Category Archives: Surveillance
Abstract. The article analyzes the failure of the Russian project ï¿½Znamya 2ï¿½, which is better known as ï¿½Space Mirrorï¿½. When unfolding, the space mirror membrane caught on the antenna that projected over the space station body.
Using TRIZ, the causes of the failure were analyzed and a number of solutions for improving the reliability of the flexible membrane unfolding under weightlessness were proposed.
Introduction. The space mirror that reflects the Sunï¿½s rays onto the nightside of our planet is one of the impressive space projects. In 1993, the spaceship ï¿½Progress M-15ï¿½ placed into orbit a 20-meter film mirror (the project ï¿½Znamya 2ï¿½). The mirror unfurled and produced a light spot that was equal in strength approximately to one full moon. A huge plash of sunlight glanced over beclouded Europe to be seen only by astronomers on the top of the Alps.
The project ï¿½Znamya 2.5ï¿½ stood head and shoulders above its predecessor. The mirror was expected to be perceived on the Earth as 5 to 10 full moons and it formed a trace of about 7 km in diameter which could be controlled by fixing it on one spot for a long time. The space mirror was a slightly concave membrane of 25 m in diameter made of thin film with a mirror surface, which was attached around the periphery of the station. The membrane was expected to unfold and be held unfolded by centrifugal forces (Fig.1).
However, the project was a failure. Soon after the deployment started, the membrane caught on the antenna (Fig. 2). The spaceship ï¿½Progress M-40 was de-orbited and buried in the ocean.
It would be interesting to consider this situation in terms of TRIZ. Why exactly hasnï¿½t the membrane unfolded? Has everything been done for it to unfold? What can be done to make such membranes unfold under various conditions? There is a great many of similar constructions and it is not always possible to provide such unfolding conditions as for the solar mirror.
Was this failure natural? In principle, from the point of view of traditional design everything is OK. The membraneï¿½s prototype is a parachute canopy. There is no oncoming air stream in space, so inertia forces that occur as a result of the space station rotation are used to unfold the membrane. The first membrane – that of ï¿½Znamya 2ï¿½ – unfolded successfully. Besides, there is a good analogue – designs of spaceships with a solar sail in which the sail is unfolded and held by a centrifugal force occurring during the spaceship rotation. It also seems correct in the context of TRIZ. The basic requirement of ideality is satisfied – the membrane itself without any additional devices moves off the station, unfolds and is held unfolded.
This, however, has not worked. The station started rotating, the membrane began moving off it and caught on the antenna. We can certainly blame the antenna. Parachute-jumpers thoroughly remove all buckles, hooks and heelplates – everything on which the parachute may caught while deploying – from their clothing and especially from the helmets and footwear. But the space station is an expensive and serious thing and is designed to solve many different problems during one flight. It is difficult to remove all devices from the stationï¿½s surface, as they are needed for solving other problems. Under such conditions, one accidental jerk of the engine can cause inertia to throw the unfolding membrane back onto the antenna.
Rational membrane-unfolding technology. Let us try to solve this problem with the aid of TRIZ and find a method for unfolding the membrane without removing the antennas and other objects projecting over the stationï¿½s surface. Unfortunately, weï¿½ll only have to be guided by the published information, so weï¿½ll have to think ourselves of such important ï¿½triflesï¿½ as the design of membrane-holding devices, locks, etc. Or, for instance, what are the radial slits in the membrane for?
Thus, we have a packed membrane attached around the periphery of the station. It is held, for instance, by several flexible bands with locks (Fig. 3, a).
Let us recall one of the basic TRIZ laws – the law of coordination of ES partsï¿½ interaction – and try to build a ï¿½desirable technologyï¿½ of membrane deployment. The deployment process falls into two distinct stages. At the first stage, the station starts rotating, locks are released and the membrane moves off the stationï¿½s surface (Fig. 3,d). The second stage includes the unfolding of the membrane, its final stretching and holding in the unfolded state. (Fig.3,c).
The first stage is apparently most complex. Since the entire mass of the packed membrane is situated near the axis of rotation, centrifugal forces are comparatively small at that moment, while the work to be done by them is considerable. At the same time, certain requirements are also imposed on the sequence of membrane deployment. It would be better for the membrane not to unfold at once throughout the entire volume, but from the center toward the edges, quickly receding from the station to the area that is free from projecting antennas, in the form of a compact torus-like packing and not as an inordinate heap.
