What Does The Solar Impulse Control Center Have To Do With Hyperloop (Ali No 10)

The Solar Impulse Control Center is about an airplane that is close to flying around the World WITHOUT ANY FUEL…Only the sun. It is fantastic! More in a New York minute.

Hyperloop is reinventing transportation to eliminate barriers of time and distance by using Hyperloop transport to move cargo and passengers immediately, safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Hyperloop is a tradename and a registered trademark of the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation for the high speed transportation of passengers and goods in tubes in which capsules are propelled by linear induction motors and air compressors. The driving force behind it is Elon Musk

Muhammad Ali Hyperlink is about a ground-based project. It wants to use the Elon Musk technology to move passengers and cargo between Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky.

We now return to the Solar Impulse Control Center.

On the occasion of the round-the-world trip by the “Solar Impulse” solar-powered aircraft, an initiative supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Prince’s Government, the Prince Albert II Foundation is offering an opportunity to visit the Monaco Control Center – the mission’s strategic center – in the presence of the Solar Impulse teams. We took them up on their offer and immediately saw the connection between the projects!!!

The adventure began with Bertrand Piccard’s vision that clean technologies and energy efficiency can reduce our emissions and improve our quality of life. It led up to the attempt of the First Round-The-World Solar Flights, with in July 2015 André Borschberg’s 5-day 5-night record-breaking flight from Japan to Hawaii, using only the power of the sun. Not sci-fi, but eccentric enough to appeal to the people’s emotions and get their adrenalin pumping. It would have made a great Jules Verne story a few decades back.

«A Jules Verne dream of today means the urge to explore the unknown and the force to do good, which must continue to inspire human beings. Take your time, be patient and determined, wrote my great grandfather Jules Verne, for everything great that has ever been achieved in the world, is the result of exaggerated ambitions. And it is this spirit that Bertrand Piccard symbolizes best in this project, which is ambitious but of universal benefit to mankind.»
Jean Verne

One could easily imagine oneself in a Jules Verne novel: a team wanting to promote renewable energies sets off round the world in a solar airplane, aiming to fly without fuel or pollution…

By writing the next pages in aviation history with solar energy, and voyaging around the world without fuel or pollution, meeting the public enthusiasm, Solar Impulse is the messenger for Bertrand Piccard’s initial vision, written in 2004:

« Our ambition for Solar Impulse is for the worlds of exploration and innovation to make a contribution to the cause of renewable energies. We want to demonstrate the importance of clean technologies for sustainable development; and to place dreams and emotions back at the heart of scientific adventure.

The public, which gets excited about great adventures, is ready to join the dreams of pioneers and explorers. Solar Impulse wants to mobilize this enthusiasm in favor of technologies that will allow decreased dependence on fossil fuels and induce positive emotions about renewable energies.

Public attention must be drawn towards the changes necessary to ensure our planet’s energy and ecological future. Also, a positive and stimulating image of environmental protection must demonstrate that the alternative energy sources, related to new technologies, can achieve what some consider impossible. »

« The problem with our society is that, despite all the grand talk about sustainable development, we are a long way from making use of the clean technologies that are already available to us. Those solutions bring opportunities to create jobs, make profit, sustain the growth of the industry, and at the same time protect the environment. »
Bertrand Piccard

So when the world decided to react in 2015, by setting ambitious goals during the COP21 climate conference, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg were of course there to show decision makers that climate change is not an expensive problem requiring heavy financial and behavioral sacrifices, but rather a unique opportunity.

Solar Impulse descends directly from a long tradition of exploration, scientific development and protection of the environment. Never before has one family had such an impact on the world of exploration as Auguste, Jacques and Bertrand Piccard.

This dynasty has been inventing and exploring for three generations: with the grandfather came the pressurized capsule and the first flight in the stratosphere, with the father, the bathyscaphe and the absolute deep-sea diving record, and with the son, the first non-stop, round-the-world, balloon flight. But what each father passed on to his son was not only the passion for adventure, but also the will to improve life on Earth and protect the environment.

« The question now is not so much whether humans can go even further afield and populate other planets, but rather how to organize things so that life on Earth becomes more worthy of living. »
Auguste Piccard, 1931

« The public has not yet woken up to the extent and seriousness of the problem of pollution. »
Jacques Piccard, 1972

« Adventure in the 21st Century consists of applying human creativity and the pioneering spirit to developing a quality of life which present and future generations have a right to expect. »
Bertrand Piccard, 2004


Mission Control Center

It is in the Mission Control Center where all the needed information and data will be collected and processed to configure the flights. In search of the most suitable patterns for the Round-the-World route, several thousand flights have been simulated since 2005, taking account of varying meteorological conditions.

In permanent contact via satellite with the airplane, the Mission Control Center (MCC) is the pilot’s “guardian angel ”.

