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Comment: Power Outage? (Score 3, Insightful) 243

by SpaghettiWestern (#39205923) Attached to: Japan Creates Earthquake-Proof Levitating House System
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was screwed because most of the power generators were installed in a basement that was subsequently flooded and therefore useless to keep the pumps going to pump fresh seawater in to cool the cores, causing ongoing level 7 meltdowns at three reactors.

From the wikipedia page ( ):
"The reactor's emergency diesel generators and DC batteries, crucial components in helping keep the reactors cool in the event of a power loss, were located in the basements of the reactor turbine buildings. The reactor design plans provided by General Electric specified placing the generators and batteries in that location, but mid-level engineers working on the construction of the plant were concerned that this made the back up power systems vulnerable to flooding. TEPCO elected to strictly follow General Electric's design in the construction of the reactors."

The design basis for [the plant] for tsunamis was 5.7 meters. The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 40.5 metres.
Around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.5 million without water.

So say right that the power to the Air Danshin Systems Inc installation is taken out by an earthquake and there is no 'levitating' to be had? Aftershocks?

I doubt each installation would have its own generator and even if it did it would have to be left running in order to be able to kick in if power was lost.

Lessons learned, maybe not.

Comment: How the Square Kilometre Array telescope will work (Score 5, Informative) 45

by SpaghettiWestern (#39057339) Attached to: Decision Time For SKA Telescope Bids
The Square Kilometre Array Telescope (SKA) will delve further into the Universe than ever before, produce more data about the cosmos than modern-day computers can handle, and shift the focus of radio astronomy from the 'dish' to silicon.

In essence, what we are seeing is the evolution of telescopes away from the concrete and steel that forms the antennas and into the world of supercomputing, says Professor Brian Boyle, CSIRO's SKA director.

"The supercomputer is as much a part of the telescope as is the antenna.
"In the 1960s you built really big dishes to take all the data, now you put all your effort into the silicon brains behind it," Boyle says.

An array telescope is composed of lots of different antennas connected to a supercomputer via a super-fast fibre optic network.
"So in the SKA's case we're talking 3000 antennas over a minimum distance of 3000 kilometres.
"All that data is transported from the SKA at speeds of 400 terabits per second across the continent — that's about ten times greater than global internet traffic today.
"Then it's processed by a super computer capable of doing one million, million, million operations per second — about one hundred times faster than the world's fastest super computer today," says Boyle.

Scientists hope that by delving deeper into space than ever before they will be able to investigate fundamental questions about the universe, such as the evolution of galaxies, dark energy and cosmic magnetism, and probe the earliest stars and black holes.

Source & further Info:

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton