Tag Archives: Star Trek

Star Trek’s Transparent Aluminum a Reality Now

BULLETPROOF BARRIER SECURITY TIPS & NEWS

OPTICALLY CLEAR ALUMINUM PROVIDES BULLETPROOF PROTECTION

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aluminum-oxynitrideWhile the U.S. Navy is busy with the development of a new bulletproof material called Spinel, Surmet Corporation is already commercially producing its own version called ALON®. Technically known as aluminum oxynitride, Star Trek fans may be more familiar with the term “transparent aluminum” first proposed by Scotty in the 1986 movie, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. While ALON isn’t quite what Scotty had in mind (it’s not truly a transparent metallic aluminum, but rather a transparent aluminum-based ceramic), it’s pretty darn close.

Developed by Raytheon, ALON begins as a powder, which is then molded and baked in very high heat. The heating process causes the powder to liquefy and cool quickly, leaving the molecules loosely arranged, as if still in liquid form. It is this crystalline structure that provides ALON its level of strength and scratch resistance comparable to rugged sapphire. Polishing the aluminum oxynitride strengthens the material and also makes it extremely clear.

Comparing Aluminum Armor to Traditional Bulletproof Glass

Traditional bulletproof glass is comprised of multiple layers: polycarbonate sandwiched between two layers of glass. Similarly, transparent aluminum armor is also composed of three layers: an outer layer of aluminum oxynitride, a middle layer of glass and a rear layer of polymer backing. However, the similarities stop there.

Aluminum armor can deflect the same rounds from small-caliber weapons as traditional bulletproof glass, but it will still be more clearly transparent even after being shot. Also, a .50-caliber armor-piercing bullet could sink nearly three inches into bulletproof glass before stopping. Aluminum armor can stop it in half the distance and yet is half the weight and thickness of traditional transparent armor.

In addition, transparent aluminum armor can be produced in virtually any shape and can also hold up to the elements much better than traditional bulletproof glass, which can be worn away by blowing desert sand or shrapnel.

Despite aluminum oxynitride’s ability to produce a superior transparent aluminum armor, this material has not been put into widespread use. The largest factor in this is cost. Transparent aluminum armor can be anywhere from three to five times as much to produce as traditional bulletproof glass. In theory, however, it would not need to be replaced as often, saving money in the long run. Further, there is no existing infrastructure to produce the material in large panes like the size of a front windshield of a vehicle. ALON is currently used for smaller applications, such as the lenses in battlefield cameras or the windows over the sensors in missiles.

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Cosplay Pictures

Sorry for the late post.  I found some more PCC 2015 pictures and mingled those with some others.  Enjoy!

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Phoenix Comic Con 2015 – Friday!

Here are some pictures from Phoenix Comic Con 2015 I took earlier today.  Most are outside my booth at 3118.  Please stop by to say hi, or even better, buy a book!

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Cosplay Pictures for Your Weekend

Cosplay pictures for your enjoyment!

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Cosplay Pictures for Your Weekend

Your Saturday dosage of cosplay pictures.  Enjoy!

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Star Trek Cosplay for Your Saturday!

This cosplay edition for Saturday I decided to focus on Star Trek.  Enjoy!

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Redshirts – Safer Than You Might Think

Although more Redshirts died in the many Star Trek TV shows and films, oddly enough, it is more dangerous to be a gold shirt on a percentage basis.  For non-Trekkers, the original color scheme was – Gold for Command Crew and Navigation, Red for Engineering and Security, and Blue for Medical and Science.

 

According to Math, the Worst Color Shirt to Wear on Star Trek Is Actually Yellow

To Boldly Go

It’s a well known maxim that nobody wants to be a redshirt on Star Trek: The Original Series. The proud members of Operations, Engineering, and Security are the space-expendables, the first line of defense, the… well the ones who always get sent down with the away party full of more important characters and get murdered by the space monster of the week. Like, all the time. But what if, instead of considering this from the viewer’s perspective, you considered it from the perspective of a crewman choosing a line of work? What if you’re just a redshirt, and not “this episode’s redshirt?”

Matthew Barsalou took this perspective and applied math to it, and lets just say that Kirk, Chekov, and Sulu might not be to happy about it.

Barsalou’s findings were greatly informed by a bit of information missing from most Star Trek drinking games: the exact crew breakdown by color of the Enterprise NC 1701. While redshirt deaths make up the largest percentage of crewperson deaths in the Original Series (42%), redshirted crewmen also make up the majority of the crew of the Enterprise.

In fact, by percentage of total population of crewmen wearing their respective colors, the blue science and medical officers have it safest, only losing 5.1% of their population. Redshirts have it the next best, with an even 10%, and it’s the yellow shirts of command and helm crew who top out at losing 13.4% of their population over the course of the series. Barsalou can break it down even further: only a portion of red shirted crewmen are actually security personell, the specific population of crewmembers who suffered the worst casualties at 20%. But Barsalou takes it a step further:

Using what is known about Enterprise crew and casualty figures, suppose an Enterprise crew member has been killed. Discarding the 15 unknown casualties, redshirts consist of 60.0% of all fatalities where the uniform color is known; blue and gold uniforms are the remaining 40.0% of casualties. Redshirts are only 52.0% of the entire crew, but 60.0% of casualties, so what is the probability that the latest casualty was wearing a redshirt? The Enterprise often visits Starbases and takes on new crew members, so we assume sampling with replacement.

Then he does a bunch of math. His conclusions? If you hear about a crewperson dying on the Enterprise, there is a 64.5% chance that they were wearing a red shirt. But there is also a 61.9% chance that they were a member of the security department. All those other redshirts? They’ve only got an 8.6% casualty rate, which puts them ahead of every yellow shirted crewperson on the ship. So mommas, don’t let your kids grow up to be security personnel. But if they want to work in operations or engineering, you can probably relax.

 

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