Innovative Hydrogen Leak Detection Tape Earns Prestigious Award | NASA

[Principal investigator Dr. Luke] Roberson explained that, from time to time, during the Space Shuttle Program tracking down the precise location of a hydrogen leak was a difficult challenge. Liquid hydrogen is a lightweight and extremely powerful rocket propellant used extensively by NASA. Its characteristics also make it highly flammable and explosive, requiring close attention to avoid leaks…NASA enlisted the assistance of University of Central Florida in developing a pigment that would change color when exposed to hydrogen. Chemochromic materials respond to the exposure to different chemicals with a change in color due to a chemical reaction within the substance.
“After two years of research, the team at UCF came up with a pigment that could be added to a silicon caulk,” Roberson said. “While it worked well, the caulk eventually dried out. We were then successful in adding the pigment to an air-tight Teflon tape.”
The end result was the development of the innovative “Color Changing Materials for Hydrogen Detection…One of the first applications took place as the space shuttle Endeavour was being prepared for the STS-118 mission in the summer of 2007.
“There was a hydrogen leak on the OMBUU and Launch Pad 39A,” said Roberson. “It proved to be elusive and we thought the tape could help.” The OMBUU was the Orbiter Midbody Umbilical Unit, a horizontal access arm for servicing the mid-fuselage portion of the space shuttle at the launch pad. It was used for loading liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the spacecraft’s fuel cells.
“Sensors were successful in identifying that there was a leak,” Roberson said. “The tape helped pinpoint the exact location.”The tape works by changing color from beige to high-contrast black in less than three minutes when concentrations as low as 0.1 percent are detected. This is well before reaching the explosive combustion threshold of about four percent. The pigment is completely passive requiring no power and is highly resistive to environmental factors including ultraviolet exposure, salt spray and humidity.

via Innovative Hydrogen Leak Detection Tape Earns Prestigious Award | NASA.

The article points out the potential uses for the chemical manufacturing and oil and gas industries. Nice to see more spinoffs from the Shuttle program.

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Shooting To Wound and Selling Popcorn – The Truth About Guns

Americans are treated to a steady stream of good guys purposely and casually wounding bad guys, usually in the shoulder. On TV and in the movies, such beyond-Olympic-level shooting always disarms and incapacitates the bad guy, and when the good guy is similarly wounded, they are barely inconvenienced and heal with amazing speed.

Not only is this sort of shooting incredibly dangerous to good guys and innocent bystanders, it’s almost always legally disastrous. In addition, any survivable gunshot wound may have life-long health implications. As regular readers may remember from an earlier article, one shoots to stop an attacker, to immediately–to whatever degree that is possible–cause them to cease the hostile actions that made the use of deadly force legally permissible. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that all legal burdens have been met. The good guy, under the laws in force when and where he has to shoot, is legally in the right when he pulls the trigger. But how is he going to accomplish his purpose: stopping the bad guy?

There are three primary means of stopping a human being:

  1. Neural damage

  2. Breaking the skeleton

  3. Exsanguination

via Shooting To Wound and Selling Popcorn – The Truth About Guns.

Even a good center-of-mass hit is rarely instantly incapacitating. Unless you actually hit the heart or break the spine.

Furthermore, almost anytime someone has to shoot, they’re under incredible stress. Guess what? When your fight or flight instinct kicks in, your body dumps a ton of adrenaline into your bloodstream.  Your accuracy is going to plummet.

Police may (or may not) be too quick to resort to shooting, but the idea of demanding anyone to shoot with an attempt to wound is asinine.



Syrian Armor

Maybe not up to our standards, but they’re better than you usually see. Gunners traversing and scanning, occasional TC out of the hatch for situational awareness.

You might have to log in to youtube to see.

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Japanese Live Fire

We don’t really pay much attention to the Japanese Army (technically, the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force). Post-World War II constitutional restrictions on Japan’s armed forces effectively mean its army cannot be deployed outside the country.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t have one. It’s actually the largest of Japan’s forces at about 150,000 troops. It is  not nearly as visible as their air and naval arms, however. But it is quite professional and well equipped.

