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omega tau - English only

How do scientists uncover phenomena and explain their connections? How do engineers design machines, methods and infrastructure? At omega tau, experts give detailed answers. Over the last ten years, we have produced over 350 episodes in which we dug deeper, until we ran out of questions. Join us on our journey through the world of science and engineering: the closer you look and listen, the more interesting things get.

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333 - (Flying and Simulating) The F-14 Tomcat

Guests: Nick Pirnia, Okie Nance, the Heatblur development team Host: Markus Voelter   Shownoter: Alexander Grote The F-14 Tomcat is one of the most iconic fighters, certainly among its generation. In this episode we talk with Nick Pirnia about the aircraft’s development and history as well as about flying it with former pilot Okie Nance. The aircraft is also available in the DCS flight simulator and the third part of this episode is a conversation with the development team from Heatblur about how to implement the F-14 in DCS; if you haven’t yet, check out some of their videos, this thing looks unbelievably realistic! The F14 Program 00:03:14 F-14 Tomcat | Skynight | F-111 | Swing Wing | Phantom | F-22 | Fire and Forget | Phoenix Missle | Amaraam | Spoiler | Flaps | A-7 | F-18 Hornet | M61 Vulcan | Pratt & Whitney TF30 | GE 110 | TARP | ROVER | A-6 | Echelon | Latirn POD | AN/AWG-9 Flying the F14 01:13:36 Fly by Wire | Yaw Divergance | Flat Spin | Engine Stall | Afterburner | Glove Vane | Direct Lift Control | RIO Heatblur DCS F-14 Simulator 02:33:31 Heatblur Studio (F14 Manual) | Digital Combat Simulator | Wikipedia Article for DCS | Open Source Flightmodelling | Nasa Overview for Flight Modelling | Avionics | F-14 Flight Manuals | Angle of attack | Dynamics of Flight | Jet wash | Wing vortices | Center of Gravity | Wake Turbulence | Computational fluid dynamics | Look up Table | Ground effect | Stagnation temperature | C++ | Compressor Stall | Emergency Checklist | Central Air Data Computer | Radar Equations | Ground Clutter | Missle Guidance | INS | IMU | Datalink | RWR | Behavioral tree | Topgun :) | DCS F-14 Trailer

4hr 15mins

3 Jan 2020

Rank #1

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270 - Nuclear Weapons

Guest: Alex WellersteinHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Andy Joiner In this episode we chat about the science and engineering involved in nuclear weapons. Our guest is Alex Wellerstein of the Stevens Institute of Technology. We talk about atomic bombs as well as hydrogen bombs, how to refine the necessary fuels as well as a little bit of history. A few specific links, as mentioned on the episode: Alex’ Blog nuclearsecrecy.com Alex’ Nukemap David Baker’s book on nuclear weapons Eric Schlosser’s book, Command and Control. And as is almost an unfortunate tradition, I forgot to mention all of those of you who helped me prepare the episode with your input: Patrick Hosford, Daniel Merrlin Rüscher, Christopher Fredette, Sebastian Knapp, Benn Britton, Bernd Hart, MalteJ, Szymon Bartus, and Karsten Schmidt. Thank you :-) Introduction Alex 00:03:54 Alex Wellerstein | Stevens Institute of Technology | Nukemap Science Fundamentals 00:06:37 Nuclear weapon | Atom | Nucleus | Proton | Neutron | Electron | Chemical Explosion | Nuclear Energy | Controlled Reaction | Exponential Effect | Fission Reactor | Fission Bomb | Race Condition | Critical Mass | Einstein’s Formula E=MC² | Newton’s Equations | Electrical Repulsion | Nuclear Force | Uranium | Nuclear Stability | Nucleon | Barbell Shape | Particles | Radiation | Thermodynamics | Binding Energy | Mass Defect | Supernova | Electronvolt | Split Atom | Natural Nuclear Fission Reactor | Earth Crust | Control Rods | Neutron Economy | Fission Product | Delayed Neutron | Research Reactor | Self Limiting Critical Mass 00:19:44 Los Alamos | Critical Assembly | Spontaneous Fission Rates | Fissile Materials | Uranium 235 | Plutonium 238 | Enriched Uranium | Fission Factor, k  | TNT | Kiloton and Megaton | Reflector | Beryllium | Density | Bare Sphere Critical Mass Fusion 00:26:54 Nuclear Fusion | Coulomb Repulsion | Coulomb Barrier | Kinetic Energy | 200MeV Uranium | 14MeV Deuterium/Tritium Weapons Effects 00:34:02 Pressure, Heat, Radiation, Electromagnetic | Fireball | Blast Wave/Pressure Wave | Thermal Pulse | Blast of Neutrons and Gamma Rays | Fallout | Electromagnetic | Flammability | Hiroshima | Blast Amplification | Ideal Height | Decay | Nagasaki | Detonation | Hydrogen bomb | Cold War | Missile | Yield | ICBM Atomic Bomb 00:54:19 Manhattan Project | Enriched Uranium | Moderator | Godiva Device | Implosion Method | High Explosive Lenses | Detonation Velocities | Waves Interact | Composite Bomb | Oppenheimer | Plutonium vs Uranium | Rosenbergs | Classified Hydrogen Bomb 01:18:54 Dial-a-yield | H-Bomb = Thermonuclear | Teller Ulam | Lithium Deuteride | Gamma Radiation | Radiation Pressure | Radiation Implosion | Radiation Engineering (Inertial Confinement Fusion - Lasers)  | National Ignition Facility | Ablation | Sparkplug | Fission-Fusion-Fission | Activation | Dirty Bomb | Project Orion | Project Pluto | Cruise Missile | Davey Crocket Hydrogen Bomb Development 01:50:16 Yeld-to-Weight Ratio | Always/Never Problem | Irradiating | Stockpile Stewardship | B61 | B83 | Warhead | Triad | Centrifuge North Korea 02:17:52

