Detecting spins in small aircraft

Here are three spins. The first I intentionally recovered poorly. The other two were more “textbook” recoveries.

Spin Graph
This is just the graph of the slip/skid sensors.
Interesting that there is a clear pattern and threshold.
The goal here is to detect and give enough warning to a pilot to avoid and intervene on an impending unintentional spin entry.

First “REAL” 3D Maps with my 3DRobotics Solo

Switching gears lately in my other life to work with Blueridge Forestry on a mapping workflow for them. Making this map of a local closed landfill turned model airplane field really was a snap.

Docker images for Dronekit

Started on a new project this evening. Docker images for Dronekit and some tools for automating flights. Love me some Docker!

I *may* need to get a handle on my workspace today. Good Grief.

I’ve always been an instigator

In an email exchange this morning a friend of mind called me an instigator who uses “science” as an excuse for it.

Yeah, this is not a new thing. Here’s some evidence from 2011…

I wonder how long it took them to clean up the flour…

Always buy good tools

A few minutes ago an old Navy buddy of mine sent me this picture with a message that just said “memories”.

He remembers something I’d sorta like to forget. This is a picture of my first car. I’m sure it’s not the same one, but the color and everything are the same.

One of the many lessons my father and grandfather taught me was to always invest in good tools. A crappy drill will fail you in the middle of a project and a bad screwdriver can strip the head off of a screw of a critical part in a flash.

It should have come as no surprise to me then at 18 years old when I bought a crappy tool to use as my primary transportation. The 1992 Geo Metro was, even with it’s 60 miles to a gallon of gas… a complete piece of junk. I bought it from a dealer who repossessed it with 4000 miles on it (imagine having your Geo repossessed!!!). Seemed like a steal.

My father, a very very patient leader of his hard headed teenagers, tried to get me to buy a turbo charged Volkswagen Jetta Diesel. Had I followed his advice, that Jetta was the kind of car where the interior would have rotted away before the engine gave out and I would have probably had it for many years.

But nooooooo

I wanted to make my own decisions and my father wanted to let me. He CO-SIGNED for the loan on a piece of crap. In the 3 years I owned it the engine was rebuilt TWICE! Once when my Dad was driving it the distributor cap just fell off, fasteners and all. When I went to trade it in to buy a Jeep in 1996 the used car dealer didn’t even want it.

I did eventually learn my father’s “only good tools” lessons and my toolbox is full of only Craftsman and Snap-On tools. 

My current car was purchased for the same price as my first car: $8200 and this time I paid cash. That was 12 years and 200,000 miles ago. It’s a car with good bones. A good tool.

That’s the only kind of tools I buy any more.

Intel Galileo Time! Woot!

It’s glass time

I’ve got Google Glass for the next couple weeks. What should I be doing with it?

Philip Zimmerman on why he wrote PGP

This is actually from 1999 (updated from 1991), but I love this part:

The right to privacy is spread implicitly throughout the Bill of Rights. But when the United States Constitution was framed, the Founding Fathers saw no need to explicitly spell out the right to a private conversation. That would have been silly. Two hundred years ago, all conversations were private. If someone else was within earshot, you could just go out behind the barn and have your conversation there. No one could listen in without your knowledge. The right to a private conversation was a natural right, not just in a philosophical sense, but in a law-of-physics sense, given the technology of the time.

Read the entire piece here.

This is great: Sparkfun on Demystifying Serial Communication

I love it when someone takes the time to teach a broad audience something that most people who work on computer systems should now but probably don’t understand very well.  Thanks SparkFun!