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.
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.
In this episode I talk with Paulo Iscold, a professor or aeronautical engineering at Cal Poly about Nixus Nixus, his most recent project. Nixus is one of the most fascinating and ground-breaking research efforts in the space of gliding. It uses advanced manufacturing techniques to support a very thing wing, plus a fly-by-wire system to control the ailerons and the flaps; the latter are automatically adjusted to the current speed.