2hr 31mins

26 Nov 2017

Rank #2

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343 - Flying and Testing the F-35

Guests: Tucker HamiltonHost: Markus Voelter  Shownoter: Thomas Machowinski The Lockheed F-35 Lightning II is going to be more or less what the F-16 and F-18 are today: the backbone of the US and NATO land and sea-based air forces. It is a multi-role fighter, and one of its versions has the capability to take off with a very short roll and land vertically. Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton is a test pilot who has flown all three versions of the jet. In this episode we talk about flying this fifth-gen fighter and about some aspects of the testing program. For more F-35 and Cinco check out episode 78 of the Fighter Pilot Podcast. Cinco on Instagram Cinco on TikTok Introduction with Tucker Hamilton 00:01:56 Lockheed Martin F-35 | F-35A -> Conventional CTOL | F-35B -> Short takeoff and vertical landing | F-35C -> Carrier-based Flying the F35 00:11:23 Fully Fly-by-wire | HOTAS "hands on throttle-and-stick" | F-35 Cockpit from simulator | Distributed Aperture System (DAS) | ILS Instrument Landign System | Radius fight Testing the F-35 00:36:53 Testing at Wikipedia | Edwards Air Force Base | CAS Calibrated Airspeed | Probe-and-drouge Air Refueling Noble Eagle Mission 01:03:57 Operation Noble Eagle | Temporary Flight Restriction | Cessna 172 | Tail Number

1hr 14mins

20 May 2020

Rank #3

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258 - The History and Technology of Spy Satellites

Guest: David Baker    Host: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Alexander Grote In this episode we speak with David Baker, who wrote a fascinating book about spy satellites. We cover the political and military context that drove their development, their (known and suspected) capabilities, methods of recovering the images, as well as typical orbits and the sartellites’ ability to change that orbit for quick repositioning. Here are the videos I mentioned on the show: The Last Bucket Catch Corona Project: “A Point in Time” 1995 CIA First Spy Satellites: “Corona Project Overview” CIA Spy Satellites : The Corona Story The Top Secret Satellites Documentary Spy in the Sky – The KH-9 Hexagon HEXAGON – Sentinel of Liberty Introduction of David Baker 00:01:53 Spaceflight Magazine and British interplanetary society | Davids books | Davids Spy Satellite Book | Boeing | Lockheed Martin | Northrop Grumman Spy Satellites 00:08:53 Intelligence | Reconnaissance | Dwight D. Eisenhower | Wehrmacht | Soviet Union | NATO | Open Skies Treaty | V2-rocket | Orbit | International Geophysical Year | Spyplanes | U2-Spyplane | Bomber Gap | Sputnik (1) | ICBM | Wheat supply to Russia Instrumentation on Satellite 00:29:23 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) | Stationary Orbit | EM-Spectrum | Airy Disk (optical resolution) | Radar | Corona | Kennen | Direct tv broadcast | Film bucket and Bucket recovery | Keyhole designation | Zenit 2 Rocket | Atlas Rocket | Thor Rocket | C119 | C130 | SR71 | SCUD Missle | Neutron Sniffer Technical Details 00:56:15 Polar Orbit | Cape Canaveral | Stereo Camera | Secundary motor | Early warning satellite | Strategic defense initiative | Kinetic Weapon | Space proliferation treaty | Optical abberation | Dorian | Manned Orbiting Laboratory | Satelite refuelling | Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Spy Satellites Today 01:49:03 Lacrosse Outro 01:59:25

2hr 5mins

28 Jul 2017

Rank #4

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304 - The Past, Present and Future of Fusion Energy

Guest: Jason Parisi, Justin BallHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Stefaan Rillaert Justin and Jason wrote a nice book on fusion called The Future of Fusion Energy, and this episode is based on this book. We start out by revisiting the breakthroughs that drove progress in fusion over the decades, including understanding stars, the tokamak, superconducting magnets, supercomputers and a number of specific aspects of plasma physics. We then look at the current state of fusion research as well as where it might go. Introduction 00:02:43 Justin Ball | Swiss Plasma Center | Jason Parisi | Nuclear fusion | Joint European Torus | Book "The Future of Fusion Energy" | Jason Parisis' article "From fission to fusion: the need for a quick transition" Past 00:06:38 History of the Cavendish Laboratory | Francis Aston | Arthur Eddington | Ronald Richter | Lyman Spitzer | Stellarator | James Tuck | Perhapsatron | Tokamak | Ohmic heating | Superconductivity | Episode about superconductivity | Bootstrap current | H-mode | Episode on ASDEX | Plasma shaping | Deuterium-tritium fuel | TFTR (Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor) | Supercomputer Present 00:56:31 ITER website | ITER | Burning plasma | Fusion ignition | Tritium | Tritium Breeding | JT-60 | MAST Upgrade | Wendelstein 7-X | National Ignition Facility | Inertial confinement fusion | Lockheed Martin Skunk Works' Fusion Reactor | Cold fusion | Commonwealth Fusion Systems | Tokamak Energy Future 01:33:19 Superconducting magnet | Magnetic confinement fusion | Materials science | Nuclear proliferation | Distributed generation | Grid base load | Pumped-storage hydroelectricity | DEMOnstration Power Station | China Fusion Engineering Test Reactor (CFETR)

