Shortwave Radiogram #200 9955khz 0000UTC 4-16-2021 –Text–

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Welcome to program 200(!) of Shortwave Radiogram.

I’m Kim Andrew Elliott in Arlington, Virginia USA, thanking you
for your support and encouragement, and for tuning in and
decoding, during the first 200 shows of Shortwave Radiogram.

Here is the lineup for today’s program, in MFSK modes as noted:

1:42 MFSK32: Program preview (now)*
4:20 New technique for injection-molded glass objects*
10:07 MFSK64: New geophysical observatory at HAARP site*
15:23 This week’s images*
27:30 MFSK32: Closing announcements

  • with image(s)

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Twitter: @SWRadiogram


From New Atlas:

Revolutionary technique produces injection-molded glass objects

Ben Coxworth
April 09, 2021

Plastic is a lot easier to work with than glass, which is one of
the reasons it’s used so much more often. That may be about to
change, though, thanks to a new process that allows glass to be
injection-molded – just like plastic.

The technology was developed by a team at Germany’s University of
Freiburg, led by Drs. Bastian E. Rapp and Frederick Kotz. It’s
being commercialized under the name of Glassomer.

The process begins with small polymer granules, each one of which
has tiny silica glass particles dispersed within it. These
granules are poured into a standard injection molding machine
that melts them, and then injects the molten polymer into a mold.
Once the polymer has cooled and hardened, the item is ejected out
of the mold. At this point, it still looks like it’s made of
regular plastic.

After being washed in water and placed in a 600 ºC (1,112 ºF)
oven, however, all of the polymer is washed out or burned away –
this leaves only the linked glass particles behind. When the item
is then heated to 1,300 ºC (2,372 ºF), those particles fuse
together via a process known as sintering, forming a pure quartz
glass finished product.

“The particles basically smoothly flow into each other,” Kotz
tells us. “The component however stays in shape and just shrinks
by a factor of around 15 percent in each direction.”

Not only does the technology potentially allow for complex,
detailed items to be quickly made out of glass in large
quantities, but it also doesn’t require the 2,000 ºC (3,632 ºF)
temperature that’s required to melt regular glass – this means
it’s considerably more energy efficient than conventional
glass-good manufacturing methods. And as an added bonus, the
polymer binder that is washed out of the items can be reused.

“For decades, glass has often been the second choice when it
comes to materials in manufacturing processes because its
formation is too complicated, energy-intensive and unsuitable for
producing high-resolution structures,” says Rapp. “Polymers, on
the other hand, allow all of this, but their physical, optical,
chemical and thermal properties are inferior to glass. As a
result, we have combined polymer and glass processing. Our
process will allow us to quickly and cost-effectively replace
both mass-produced products and complex polymer structures and
components with glass.”

The new technique is described in a paper that was recently
published in the journal Science.

Sources: University of Freiburg, Glassomer, American Association
for the Advancement of Science via EurekAlert


Image: Examples of objects made using the new process, in their
initial polymer (white) and final quartz glass (clear) forms …


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From the University of Alaska Fairbanks:

National Science Foundation funds creation of research
observatory at Gakona

Rod Boyce
April 6, 2021

A five-year, $9.3 million National Science Foundation grant will
allow the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute to
establish a new research observatory dedicated to exploring
Earth’s upper atmosphere and geospace environment.

The Subauroral Geophysical Observatory for Space Physics and
Radio Science will be housed at the High-frequency Active Auroral
Research Program site in Gakona, Alaska.

The facility’s 33-acre Ionospheric Research Instrument will be
the centerpiece of the new observatory.

A second NSF-funded project will add a lidar at the site, which
will allow the study of other regions of the upper atmosphere. A
lidar sends pulses of laser light to determine the composition,
temperature and structure of regions of the upper atmosphere from
90 to 150 kilometers.

No new construction is expected under the NSF funding to create
the observatory, which will be a station at which researchers can
monitor and receive data from instruments. The university hopes
to add additional instruments over time at the $290 million
Gakona research site.

The five-year NSF grant will allow scientists to investigate how
the sun affects Earth’s ionosphere and magnetosphere to produce
changes in space weather. Their work will help fill gaps in
knowledge about the region, which is important because
ionospheric disturbances can disrupt communications systems and
cause damage and outages to power grids.

“We are very pleased that NSF has chosen to fund our proposal to
create the Subauroral Geophysical Observatory in Gakona,” said
Geophysical Institute Director Robert McCoy, who is the project’s
principal investigator.

The grant provides funding for observatory operations, financial
support for travel and time at the facility for scientists to
conduct their experiments and education and community outreach.
Research at the observatory is initially expected to include the
study of various types of aurora and other occurrences in the
ionosphere, which stretches from about 50 miles to 400 miles
above the Earth’s surface.

“This NSF support will provide the scientific community increased
access to the instruments at the observatory and, hopefully, grow
the scientific community,” McCoy said.

The Gakona facility is a prime location for the study of the
ionosphere and magnetosphere because of its location in relation
to one of Earth’s magnetic field lines that reaches deep into the
magnetosphere, the magnetic field that shields the planet from
much of the sun’s plasma energy.

For over 25 years, UAF, the Air Force, the Navy and the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency have collaborated on
ionospheric research at the High-frequency Active Auroral
Research Program site. As Air Force funding for research and
development decreased, the scientific community worked to find a
solution to preserve this one-of-a-kind national research

In August 2015, the Air Force transferred the research equipment
to UAF under an Education Partnership Agreement. The UAF
Geophysical Institute operates the facility under an agreement
with the Air Force.

The National Research Council in 2013 focused on the facility in
both a decadal study and a workshop. Both called for increased
use of active ionospheric research facilities and co-location of
a full complement of diagnostic instruments.

The National Science Foundation’s grant helps implement that

“The subauroral and auroral zones are among the most fascinating,
and challenging, regions for geospace research. The more we’ve
studied them, the more they’ve taught us about our planet’s
atmosphere and about near-Earth space,” said Robb Moore, program
manager with NSF’s Directorate for Geosciences.

“The Gakona research site has already proved to be an invaluable
resource, and this investment in the world’s most powerful high
frequency transmitter sets it up as a producer of potentially
significant discoveries for years to come.”

See also:


Image: A twilight shot of the HAARP antenna field at Gakona, Alaska.

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This week’s images …


The image of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is projected onto a raised
bascule bridge in St. Petersburg, April 12.


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This stoat is the subject of a winner of the Mammal Society’s
2021 photography competition.

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People attend the Beyond Van Gogh exhibition in Miami, which
immerses the viewer on a journey through more than 300 artworks.


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Tulips blooming in the Bishop’s Garden at Washington National

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Bluebells in bloom in Fairfax County, Virginia, near Washington

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Our painting of the week is “Giverny Wisteria Bridge of
Impressionist Claude Monet” by Dai Wynn.

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