Having a 1976 Ford Pinto that was struck by lightning, seemingly nothing happened. Although, after about a month or so (memory does not recall time lapse but it seemed short) the charging system quit working and then the electronic spark module quit working. The radio never seemed to tune in stations very good. Then when I thought I had everything fixed, the engine started knocking due to a cracked piston skirt. Coincidence?
That was a very interesting scenario - which also hits home as to why pilots need to be trained how to fly when losing instrument orientation - those guys knew what to do!
I really appreciated the solution they came up with - an obvious fix because they related it to similar problems with a known solution and out of the box thinking to make it work for their particular situation. I would have liked to seen it implemented!
This is fortunate that the planes are designed with compass redundancy. If there had been only one compass and the plane was flying at night, the pilot could have been flying in the total wrong direction for a long time before seeing the error.
I used to design warning equipment for cranes and the equipment was frequently damaged by lightning strikes. I had a small collection of artifacts and was amazed by the strange paths the charge would follow. I had one unit with a neat 1/8" hole blown through a filter capacitor so that you could see through to the other side. The capacitor still tested good, but the chassis behind the capacitor had a 1/2" hole of melted steel.
Dan, you mention that this could happen to a steel car, and that is may be correct. There is a bit of a difference, since the car is typically a cage, or enclosed structure, while the plate you mention is not.
Cars are said to be a safe place to ride out a lighting storm since they create this Faraday cage effect and becuase the rubber tires insulate the vehicle from the ground. This helps protect the passengers. With all the talk about cars made of composites to save weight, we may loose this safety feature.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.