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Lasera Obscura

Joy is getting a new gearbox in that will let me triple the accuracy of the vertical component of the laser on the iridium flare tracker. I assembled it, whipped up a mount for it, and re-calibrated the system for it.

Totally stoked, I hauled the laser table outside with a battery and the controller case, plugged it all in, fired up the system...

And looked up to realize that the sky was completely overcast. Wah!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2004 03:48 am (UTC)
*blank stare*
Jul. 23rd, 2004 04:02 am (UTC)
But... now you know where the stars are, even when they're hidden!

Now to make a voicecoil scanner, so you can project the correct starfield onto the bottom of the clouds with the laser...
Jul. 23rd, 2004 09:28 am (UTC)
Unfortunately I couldn't see the stars I need to calibrate from!
Jul. 23rd, 2004 05:18 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, that's a shame... 2-axis accelerometer for scanner table orientation, and a fluxgate compass for north? I suppose a leveling bubble would work about as well.
Jul. 23rd, 2004 06:32 am (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, what kind of effect do you get when your laser hits low hanging clouds?

Is it just a pinpoint of light, or do you get a nicely diffused glow that looks like cloud to cloud lightning?
Jul. 23rd, 2004 09:27 am (UTC)
It makes a green line through the cloud that you can see the first part of.
Jul. 23rd, 2004 09:29 am (UTC)
Though it does dissuse to a glow after the first part of the line, I guess.
Jul. 23rd, 2004 12:12 pm (UTC)
I had a stupid idea... don't see you online, so I'll use livejournal as my own private messaging service! :)

You planning on hacking on this thing Sunday? I have a few things of Tug's (and that PIC book that keeps returning...:) that I need to return, and I was thinking maybe I (well, we) could swing 'em by and see about lending a hand with construction and whatnot. Interested? :)
Jul. 25th, 2004 02:46 pm (UTC)
Incidentally, if you do want us to head over and provide some manual labor for this thing (which you vaguely indicated you did the last time I saw you), you're gonna need to swing by someplace online and remind us of your address, before it gets too late... :)
Jul. 24th, 2004 12:35 am (UTC)
what about painting the constellations upon the clouds ?
Jul. 24th, 2004 11:14 pm (UTC)
I can't really move the laser fast enough, and if I could, I would need a much brighter laser to be able to see the effect.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )