• Concerning my zoom backdrop project

    04/12/2023 at 08:59 0 comments

     The backdrop serves now to define my home office space for tax purposes, and the wheel carriages are aligned to pieces of tape stuck to the floor.

  • Stratospheric Aerosol Injection by Coulombic Hoist

    01/06/2023 at 21:47 0 comments

    An exploration of possible modern uses of clear-weather atmospheric electricity.

    The idea: On clear, calm days, release tiny, negatively charged sulfur particles near ground level (but no lower than 25 cm) and wait for them to rise into the stratosphere on the sky voltage. They should then oxidize to a sulfuric acid aerosol, which is a powerful climate cooling agent if present in the stratosphere. The stratosphere begins 8 km above the surface in the arctic and 16 km above the surface in the tropics (mode= 12 km). At the surface, the electric field of the sky voltage has an intensity of 100 to 200 volts/m, earth negative, with the maximum occurring at 18:00 UTC, no matter where you are. It is part of the global atmospheric electric circuit, which is powered by thunderstorms. Solid sulfur can be negatively charged by friction, a process called tribocharging. Tribocharging is already used in one type of powder coating technology. 

    To charge negatively, the teflon tube that is standard on a tribo gun will have to be replaced by a tube made with an electron donor, or else corona charging used instead of tribocharging. I calculate that to rise in the atmospheric electric field, a particle needs a charge to mass ratio ("specific charge") greater than 50 millicoulomb/kilogram, which may be another factor requiring corona charging.

    Research on this idea would feature use of a telescopic laser range finder to find out how high the particles actually go.

    What about building some macroscopic device that uses sky power? In principle, it could fly if it could exceed a specific charge of 50 mC/kg, with payload. Maybe build it to double as a single, large corner-cube reflector pointing down, to facilitate ground-based tracking. Such a form would be mechanically stable while ascending because it places the center of charge above the widest point. If tracking is done at radar wavelengths, the device could be made of an open honeycomb lattice to reduce weight and air resistance, because relatively long wavelengths do not have the resolution necessary to "see" the holes. It would also be dove-white because of a teflon coating and rounded at the corners to further reduce corona discharge: a pretty picture.

    The figure of 50 mC/kg was derived by dividing g, the gravitational acceleration at the Earth's surface (about 10 m/s2), by 200 V/m, and multiplying by 1000 to get the units used in studies of powder-coating physics (and the units analysis checks out).

    Extrapolating from data in Meng et al., 2008, http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/41/19/195207 , 2.3-micron-diameter sulfur particles corona charged at 90 kV should fly. However, a ten-fold smaller sulfur particle will have a ten-fold greater specific charge, giving some margin to allow for discharging on the way up.

    The diameter of the sulfur particle injected into the stratosphere is unrelated to the diameter of the eventual sulfuric acid droplets it produces upon oxidation in the stratosphere, because one reaction intermediate, sulfur dioxide, is gaseous (complication: it’s also a greenhouse gas).

    At this time, my best guess as to how fast the particles would rise is 3 cm/s (because I believe I have seen it), which will take them up to the stratosphere in four to five days. 

    However, thus far, my calculations have not addressed the fact that the sky electric field weakens with height. At an altitude of 12 km, it is only 5 V/m, versus 100-200 V/m at sea level. The altitude effect will cause the particles to stop ascending and start concentrating at a particular altitude  (a possibly useful effect) where gravitational and coulombic forces are in equilibrium, but is it stratospheric? Unfortunately, no. Even reducing particle diameter 10-fold to 0.23 microns (which uses up our margin for discharge) only gives 4.5 km, less than the minimum height of the stratosphere, 8 km. So, we don't get there, unless we stand on a mountain top in...

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  • I don't phone or Zoom because..

    11/16/2022 at 02:05 0 comments

    I believe these modes of communication can be deepfaked.

    You are false data!

    You are false data!

    You are false data!

    ...

    BLAM!

    In addition, I run privacy tests.

    What would you say if I told you I like to ask open-ended questions?

    My strategy is still evolving for using public transit, where anyone could film me at close range and then deepfake me into Mr. MXYZPTLK in a flannel shirt flying down the aisle.

    Another question that arises concerns how to best promote the disruption/interception of rogue military operations and their key communications links. Ask the public for help?