2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

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Moose Anus
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2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Moose Anus » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:38 pm UTC

Image
Title text: Also known as the Black Mirror-Mythbusters scale.

I'm pretty sure this was the plot of Twister.
Lemonade? ...Aww, ok.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby ijuin » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:43 pm UTC

Meh, the only danger (aside from the drone operator maybe being too close to the center fot his own safety) is that of the drone itself becoming hazardous airborne debris when it inevitably breaks/crashes.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby JPatten » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:56 pm UTC

I was thinking of how difficult it would be to get a drone reliably into a tornado in the first place given the extreme nature of winds immediately surrounding it. I would think anything that lightweight already airborne would have a real difficulty in flying into the funnel without being blown away or into the ground or any number of problems.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Heimhenge » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:04 pm UTC

I thought that, near the bottom of a tornado, things get drawn IN rather than blown away. Granted there might be some stability issues in the strong wind speed gradient, but I think a suitably massive drone with a good head of speed could punch through. I wonder what it would look like inside?

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby richP » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:08 pm UTC

On my internal scale, "This raises big questions about technology and society" and "HAHA, Cool!" are on orthogonal axes.
Um "axes" as in more than one axis, not more than one axe, more than one ax, or the third person present form of the verb "ax" (as in "he axes the teacher a question"... common English usage from the year ca. 3000, per Futurama).

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby sotanaht » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:28 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:I thought that, near the bottom of a tornado, things get drawn IN rather than blown away. Granted there might be some stability issues in the strong wind speed gradient, but I think a suitably massive drone with a good head of speed could punch through. I wonder what it would look like inside?

At that point, you are better off just throwing a camera in there without the drone. You get the same amount of control (none) with less than half the cost. Maybe just design a cannon to shoot cameras into it, a "Canon™ Cannon" if you will.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Flumble » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:41 pm UTC

Make sure your object (whether multicopter, plane or plain camera) has either heavy-duty gyroscopes or high-speed* 360° cameras, otherwise your footage is just a useless blur.

*as in a very small capture time, regardless of frames per second. A rolling shutter that takes 1/100th of a second for exposure and scanning will still give you a blurry mess when the camera is bashed around in a tornado.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:44 pm UTC

Ummm,... folks... dunno how to break it to you, but us Big Mean Countries have at our disposal wicked big, high-flying drones (Raptor) which can pretty much do the same thing Hurricane aircraft do.

Not all drones are cute little [malevolent, spying, noisy, destructive] contraptions.
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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby JPatten » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:10 pm UTC

Well yeah.. But somehow I doubt the Airforce is going to let me try to fly a predator drone into a tornado. AND . not even the Hurricane hunters try to fly into a Tornado.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Sableagle » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:30 pm UTC

You want to see a view from inside a tornado?

https://youtu.be/64574W1YJjo?t=49

Warning: some swearing happens.
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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Heimhenge » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:29 pm UTC

Well this isn't a view from the interior of a tornado, but it does show a view of the interior. Very cool. Probably looks much the same if you're actually inside the thing. Unless the lenses of your eyes are too distended from low pressure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAJRBc7-yeY

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby keldor » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:19 am UTC

Maybe it'd be easier to look at security camera footage from Dorothy's house with one of your iPhone apps?


Edited to add...Though not NEARLY as much fun.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:34 am UTC

I've seen video footage from houses of friends of Dorothy. NSFW.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby cellocgw » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:02 pm UTC

Collecting as many stupid /. memes as possible...

Put a laser^H^H^H^H^H camera on a frickin' shark and viola![sic] Sharknado
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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby da Doctah » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:00 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:I've seen video footage from houses of friends of Dorothy. NSFW.

"Friends of Dorothy". Is that anything like Friends of Bill W?

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Cygnwulf » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:28 pm UTC

Asking fi someone was a "Friend of Dorthy" was a way of asking if another person had the same "interests" as you back when having such an orientation was illegal.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Truffant » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:48 pm UTC

Regarding impressive footage of weather, I just saw yesterday the short video by Mike Olbinski “Monsoon V” featuring monsoons and assorted storms. I found it via loopinsight.

Have fun!

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Stargazer71 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:34 pm UTC

So I’m just going to say that this comic is not cool. Anyone who tries is going to find out that drones can’t even get close given the wind speed of a tornado, and anyone who is close enough to fly a drone into a tornado is close enough to get killed easily.

Just waiting for the news story. Nice job Randall ...

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:39 pm UTC

I object to this scale due to the fact that both ends are not mutually exclusive. :mrgreen:

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Keyman » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:46 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:So I’m just going to say that this comic is not cool. Anyone who tries is going to find out that drones can’t even get close given the wind speed of a tornado, and anyone who is close enough to fly a drone into a tornado is close enough to get killed easily.

Just waiting for the news story. Nice job Randall ...

I'm bet a fair bit of cash that anybody who actually knows the comic, knows better than to try this.