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Maybe She Should Just Burn Them…


Seems the intolerant intellectual fascism of the American Far-Left remains in full flower.  Erica Payne, the vulgar uber-“liberal” progressive strumpet whose Agenda Project is yet another conduit for mega-wealthy leftists to disparage anyone who deigns to disagree with them, has decided that the way to combat Paul Ryan’s legal free expression is through vandalism.

Erica Payne, founder and president of the left-wing Agenda Project, is encouraging people to deface the cover of Paul Ryan’s new book, which is hitting shelves today.

Not a new paradigm, to be sure.  




Erica Payne provides a representative sample of the extreme prejudice and closed-minded intolerance of a bankrupt intellectual philosophy.  Disagreement with the far-left ideology will not only be brutally suppressed, but those who espouse such heresy will be flagged as threats.  This should come as a surprise to nobody, not after the machinations of the IRS and other government entities, including the race-mongering Justice Department, now in the sway of the most malignant administration in the history of our Republic.  

Time was, books would be burned, instead of merely vandalized.  But that probably involves a carbon footprint which will accelerate Global Warming.  (No estimate on the environmental impact of burning the homes of Global Warming skeptics.)  So the Erica Paynes of the world will have to settle for defacing private property in lieu of providing cogent counter-argument.  Which demonstrates just how illiberal those who consider themselves the most “liberal” truly are.   

Perhaps instead of the coarsely vulgar slogan adopted to disparage the Tea Party, Ms. Payne’s Agenda Project could find a more appropriate one.  Sieg Heil comes to mind.  



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UPDATE 2-Belgian Doel 4 nuclear reactor closed till year-end | Reuters

PARIS, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Belgian energy company Electrabel said its Doel 4 nuclear reactor would stay offline at least until the end of this year after major damage to its turbine, with the cause confirmed as sabotage.

On Tuesday, Electrabel had said the plant would remain offline until Sept. 15 as it carried out repairs and investigated an oil leak that forced its closure on Aug. 5. Its French parent company GDF Suez confirmed the closure was due to sabotage.

The shutdown of Doel 4’s nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of electricity generating capacity as well as closures of two other reactors (Doel 3 and Tihange 2) or months because of cracks in steel reactor casings adds up to just over 3 GW of Belgian nuclear capacity that is offline, more than half of the total.

via UPDATE 2-Belgian Doel 4 nuclear reactor closed till year-end | Reuters.

Well… no telling if it was a disgruntled employee, or something even more nefarious.

The turbine side of a nuke plant is pretty much the same as if it were a coal powered plant.* There’s no radiation hazard or anything like that. Of course, you can’t run the reactor at anything approaching capacity without the turbine section, because you need it to extract heat from the steam, so it can be condensed and returned to the heat exchanger, where it cools the primary coolant loop.

For now, we’re putting this in the “bad, but not panic” bin.


*Let’s not get into superheat and saturated steam and whatnot



I’ve got a question about the TX Public Integrity Unit

The indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry centers around his line item veto of an appropriation of state funds for the Texas Public Integrity Unit. The PIU is run out of the San Antonio Travis County DA’s office.

Since 1982 under former DA Ronnie Earl’s watch, The Public Integrity Unit had been state-funded under a reimbursement scheme to the county. In June 2013 when Governor Perry ordered the funding shut off, the unit was left to fend for itself.

Among conservatives, the PIU, especially under Ronnie Earles, was seen as primarily motivated toward political witch-hunts designed to attack Republican politicians such as the Hutchinson and DeLay smears.

But here’s my question- what is the authority, statutory or otherwise, that created the PIU? Did Earles just decide to take the role upon himself? Or was a law passed in the state legislature creating it?  My google-fu hasn’t been able to find any answers.

To have a county DA responsible for statewide investigations of public corruption is… weird. Mind you, I don’t mind having an outside agency responsible for policing public officials. But this set up seems odd. Odd enough that at least one lawsuit has been filed challenging the PIU authority to operate statewide.

Any lawyers out there have insight?