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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rhino Lined 2009 Outback Chase Vehicle

After being sidelined by the baseball hail of the June 5th, 2009 La Grange, WY tornado and seeing the video from the Discovery Channel's Smash Lab tests of Rhino Linings against dynamite blasts I decided to Rhino Line my brand new 2009 Subaru Outback. Scott Pfeffer of Rhino Linings of Golden did an awesome job! I could not be happier with the results and next storm season I will be testing against the biggest hail I can find! Glass will be bulletproofed with double layers of laminate. Check out this video below:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TVNs RC Superhauler

TVN and Radiance Technologies RC Superhauler featured in last Sunday's Discovery Storm Chasers Episode 6 is a 30k system consisting of the following components:

First you have a 12 foot wingspan custom built airframe, RC radio and transmitter (2.4 GHz) with power booster and a 2-stroke (maybe 4) gas engine.

Second there's at least two cameras on the plane itself. One is a belly mounted swivel camera with radio downlink to the support truck and the second is a Contour HD helmet cam mounted to the tail. The plane has GPS waypoint navagation that can fly a preprogrammed path and then return to it's launch point and circle until the pilot picks it up and lands it. Eight of the probes record temp, pressure and dewpoint for later download (radioing these real-time to the truck at 900Mhz would be a better solution with no loss of data if the probe is lost). Two of the probes carry Contour HD cams as well. The problem with probe cams is they can not be pointed and swivel with the parachute. A better solution is to have control of the camera pan/tilt and zoom at all times. All ten probes radio back their GPS location to the support truck (900Mhz) for tracking and later pickup hopefully in accessible farm fields.

Third, you have the support truck with oversized camper shell. Radio downlink equipment for the belly cam video and probe tracking. There is a flat screen monitor in the cab for displaying the downlinked video. This video display allows for First Person View or FPV flying - this is where you pilot the plane by watching the monitor alone and works well when the plane is very small when viewed from the ground.

I have essentially the same gear as above with some key differences that match my slightly different goals for past years and going into 2010 but that is it in a nutshell. We are just on the cusp of what can be done with RC aircraft, both fixed wing and rotary wing craft and with electronics becoming smaller and cheaper every day - once the FAA clears the way, expect to see a lot more in this area.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Subie chase vehicle hardening

Working on filling all the dents before mondays complete Rhino lining of the entire exterioir.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Featured Tornado of the Week - March 28, 2007 Beaver, OK

March 28, 2007 - Beaver and Lipscomb county Tornadoes
Tornado #1: Rated ef - 2 (max winds 110 - 137 mph)
Path length: 22 miles max
Width: 150 yards
Tornado began: 7:28 pm ... ended at 7:53 pm
2 fatalities / 0 injuries
The tornado originated in northern Lipscomb county between Booker and Darrouzett ... about 6 miles south of the Beaver / Lipscomb county line at 7:28 pm. the tornado moved northward and entered beaver county at 7:39 pm. damage occurred on a farmstead about 1 mile into beaver county severely damaging several outbuildings and a grain bin. Little or no damage occurred to the home. The tornado continued north, briefly became a large multi vortex tornado ... and then consolidated into one large funnel ... snapping power poles and large trees. The tornado struck and destroyed a single family home about9 miles north of the lipscomb / beaver county line at 7:50 pm ... where two fatalities occurred. It appeared that the couple killed in the tornado did seek refuge in their small bathroom, which was destroyed. In addition to the small home ... a storage barn was destroyed and two vehicles were moved as much as 20 yards. A horse trailer was destroyed as it bounced and rolled for approximately 50 yards. The tornado continued moving north for approximately another 6 or 7 miles ... damaging only power poles ... fences ... and trees before it lifted.

>> Original Report Here <<

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