2hr 15mins

9 Feb 2019

Rank #5

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249 - Plasma Physics

Guests: Walter Gekelman, Troy CarterHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Andy Joiner During my trip to the US I also visited the Basic Plasma Science Facility at the UCLA in Los Angeles. I talked with the two professors who run the facility, Walter Gekelman and Troy Carter. We discuss the basics of plasma, the research questions of plasma physics and some of the experimental challenges. I also get (and report on) a tour through the facility, which was very impressive, mainly because the whole system was built by the team around Walter and Troy! Theory with Walter and Troy 00:01:48 Walter Gekelman | UCLA | Plasma | Troy Carter | Fusion | Tokamak | D3D Tokamak | Astrophysical plasma | Space plasma | Ionization | "A soup of electrons, a soup of charged positive ions" | "There may or may not be neutral particles" | "The hotter the plasma is, the fewer neutral particles there will be" | Collective behaviors | Debye Shielding | Non-linear behavior compared with gas | Memory | Collective response | Waves communicate disturbance | Plasma in manufacturing | Plasma processing | Plasma etching | Plasma implantation | Wafer | Lasers can produce plasma when they hit a solid | Plasma can be as dense as water | Statistical physics | Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics | Numerical analysis | Particle-in-cell | Non-neutral plasmas | Pure ion/pure electron plasma | TFTR 510,000,000°C | Nonthermal plasma | Plasma oscillation | Plasma magnetization | Plasma potential | Coulomb barrier | Solar wind More theory with Walter 00:38:01 Lightning | Sprite | Magnetic ropes | Plasma is a better electrical conductor than copper | Resistance | Collisionless | Superconductor | Ionosphere | Heliosphere | Plasma cloud | Debye length | Artificial plasmas | Plasma display | Phosphor | Ground state | Ion laser | Sterilization | Plasma scalpel | Plasma cutter Tour of the Facility 00:57:55 Large Plasma Device (LaPD) | CNC machine | Turbomolecular pump | Airlock | Scripted | Cathode | Busbar | Substation | Heat exchanger | Supercapacitor | Quasi-separatrix layers | Ohm's law | LAPTAG | Residual gas analyzer | Waveguide | Faraday cage | ITER | Electron beam | Ion beam | Alfvén wave Troy’s Research 01:45:58 MHD turbulence | Accretion disk | Orbital decay | Kelvin–Helmholtz instability | Keplerian rotation | Eddie | Viscosity | Omega tau SOFIA tour | Energy cascade | Reproducibility | Drift waves | Rayleigh–Taylor instability | H-mode | H-mode profile | Stellarator | Edge-localized mode | NIF

2hr 27mins

20 May 2017

Rank #6

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318 - (My Flight with) The USAF Thunderbirds

Guest: Jason Markzon, Jafet Ojeda    Host: Markus Voelter Shownoter: Bastian Hundt, Jochen Spalding In June 2019 I had the pleasure and honor to fly in an F-16D with the USAF Thunderbirds. The episode covers the medical briefing about how to prevent motion sickness and how to deal with Gs, suiting up with flight suit, g-suit, harness, helmet and mask, the briefing with my pilot Maj. Jason Markzon, the flight itself with commentary, an interview about the Thunderbirds with Jason, as well as a reflection on what the flight meant to me, recorded together with Nora. A small correction: I suspected wrong regarding the code word TIMBER SWEET. In fact, it means that the Link16 data link between the two F-16s works. It’s great to have competent listeners :-) Videos and pictures are available at omegataupodcast.net/thunderbirds. Introduction 00:00:20 Medical Briefing 00:03:45 United States Air Force Thunderbirds | Medical certifications for pilots | Flight Surgeon | Motion sickness | G-Force | G-Suit | Tunnel vision | G-force induced loss of consciousness (G-LOC) | Ejection seat | General Dynamics F-16 Aircrew Flight Equipment 00:24:50 Flight suite | Nomex | G-Suit | Parachute | Survival pack | Flight Helmet | Foreign object damage Flight Briefing 00:33:52 Afterburner | Formation flying | Aerobatic maneuvers | F-16 Cockpit | Side-stick | Throttle | Intercom | Ejection seat | Multi-function display | Side-stick | Coordinated flight The Flight 01:51:00 General Dynamics F-16 | Hero shot of Markus | Aero surfaces | TACAN | ATIS | Clearance Delivery | Transponder Code | OmegaTau Episode about flying the F-16 | Military operations area | Aerobatic maneuver | Separation | Tanker | Glider | Final approach | Crew chief Takeaways from the Flight 02:01:05 The Interview with Maj. Jason Markzon 02:08:40 Colored smoke (Smoke oil) | Thunderbirds Diamond Roll | Thunderbird Delta Roll | USAF Thunderbirds Website | U.S. Navy Blue Angels Thanks and Reflections (with Nora) 03:09:45

3hr 33mins

19 Jul 2019

Rank #7

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248 - Distant Early Warning, SAGE and the F-106 Delta Dart

