Planet Labs is building small, inexpensive satellites, mostly from consumer-style components, for large-scale, continuous earth observation purposes. As a silicon valley startup, they pride themselves in doing things differently than then “big aerospace companies”. In this episode, I am talking with Ignacio Zuleta and Creon Levit about small satellites, satellite constellations, phones, optics and earth observation.
As we have mentioned before on omega tau, aviation prides itself on a pervasive safety-culture that leads to a low accident rate. An important building block of this culture are incident reporting systems, where members of the community can confidentially report issues, risks or incidents, which are then followed up on, with the goal to resolve them. CHIRP is the organisation that handles this task in the UK. In this episode we talk to Ian Dugmore, the Chief Executive of CHIRP about the general idea, and about a few (typical) incidents reported to CHIRP.
In this 200th episode of omega tau we cover a topic that has been on our list for a long time: harbour tugs. We start out with a conversation with Lex van der Schaaf, the COO of Port Towage Amsterdam, who gives us a general introduction to port towage. Markus then joins Arno, Jan and Andrey on their tug Thetis for a day of towing in the port of Amsterdam. In the last conversation, Markus speaks with Baldo Dielen about the design of modern tugs, using the EDDY tug as a representative example.
Mass spectrometers are devices for measuring the mass-to-charge ratio of molecules and ions. They use many different measurement principles and are used in various areas of science. Our guest Alexander Makarov works as a Director Global Research for Thermo Fisher‘s Life Sciences Division and has invented the Orbitrap principle used widely in modern mass spectrometers. We talk about mass spectrometry in general, the different measurement principles, engineering challenges, the invention of the Orbitrap, use cases for mass spectrometers and the different machines sold by Thermo Fisher.
When ships have an engine casualty, run aground or have a fire on board they need to be salvaged or their wreck removed. Specialised companies, like Ardent, focus on salvaging ships or removing wrecks. These tasks are sometimes challenging from an engineering perspective, and always interesting from the business side. In this episode we talk with Ardent‘s Bram Sperling, a senior salvage master, about both these aspects of salvage and wreck removal operations.