And if they don't...think of it as evolution in action. :roll:
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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:58 pm UTC

NOT COOL RANDAL! I had a friend whose imaginary gauge was too close to his head and when he heard about fire whorls the needle went right past "haha, cool!", pierced the thought bubble, and went right into his skull.

Sableagle wrote:You want to see a view from inside a tornado.
Fixed for you.
Carteeg_Struve wrote:I object to this scale due to the fact that both ends are not mutually exclusive.
The emotions and thoughts are not. Unfortunately, your conversational response options are limited to one at a time.

Although, I don't see why the needle is so close to the center. The only intellectually interesting aspects are the practicalities of accomplishing it safely.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:26 pm UTC

I'm designing my tornado-camera to be light, and not currently self-moving (but maybe self-orientating/stabilising, after a fashion).

A tough but reasonably transparent flexible membrane (which I imagine is going to be quite the design compromise) as a sphere around the camera unit, perhaps a small cube, held at distance not only by internal pressure (not high, just enough to keep the membrane taut, at the nominal natural radius of the low-pressure 'balloon') by struts out of each corner of the central module with smoothly-chamfered non-stick 'feet' and light/long-travel suspension systems as part of the leg 'play'.

The central cube (or tetrahedron, to allow greater degrees of camera view, without the legs in shot*?) has a camera upon each face, featuring the required 'shutter speed' for each frame (regardless of FPS) as already mentioned, all storing to a solid-state storage, along with information from a solid-state all-axis tilitometer/accelerometer, a less important GPS (mostly used for coarse-grained location issues after the event), low-power/passive radar transceiver-locator and possibly a pressure sensor. Other than this rugged and relatively lightweight circuitry, and structural frame embedded within lightweight shock-resistant polystyrene casing to pad it out, maybe there ought to also be a set of looped liquid-filled tubes to absorb (or at least smooth) any excessive rotational energy transmitted through the membrane or directly by air/debris if the membrane 'pops', wrapped around the casing outside the impact casing but within the 'dead' space that is not within the fields of view of the face-cameras.

I'd also like to stuff, in the remainder of that dead-space, small packaged ribbons with a microcharge (or electromechanical, if it can be done light enough) deployment system. Preprogrammed to deploy by elapsed time, pressure sensing, altitude or perhaps remotely as external monitoring deems they've traversed the funnel and headed out the 'back' of the debris-strewing system, they'd serve dual purposes of increasing visibility of the falling/fallen probe and further increasing the already intentionally high surface-to-weight ratio, assuming (or ensuring, by internally puncturing) the membrane is now shredded away. Watch out for secondary cloud suck that might prolong the aerial journey, and it'd also 'suck' (or be an interesting opportunity!?!) if the probe is ejected out of the funnel-top out on the forward edge of the funnel-track and gets run over again by the updraft.

With both radiolocation and visual identification of the streamers (if possible to use), the probe (or enough of it) has a decent chance of being recovered, and not to have been any more of a danger than any other bit of debris so scattered. Though, ideally, you'd be sending dozens (maybe dozens of dozens) in there, so long as you had enough parallel tracking ability or post-event patience to not lose sight of them all in the overlapping confusion.


(And if modern day Twister researchers haven't already bashed out similar details into reality, or found good reasons why this entire concept is flawed in ways that my armchair designs never anticipated, I am dissapoint.)





* Although the idea is that digital stitching would allow at least two decent extracted images from the 4πsr composite image, both forward and backward relative to 'local' travel, regardless of how that aligns with the cameras' instantaneous orientations.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:31 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:I've seen video footage from houses of friends of Dorothy. NSFW.

"Friends of Dorothy". Is that anything like Friends of Bill W?

Apparently yes:
Wikipedia wrote:Starting in the late 1980s, on several cruise lines, gay and lesbian passengers began approaching ship staff, asking them to publicise gatherings in the daily cruise activity list. As the cruise lines were hesitant to announce such things so blatantly in their daily publications, they would list the gathering as a "Meeting of the Friends of Dorothy".[7] The use of this phrase likely comes from the cruise directors who were also familiar with and using the "Friends of Bill W." phrase in their programs to tell members of Alcoholics Anonymous that there were support group meetings on the trip.
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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby DavidSh » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:57 pm UTC

Researchers are flying drones into supercells. It's only a matter of time until one gets caught up in a tornado. But these aren't quadcopters, they are fixed-wing aircraft with 10 foot wingspans. This is an advertising page, but it gives the specifications.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:10 pm UTC

I hope "and was 200% better than requested." means triple the original spec (for "higher is better" zero-based values, that is).

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby GlassHouses » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:49 am UTC

Assuming the turbulence and wind shear around the tornado doesn't destroy the drone before its gets inside the funnel, it probably wouldn't see anything. Those funnels are usually opaque, which suggests that inside, visibility is going to be close to zero. That's certainly what it looks like in this footage from inside a tornado...

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Kit. » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:28 pm UTC

Am I the only one who doesn't get the "big questions" part?

