Hackaday Links: December 4, 2022

Hackaday Links: December 4, 2022

Well, that’s embarrassing! Imagine sending a multibillion-dollar rover to an ancient lake bed on Mars only to discover after a year of looking at rocks that it might not actually have been a lake after all. This appears to be the impression of Jezero Crater that planetary scientists are forming after looking at data coming from Perseverance since nailed the landing in what must have looked like a dried up lake, with a fluvial delta system. A closer look at the sediments Perseverance The sampling reveals a large amount of the mineral olivine, which on Earth is rare near the surface because it reacts easily with water. Finding a lot of olivine near the surface of Jezero suggests that it wasn’t that watery in the past, or that the water there was basically ice. The results are limited to where the rover has visited, of course, and the nice thing about having wheels is that you can go somewhere else. But if you were hoping for clear signs that Jezero was once a lake teeming with life, you may have to keep waiting.

In other space news, we have to admit that we took NASA a bit on the podcast a couple of weeks ago for not living up to SpaceX’s Zazzle standards for SLS launch instrumentation. Yes, a night launch is spectacular, but not having all those internal cameras like the Falcon has left us in shape. But we should have been more patient, because the images coming back from Artemis 1 are simply spectacular. We had no idea that NASA attached cameras to the Orion spacecraft’s solar panels, which act a bit like selfie sticks and allow the spacecraft to be in the foreground with the Earth and Moon in the background. Seeing Earth again from lunar distance for the first time in 50 years has been a real treat, and putting our satellite in the frame at the same time is a huge plus.

We all know how algorithmic tides of news flow across the internet these days, but even when you least expect it, it can be annoying to see related stories suddenly pop up in your feed. In other words, this week we found a couple of stories about electric vehicles suffering serious damage at charging stations. The first was a report from a driver of a Ford F-150 Lightning that a loader rammed his truck. The user reports that while arriving at an Electrify America station in Oregon, he heard a loud boom before the charger and his impeccably expensive vehicle died, requiring a flatbed tow to the Ford dealership for repairs. separately, A BC Hydro charger in Vancouver reportedly broke at least two electric vehicles, one of which racked up $6,300 in repair costs. There’s no word on the nature of the damage, of course, and BC Hydro says the charger was taken out of service. However, we can’t help but wonder what the concurrence of these two stories has to tell us about the state of charging stations in general.

Also from “Isn’t that strange?” files, reports appear all over the world The LED street lights suddenly turn purple. Normally stark bluish-white LED streetlights in places like Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, California and elsewhere now glow a strange but beautiful shade of deep purple. When we first saw this story, we thought it would be a problem with the COB LED phosphors, perhaps wearing out and letting the underlying UV light through. And indeed, that’s the conclusion this story ultimately comes to, at least for the Vancouver lights that appear to be suffering from delamination of the phosphor layer thanks to heat damage. The article goes a little further and blames the ever-present “supply chain issues” for the problem, which honestly isn’t that hard to swallow.

And finally, can you turn a car into a pillar of salt? No, you can’t, but if you follow the lead of artist James Birdle, maybe you can catch a self-driving car with a couple of kilos of salt. James discovered that surrounding his car with a double dashed line of salt made the car think it could cross the barrier and not breach it. So the car failed and stayed inside the salted circles. We’d like to dig into this a bit more: It’s not clear what the car is, but a comment on the Vimeo video claims it’s a 2006 SEAT Ibiza, whatever that is. A 16-year-old vehicle isn’t likely to be autonomous, so maybe it has lane departure sensors.

#Hackaday #Links #December

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