September 21, 2007

Bondage 101

In another entry in the training diaries, my squadron recently recieved some basic EMS training from the Cordova Volunteer Fire Association, and their resident EMS trainer.

Although we didn't learn how to drop an airway, bag someone or administer albuterol, we did learn some valuable stuff that anyone on a ground team should know. By the end of the night, all our cadets and Ground Team Members could splint any fracture, place a collar on someone with a neck injury and roll a victim onto a backboard an tie them down. The course was jokingly dubbed "Bondage 101" by some of our cadets, carrying on a tradition that seems to permeate the EMS world.

Although we are not certified, in a crunch situation we could do all the above. One of my Cadets is a licensed EMT with the Fire Department anyway, allowing the other members to serve in an assistant role. The Cadets certainly enjoyed the change of pace. Usually our nights are filled with lectures, marching and maybe some hands on training. Overall a positive experience for all and recommended if you can work it out.

September 18, 2007

Ahead, Full Impulse.

Another entry in the Aerospace Journals.

TUSTIN, Calif., Sept. 7, 2007 -- An amplified photon thruster that could potentially shorten the trip to Mars from six months to a week has reportedly attracted the attention of aerospace agencies and contractors.

Young Bae, founder of the Bae Institute in Tustin, Calif., first demonstrated his photonic laser thruster (PLT), which he built with off-the-shelf components, in December.

The demonstration produced a photon thrust of 35 ┬ÁN and is scalable to achieve much greater thrust for future space missions, the institute said. Applications include highly precise satellite formation flying configurations for building large synthetic apertures in space for earth or space observation, precision contaminant-free spacecraft docking operations, and propelling spacecraft to unprecedented speeds -- faster than 100 km/sec.

“This is the tip of the iceberg," Bae said in a statement from the institute. "PLT has immense potential for the aerospace industry. For example, PLT-powered spacecraft could transit the 100 million km to Mars in less than a week.”

Bae founded the institute to develop space technologies and has pursued concepts such as photon, antimatter and fusion propulsion for more than 20 years at SRI International, Brookhaven National Lab and the Air Force Research Lab. He has a PhD in atomic and nuclear physics from UC Berkeley.

Several aerospace organizations have expressed interest in collaborating with the institute to further develop and integrate PLT into civilian, military and commercial space systems, Bae said, and he has recently been invited to present his work by NASA, JPL, DARPA and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

So I watched a little too much Star Trek in middle school, that's not the point. Clearly worth a mention in your next Aerospace briefing.

September 14, 2007

Ad Astra, per Aspera

I ran across this today:

GOLDEN, Colo. - Silicon Valley giant Google Inc. is teaming with the X Prize Foundation to launch a commercial race to the Moon with $30 million in incentives to collect along the way.

The X Prize Foundation, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., spearheaded the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which was created to jumpstart the development of private commercial transportation to suborbital space. That prize was won by Scaled Composites of California, which is now building a commercial version of its winning vehicle for entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Corp.

The Google Lunar X Prize sets the competition bar much higher than suborbital space.

"This next major X Prize has a mission that goes far beyond suborbital flight, and extends the economic sphere of humanity 10 times farther beyond geostationary Earth orbit ... all the way to the Moon," said Peter Diamandis, the X Prize Foundation's chairman and chief executive officer. "This competition will once again demonstrate that small teams of dedicated individuals can do what was once thought viable only by governments."

The goal of the new prize will be to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, such as: roaming the lunar surface to a distance of at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) and relaying video, images and data back to Earth.

It seems as though Buzz Aldrin has endorsed the program, appearing with the leader of the project on an Associated Press video. The trailer for "In the Shadow of the Moon" said that "it was a time when we did bold things" with regards to the original moon landings. Lets do something bold again.

(10 points to whoever can guess what the title means!)

September 10, 2007

MDWG signs an MOU with the Maryland Military Department

From the Maryland Wing Website:
Maj. Gen. Bruce Tuxill, Adjutant General of Maryland, and Col. Gerard Weiss, Maryland Wing commander, signed the document which formalizes the agreement to support each other in accomplishing their respective missions.


For many years, the two groups have supported one another without a formal agreement. The Maryland National Guard provides logistic and personnel for the annual Tri-Wing Encampment, along with providing cadets with orientation flights in C-130s and base tours. Warfield Air National Guard base provides ramp space for CAP’s GA-8 Airvan and allows CAP to use their facilities as needed for functions such as the cadet ball and Cadet Advisory Council picnic. In addition, the Guard assists the Maryland Wing with legislative support for funding.

“I continue to be impressed by the professionalism our volunteer members display while working side by side with our Army and Air National Guard counterparts,” said Major Joe Winter, Maryland Wing director of cadet programs and Wing military liaison officer. “The dedication of our members helps ease the stress of the guard members who are deployed all around the world.”


"Our partnership with the MMD should serve as a benchmark for CAP Wing and state guards throughout the country.” [Winter said].

The MOU covered not just the National Guard elements, but also the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Maryland Defense Force. Colonel Weiss has done a great job in MDWG to bring us more in line with the Real Military, and this seems to be not just a great payoff, but the next logical step. I look forward to working with them in the future. Read the entire article here.