Guest: Mike Milinkovich, Brian Jeffrey, Richard Embry, Bernd Ulmann Host: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Jochen Spalding In this episode we look back at (aspects of) the North American Air Defense system in the cold war. In particular, we look at the distant early warning line(s), the F-106 interceptor and the SAGE computer system. For DEW, we talk with Mike Milinkovich and Brian Jeffrey who have both worked on the DEW line; Brian also maintains a great website on DEW. For the F-106, we talk with Richard Embry who has flown the interceptor. And for SAGE, we speak with Bernd Ulmann, who has written a very detailed book on SAGE’s underlying AN/FSQ-7 computer system. Bernd has also been a previous guest on Episode 159 on analog computers. The episode ends with some music from Arjen Lucassen’s new Ayreon Album, The Source. You might remember that Arjen was a guest on Episode 142, and I really love his stuff. The song is called The Day that the World Breaks Down and, together with several other songs of the album, is available on Youtube. Here are a couple of videos by Brian: Brian’s visit to Hall Beach, 50 years later, the DYE3 Station in Greenland and the The BMEWS system. Finally, here is some info about the “Skyking” Emergency Action Messages: Skyking Radio Blog, defconwarningsystem.com. Mike: Introduction 00:03:19 Mike Milinkovich | Early-warning radar | Distant Early Warning Line (DEW-Line) | Mid-Canada Line | Pinetree Line | Photos: The DEW Pinetree Line | Locations of all DEWLine Sites in Canada, Alaska & Greenland | Ryerson Institute of Technology Toronto | Bell Canada | Cold War | Sputnik 1 | North American Aerospace Defense Command | Duck And Cover (1951) Bert The Turtle | John Diefenbaker | Ionospheric scatter | Tropospheric scatter | UHF / VHF / HF Radar | Doppler Radar Mike: Workspaces 00:16:37 Arctic char | Lake Trout | Speckled trout Mike: Operation stories 00:30:57 Boeing B-52 Stratofortress | Identification friend or foe (IFF) | Cuban Missile Crisis | North Warning System Brian: Introduction 00:46:20 Brian Jeffrey | DewLine | Adventures from the Coldest Part of the Cold War | The DEWLine | Mid-Canada Line | Pinetree Line Brian: Work at the DEW-Line 00:48:50 North American Aerospace Defense Command | North American Aerospace Defense Command | Air traffic control radar beacon system | Boeing B-52 Stratofortress | Doppler Radar | Identification friend or foe | AN/FPS-30 | Tropospheric scatter | Teleprinter (Teletype) | Official NORAD Santa Tracker | CRT (Cathode ray tube) | Vacuum tube | FPS Radar Systems | Photos: The DEW Pinetree Line | Strategic Air Command | Fail-Safe (1964) | North Warning System | ATR (aircraft manufacturer) | Douglas DC-4 | Arctic char | Douglas DC-3 | Convair F-106 Delta Dart | Sage (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) | Duck And Cover (1951) Bert The Turtle Richard: Introduction 01:42:34 Lockheed T-33 | Convair F-106 Delta Wing | General Dynamics F-16 (AWACS - Airborne early warning and control)  | Dew Line: Distant Early Warning, the miracle of America's first line of defense Richard: The F-106 01:43:44 Convair F-102 Delta Dagger | Pratt & Whitney J57 | Pratt & Whitney J75 | McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird | F-106 Speed Record | McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle | AIM-7 Sparrow | AIM-120 AMRAAM Richard: Role of the interceptor 01:52:34 Distant Early Warning Line | Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 | Electronic counter-countermeasure | Aerospace Defense Command | North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) | Sage | Back-Up Interceptor Control (BUIC) | Area Control Center Richard: Weapons 02:03:08 AIM-4 Falcon | Beam riding | Infrared homing | HIMARS | AIR-2 Genie | G-Suit | Afterburner | Aerial refueling | Richard: Exercises | OmegaTau Podcast "Chasing Bears with the Phantom" with former RAF pilot Nick Anderson | Boeing B-52 Stratofortress | Wing loading | Flap | Elmendorf Air Force Base Richard: Dicks time as a controller and some last questions 02:28:00 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II | List of DEW Line Sites | Light gun | Stabilizer | INS (Inertial navigation system) | FlightSafety International Inc. Bernd: Introduction 02:44:27 Bernd Ulmann | AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central | Whirlwind I | The Computer Museum, Boston (Bernds Book "AN/FSQ-7 - the computer that shaped the Cold War") Bernd: SAGE 02:45:42 SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) | NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) (MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology)  | MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT Libraries - Project Whirlwind Reports (OmegaTau Podcast 159 – "Analog Computers" with Bernd Ulmann)  | Vacuum tube | Air Defense Direction Center | Bell Telephone Company | Burroughs AN/FST-2 Coordinate Data Transmitting Set | Teletype | Magnetic drum system | Crossbar switch | Light gun | WarGames (1983) | Light pen | Oscilloscope | Grease pencil Bernd: The computer! 03:10:42 Wirlwind 2 | Semiconductor diods | Transistor | Core memory | IBM | Jay Wright Forrester | Ken Olsen | Digital Equipment Corporation | IBM 650 | Interrupt | Snapshot (computer storage) | Computer cluster Bernd: How was this thing programmed 03:21:27 Assembly language | Compiler | Subroutine | Recursion (computer science) | Stack (abstract data type) | Instruction set | Reduced instruction set computing | Complex instruction set computing | Cray XD1 | Processor register | Fortran | Waterfall model (Paper: Herbert D Benington - "Production of Large Computer Programs")  | Agile software development Bernd: So, was it useful? 03:28:57 Intercontinental ballistic missile | Air traffic control | Back-Up Interceptor Control | Joint Surveillance System | C (programming language) | Ada (programming language) | Documents Library bitsavers.org | Sage documents bitsavers.org

