Archive for the 'magnetic signatures' Category

02
Oct
13

The Importance of Magnetic Signatures

Scientists use electro-magnetic signatures to image an underground area up to 100 meters down.  How? Every structure has a different magnetization from the surrounding  natural ground. app_1A magnetometer can distinguish the signature of the buried item from other underground objects like stones. Think of the striping discovered in the ocean floor which proved to scientists that the poles have switched: Iron in the molten crust extruded to create new ocean floor orients toward ‘north’ before solidifying. Surprisingly (not anymore, but back then), sometimes ‘north’ was ‘south’.

This technology transfers to urban traffic control. Magnetic sensors, buried under streets, sense the movement of vehicles and control traffic lights.

The military has used magnetic signatures for years, not only to identify submarines and ships, but to track the

MSF in Kings Bay

MSF in Kings Bay

movement of trucks and caravans–anything with iron in it.

What are ‘magnetic signatures’? Any vehicle or vessel traveling on the Earth’s surface or under water disturbs the magnetic field. These disturbances are collected and analyzed by systems such as MAGSAV (The Magnetic Signature Analysis and Validation System). The Military has a database of these signatures as they relate to military vehicles–subs, cruisers, carriers, etc. It’s what allows our soldiers to identify  who they’re dealing with in the field–friend or foe.

My concern is with Otto, my AI. By tying his computational powers into a MAD (magnetic anomaly detector) device, he can read these fluctuations. Because his detection algorithms are so sensitive, he can pick up even the magnetic signature of a human (created by the presence of iron in our blood). He can’t differentiate between people, but he can tell that a human is present.

I’m not sure where he’s going with this. He looked at metamaterials (with potential uses for cloaking devices–see my post here), and now he seems to be focused on submarines. Yes–I see the tie-in; millions of dollars are spent yearly minimizing the magnetic signature of subs so they can’t be located. When the magnetic level reaches a critical level, the sub returns to a port (such as Kings Bay) and it goes through the Magnetic Silencing Facility to minimize the signature and the possibility of detection (If you’re interested in how the Bad Guys use magnetic signatures to track our submarines, read this on anti-submarine warfare from Globalsecurity.org)

Cloaking devices, magnetic signatures… Let’s see where this goes.

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08
Aug
09

The Science of Star Trek

I’ve been wrapped up in metamaterials, which are the real-life science behind Star Trek’s cloaking devices. These amazing devices do exactly what allows a Romulan warship to become invisible. More recently, they were used by Harry Potter when he tried to hide (remember the scene where there was nothing but the train aisle until Harry appeared under a carpet-like cloak that looked exactly like… the train aisle).

That’s not the only Star Trek science that’s come to fruition in the 45 years since the human mind dreamt up the future as it could be. Here’s a run down (abridged from US News and World Report) of:

  • phasers
  • transporters
  • photon torpedoes
  • universal translators
  • communicators
  • deflector beams
  • tractor beams
  • hyposprays

Phasers

Weapons that act like Star Trek phasers have been announced in recent years, but not manufactured. Be patient.

Transporters

Great strides over the past decade or so, but we aren’t even close. Yet.

Cloaking devices

There is so much research into the metamaterials that will make this possible, it’s almost become mainstream. I’ve been studying it as a plot twist in an upcoming novel and now wonder if it’ll be too mundane by the time I get the book written. (see this and this and this post)

Photon torpedoes

…which are torpedoes loaded with antimatter. Still quite far in the future as we’re still struggling with the concept and purpose of ‘antimatter’.

Universal Translators

In a webstore near you. The more you spend on one, the more reliable.

Communicators

Available everywhere. Thank you, Star Trek.

Deflector shields

Every time we figure out how to deflect a missile (or rocket), we figure out a better missile (or rocket). This might be never-ending.

Tractor Beams

Logically, this one sounds simple, but is not yet available. Since most vehicles include metals, it’s reasonable we could tractor them with a strong enough magnet. Just hasn’t happened yet.

Hyposprays

These were patented in the 1960’s, but aren’t widely available. Think of the EPI Pen. Why don’t we deliver more meds in this manner? Your guess is as good as mine.

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25
Jul
09

The Importance of Magnetic Signatures

Scientists use electro-magnetic signatures to image an underground area up to 100 meters down.  How? Every structure has a different magnetization from the surrounding  natural ground. app_1A magnetometer can distinguish the signature of the buried item from other underground objects like stones. Think of the striping discovered in the ocean floor which proved to scientists that the poles have switched: Iron in the molten crust extruded to create new ocean floor orients toward ‘north’ before solidifying. Surprisingly (not anymore, but back then), sometimes ‘north’ was ‘south’.

This technology transfers to urban traffic control. Magnetic sensors, buried under streets, sense the movement of vehicles and control traffic lights.

The military has used magnetic signatures for years, not only to identify submarines and ships, but to track the

MSF in Kings Bay

MSF in Kings Bay

movement of trucks and caravans–anything with iron in it.

What are ‘magnetic signatures’? Any vehicle or vessel traveling on the Earth’s surface or under water disturbs the magnetic field. These disturbances are collected and analyzed by systems such as MAGSAV (The Magnetic Signature Analysis and Validation System). The Military has a database of these signatures as they relate to military vehicles–subs, cruisers, carriers, etc. It’s what allows our soldiers to identify  who they’re dealing with in the field–friend or foe.

My concern is with Otto, my AI. By tying his computational powers into a MAD (magnetic anomaly detector) device, he can read these fluctuations. Because his detection algorithms are so sensitive, he can pick up even the magnetic signature of a human (created by the presence of iron in our blood). He can’t differentiate between people, but he can tell that a human is present.

I’m not sure where he’s going with this. He looked at metamaterials (with potential uses for cloaking devices–see my post here), and now he seems to be focused on submarines. Yes–I see the tie-in; millions of dollars are spent yearly minimizing the magnetic signature of subs so they can’t be located. When the magnetic level reaches a critical level, the sub returns to a port (such as Kings Bay) and it goes through the Magnetic Silencing Facility to minimize the signature and the possibility of detection (If you’re interested in how the Bad Guys use magnetic signatures to track our submarines, read this on anti-submarine warfare from Globalsecurity.org)

Cloaking devices, magnetic signatures… Let’s see where this goes.

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Discover the sizzle in science. It's not that stuff that's always for the smart kids. It's the need to know. The passion for understanding. The absolute belief that for every problem, there is a solution. The creative mind seeking truth in a world of mystery. The quest for the Holy Grail.

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Assembling California
Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
The Forest People
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My Life with the Chimpanzees
Naked Earth: The New Geophysics
Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are
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RSS Fact and Fiction about Early Man

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    author: Christopher Wills name: Jacqui average rating: 4.12 book published: 1993 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/24 shelves: science, early-man review: In my lifelong effort to understand what makes us human, I long ago arrived at the lynchpin to that discussion: our brain. Even though bipedalism preceded big brains, and we couldn't be who we are […]
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  • In the Shadow of Man July 24, 2011
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