Science and Technology

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


Science allows us to study the natural world by collecting data through a systematic process known as the scientific method. Technology allows us to aplly science to develop devices that can perform tasks and solve problems. In other words, technology is the practical application of science.

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Severe Weather Tracker

Solar Indices
Incoming solar radiation enters the Earth’s atmosphere, where some of this energy is absorbed by atmospheric gases, water vapor and dust particles. Some of this energy is scattered by the atmosphere and a portion is reflected by clouds in the troposphere. Energy that reaches Earth’s surface is absorbed by the ground, water and other surface features or reflected back towards space.

Earth’s weather is created by the interaction between incident solar energy and water vapor suspended in the atmosphere, although the air is not significantly heated by the sun directly. Earth’s surface absorbs most of this heat and the lowest layer of the atmosphere is then warmed from being in contact with the Earth’s surface through a process of heat exchange known as conduction. Warm air gradually spreads upwards and outwards as it cools, creating a movement of air in the process. This constant movement of air from high- to low-pressure areas, combined with the effects caused by Earth’s spinning, forces air to move counterclockwise and into low-pressure areas, while moving clockwise and out of high-pressure areas.





Johnathan Nicolosi - 15 Jun 2018

Sunspot Activity

Sunspots and Earth's Magnetic Field
Sunspots are about 4000 K (compared to the normal 6000 K temperatures of the sun’s surface) which causes sunspots to appear dimmer than the surrounding photosphere. Sunspots show where the sun’s magnetic field is strongest. For example, the average magnetic field on the sun’s surface is 1 gauss, but in a sunspot, the magnetic field can be over 3,000 gauss. The higher magnetic fields within these areas keep the sunspots cool and therefore dark.

While most sunspots disappear with a day or two, some sunspots can be identified and tracked for weeks or even months at a time. The apparent movement of sunspots across the Sun’s surface indicates that the solar surface is rotating anticlockwise.





Johnathan Nicolosi - 13 Jun 2018

Effects of Gravity at Altitude

The planetary weight calculator allows you to calculate your weight while on the planet's surface and assumes that the surface of the planet is of uniform distance from its center. These equations therefore will not accurately reflect the weight of objects in space around Earth, or other planetary body.

Gravity is affected by only two variables and one constant. The universal gravitational constant (6.67408 * 10-11) cannot be changed and the planet's mass (5.98 * 1024) stays pretty much the same, therefore only your distance from the center of the Earth can be changed. Earth's surface is approximately 6378 * 102 km in altitude. When calculating the altitude of spacecraft and satellites, don't forget to add this distance to the distance of the spacecraft above the Earth's surface.

ge = G * Me / d2




Johnathan Nicolosi - 13 Jun 2018

Gravitational Acceleration

Gravitational Acceleration
In this tutorial we will explore the gravitational forces of the Sun and planets using Python and then learn how to plot these features for comparison using Matplotlib. For this tutorial we will be storing the mass and radius of each planet as a list of intergers and then calculating the gravitational acceleration (gp) and gravitational parameters (μ) for each planet.





Johnathan Nicolosi - 13 Jun 2018

Planetary Weight Calculator (New)

This simple Python tutorial will show you how to build your own planetary weight calculator, will allow you to quickly calculate the weight of any object on each planet, the sun and the moon. To calculate your weight on each planet, use the gravitational acceleration vector for each planetary body, which is the product of the Universal Gravitational Constant (G) multiplied by the mass (m) of each planetary body (p) divided by the radius (r) of each body, squared.

gp = G * (mp/rp2)




Johnathan Nicolosi - 13 Jun 2018

Planetary Science Using Python

Alternative and Augmentative CommunicationIn this tutorial we will explore the solar system using Python and popular data science libraries NumPy and Matplotlib, to perform various functions and to visualize large amounts of planetary data. By the end of this tutorial, we will learn how to use Python to perform scientific calculations and hopefuly gain new insights into our eternal journey around the galactic core.





Johnathan Nicolosi - 13 Jun 2018

Planetary Weight Calculator

In this tutorial we will use Python code to build a universal weight calculator, which will calculate our weight on each planetary body within our Solar System. Our weight calculator will be based on Newton's universal gravitational constant, or G = 6.674×10−11 m3 kg−1 s−2. Next we must obtain the mass and radius of each planetary body, which can be obtained from NASA. For our application, we used the Planetary Fact Sheet from NASA.

The following calculations will be done using the metric system, except for weight measurements, which should be in pounds (lbs). Don't forget to convert from diameter to radius for each celestial body, if you are using the NASA Planetary Fact Sheet.




Johnathan Nicolosi - 25 Mar 2018

Alternative and Augmentative Communication

Alternative and Augmentative Communication This article will show you how to transform your laptop into the ultimate alternative and augmentative communication device. This project requires a webcam and two downloads: Camera Mouse, which uses the webcam to track your eyes, and OptiKey, an optical keyboard that can be used to spell out words and phrases.




Johnathan Nicolosi (Updated) - 23 Mar 2018

Environmental Scanner - Arduino-based Sensor Array

Environmental Scanner The Environmental Scanner project began as a simple Arduino-based, environmental monitoring and alert system. Featuring and array of Adafruit and SparkFun electronic sensors, Arduino Uno and an ethernet shield, the Environmental Scanner will host a webpage containing sensor readings and alerts. This webpage will display the current sensor readings, which will refresh every few seconds and will send an alert when sensor levels exceed certain, predefined thresholds.




Johnathan Nicolosi - 25 Sept 2017

Facial Recognition Using Python and a Webcam

Facial Recognition In this tutorial we will explore basic machine learning concepts by developing a simple facial recognition program in under 22 lines of code, using a webcam, Python 2.7, and the open source library OpenCV v2. OpenCV is a popular library for computer vision, which was originally written in C/C++, but now provides bindings for Python. This tutorial is based on Shantnu Tiwari's python blog, which can be found at https://realpython.com/blog/python/face-detection-in-python-using-a-webcam/.




Johnathan Nicolosi - 24 Sept 2017

Raspberry Pi - Amazon Alexa Integration

This tutorial will show you how to integrate artificial intelligence and voice recognition into Raspberry Pi. The original tutorial can be found at (https://github.com/the-raspberry-pi-guy/Artificial-Intelligence-Pi) In order to integrate Amazaon's Alexa with a Raspberry Pi 3, you will need the following components: Raspberry Pi, official Sense Hat and an Amazon Developer's account.




Johnathan Nicolosi - 24 Sept 2017