3hr 52mins

13 May 2017

Rank #8

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300 - How Processors Got So Fast

Guest: Lex AugusteijnHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Stefaan Rillaert Have you ever wondered how the processor in your phone or computer got so much more faster than what the increase in megahertz suggests? In this episode we talk with Lex Augusteijn about superscalar processors, pipelining, speculative execution, register renaming and the like. We also discuss concerns other than speed, in particular, energy efficiency. Introduction 00:06:00 Lex Augusteijn | KIM-1 computer | 6502 processor | Functional programming | Philips Research Eindhoven | Compiler | Media processor | DSP | Neuromorphic computing Basics 00:10:53 Moore's law | Richard Feynmans' 'There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom' | Richard Feynman | "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" | Gordon Moore | Clock speed | Transistor | Episode of 'The Freak Show' podcast about the 'monster 6502' | NAND gate | Fab | ASML | Episode about ASML | Wafer stepper | Processor | Computer memory | Hard drive | Graphics processing unit | Computer bus | Processor register | Branching | Instruction pipelining | Floating-point arithmetic | ALU | Instruction set | CISC | RISC | Compiler | Superscalar processor | Microcode | Von Neumann architecture | Harvard architecture Speed optimizations in modern processors 00:42:11 Data width | SIMD | Pipeline stall | Intel 8080 | ARM architecture | Branch prediction | Two bit prediction scheme | Memory hierarchy | Clock cycle | CPU cache | Cache line | Write-Through cache line | Operating system | Cache coherence | Voatile keyword in C | Simultaneous multithreading (SMT) | Hyper-threading | Context switch | Single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) | Speculative execution | Register renaming | Very long instruction word (VLIW) | Intel Atom | Abstract interpretation | Static program analysis | Domain-specific language (DSL) | (German) episode about DSLs | C pragma | TriMedia mediaprocessor | Out-of-order execution | Instruction scheduling | Multi-core processor | The Free Lunch Is Over | MMX instruction set Additional concerns 01:44:44 Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) | Image processor | Dynamic voltage scaling | ARM architecture | Memory management unit (MMU) | Spectre bug | Side-channel attack | CUDA | Convolutional neural network | NXP Semiconductors | Processor design | Intel Tick-tock strategy

2hr 25mins

17 Dec 2018

Rank #9

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285 - Superconductivity

Guest: Pierre BauerHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Kolja Dummann Superconductivity, the ability of a material to carry electrical current with zero resistance, is a surprising property of nature, which man has been able to exploit in many ways, in particular, for high-performance magnets. Those are used in magnetic resonance imagers, but also in colliders and fusion reactors. In this episode we discuss the basics of superconductivity and its uses with Pierre Bauer, a superconductor engineer at ITER. Superconductivity and its Discovery 00:03:05 Inversion temperature | Kamerlingh Onnes | James Dewar | Helium | Fritz London | Heinz London | Ohm's law | Energy Gap | Pauli exclusion principle | Cooper pair | Meissner effect Applications of Superconductors 00:39:08 ITER (omega tau 157 - Fusion at ITER | MRI - Magnetic resonance imaging | LHC - Large Hadron Collider (omega tau 30 – The Large Hadron Collider)  | omega tau 96 - Controlling the LHC Beam)  | StarTram | Railgun Materials 00:56:45 Mercury  | Niobium | Tin (XFEL - European X-ray free-electron laser | omega tau 197 - The European XFEL | FCC - Future Circular Collider (omega tau 231 – The Future Circular Collider) Magnet Design 01:14:40 Diffusion barrier Quench Protection 01:54:30 Fringe Fields (MagLab - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory)  | Superfluidity Conclusion 02:42:27

2hr 50mins

8 Jun 2018

Rank #10

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324 - Air Traffic Control at Heathrow and RIAT

Guest: Adam SpinkHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Andy Joiner In July I visited the NATS tower at Heathrow Airport to interview my guest Adam Spink. We chatted about some of the mechanics of air traffic control at Heathrow and the unique ways of optimizing throughput. A few days later we met again on the tower of Fairford during RIAT 2019 and chatted about the specifics of ATC’ing during an airshow. Introduction 00:01:33 Adam Spink (Episode 314 – London Air Ambulance)  | Heathrow | ATC | Tower | Taxi | Clearance Delivery | Approach | Runway | Wake Turbulence | Wake Categories | Wake Vortex | Eurocontrol | PA | Airspace | Slot Times | A-CDM | Target Startup Approval Times | Tug | Jet Bridge | TSA | Maintenance Hangars Tools 00:19:56 Electronic Strips | Paper Strip | A-SMGCS (Episode 266 – Secondary Surveillance Radar)  | Ground Radar | Primary Radar | Triangulate | Symbology | Go-around | Radar Separation | Landing Clearance | Flight Crew | Time Based Separation | Distance Based Separation | Nautical Mile | Knot | Headwind | Approach | SESAR | CAA | NATS | Tower Controller | Radar Controller | Cloud Base | ICAO | Visibility Condition | ATC Low Visibility Procedures | Transmissometer | Follow The Greens | Lighting Operator | Ground Movement Control | Preventative Maintenance | Departures Runway Controller | Arrivals Runway | Swanwick | Mayday | Airport Fire Service Emergency | Rendezvous Point | Mnemonic | ETA (APG - Airline Pilot Guy Podcast)  | Part 1 | Part 2 | RAF Northolt | Cumulonimbus | Missed Approach | Wind Shear Operations 01:04:53 Tower and Ground Frequencies | Area Control | En Route Control | Terminal Control | Vectoring | Onto Base (Base Leg) | Final Approach | Approach Charts | Holding Stacks | Touchdown | Continuous Descent | Air Brakes | Westerly Preference Develop Procedures 01:19:52 Manual of Air Traffic Services Part 1 | Bow-Tie Safety Analysis | TCAS | Red Team | RECAT | Pairwise Separation | Airport Collaborative Decision Making (Best Planned - Best Served)  | Approach Funnel | Apron | NLR | Microwave Landing System | GPS | RNAV | Black Box | MH370 | GBAS Equipment Development 01:47:54 Augmented Reality | VOR Beacon Air Show 01:58:59 Royal International Air Tattoo | RAF Fairford | Hunter Crash | AIP Supplement | Arrival Procedure Charts | Standard Instrument Departure (Episode 318 – (The USAF Thunderbirds))  | Harrier | Director Krennic | Reno Air Races

