Artificial surfing parks expected to flood the world ahead of 2020 Olympic Games

September 6, 2016 by  
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Since the announcement of surfing being added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games , surf parks are expected to become a growing attraction , riding the sport’s rising wave of popularity. Encouraging newbies to learn how to surf on artificial waves is similar to using manmade or maintained snowboarding and skiing slopes. And the technology just keeps getting better. Surfing is a skill which takes years to master. And not everyone has access to the ocean to practice their craft. Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association , told The New York Times , “If you’re in the ocean for an hour, and you get six, seven waves, you’re very lucky. Learning to surf is like learning to play the guitar when you can only strum once every 30 seconds.” Related: $8M artificial floating surf park proposed for Melbourne’s waterfront Surf parks are not a new invention, but the technology behind creating the perfect waves continues to improve. Doug Coors, developer of the NLand Surf Park in Austin, Texas, told the New York Times his park utilizes a hydrofoil to make waves, a large blade that cuts through the water. He calls it “a chairlift motor with a snowplow on it.” The water is sourced from a rain catchment and filtration system, and the system overall is less energy-intensive than previous generations of wave-makers. As technology improves, companies are finding ways to fit attractions into smaller spaces in cities all over the world, increasing accessibility and ramping up interest in the sport. Coors acknowledges some surfers may be excited about the expanding attractions, but others worry it will diminish the beauty of the sport. He says, “Surfing the way it is today is fantastic and I really don’t want to get in the way of that. The idea is to introduce more people and grow the sport, but do it in a responsible manner.” Head over to The New York Times for the full story. Images via Pixabay , Wikimedia

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Artificial surfing parks expected to flood the world ahead of 2020 Olympic Games

"Impossible" propellant-free microwave thruster to be tested in space

September 6, 2016 by  
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What if spacecraft didn’t need propellant to travel long distances? It might seem like an ” impossible ” dream, but a company is getting ready to test just such a device in outer space. Cannae Corporation , led by inventor Guido Fetta, will launch an experimental microwave thruster said to produce zero exhaust. In 2003 British scientist Roger Shawyer demonstrated a propulsion device called the EmDrive that appeared to ignore physics – specifically the law of conservation of momentum. The Cannae Drive follows a similar model, however Fetta says that it works due to ” Lorentz force imbalances .” NASA tested the Cannae Drive , and in 2014 concluded the microwave thruster was “… producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon.” Related: NASA Confirms “Impossible” Propellant-Free Microwave Thruster for Spacecraft Works! Now it’s time to see if the thruster will actually work in space. Satellites orbiting in low altitude need propellant to generate thrust for “station keeping,” the process of maintaining position in the face of atmospheric drag. If a satellite could function without propellant, it could be a huge leap for the satellite industry. A microwave thruster could also help us travel faster and deeper in space; according to some, the thruster could allow us to send a spacecraft to Mars in a mere ten weeks. In August, Cannae announced it would demonstrate its thruster technology on ” an upcoming satellite mission .” The thruster will get to space aboard one of Cannae’s Cubesats , a satellite about the size of a shoe box. Cannae says the technology will stay in orbit “for a minimum of six months.” According to Popular Mechanics , if the thruster can stay in orbit for as long as Cannae says, the the exhaust-less technology could actually work as promised. There’s no official launch date just yet, but the thruster could journey to space sometime next year. + Cannae Corporation Via Popular Mechanics Images via Cannae ( 1 , 2 )

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"Impossible" propellant-free microwave thruster to be tested in space

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