Daily Archives: May 2, 2014

Views from the Solar System (206)

Volcanic Plume Over Southern Atlantic Ocean Revealed Through False-Color Imagery

NASA – The South Sandwich Islands, in the far southern Atlantic Ocean, are often shrouded with thick cloud, making it difficult to view the region from space. Sometimes, however, the use of false-color imagery can be used to reveal events that would otherwise be obscured under cloud cover.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over the South Sandwich Islands on April 19, 2014 and acquired this false-color image of the cloudy scene.

This false-color image uses a combination of non-visible (middle infrared and infrared) and visible (red) light captured in bands 7, 2, and 1, respectively, to distinguish clouds from snow and ice. Here the ice-covered islands appear bright turquoise, the clouds light turquoise and the water in the ocean appears deep black. Because the volcanic plume is a moist mixture of gas and ash, it reflects all three forms of light relatively well, so it appears nearly white.

In the north of this image, a thin plume of white rises from the volcano on Zavodovski island, the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands and streams to the northeast. Further south, a wider white plume can be seen blowing across the Atlantic Ocean. This plume rises from the Mount Michael volcano, which is a young and frequently active stratovolcano located on Saunders Island, near the center of the South Sandwich Island chain.

The white plume from Mount Michael forms a chain of swirling eddies as it blows to the northeast. To the south, similar eddies can be seen behind three other islands. These are known as Von Kármán vortices. These vortices can form nearly anywhere that fluid flow is disturbed by an object. Because the atmosphere behaves like a fluid, when streaming air hits a blunt object, such as a mountain peak, the wind is forced around the object. The disturbance in the flow of the wind propagates downstream in a double row of vortices that alternate their direction of rotation, much like the eddies seen behind a pier in a river as water rushes past.

Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

Updates from OECD


Making Innovation Policy Work: Learning from Experimentation, OECD, The World Bank.

OECD, The World Bank – Industrial and innovation policies characterized by top-down government interventions are not the right approach to development.

The reasons for the failures of such policies are well known, and include the risks of capture by vested interests, lack of information on the economy and strong information asymmetry with private actors, and a lack of capability in the public sector for effective policy making.

Another, more appropriate approach innovation (and industrial) policy, involves search, experimentation, monitoring learning and adaptation, all of which need to occur in a context of international openness to knowledge, trade, investment and competition. This new approach also rests on close co-operation with private and non-governmental actors, who are often better placed than governments to identify barriers to innovation, and point to areas for productive investment or policy action. more> http://tinyurl.com/qgyq3us

8 Reasons Small Teams Work Better

By Rich Karlgaard – The more brains, the better, reason the powers that be. So they include as many high performers and thought leaders as possible. Soon, more volunteers trickle in because they want to be visible, to hitch their wagons to this particular star. And before you know it, the team is completely out of control.

The results aren’t pretty. It’s impossible to come to a consensus. You constantly get off track. You have to wade through piles of unhelpful input while refereeing between people with conflicting agendas. There’s entirely too much self-aggrandizing *bleep* flying around the table, while truly helpful ideas seem to have fled the building. more> http://tinyurl.com/kmn9f8y

Updates from BOEING

EA-18G Airborne Electronic Attack Aircraft (Growler)

Boeing – The EA-18G, currently being delivered to the U.S. Navy, is the cornerstone of the naval Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) mission. Derived from the combat proven F/A-18F aircraft, the EA-18G incorporates advanced AEA avionics bringing transformational capability for suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) and non-traditional electronic attack operations.

  • The EA-18G will counter enemy air defenses using both reactive and pre-emptive jamming techniques
  • The EA-18G will be highly effective in the traditional stand-off jamming mission, but with the speed and agility of a Super Hornet, it will also be effective in the escort role
  • Dramatically enhanced situational awareness and uninterrupted communications will enable the EA-18G to achieve a higher degree of integration with ground operations than has been previously achievable
  • With its Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, digital data links and air-to-air missiles, the EA-18G will have self-protection capability and will also be effective for target identification and prosecution
  • Interference Cancellation System (INCANS) dramatically enhances aircrew situational awareness by enabling uninterrupted communications during jamming operations

The AEA suite provides state-of-the-art selective-reactive and pre-emptive jamming capability. The majority of the AEA-unique avionics are installed on a pallet in the gun bay and in two wingtip pods. Nine weapon stations provide unique flexibility for carriage of weapons, jamming pods, and other stores to meet the needs for standoff jamming, escort jamming, time critical strike, or communications countermeasures.

The AEA communications receiver and jamming system provide electronic suppression and attack against communication threats. These systems, combined with the F/A-18F Super Hornet air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities, yield a formidable and flexible capability with significant growth capability for the future. more> http://tinyurl.com/lksetxz

How corporate America can create better jobs

By Thomas A. Kochan – It’s possible if you look at companies such as Southwest Airlines and Costco that provide great returns to shareholders and great jobs for employees.

It starts with values. CEOs and other top leaders value what their employees can bring to the competitive table. They hire people for both their technical skills and their motivation to work together for the mission and goals of the enterprise.

These companies adopt business strategies that stress quality, innovation, customer service, and productivity as drivers of profitability as opposed to competing solely on being the lowest-cost and lowest-quality producer. more> http://tinyurl.com/p66kc3q