2hr 34mins

27 Sep 2019

Rank #11

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252 - Red Flag

Guest: Jan Stahl, John Traylor, Graham Johnson    Host: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Pascal Becker On the second day of my visit to Nellis AFB we covered the Red Flag, an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted multiple times per year at Nellis. We started out with a general overview with Jan Stahl; we also covered the role of the aggressors. I then talked with John Traylor who works as a ground intercept controller for the aggressors. Next is a conversation with Graham Johnson about Red Flag from the perspective of a blue force participant; he flies an F-15C out of Lakenheath. We conclude the episode with a look at the historical context that lead to Red Flag, again with Jan. Introduction Jan Stahl 00:03:13 Nellis Air Force Base | Omega Tau Episode 251 Red Flag General and Daily schedule 00:03:58 Red Flag | General Dynamics F-16 Aircraft | Rockwell B-1 Aircraft | McDonnell Douglas F-15 Aircraft | Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler | US Navy Top Gun Program | Top Gun Movie | Airforce Weapons School | Alenia C-27J Aircraft | Boeing B-52 Aircraft | Airial Refueling Data Monitoring and Tracking 00:54:13 NATS (Nellis Aircraft tracking systems) Debriefing and Weapons 00:57:33 PK (Probability of Kill) | Inert weapon | Live weapon (explosive) Aggressor Flying 01:12:28 Aggressor Squadrons | Air to Air Missiles | Mikoyan MIG-29 Aircraft Simulation of Training 01:26:03 Northrop T-38 Talon Aircraft | Lockhead Martin F-35 Aircraft | Chaff | Flare Day schedule of aggressor 01:44:43 Jamming Introduction John Traylor - Ground Control 01:55:58 GCI (Ground Control Intercept) | AWACS (Airborne Control Intercept) AWACS 02:11:10 Bullseye (An established reference point from which the position of an aircraft can be determined.) | BRA (Bearing, Range, Altitude) Introduction Graham Johnson 02:16:53 Lakenheath Royal Air Force Base | OCA (Offensive Counter Air) | DCA (Defensive Counter Air) | BFM (Basic fighter maneuvers) | EuroFighter Typhoon | FPCD (F-15 Flat Panel Control Display) Introduction to first week of red flag mission 02:29:23 Escort Mission | Wingman flying | Trust but Verify History of Red Flag 02:52:03 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom Aircraft | Mikoyan-Gurevich MIG-15 Aircraft | Mikoyan-Gurevich MIG-17 Aircraft

3hr 9mins

17 Jun 2017

Rank #12

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299 - Gravity Storage

Guest: Eduard HeindlHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Fabian Zeisberger With power generation in the grid becoming more diverse and decentralized, energy storage is becoming more and more important. Eduard Heindl‘s gravity storage is an approach to storing electrical energy as potential energy by lifting huge masses cut out of the ground. While this sounds crazy, there are lots of reasons why this makes sense. In the episode we discuss then need, the general approach, the construction process and some of the engineering challenges. We also look at the innovation process, the path from the idea to something that is ready to be built. Introduction of Prof. Dr. Eduard Heindl 00:03:21 Prof. Dr. Eduard Heindl | Heindl Energy | Potential energy | Super conducting magnetic energy storage | Maxwell's equations | Capacitor | Renewable energy | Coal power | Nuclear Power | Thermal energy storage | Storage heater ("Nachtspeicherofen) | Pumped-storage hydroelectricity | Carnot's theorem (thermodynamics) | Solar power | Wind power | Compressed air energy storage | Decentralised energy | Smart grid | High-voltage direct current (HVDC/HGÜ) | Super grids Basic Concept 00:33:36 OT 272 Pumped storage power plant in Kaprun (German) | Basic concept Construction process 00:52:13 Construction | Wire saw | Goldisthal Pumped Storage Station Engineering process 01:13:58 World Future Energy Summit | ITER | Zeppelin | Forklift | Geislinger Steige

1hr 40mins

2 Dec 2018

Rank #13

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312 - The Wendelstein 7-X Fusion Experiment

