Liquid Hydrogen: the Fuel of Choice for Space Exploration

Despite criticism and early technical failures, the taming of liquid hydrogen proved to be one of NASA’s most significant technical accomplishments. Hydrogen is a light and extremely powerful rocket propellant, has the lowest molecular weight of any known substance and burns with extreme intensity (5,500°F). In combination with an oxidizer such as liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen yields the highest specific impulse, or efficiency in relation to the amount of propellant consumed, of any known rocket propellant. 




Dispite the fact that it is a very good rocket propellant, it is known that the storage of liquid hydrogen is very dangerous. 

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Safe storage of hydrogen gas

We have been discussing the dangers of hydrogen gas and everyone realizes that a safe storage is necessary.
The safe storage of the hydrogen gas is indeed a bottleneck in the evolution of the hydrogen powered car.
Therefore a lot of research is done to create a solution.
There has been a multi-year project done by Batelle. (Battelle has for decades served as an integral resource for developing safety test methods for new vehicle technology.)

In their report, they make the following statements

In the tests that we’ve performed—and this is crash tests of some mockup hydrogen vehicles as well as crash tests of actual hydrogen fuel cell vehicles—in all cases the container, the tank and the fuel system remained leak tight. This was despite impacts to the tank itself, in crashes rear and side up to 40 mph. So this was impacts to the fuel tank region. The tanks were well protected—the vehicle provides substantial protection. Then, the tanks, being high pressure tanks, are extremely robust in a crash scenario. In addition, there is plumbing and the fittings that convey the gas. Those were deformed substantially. They are very ductile and can accommodate the deformation that occurs in a crash without leakage.

—Dr. Denny Stephens

Battelle test results suggest that, with appropriate safety testing, hydrogen vehicles can be as safe as conventional vehicles on the road today.
Would you consider buying a hydrogen car when it is as safe as a conventional vehicle?
I would.

Hydrogen used in fuel cells for submarines

As some of you probably now, we have been on a study trip to Copenhagen.
During one of our company visits we were introduced in the world of submarines.
During this company visit they told us they used fuel cells working on hydrogen gas in order to double their range.

Since these fuel  cells came very close to our thesis subject it was very interesting to see.
I wanted to share this with you because it is yet another use of the hydrogen gas.

12 Ingenious Gadgets & Technologies for the Blind

Let’s continues with the topic “Technology for blindness”.

Today I will bring us some new ideas which can make blind people’s life more colorful.

It’s difficult for those of us with sight to imagine just how different daily experiences are without this ability – but all of the challenges associated with visual impairment are being addressed at an amazingly rapid pace with stunning modern gadgetry. These 12 inventions for the blind featured on Yanko Design use today’s technology to read, navigate, learn, solve puzzles and create art.

B-Touch Mobile Phone

Imagine how much easier it would be for the visually impaired to perform everyday tasks like talking on the phone, reading a book and recognizing objects if they had an accessible all-in-one device like theB-Touch Mobile Phone concept. Designer Zhenwei You incorporated braille, voice systems and optical reading devices

Braille Rubik Cube

It may take a bit more time to actually feel out the face of each individual square in a Rubik’s cube than to attempt solving it visually with colors, but this braille-equipped version is certainly an interesting challenge even for those who aren’t visually impaired.

Safe and Sanitary Mug

How would you like having to burn yourself on hot coffee just to keep track of how much you’re pouring into a mug? Most blind people have to use their fingers, but the awesome Braun Bell Concept Mug by Sang-hoon Lee and Yong-bum Lim makes the process much more safe and sanitary. The mug emits a certain sound when liquid reaches each water sensor.

The Eye Stick – Walking Stick that Sees

Sonic vibrations provide one of the most accurate ways for the visually impaired to get their bearings in an environment, soequipping the end of a walking stick with a little sensor can instill confidence even when dealing with stairs and other potentially dangerous scenarios.

Tactile Flash Cards for Learning

When you can’t see, you rely upon hearing and, of course, touch in order to learn – so tactile flash cards imprinted with the name of an object in braille on one side and a physical texture on the other are a particularly effective way to become familiar with new things.

Feel the Time

The design of the ‘Feel the Time’ watch is so brilliantly simple, it’s amazing that it’s not already commercially available. The minimalist black face features two separate discs, each with one tiny nub – one that signifies the hour, and one for the minute. A break in the outer circle at the 12 o’clock mark acts as a guide to get an accurate reading.

Braille E-Book

It’s hard enough to lug around multiple heavy books, but doing so with expensive, extra-bulky braille books is downright impossible. So as convenient as E-readers are to those with sight, they would be far more so to the blind. This Braille E-Book concept, which dynamically changes the surface pattern with an electromagnetic signal, could revolutionize books for the blind.

Sign Language Voice Translator

One particularly troubling communication scenario is that of a deaf person and a blind person, unable to hear or see each other’s voice or gestures, respectively. So the Sign Voice Language Translator is an interesting prospective solution – a gadget on a necklace that converts gestures to voice and voice into written text.

Navigation Bracelet

What looks like a modern piece of plastic jewelry is actually a navigation system that uses GPS, voice commands and audio and haptic feedback to provide the blind with a level of independence that is currently impossible for many. Yanko Design notes that it could benefit the sighted as well, simply making it fast and easy to navigate a new city.

Touch Color Painting Tablet

Sure, people without sight can paint and often produce stunning artwork without ever having a real sense of color. But when color temperature becomes literal, cool blues and hot reds are differentiated in a new way that permits far more creative expression.The Touch Color tablet uses thermal energy and a hand-held color wheel to create works of art. The color wheel can even capture actual colors from a user’s environment and transmit it to the tablet.

Color Sensor Helps See with Sound

Art is invaluable, but why not bring the ability to sense colors into everyday life with a more practical application? The Bright-F Color Sensor can help the blind “see” colors by associating each color with a particular sound – a huge help when sorting laundry or picking outfits.

Braille Polaroid Camera

Touching an object may help a blind person get a sense of what it is, but unlike the sighted, they can’t use photographs to capture and keep memories. The Braille Polaroid Camera, however, acts as an instant braille printer, translating the basic shape of an object into texture so that the blind can collect “images” in an album.

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Making a car for blind drivers

25/03/2013 3 comments

Last time we discussed about the mobility for blindness.

Today I found a TED video about making a car for blind drivers.

Using robotics, laser rangefinders, GPS and smart feedback tools, Dennis Hong is building a car for drivers who are blind. It’s not a “self-driving” car, he’s careful to note, but a car in which a non-sighted driver can determine speed, proximity and route  and drive independently.


Touchscreen with relief

On the same subject of my last post, I was thinking how we can improve smart phones for blind people. Touchscreens with relief seem a good way to go. The video shows how buttons are elevated from the surface of the tablet when a keyboard is selected. If this technology can be refined to a higher resolution (with smaller buttons), one could eventually print braille on screen. This would be a huge improvement for blind people, since they don’t need a voice to say what is on the screen anymore.

Blind people and technology

Ever wondered how blind people use their smartphone? Watch this movie to see how they do it.

Do you see any improvements that can be made to this system for blind people?