124. Hearing Mars Meteoroid Impacts, 3D Printing Swarm Drones, 3D Printing Wooden Objects


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Show Notes:

InSight hears meteoroid impacts on Mars | EarthSky (01:15)

  • Since 2018, NASA’s InSight lander has been busy studying the interior of Mars detecting over 1,300 marsquakes

  • NASA announced on September 19, 2022, that, for the first time, InSight has heard the impacts of four meteoroids as they crashed into the Martian surface.

    • Detected the vibrations from the impacts in 2020 and 2021.

    • The impacts produced small marsquakes, up to a magnitude of 2.0.

  • This is the first time that InSight – or any Mars lander or rover – has ever detected the seismic waves from a meteoroid impact.

  • The four impacts occurred between 53 and 180 miles from InSight’s location in Elysium Planitia.

    • Elysium Planitia, a flat-smooth plain just north of the equator making it a great location to study the Martian interior.

  • NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took images of the impact sites from orbit.

    • Appeared as dark spots in the orbiter’s black-and-white Context Camera.

  • The seismic waves generated by the impacts can give scientists clues about both the impacting rocks and the Martian subsurface.

  • Additionally, scientists can use impact craters to determine the age of the surface.

    • More craters = Older the surface is

  • By using both InSight’s data and orbital images of the impact craters, researchers can determine the meteoroid’s trajectory and size of its shock wave (seismic wave).

7,000-year-old structure near Prague is older than Stonehenge, Egyptian pyramids | Live Science (05:27)

  • Archaeologists digging near Prague have discovered the remains of a Stone Age structure that's older than Stonehenge and even the Egyptian pyramids: an enigmatic complex known as a roundel.

    • 7,000 years ago during the late Neolithic, or New Stone Age

    • Viewed from above, roundels consist of one or more wide, circular ditches with several gaps that functioned as entrances.

  • "Roundels are the oldest evidence of architecture in the whole of Europe," according to Jaroslav Řídký, a spokesperson for the Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IAP).

  • Radio Prague International reported, the excavated roundel is large — about 180 feet (55 meters) in diameter, or about as long as the Leaning Tower of Pisa is tall

    • Clear that this was part of the Stroked Pottery culture, which flourished between 4900 B.C. and 4400 B.C.

  • Located in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic

    • Many farming villages found near the intersection of contemporary Poland, eastern Germany and the northern Czech Republic

  • Carbon-dating organic remains from this roundel excavation could help the team pinpoint the date of the structure's construction and possibly link it with a Neolithic settlement discovered nearby.

Watch this team of drones 3D-print a tower | MIT Technology Review (09:03)

  • A mini-swarm’s worth of drones have been trained to work together to 3D-print some simple towers.

    • Could, one day, help with challenging projects such as post-disaster construction or even repairs on buildings that are too high to access safely.

  • The process has multiple drones work together to build from a single blueprint, with one essentially checking the others’ work as it goes.

    • Inspired by the way bees or wasps construct large nests

  • To demonstrate the drones’ capabilities, the researchers got them to use foam and a special lightweight form of cement to build structures with heights ranging from 0.18 meters to 2.05 meters.

  • The technique is limited for now because drones struggle to carry heavy loads, need regular charging, and still require human supervision.

  • The researchers are hoping to alleviate some of these issues by automating the charging of drones during projects

World's largest geothermal lagoon planned for Canada | New Atlas (14:12)

  • A project, called geoLagon, is underway in Canada for a magnificent new open air lagoon in Canada that will be kept at balmy temperatures year round through a “huge Thermos” heating system underneath.

    • Designed to be the largest of its type in the world

  • Modeled on the famous geothermal lagoons of Iceland, the geoLagon is designed as an open-air attraction for visitors to relax and soak up the surroundings.

    • To be built in Charlevoix, Quebec,

    • span some 12,000 square meters (130,000 sq ft)

    • warmed to a pleasant 39 °C (102 °F) all year

  • It will be heated through an energy ecosystem consisting of geothermal, biomass, photovoltaics and solar heating systems, along with a thermal reservoir beneath the lagoon’s base to store heat.

  • Clusters of chalets will surround the lagoon once the project is completed, capturing solar energy with photovoltaic cladding to help run the heat pumps for the water.

  • CEO Louis Massicotte says that further optimizations and technologies like sewer heat recovery could see the geoLagon village even become an energy provider, but is positive that the project will at the very least be able to sustain itself without drawing power from the grid.

  • The project is planned in three stages, beginning with the construction of 150 solar-powered cottages, followed by the lagoon as the second stage and then the remaining 150 chalets thereafter.

    • Expected to get underway in March and should take around 18 months.

Israeli researchers managed to produce 3D printer ink to make wooden objects | Interesting Engineering (18:29)

  • This Wood Ink is made from a mixture of wood flour and plant extracts.

    • Doron Kam, a Ph.D. student working on the project, and colleagues developed this technology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    • The technology converts organic "wood derivatives" into a paste that is then used as ink by a 3D printer.

  • The scientists have so far used 3D printing to construct saddle, dome, and helix-shaped models out of their wood-infused ink.

    • They think it might be used to make more sophisticated self-assembling products like furniture.

  • What is the plan for this material, according to Doron Kam:

    • “We are trying to make a material that won’t last forever, that’s what plastic is for. We are not looking for that … Three or four years of use, and then you can grind it down and print it again. This is sustainability in our product, this is our principle.”

144 episoder