October 2017

I try to attend the SNAME annual meetings every year. Mustering the energy to attend can be daunting, but once I am there, I realize that there are so many benefits to attending the annual meeting that the cost and time are well worth it.

 

At every meeting I try to attend as many technical paper presentations as possible, but it is very difficult to get in more than about 8 presentations because there are so many other important activities. These activities range from my very satisfying involvement on the (mt) editorial board, to meeting with other professionals (which through a bizarre set of circumstances included Chris Kraft, the NASA legend), mining for new technical solutions at the exposition, re-establishing old contacts, and making new contacts (especially with the very committed young professionals who have decided to attend).

 

Regardless, central to all of this is the ability to learn, and at the end of each annual meeting I always ask myself: "What was the most important thing I learned?"

 

This year the outstanding learning experience was the paper by Dr. Doerry and Dr. Koenig: "Framework for Analyzing Modular, Adaptable and Flexible Surface Combatants." read more »

My wife posted this picture on my Facebook page. I copy it here because the picture made me think, and that led me right into a patent and copyright approach that I have been toying with for a number of years.

 

First of all, I could not figure out where the picture came from (who owns it), but if I am infringing a copyright please let me know and I will sort things out. Interestingly my idea is an improvement on the concept in the picture, and therefore may skirt copyright issues. Regardless, I very strongly believe in reasonable intellectual property rights.  read more »

Rik van Hemmen's picture
Monday, October 9th, 2017

Surveying Tools

In a recent blog, I discussed laser scanning as a surveying tool. That made me think of all the tools that surveyors carry in their proverbial tool bag today.

 

Surveying equipment used to be pretty simple when Francis A. Martin did his thing in 1875. We still use Francis A. Martin’s stuff, although often in improved versions, but, boy, has the list grown.

 

Writing blogs is fun, since it allows me to ponder the subject while I write about. I thought I was going to discuss the growth in surveying tools, but in writing the list, I noticed that in the last 10 years the smartphone has revolutionized the marine surveying field too. It is amazing how many marine surveying measurements and recordings can be made with a smartphone. A smartphone truly is starting to beat a Star Trek tricorder.

 

1875. Francis A. Martin’s tool bag:

 

1.            Pocket notebook (we still have some that he used). The neatest ones today are Wetnotes, but they are never easy to find)

 

2.            Pencil. But we also have some pocket notebooks where he used a fountain pen. Today only Wayne occasionally uses a fountain pen, but we have a favored mechanical pencil in the 0.7mm Bic Velocity. 

 

3.            A surveying hammer. I have a fancy Japanese one on my office shelves. We certainly don't get to take it on the plane. Often a tool that we can get in the yard when needed (it generally is a chipping hammer).

 

4.            A piece of chalk. Today we more often use spray cans and sharpies, but a crayon or a piece of chalk still is nice.

  read more »