Guest: Ralf Kleiber, Matthias Hirsch    Host: Markus Voelter Shownoter: Alexander Grote In our never-ending quest to understand fusion and its potential use in energy production, I visited the Wendelstein 7-X fusion experiment in Greifswald run by the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik. We started out with a visit to the experiment hall, while experimentalist Matthias Hirsch gave us an overview over the machine. Next we discussed theory and modeling with Ralf Kleiber. Finally, I returned to Matthias Hirsch, and we chatted about more experimental aspects of Wendelstein. It is probably best to listen to our previous fusion episodes (22, 157 and 304) before listening to this one. Vorstellung von Matthias Hirsch 00:02:58 Wendelstein 7X | Plasma | Black Body Radiation Inside the Control Room 00:08:58 Inside the Experiment Hall 00:21:20 Stellarator | Torus | Magnetic Fields | Tokamak | Fusion Reactor | Power Plant | Electron Scattering | cryostat | coil | microwave | Deuterium | Black Hole | Elementary Particle | Fusion | Kinetic Energy | Fission Energy | Half life | Neutron activation | Nulear Waste In the Office (Theory with Ralf Kleiber) 00:46:46 Wendelstein | Transformer | Current | Noether's theorem | Conservation | Quantum Computer | Lorentz Force | Magnetohydrodynamics | Gyrokinetic ElectroMagnetic | Maxwell's equations | Fortran | Eurofusion Back with Matthias Hirsch 01:54:58 waveguide | magnetic confinement | impurity

3hr 27mins

11 May 2019

Rank #14

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266 - Secondary Surveillance Radar

Guest: Mike SharplesHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Stefan Rillaert Secondary surveillance radar (SSR) is the radar technology used in aviation to query transponders; it forms the backbone of today’s air traffic control infrastructure. Our guest in this episode is Mike Sharples who has been part of the development of the technology and is intimately familiar with the details. We discuss the importance of SSR today, the details of the protocol, the difference between and evolution from Mode A/C to S as well as the relationship to ADS-B. Introduction 00:02:31 Michael Sharples | COMSOFT Solutions | Royal Signals and Radar Establishment | Mode S Overview primary and secondary radar 00:04:56 Radar | Primary radar | Chain Home | Bistatic radar | Multistatic radar | Secondary surveillance radar | Transponder | Identification friend or foe | Aviation transponder interrogation modes | Plot extraction | Signal processing | Garbling/Degarbling | Matched filter | Monopulse radar | Sliding window | Pulse repetition frequency | Side lobe | Side Lobe Suppression Mode S 00:48:01 (American) history of Mode S | DABS/ADSEL | Mode S 24-bit address | Controller–pilot data link communications (CPDLC) | Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) | Mode S error correction | Mode S Uplink | Mode S Downlink | Mode S Interrogation | FLARM (Episode 143 – Collision Avoidance with FLARM)  | Mode S Enhanced Surveillance (EHS) ADS-B 01:41:21 (Automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS–B))  | Omnidirectional antenna | Multilateration (MLAT) | Clock synchronization | ADS-B spoofing | ADS-B on Raspberry Pi | Flightradar24 (Automatic dependent surveillance — contract (ADS-C))  | ADS-B receivers on Iridium

2hr 14mins

13 Oct 2017

Rank #15

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332 - Attribution of Extreme Weather Events

Guests: Friederike OttoHost: Markus Voelter   Shownoter: Thomas Machowinski An important consequence of the warming of the planet due to climate change is that the frequency and/or severity of extreme weather events will increase. But how can we tell whether a particular event can be attributed to the changing climate? Would it have happened in “normal” climate as well, and if so, how would the event have been different? This aspect of climate science is called attribution science, and the guest of this episode, Friederike Otto is a pioneer in the field. Introduction 00:05:28 Environental Change Institute | Global Warming | Attribution Science | Extreme Weather | Heat Stress | Drought | Hurricane Attribution 00:18:04 Climate Models | Greenhouse Gas | Probability | Aerosol | Heat Island Simulation Approaches 00:44:13 weather@home | ECMWF Development of Attribution Science 01:04:49 Bias

1hr 22mins

22 Dec 2019

Rank #16

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320 - The Event Horizon Telescope

Guest: Heino FalckeHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Kolja Dummann A few months ago, a collaboration called the Event Horizon Telescope presented the first direct image of a black hole; or more specifically, of the radiation created by accelerated particles at its event horizon. The EHT is a Very Large Baseline Interferometer, in which radio telescopes all over the world are computationally connected to obtain resolutions that are not possible with one telescope. In the episode I chat with Heino Falcke, the chair of the EHT science committee, about the science, the telescope, what it took to get it going, and image reconstruction. Introduction 00:02:47 Heino Falcke | Very Long Baseline Interferometry | Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) | Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) | Very Large Array (VLA) | Paranal Observatory | BlackHoleCam The EHT 00:29:54 A book about the EHT | Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope | Submillimeter Array (SMA) | Greenland Telescope | Thule Air Base | National Science Foundation | Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Image reconstruction 01:05:59 Fourier transform | CLEAN

1hr 30mins

16 Aug 2019

Rank #17

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288 - Flight Research at NASA Armstrong, Part 3: Historic

