Friday, September 26, 2008

The Other Half

So some folks (his brother Glenn) wanted to see what Paul is currently up to, so I am giving him a post all his own. (There he is in the orange shirt)

So this is NASA's P3B airplane.

Paul is part of a team working on a project that (very basically) is reading radio waves to determine soil moisture.

Here's Paul's snazzy explanation:
We have built an instrument that is to remotely determine moisture in the soil. It is made up of an antenna system and sensitive radio receiver devices. By looking at the ground, we will see natural radio frequency radiation emitted from the earth from which we can infer the amount of moisture content in the soil. In the pictures you see the antenna housing being mounted into the forward payload bay of NASA's P3B research aircraft. The antenna box is 42 x 42 inches square, weighs 127 pounds, and houses 81 individual antennas whose signals are properly combined to provide the radio signal.

This is what the antenna actually looks like - Paul would like me to point out the neatly arranged spaghetti from the back.

Paul again:
This is our partially populated rack and where we will be sitting on the plane. Neither are bolted in place yet. There will be another two seats behind these for our people as well. The plane will have 24 seats on it; more than necessary and will have about 5 equipment racks.

Uploading of our antenna into the forward payload bay.

Chip and Karthik at the instrument rack in the aircraft doing instrumentation checkout after we got it all cabled and powered.

And last but not least I asked Paul to take a few artsy shots for me, so here's my fav.


At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Sabrina & Paul, We forgot the model number for the plane I googled a few and never seemed to find it. Just as long as they don't rename the plane Vomit Comet 2

At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

Second flight was the "Vomit Comet 2" several of us got sick. Somehow, my motion sickness patch came off overnight. Parts of the flight crew also felt it.


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