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387 – Direct Air Capture

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(average: 3.72)
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The climate situatation is getting more and more dire, and in order to reach the goals the international community has set for themselves, engineering solutions seem increasingly necessary. After talking about solar geoengineering in episode 385, we will look at direct air capture in this episode. Direct Air Capture is a family of technologies that allow the extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere. My guest Peter Psarras explains the technology, the economics and also the political and moral challenges associated with the technology.

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385 – Solar Geoengineering

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(average: 3.81)
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The root cause of global warming is that more and more of the energy supplied by the sun is captured by the atmosphere because of increased amounts of CO2 and other climate gases. One way of fixing this is to make sure that more of that energy is reflected and never even penetrates the lower atmosphere. Solar geoengineering proposes to put particles into the upper atmosphere to increase its reflectivity and thereby reduce the temperature. In the episode I talk with Harvard’s David Keith about some of the technical aspects, which role this technique can play in the overall fight against climate change, some of the political challenges as well as current avenues of research.

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383 – The LHC Beam Dump

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(average: 4.82)
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The beam dump is a large graphite block used to take up the energy stored in the LHC beam in case the beam needs to be shut down. Since the energy in the beam can be as high as the kinetic energy of a landing 747-400, designing and operating the dump is challenging. In this episode, Marco Calviani, who heads the group that is responsible for this and other beam dumps at CERN, tells us about how the dump works, and what they have recently changed in order to cope with the higher luminosity in future configurations of the LHC.

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378 – Flying the F-18 Classic Hornet

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(average: 4.16)
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It’s been 377 episodes and we have not yet dedicated one to the F-18. This changes now. In the episode we first talk with Jerry Deren, a former US Navy Hornet pilot who also flew with the Blue Angels; we cover both aspects of his career. In part two we chat with Nick Anderson, former RAAF F-18 pilot (and co-host of the Airline Pilot Guy podcast). We chat about his experience flying the Hornet Down Under, focussing on quirks and funny stories.

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374 – Flying the F-22

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(average: 4.61)
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The main part of this episode is about flying the F-22 Raptor, the most modern air superiority fighter in the inventory of the USAF. Our guest is Dan Javorsek, callsign Animal, who has previously flown the Raptor in operational test. Dan has also been the initiator of the Alpha Dogfight trials, where an AI was tested against a real pilot in a simulator air-to-air engagement. Dan also flew the F-117 and the F-35, so we cover those airplanes as well.

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