Further stretching of the unfolded membrane is not connected with any troubles because at that time the membrane is already far from the ï¿½human factorï¿½. Here we can do with centrifugal forces.
Thus, we can formulate an important requirement for the deployment process: ï¿½the unfolded internal part of the membrane must be permanently stretchedï¿½.
How can we accomplish sequential unfolding of the membrane? The chances are that it is ï¿½concertinaedï¿½ before the flight and then it is unfolded throughout the entire volume after releasing the locks.
Proposal 1. Leave free some of the folds adjoining the station and fasten the rest of the folds together with destroyable filaments or bands. Then peripheral tensile stress will first spread the folds near the station surface and the part of the membrane adjoining the station will be stretched. And only then the ties of the peripheral part of the membrane will break and the final deployment will start (Fig.4).
How can we accelerate the membrane deployment at the first stage?
It is obvious that we can either increase the station spinning frequency or increase the membrane mass. But carrying an extra load is not an ideal solution. Suppose we first spin up the station and then release the locksï¿½ And suppose we place a ring charge BB under the packed membrane, then release the membrane from the locks and explode the charge! Or place small jet engines around the external periphery of the membraneï¿½
Something will definitely fly to pieces, because the membrane is only 7 mm thick.
What are the requirements for the membrane mass in this case?
On the one hand, the membrane must be heavy to be able to unfold fast and to move off the station.
At the same time, the membrane must be lightweight to prevent the occurrence of excessive loads produced by centrifugal forces.
We can resolve this contradiction in the following way. Let the membrane be heavy at the first stage of deployment and lightweight during the rest of the time. Or rather, the unfolding force must be great at the first stage. Then it may be much smaller, but great enough to unfold and stretch the membrane.
What resources are available?
Substances: membrane, space station, vacuum, air that remained inside the membrane after packing (if it is not evacuated while packing).
Fields: electric, magnetic, Sunï¿½s light field, heat field, space wind. The characteristics of most fields may vary within very wide ranges by turning the station relative to the Sun.
Time: unlimited before the conflict, including the time of space station preparation on the Earth.
Let us draw an abstract model of the problem (Fig. 5).
B2 is a station. It is a tool. B1 is a packed membrane. It is an object. B2 acts on B1 by the mechanical field (Fineria), produced by the inertia forces. This action is insufficient.
What do the standards recommend (1)?
Introduce one more substance and a field to control this substance.
For instance, add ferromagnetic particles while manufacturing the membrane. Then, while unfolding, the membrane may be acted upon by an annular electromagnet placed around the station bodyï¿½s periphery. However, it is necessary to additionally introduce an electromagnet, which reduces the systemï¿½s ideality.
Add one more substance to one of the interacting substances.
B1 is a station. A space station is a large vessel with air. Consequently, the second substance is already available. It only remains to use it.
Proposal 2. We can provide rapid withdrawal of the membrane from the station to the distance of the non-fastened folds by using the energy of compressed air supplied under the packed membrane. In this case, as distinct from the explosion of a ring charge, the action value can be easily controlled (Fig. 6).
Transfer to a capillary-porous substance.
Make the membrane capillary-porous.
Proposal 3. For instance, paste thin pipes in the mirror membrane cloth and supply compressed air into them while unfolding. The membrane will change into a plane practically instantly and with a great force.
Eliminating possible catching. As for possible hooking of the membrane during the deployment, the following contradiction occurs.
The membrane must not catch on a hook.
Under the deployment conditions, the membrane can contact a hook.
Of course, it would be ideal to remove the conditions that cause the membrane catching. But if we cannot eliminate such a probability, it is necessary to make so that the caught membrane can be easily released. How can we resolve this contradiction?
Firstly, we can do this in time.
At the first stage of deployment, when the catching is most probable, the unfolding force should be large enough to secure tearing a piece out of the membrane cloth. The peace should be big enough only for normal unfurling and stretching of the unfurled membrane.
This is achieved by introducing additional forces at the first stage of deployment (Proposals 2 and 3) to help the peripheral centrifugal force.
Secondly, we can do this in space.