Twenty specialists anticipate every possible scenario and transmit information enabling the pilot to follow the optimum flight plan andcomplete his mission successfully.

Flight Director

The Flight Director manages the team, and together with the pilot, takes the main strategic decisions.

Meteorologists analyze the weather forecasts to find a suitable window for the flight, as well as a favourable routing.
Air Traffic Controllers

They coordinate the flight trajectory with regional control centres.

The team calculates the flight parameters, taking into account meteorological data, amount of sunshine and air traffic restrictions.

The Capcom team is responsible for direct voice communications with the pilot.
Mission Control Center Monaco (MCC)
Speaking with the pilot from the MCC

Engineers draw up the flight plan and monitor the aircraft’s technical data.

PHOTO CAPTION: H.S.H. Prince Albert II (center) with Solar Impulse founders and pilots: Bertrand Piccard (left), André Borschberg

Solar Impulse II Flight Control Center Locates to Monaco
Around-the-world solar flight that will launch from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in early March, returning by July 2015, will be controlled from Monaco.

With the assistance of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, the global flight control center for the around-the-world flight of the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 opened in the principality of Monaco. Powered by thousands of solar cells on its wings and tail, the giant four-engine electric airplane aims to be the first to circumnavigate the globe without burning a drop of petroleum.

Prince Albert II has long been a champion of sustainable energy and clean transportation, sponsoring alternative vehicle expositions over the last couple decades.

Solar Impulse 2 will debate from Abu Dhabi for Oman, its first leg. From there, its pilot will fly across the Indian Ocean to the subcontinent. It’s next legs will take it to Burma and then China. In a non-stop flight expected to last as much as five days, the single pilot, either Bertrand Piccard or Andre Boschberg, will fly to Hawai’i. The next leg will again be overwater and end in Phoenix. With two more US stops, the plane will cross the Atlantic for either southern Europe or North Africa, concluding where it started: Abu Dhabi.

Planning and tracking of the flight will be from the Monaco control center. Live progress of the flight can be followed on the http://www.solarimpulse.com web site, as well as social media.


Amtrak’s Hoosier route improves on-time performance, revenue

The Hoosier State route between Indianapolis and Chicago averaged an on-time performance rating of 86 percent and ticket revenue increased 20 percent since October 2015, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced last week.

The Hoosier State line is now among the highest-rated Amtrak routes, with 90 percent of riders reporting in a recent survey that they are “very satisfied” with the service, INDOT officials said in a press release.

At the end of June 2015, INDOT signed new contracts with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings to continue the service after Congress voted to phase out financial support. INDOT and communities along the route agreed to jointly fund the service.

Amtrak serves as the train operator and works with host railroads, provides train and engine crews, and manages ticketing and reservations. Iowa Pacific provides the train equipment, train maintenance, marketing and onboard amenities.

“Instead of being discontinued, the Hoosier State train was improved,” said Iowa Pacific President Ed Ellis. “On-time performance and customer service leading to more riders will be key to future success and improvements.”

PATH to install PTC on 33rd Street Line

The Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) rail system’s weekend service on the 33rd Street line in Manhattan will be suspended from early August through December to complete a project that includes installation of positive train control (PTC), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) announced late last week.

The 33rd Street Line PATH project is part of a multiphase plan to improve the system and provide more frequent rush-hour service, PANYNJ officials said in a press release.

At the center of the project is installation of PTC. In addition to safety improvements, the work is designed to improve the service’s reliability, as well as lay the groundwork for increased capacity in the future, they said.

The upcoming weekend closures will impact the Christopher, 9th,14th, 23rd and 33rd street stations.

Service on the line will be suspended from 12:01 a.m. on Saturdays until 5 a.m. on Mondays. Regular weekend service will continue on the Newark-World Trade Center (WTC) line between Journal Square and Hoboken, officials said.

Direct service between Hoboken and WTC, normally unavailable on weekends, also will be introduced.

For more information on commuter railroads’ and Class Is’ ongoing efforts to implement PTC, read this article from Progressive Railroading’s June issue.

Analyzing Human Actions – Orlando Shooting


“A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing.  A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys.”
-Charlie Heston

Zy Marquiez
June 12, 2016

The moral fiber of the country will be tested with this latest shooting.

Allegedly, 50 people or so died from this rather unfortunate event.  My condolences definitely go out to those who lost lives, their families & loved ones.

However, let’s put this shooting into context.

