Blind Landings

Author: Erik Conway
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 080188960X
Format: PDF, Docs
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When darkness falls, storms rage, fog settles, or lights fail, pilots are forced to make "instrument landings," relying on technology and training to guide them through typically the most dangerous part of any flight. In this original study, Erik M. Conway recounts one of the most important stories in aviation history: the evolution of aircraft landing aids that make landing safe and routine in almost all weather conditions. Discussing technologies such as the Loth leader-cable system, the American National Bureau of Standards system, and, its descendants, the Instrument Landing System, the MIT-Army-Sperry Gyroscope microwave blind landing system, and the MIT Radiation Lab's radar-based Ground Controlled Approach system, Conway interweaves technological change, training innovation, and pilots' experiences to examine the evolution of blind landing technologies. He shows how systems originally intended to produce routine, all-weather blind landings gradually developed into routine instrument-guided approaches. Even so, after two decades of development and experience, pilots still did not want to place the most critical phase of flight, the landing, entirely in technology's invisible hand. By the end of World War II, the very concept of landing blind therefore had disappeared from the trade literature, a victim of human limitations. -- Chihyung Jeon

The Problem with Pilots

Author: Timothy P. Schultz
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421424797
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"Pilots were a major problem in aviation development. They were exposed as feeble, vulnerable, and inefficient as aircraft flew higher, faster, and farther. Pilots asphyxiated or got the bends at high altitudes; they blacked out during high-G maneuvers; they spun into the ground after encountering clouds or fog; and they found innumerable ways to commit fatal errors. This is the story of how physicians and engineers, spurred by airpower enthusiasts seeking to advance the military potential of aviation, sought new means to address these problems and bridge the widening gap between human and machine performance. It provides an original view of how their efforts connected the technological, the medical, and the human element and effected changes that transformed the pilot's role and redefined flight. Schultz explores the major changes in the pilot-aircraft relationship that transpired primarily between World War One and the end of World War Two and applies them to modern flight. Archival resources illuminate the pilot's evolution, and theories of technological change inform the innovations and institutional imperatives that elevated the roles of life scientists and engineers."--Provided by publisher.

Exploration and Engineering

Author: Erik M. Conway
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421416050
Format: PDF, Docs
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Although the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has become synonymous with the United States’ planetary exploration during the past half century, its most recent focus has been on Mars. Beginning in the 1990s and continuing through the Mars Phoenix mission of 2007, JPL led the way in engineering an impressive, rapidly evolving succession of Mars orbiters and landers, including roving robotic vehicles whose successful deployment onto the Martian surface posed some of the most complicated technical problems in space flight history. In Exploration and Engineering, Erik M. Conway reveals how JPL engineers’ creative technological feats led to major breakthroughs in Mars exploration. He takes readers into the heart of the lab’s problem-solving approach and management structure, where talented scientists grappled with technical challenges while also coping, not always successfully, with funding shortfalls, unrealistic schedules, and managerial turmoil. Conway, JPL’s historian, offers an insider’s perspective into the changing goals of Mars exploration, the ways in which sophisticated computer simulations drove the design process, and the remarkable evolution of landing technologies over a thirty-year period.

Atmospheric Science at NASA

Author: Erik M. Conway
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9781421401638
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Atmospheric Science at NASA critically examines this politically controversial science, dissecting the often convoluted roles, motives, and relationships of the various institutional actors involved—among them NASA, congressional appropriation committees, government weather and climate bureaus, and the military.

The Collapse of Western Civilization

Author: Naomi Oreskes
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231537956
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The year is 2393, and a senior scholar of the Second People's Republic of China presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment, the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies, entered into a Penumbral period in the early decades of the twenty-first century, a time when sound science and rational discourse about global change were prohibited and clear warnings of climate catastrophe were ignored. What ensues when soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, drought, and mass migrations disrupt the global governmental and economic regimes? The Great Collapse of 2093. This work is an important title that will change how readers look at the world. Dramatizing climate change in ways traditional nonfiction cannot, this inventive, at times humorous work reasserts the importance of scientists and the work they do and reveals the self-serving interests of the so called "carbon industrial complex" that have turned the practice of sound science into political fodder. The authors conclude with a critique of the philosophical frameworks, most notably neo-liberalism, that do their part to hasten civilization's demise. Based on sound scholarship yet unafraid to tilt at sacred cows in both science and policy, this book provides a welcome moment of clarity amid the cacophony of climate change literature. It includes a lexicon of historical and scientific terms that enriches the narrative and an interview with the authors.