For this purpose we use a resource: the membrane material.
We can formulate the following requirement for this material. Let the membrane have rigid surface in close proximity to the station and let the surface become flexible and elastic as the membrane moves off the station.
Proposal 4. The peripheral part of the membrane moves off the station in the form of compact torus-like packing. The packed membrane may be placed inside a rigid thin-walled body with an open bottom (Fig. 7). Because during the deployment the circumference of the packed membrane constantly increases, the body must be corrugated and must extend like accordion. Or it must be composed of several sections that move relative to one another. The use of such a body provides a good protection of the packed membrane against hooking and allows for preserving its compact form without bonding or binding.
The membrane is likely to have equal strength in all directions. This is quite correct for that of its parts, which is situated comparatively far from the station. At the same time, the requirements for the central part of the membrane are contradictory:
On the one hand, the membrane must not be durable so that it can tear and unhook.
At the same time, the membrane must be durable so that is does not fail while unfolding and in a working position.
To satisfy these contradictory requirements, we can structure the material of the central part of the membrane.
Radial filaments must be comparatively durable to provide reliable attachment of the membrane to the station body. Tangential filaments that are perpendicular to those radial must not be durable so that they easily break in case of hooking. For peripheral forces not to break the membrane at the interface of its central and peripheral parts, a ring band can be used here for reinforcement.
In principle, since the area of the membraneï¿½s central part is comparatively small, tangential filaments may be removed at all.
Proposal 5. Make the membrane in the form of a wide ring attached to the station body with bands or cables. In packing, such bands are easy to ï¿½concertinaï¿½ like shroud lines. Each folded band can be put into a covering attached to the membrane. This will ensure well-ordered unfolding of the central part of the membrane and will eliminate hooking (Fig. 8).
Final solution concept. To build a final solution concept, let us take proposal 3 as a basis that provides energetic withdrawal of the membrane from the station as envisaged in our ï¿½desirable technology of membrane deploymentï¿½. This proposal is well supplemented by proposal 1 that ensures the membrane moving off the station in a compact packed state and by proposal 5 that excludes the catching of the middle part of the membrane on the projecting parts of the stationï¿½s surface. In this case proposal 3 and proposal 5 are just combined. As for proposal 1, we only use the function ï¿½to hold the membrane packedï¿½ which is performed with the aid of resources available in the system (pipes with compressed air).
To provide fast and energetic unfolding of the middle part of the membrane, it is necessary to use, instead of a one-piece film, thin radially positioned pipes that connect the packed peripheral part of the membrane with the station. By supplying compressed air into the pipes weï¿½ll practically instantly obtain a rigid frame that will ensure energetic unfolding of the membrane at the first stage.
To hold the membrane in a compact packed state until the full unfolding of its middle part, it is proposed to make each of the membrane-holding clamps in the form of two pipes that encompass the membrane on its sides. The pipesï¿½ end faces should be closed and connected with the rest of the frame. The pipesï¿½ ends should be connected with each other with a break-off band or filament. After the full unfolding of the frame of the membraneï¿½s middle part, compressed air starts going into the clampsï¿½ pipes. The pipes straighten with a great force, break the bands and release the membrane (Fig. 9).
Proposal 2 is partially realized by using compressed air.
Intensified solution. If it is still impossible to avoid the contact of the membrane, which moves off the station, with hooks, it is expedient to additionally use proposal 4.
The packed membrane is placed in a rigid multi-section thin-walled body, which is discarded after complete deployment of the membrane.
Conclusion. No doubt that using only open sources of information we missed out many circumstances. But I hope that this attempt to analyze the problem will be to a certain extent useful to space mirror designers, and not only to them. We are sure that all the errors will be corrected and after the next attempt weï¿½ll see a hand-made sun in the night sky.
- Altshuller, Genrikh. ï¿½The Innovative Algorithm. TRIZ, Systematic Innovation and Technical Creativity.ï¿½ Technical Innovation Center, INC. Worcester, MA. 1999.
The pictures by Elena Novitskaja.
By Lisa M. Krieger
Posted: 01/29/2012 03:28:34 PM PST
Updated: 01/30/2012 03:07:20 AM PST
Hugo Campos has a small computer buried in his chest to help keep him alive. But he has no idea what it says about his faulty heart.
