • Ability to withstand high Gs.
  • Ability to supply power during high G events (we needed to record data during impact, temporary power fluctuations or even complete momentary power loss was not acceptable).
  • Maximum specific energy (Wh/kg).
  • Maximum energy density (Wh/l).
  • Ability to supply high peak currents (a core sample drill was proposed for the mission).
  • Ability to supply low current efficiently (mission length 7 days).
  • Ability to operate between +20oC (beginning of mission) down to -20 to -30oC at end of mission. Europa is an icy moon and when we hit we blast a hole some meters deep. In theory most of the ice is melted and thrown clear but some melted ice will flow back down the hole and around the penetrator before re-freezing. Unfortunately this beautifully couples us to the moon thermally and drags the penetrator's temperature down, and as you all know battery efficiency drops pretty drastically with temperature. To combat this the penetrators are actually vacuum flasks, though these are flasks that will not break if they roll off the kitchen table.

They have their limitations but you should be seeing them become popular in the next few years.
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Drew P
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United States United States


« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2014, 02:20:22 pm »

Interesting.  So why paint them? Have enough and the weight of the paint combined could be taken into consideration.
But why paint them at all, does it add something? Corrosion resistance,  etc?
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The Technician
Deck Hand
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2014, 04:37:54 pm »

I never thought to ask why they were painted, I assume the paint was a nice reflection free surface for the high speed photograhphy. Raw aluminum would shine and throw reflections and it might be difficult to see the black markings that show rotation on the units.
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2014, 04:56:11 pm »

They should paint it brass instead. Perhaps glue a few gears onto it, here and there.
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2014, 07:20:54 pm »

OK I think the 5th picture is for monitoring the effects of solar flares on the Van Halen belts but the others have me stumped.



Er... not to put too fine of a point on it, but... it's the Van Allen Belts.
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Drew P
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« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2014, 10:44:16 pm »

Aluminum?  Then anodize.
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Patron Zero
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United States United States



« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2014, 04:21:34 am »

I keep having the Cavorite sphere and the 'moon-gun' projectile from the 1960s films popping into mind !

Brass fittings and plush leather upholstery, who could ask for more ?

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"I carry the dust of a journey that cannot be shaken away....."
Vagabond GentleMan
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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2014, 08:22:08 pm »

OK I think the 5th picture is for monitoring the effects of solar flares on the Van Halen belts but the others have me stumped.




Er... not to put too fine of a point on it, but... it's the Van Allen Belts.


Van Halen belts are cool too. Smiley

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Well that wolf has a dimber bonebox, and he'll flash it all milky and red.  But you won't see our Red Jack's spit, nug, cuz he's pinked ya, and yer dead.
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