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby DanD » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:22 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:So I’m just going to say that this comic is not cool. Anyone who tries is going to find out that drones can’t even get close given the wind speed of a tornado, and anyone who is close enough to fly a drone into a tornado is close enough to get killed easily.

Just waiting for the news story. Nice job Randall ...


Recreational drones are available with a 7km range. Storm chasers routinely get closer than that.

Yeah, there are difficulties in flying the drone into the funnel, but I expect the intention is to get in the path, and let the storm handle control from that point on.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby rabidmuskrat » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:38 pm UTC

DanD wrote:
Stargazer71 wrote:So I’m just going to say that this comic is not cool. Anyone who tries is going to find out that drones can’t even get close given the wind speed of a tornado, and anyone who is close enough to fly a drone into a tornado is close enough to get killed easily.

Just waiting for the news story. Nice job Randall ...


Recreational drones are available with a 7km range. Storm chasers routinely get closer than that.

Yeah, there are difficulties in flying the drone into the funnel, but I expect the intention is to get in the path, and let the storm handle control from that point on.

It's like the ending of twister but less ridiculous.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:15 pm UTC

Also, I'd imagine anybody's plan who is serious about getting video form within the eye of a Tornado probably includes trying many times (possibly with several drones).
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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby ijuin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:53 pm UTC

If you are ok with only getting your video from a fixed altitude, then it may be more expedient to mount cameras to metal poles sufficiently well-anchored to the ground in the tornado’s likely path.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:47 am UTC

ijuin wrote:If you are ok with only getting your video from a fixed altitude, then it may be more expedient to mount cameras to metal poles sufficiently well-anchored to the ground in the tornado’s likely path.

Except that...

Wikipedia wrote:Most tornadoes [...] are about 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating.
[...]
The Netherlands has the highest average number of recorded tornadoes per area of any country (more than 20, or 0.0013 per sq mi (0.00048 per km2).


So 0.0013 tornadoes per square mile per year, and each one covers a path about 1/20th of a mile by, say, 5 miles, which is about a quarter-square-mile.

So any given stationary tower will get hit, on average, about once every 3077 years. Even if you can pick a part of the Netherlands that's 10 times more likely to get hit...

That's the reason (crazy) people chase them, rather than sitting around waiting for them.

...if you meant "wait for the tornado to form, and then set up your well-anchored pole in its likely path", then you and I have different definitions for either "well-anchored" or "tornado". :mrgreen:

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:51 pm UTC

3077 semi-randomly scattered camera-poles, left set up for a year. Evens chance (give or take statistical quibbles). Sounds worthwhile. :mrgreen:

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby Cougar Allen » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:49 am UTC

There are lots of outdoor security cameras in place, more every year, and some of them are well armored. Seems likely the eye of a tornado has crossed one or more already. Doesn't seem likely it would yield much of any useful information, so we may never hear of it on the news....

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby DanD » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:26 pm UTC

Cougar Allen wrote:There are lots of outdoor security cameras in place, more every year, and some of them are well armored. Seems likely the eye of a tornado has crossed one or more already. Doesn't seem likely it would yield much of any useful information, so we may never hear of it on the news....


Almost all exterior security camera are mounted to some sort of external fixture that will get ripped off. Which would be great for free flight imagery, except that almost all of them also don't have significant on-board memory capacity. So once they're ripped off, no footage is stored.

As far as the general pole idea, there would be a significant difference between a camera fixed to a heavy ground mounted object, and one in free flight inside the funnel. By definition, if a ground based survives the tornado, it affects the tornado. The same is not true for free-flying debris.

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Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Postby WriteBrainedJR » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:00 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
ijuin wrote:If you are ok with only getting your video from a fixed altitude, then it may be more expedient to mount cameras to metal poles sufficiently well-anchored to the ground in the tornado’s likely path.

Except that...

Wikipedia wrote:Most tornadoes [...] are about 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating.
[...]
The Netherlands has the highest average number of recorded tornadoes per area of any country (more than 20, or 0.0013 per sq mi (0.00048 per km2).


So 0.0013 tornadoes per square mile per year, and each one covers a path about 1/20th of a mile by, say, 5 miles, which is about a quarter-square-mile.

So any given stationary tower will get hit, on average, about once every 3077 years. Even if you can pick a part of the Netherlands that's 10 times more likely to get hit...

That's the reason (crazy) people chase them, rather than sitting around waiting for them.

...if you meant "wait for the tornado to form, and then set up your well-anchored pole in its likely path", then you and I have different definitions for either "well-anchored" or "tornado". :mrgreen:

It seems like the move would be to wait for a tornado to form, then find a well-anchored pole in its likely path and affix a camera to it. Although I suppose, depending on how stringent your definition of "well-anchored" is, there's a slight possibility that it could be necessary to install a large number of well-anchored poles in tornado alley before waiting. My brain just doesn't like treating well-anchored poles as the limiting factor, since pole-anchoring technology is far older and more widespread than tornado-surviving camera technology. The cameras would have a mobility advantage by definition, I guess.


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