All the raw data it collects, especially any erratic rhythms it controls with shocks, goes directly to the manufacturer. And some of it later gets sent to his doctor.
But Campos had to step onto a national stage in his fight to see the data his body produces.
His David-and-Goliath campaign puts him on the leading edge of what’s called the “e-patient movement” — “engaged, equipped and enabled” — that seeks to harness data so patients can learn more about their bodies.
“It’s mine. I paid for it. It’s in my body,” asserts the tech-savvy 45-year-old, who since his sudden collapse at the Fruitvale BART station four years ago has devoted himself to studying cardiology textbooks, attending device symposiums and scheming how to access the electronics of his tiny defibrillator.
“I have a right to my own damn data,” he said.
The information could help him take control of his health, said the Brazilian-born graphic artist.
Already he discovered — using an online spreadsheet accessible from his iPhone — that caffeine and Scotch trigger irregular heartbeats.
But it would be far better to have raw, real-time data, he said.
Federal law entitles patients to easy access to their health records, including X-rays and pathology reports.
But implanted defibrillator data is
different. The information stays with manufacturers, who use it to monitor and improve their products. And it comes in a format that is not easily understood. Patients can get only interpreted data, not the raw data.
“It’s just wrong,” Campos asserts. “We get all our financial data — why is it different with health care? Patients should be empowered to take care of their lives.”
Deluge of interest
Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are implanted with small battery-powered electrical impulse generators, such as pacemakers, loop recorders and cardiac defibrillators.
The devices are critical for people like Campos, whose irregular heartbeat threatens sudden cardiac arrest. They also wirelessly transmit data to bedside monitors, and then over a telephone line to the manufacturers.
Much of the collected data — such as average heart rate, fluid accumulation, atrial arrhythmias — is diagnostic.
But these devices also collect huge amounts of proprietary information, such as wiring breakdowns, battery voltage and the time it takes to release a shock.
Calls and emails deluged him after an online video of last November’s TEDxCambridge speech went viral. He has also testified before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and been featured on National Public Radio.
He’s started a blog, founded an online “Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) User Group” and embraced a new world of patient advocacy through social media. He’s even written a protest song inspired by Malvina Reynolds’ “It Isn’t Nice.” (“It isn’t nice to grab my data, from my implantable device. Then to hog it, keep it from me. That’s not right, I’ve told you twice. It isn’t nice.”)
To prepare himself to understand the device and its data, he earned a certificate from the Arrhythmia Technologies Institute. “Patients need to educate themselves,” he said. “It really is the only way to get a proper seat at the table.”
In an effort to better understand their construction, he’s bought 19 different used devices on eBay, storing them in velvet sacs in a gold-decorated box.
“He is a pioneer. He’s an articulate visionary who sees what is possible and expresses it as common sense,” said Dave deBronkart of Nashua, N.H.
DeBronkart is a kidney cancer survivor who launched a right-to-information campaign after discovering that his hospital had exported a Google personal health record riddled with inaccuracies and omissions.
Campos’ campaign has a professional supporter.
“It is embarrassing to leave our patients in the dark, by design or technological necessity,” wrote Dr. David Lee Scher in his blog. The former cardiac electrophysiologist founded DLS Healthcare Consulting, which advises digital health companies.
He cautions that the data is very technical, even for physicians, and often irrelevant. He urges patients and physicians to work together on a solution.
The concept of “open access” is gaining tradition in the medical device world. The Palo Alto startup Glooko, for instance, sells diabetics a $40 cable that connects glucose meters to iPhones. Meter readings are automatically downloaded, so patients can constantly monitor their blood-sugar levels.
But so far, the billion-dollar ICD industry has been cool to Campos’ campaign.
The device is implanted for the therapy it delivers, not the information it gathers, manufacturers told Campos. They worry that patients unable to interpret the raw data might become alarmed.
One manufacturer is aware of the building controversy.
“Medtronic is looking into ways to provide patients with meaningful and actionable information with regard to their implantable devices,” said spokeswoman Kathleen Janasz. “We will take all of this feedback into consideration as we move forward in assessing the most appropriate solution.”
In resistance, Campos has decided on a risky political act, rejecting his remote monitor.
“I will not be monitored remotely unless I’m part of the loop,” he asserts.
