Spaceheads

Moon Lasers

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For some reason I find the whole Moon landing conspiracy to be really fascinating. To me it just seems like what is harder to believe, that man managed to travel off the Earth and land on our nearest neighbor, or that hundreds if not thousands of people pulled off a highly technically complex and intricate hoax, and have managed to keep it a secret for nearly 50 years? That, and NASA left stuff there, not just the disposable Moon rovers and descent stages, but actual experimental equipment that can still be used from Earth, given the proper tools of course. One such experiment is the retroreflector arrays left on the moon by the Apollo astronauts that are used for laser ranging.

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Pushing Boundaries

Egads! LADS!

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Lasers are useful for a great many things, certainly up to and including being placed on the heads of irritable sea bass. For no reason whatsoever, this weekend will be the weekend of the laser here at Atomic Toasters, and we are going to start out by taking a look at a laser system that has proven to be quite useful indeed for those friendly fellows from down under. In the 1970s, the Royal Australian Navy noticed a lack of progress made in the surveying Australia’s territorial waters. There was much of the sea area that was was unsurveyed or simply old data from the age of sail, prompting the RAN to seek a method of effectively surveying large areas from the air. The Defence Science and Technology Organisation developed the LADS system, which stands for Laser Airborne Depth Sounder. The system began feasibility trials in is 1977, and although it was not operational until 1993, it is still flying today.

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Technostalgia

What Ever Became of…Laserdisc Players?

I will readily admit that there are some weeks when I have come across some sort of remembered technology item that I thi9nk would be great for this little feature–and then there are weeks like this one, in which I have vapor lock of the brain and a hard time thinking of much of […]

Startup

Startup: Sharks Not Included

Photo: wickedlasers.com

This is the Arctic Spyder III, a hobby laser, and at $300 it’s meant for enthusiasts, not for your cat. What makes this one special (aside from the Mace Windu styling) is that it is currently the most powerful handheld laser in the world. How powerful? Well your typical […]

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