The Second Amendment is the Amendment that protects all others, especially vs. tyranny.  Without it, all we would have is the illusion of freedom.  It’s bad enough that people need licenses in most places that allow [allow? – thought we were free?] concealed carry.   Now, the comptrollers, and especially Hillary Clinton will begin wanting to push gun control as she has in the past…

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Letters to the Power Plant #5 – Programming at Dell

Power Plant Men

9/27/01 – Programming at Dell

Dear Sooner Plant,

I have been trying to get along with only 2 computers.  Annette asked me earlier if I use one hand on each keyboard, or do I use both hands on both keyboards, or do I use one keyboard for both computers, or ….something like that, I don’t remember which.  Anyway, here is what I have done:

When I’m just typing away totally absorbed in what I am doing, I can type about 105 words a minute according to Mavis Beacon.  So I tried using one hand on each keyboard, and found that I had to set up a new set of home row keys, (places to put my fingers on the keyboard).  I thought I could manage 50 words a minute on each computer, and that would still be pretty good.

Unfortunately, when I measured my speed I was only getting about…

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The impurity within you can be cleaned not with water, but with tears..&.. İçteki kiri su değil, ancak gözyaşı temizler. Mawlana Jalal al-Din al-Rumi




Suffering brings the human being to maturity. Rocks along the beach struck for centuries by the waves have thus been freed from roughness and have become as strong as granite.

İnsanı olgunlaştıran, çilelerdir. Bir sâhildeki taşlara baktığımız zaman, üzerinde hiçbir sivrilik ve pürüzün kalmamış olduğunu görürüz. Zira dalgalar asırlarca onları döve döve bütün sivriliklerini âdeta torna etmiştir.

| Osman Nuri Topbaş


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Detroit’s M-1 Rail opens Penske Tech Center

Detroit’s M-1 Rail yesterday dedicated its Penske Tech Center, which will serve as the maintenance and operations center for the city’s QLINE streetcar vehicles.

A rendering of M-1 Rail’s Penske Tech Center
Source: M-1 Rail

Sponsored by Penske Corp., the center also will house the agency’s administrative staff, M-1 Rail officials said in a press release.

In March, Quicken Loans chose “QLINE” as the official name of the city’s streetcar line. That company received naming rights due to its financial support during the project’s fundraising period.

“The QLINE was made possible by the unprecedented private public partnership fueling this project,” said M-1 Rail Chief Executive Officer Matt Cullen. “QLINE is a catalyst for economic development and business growth, but it’s also as the first step toward creating a great regional transit system in Detroit.”

The Penske Center will be the United States’ first vehicle storage and maintenance facility to operate complete off-wire, M-1 Rail officials said. The first modern streetcar is expected to be delivered to the center by the fourth quarter, when testing and safety certification will begin.

Hell Gate Bridge Centennial

When the Hell Gate Bridge was completed in September 1916 it was the longest steel-arch bridge in the world. Its construction, using more steel than the Manhattan and Queensboro Bridges combined, began in 1912.

Antonio Meloni, a member of Community Board 1 and Director of the New York Anti-Crime Agency, speaking at the April 26 meeting of the 114th Precinct Community Council, is seeking to engage the community in the upcoming centennial of the Hell Gate Bridge.

“It’s a landmark, we grew up with it (and) we should adopt it as our own,” Meloni said.

The bridge crosses Hell Gate, a strait in the East River, between Astoria and Randalls and Wards Islands.

Dedicated and officially opened to rail traffic on March 9, 1917, the first direct rail service between Washington D.C. and Boston Massachusetts was established when a Pennsylvania Railroad train went over the bridge about a month later on April 1.

A series of possible celebrations, including fireworks, historical tours, a badly needed paint job, and lighting are among the ways the Hell Gate centennial could be marked said Meloni.

“We’re trying to involve Amtrak,” he said.

The Hell Gate Bridge is owned and maintained by Amtrak and still has the 17th longest main steel arch span in the world. It is an essential part of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) rail network.

Amtrak, or the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, was founded in 1971 to take over intercity passenger rail service that had been previously operated by private railroads.

The NEC, 80 percent of which is owned and/or maintained by Amtrak, is the busiest passenger railroad network in the United States and its mainline between Boston Massachusetts and Washington D.C. carries more than 700,000 commuter rail and 40,000 Amtrak trips each day into and out of several large economic markets.

The Hell Gate carries Amtrak NEC trains on its two south tracks and CSX and Norfolk Southern freight trains on its north inner track. The north outer track is not in operation.

Penn Station Access, a projected $695 million project in Amtrak’s fiscal 2017- 2021 budget, would use the Hell Gate Bridge to connect the New Haven Line to Penn Station.

Gustave Lindenthal, also involved in the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge and construction of the Manhattan Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge, developed plans for the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1892 as a way to bring rail traffic from Pennsylvania Railroad routes in New Jersey through New York City to New England.

The Pennsylvania Railroad bridge project, originally called, The East River Arch Bridge, chose Lindenthal as consulting engineer and bridge architect in 1904 for the eventual Hell Gate Bridge.