But new allies have rallied to him: hackers.
More than a dozen engineers have volunteered to help him tap into the wireless system and unlock the data.
“I’ll get it,” he said, “one way or another.”
Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 408-920-5565.
For more information
Scan this code with a smartphone to see Campos’s speech at the TEDxCambridge conference.
Find a users’ group for people with implantable defibrillators like Campos’s. http://icdusergroup.
Hear an On the Media report about Campos: http://www.onthe
“The advancement of techniques propel us toward the third step in the Blue Beam Project that goes along with the telepathic and electronically augmented two-way communication where ELF, VLF and LF waves will reach each person from within his or her own mind, convincing each of them that their own god is speaking to them from the very depths of their own soul. Such rays from satellites are fed from the memories of computers that have stored massive data about every human on earth, and their languages. The rays will then interlace with their natural thinking to form what we call diffuse artificial thought.”
So how could that be possible you ask? Easy. Enter Project Joshua Blue, currently under development by our favourite business machines company, IBM. Joshua Blue is a program with the stated goal of “Evolving an Emotional Mind in a Simulated Environment”, “to enhance artificial intelligence by evolving such capacities as common sense reasoning, natural language understanding, and emotional intelligence, acquired in the same manner as humans acquire them, through learning situated in a rich environment.”
This is software that is capable of learning and developing ‘emotions’ according to a related document “Feeling Fabricated: Artificial Emotion“. Parts of this project involve the development of Joshua so that emotion is part of it’s reasoning and these guidelines are being followed: Naturalness and believability, social effectiveness, and meaningfulness of displays to human observers. In fact, the main goal of Joshua Blue is to achieve cognitive flexibility that approaches human functioning. In other words – this is artificial intelligence that could be diffused with our own thought because it has been designed to ‘think like a human’.
A computer program which can read silently spoken words by analysing nerve signals in our mouths and throats, has been developed by NASA. In my previous post I outlined the technology that exists. In 1994, the brain wave patterns of 40 subjects were officially correlated with both spoken words and silent thought. This was achieved by a neurophysiologist, Dr Donald York, and a speech pathologist, Dr Thomas Jensen, from the University of Missouri. They clearly identified 27 words / syllables in specific brain wave patterns and produced a computer program with a brain wave vocabulary. It does not take much thinking to realise that the US agencies have access to a perfected version of this technology. In fact the relevant computers have a vocabulary in excess of 60,000 words and cover most languages. In fact, the NSA’s signals intelligence monitor the brainwaves of their targets by satellite and decode the evoked potentials (3.50Hz 5 milliwatts) that the brain emits. So, using lasers / satellites and high-powered computers the agencies have now gained the ability to decipher human thoughts – and from a considerable distance (instantaneously).
With these seemingly far fetched technologies in mind, althought evidently not so far fetched, also consider this final one. Silent subliminal presentation system: A communication system in which non aural carriers (in the very low or high audio frequency range or the ultrasonic frequency spectrum) are amplified or frequency modulated with the desired “intelligence”, and propagated acoustically or vibrationally for inducement directly into the brain. This can be done “live” or recorded/stored on magnetic, mechanical or optical media for delayed/repeated transmission to the target. Sound can also be induced by radiating the head with microwaves (in the range 100 to 10,000 mhz) that are modulated with a waveform consisting of frequency modulated bursts. HAARP of course is going to be handling all the microwaves.
Knowing all of this, Joshua Blue could in fact be being fed with your personal data (facebook, myspace, medical records, driving records, police records, shopping records etc.) and could be simultaniously extracting your actual, real time thought processes. It could then calculate alternate thought trains and depending on the ‘mission’, it could distract you, lead you to the wrong conclusions or drive you insane. It could even manage to make you convince yourself that yes, aliens truly are invading or Jesus really is talking to you from the clouds. With all the data we put out into the internet about ourselves through MSN, I’m 100% certain ‘they’ know how we talk and therefore how we think. This is way too feasible for me to be comfortable. If the thought that was generated artificially by the computer was so accurately precise how could you reasonably differentiate from AI and your own thought? This scares me.
Joshua Blue is specifically being designed to handle emotions, so thought patterns and logically chosen emotions to compliment them are going to be very hard to overcome.