Guest: Al BowersHost: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Tim Jurik In this episode I talk with NASA Armstrong’s chief scientist Al Bowers about the research projects he has been involved in during his long career at NASA. We cover deep stall research with a Schweizer sailplane, high-alpha flight and thrust vectoring with the X-29, X-31 and F-18 HARV, aero-tow of fast jets with the F-106, supercritical wings with the F-8, as well as space related projects using the SR-71 and the X-30. This is one of my favourite episodes of all time, since it is a bit of trip down memory lane for me personally, and Al perfectly hits the sweet spot between recounting facts and telling anecdotes. I met Al when I was visiting NASA Armstrong in early 2017; this episode is a continuation of the conversations there about full-scale and subscale research there. Schweizer Deep Stall Project 00:06:45 Schweizer-1-36 | Dutch Roll F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) 00:17:22 F-18 HARV F-18 HARV Phase 2 - Thrust Vectoring 00:30:40 X-15 F-18 HARV Phase 3 - Movable Strakes 00:41:30 X-31 (Enhanced Fighter Maneuverability) 00:46:05 F-15B ACTIVE 00:51:06 F-15 ACTIVE Oblique Wing 00:58:40 AD-1 | Robert T. "RT" Jones | Ilan Kroo | Neil Armstrong F-8 Supercritical Wing 01:16:56 F-8 Supercritical Wing | Richard Whitcomb | Area Rule (German Aerospace Center (DLR) (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.)) Grumman X-29 01:29:10 X-29 NASA Fact Sheet | X-29 Wikipedia Entry | F-5 | Dynamic Inversion SR-71 01:41:21 SR-71 | NASA Armstrong Fact Sheet: SR-71 Blackbird | Omega Tau SR-71 Episode | Aerospike Controlled Impact Demonstration 01:51:50 Crash In the Desert F-106 Aerotow 02:09:43 Lowering the Cost of Space Launches | Mark "Forger" Stucky | Low Altitude Parachute Extraction Rockwell X-30 02:34:48 Rockwell X-30 National Aero-Space Plane Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Lower Drag (Prandtl) 02:47:45 Prandtl-D Aircraft Conclusion 02:55:35


17 Jul 2018

Rank #18

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297 - Flying the AH-64 Apache

Guest: Caleb Marheine    Host: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Alexander Grote In mid-September I drove to Illesheim Army Airfield to meet with Caleb Marheine who flies the AH-64 Apache helicopter there. We talked about the helicopter’s systems, the cockpit, aspects of flying it as well as some of the missions. My own Pictures Jon’s Pictures Introduction of the helicopter 00:04:50 AH-64D Apache | Engines | Rotor | MD500 | Forward looking infrared | Bell 206 | Weapons | HEDP | Hellfire Rack | Longbow Radar | Airframe | Pitot Tube | Flare | Chaff | Buckets | Tail Rotor | Stabelizer | Roll, Pitch and Yaw | WSO | Ballistic Glass | Kevlar | Self sealing fuel tank | Cable Cutters | Cockpit | Glass cockpit | Ejection Seat | Kamov Ka-50 | AWACS | Flying a helicopter with marcus (german) Flying the Apache 01:05:30 IFR | Low level flight | Clear air turbulence | Autorotation | Density altitude | Organizational structure | Combat aviation brigade | JAAT | A10 | Laser designator Missons 01:42:55 Cobra | Tow-Missle | Advanced attack helicopter research programm | Fulda Gap | Medivac Echo Model 02:10:50 Future Vertical Lift | RAH-66 Comanche

2hr 28mins

18 Nov 2018

Rank #19

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330 - Parabolic Flights at AirZeroG

Guests: Jean-François Clervoy, Eric Delesalle, Hervé Normand, Nicolas Barbotin Host: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Andy Joiner When I was in Bordeaux with the DLR to report about their science campaign in September, I also talked to the team from AirZeroG/Novespace about the technical and aviation aspects of parabolic flights. These interviews are in this episode. I chat with Jean-François Clervoy about the history of the company, with Eric Delesalle about piloting the parabolas, with Hervé Normand about the reasons for the potential sickness, and with Nicolas Barbotin about cabin safety. At the end of the episode I also provide some details about the technical problem that prevented parabolas during my own flight with the A-310 ZeroG. Overview of Novespace 00:02:02 Jean-François Clervoy | Atlantis | Discovery | European Space Agency (ESA) | ISS Resupply Ship | Novespace | Airbus A310 | Air Zero-G | Flight Test Engineer | Parabolic Flight | Attitude | Velocity | Initial G | Pitch Angle | Ballistic | Alpha Jet | Mirage 2000 | Caravelle | DLR | NASA | ATV Resupply Ship | Fly-by-wire | Maneuver Margin | Limit Margin | Indicated Velocity | Airbus 300B | Airbus A310 | Supercritical | Trim | Accelerometers | Big City Beats Concert Aircraft and Flying 00:23:38 Eric Delesalle | Experimental Test Pilot | ATR 42 | Flight Engineer | Basic Law | Range -0.5 to +2.5 G | Target -0.05 to +0.05 G | Angle of Attack | Orbit | Elevator | Ground Control | Buffet Zone | Injection | Hydraulic Control (Episode 324 – Air Traffic Control at Heathrow and RIAT)  | Preventive Maintenance Medical Aspects 00:57:22 Hervé Normand | Professor of Physiology | Université de Caen | Functional Testing | Cardiovascular Deconditioning | Vestibular System | Semicircular Canals | Position of head | Hypergravity | Intracranial Pressure | Scopolamine Safety 01:07:34 Nicolas Barbotin | Chief of Safety (Episode 251 – Flying the F-16 Viper)  | Loadmaster | Weight imbalance | Flight Envelope Markus Experience in Bordeaux 01:23:45

1hr 33mins

29 Nov 2019

Rank #20