Blind Landings

Author: Erik Conway
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 080188960X
Format: PDF, Docs
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When darkness falls, storms rage, fog settles, or lights fail, pilots are forced to make "instrument landings," relying on technology and training to guide them through typically the most dangerous part of any flight. In this original study, Erik M. Conway recounts one of the most important stories in aviation history: the evolution of aircraft landing aids that make landing safe and routine in almost all weather conditions. Discussing technologies such as the Loth leader-cable system, the American National Bureau of Standards system, and, its descendants, the Instrument Landing System, the MIT-Army-Sperry Gyroscope microwave blind landing system, and the MIT Radiation Lab's radar-based Ground Controlled Approach system, Conway interweaves technological change, training innovation, and pilots' experiences to examine the evolution of blind landing technologies. He shows how systems originally intended to produce routine, all-weather blind landings gradually developed into routine instrument-guided approaches. Even so, after two decades of development and experience, pilots still did not want to place the most critical phase of flight, the landing, entirely in technology's invisible hand. By the end of World War II, the very concept of landing blind therefore had disappeared from the trade literature, a victim of human limitations. -- Chihyung Jeon

The Problem with Pilots

Author: Timothy P. Schultz
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421424797
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"Pilots were a major problem in aviation development. They were exposed as feeble, vulnerable, and inefficient as aircraft flew higher, faster, and farther. Pilots asphyxiated or got the bends at high altitudes; they blacked out during high-G maneuvers; they spun into the ground after encountering clouds or fog; and they found innumerable ways to commit fatal errors. This is the story of how physicians and engineers, spurred by airpower enthusiasts seeking to advance the military potential of aviation, sought new means to address these problems and bridge the widening gap between human and machine performance. It provides an original view of how their efforts connected the technological, the medical, and the human element and effected changes that transformed the pilot's role and redefined flight. Schultz explores the major changes in the pilot-aircraft relationship that transpired primarily between World War One and the end of World War Two and applies them to modern flight. Archival resources illuminate the pilot's evolution, and theories of technological change inform the innovations and institutional imperatives that elevated the roles of life scientists and engineers."--Provided by publisher.

Our Robots Ourselves

Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: Viking Adult
ISBN: 0525426973
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Our Robots, Ourselves provides a provocative exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between human and machine. Employing first-hand experience, extensive interviews and the latest research from MIT and elsewhere, David Mindell shows how people operate with and through robots and automated systems and how these interactions will continue to impact our work, experiences, and professional identities in the coming years. A vivid storyteller, Mindell will change the public's misconceptions about the autonomous robot.

Tiger Check

Author: Steven A. Fino
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421423278
Format: PDF, ePub
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"The fielding of automated flight controls and weapons systems in fighter aircraft from 1950 to 1980 challenged the significance ascribed to several of the pilots' historical skillsets, such as superb hand-eye coordination--required for aggressive stick-and-rudder maneuvering--and perfect eyesight and crack marksmanship--required for long-range visual detection and destruction of the enemy. Highly automated systems would, proponents argued, simplify the pilot's tasks while increasing his lethality in the air, thereby opening fighter aviation to broader segments of the population. However, these new systems often required new, unique skills, which the pilots struggled to identify and develop. Moreover, the challenges that accompanied these technologies were not restricted to individual fighter cockpits, but rather extended across the pilots' tactical formations, altering the social norms that had governed the fighter pilot profession since its establishment. In the end, the skills that made a fighter pilot great in 1980 bore little resemblance to those of even thirty years prior, despite the precepts embedded within the "myth of the fighter pilot." As such, this history illuminates the rich interaction between human and machine that often accompanies automation in the workplace. It is broadly applicable to other enterprises confronting increased automation, from remotely piloted aviation to Google cars. It should appeal to those interested in the history of technology and automation, as well as the general population of military aviation enthusiasts."--Provided by publisher.

Atmospheric Science at NASA

Author: Erik M. Conway
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9781421401638
Format: PDF, Docs
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Atmospheric Science at NASA critically examines this politically controversial science, dissecting the often convoluted roles, motives, and relationships of the various institutional actors involved—among them NASA, congressional appropriation committees, government weather and climate bureaus, and the military.

Technological Transitions and System Innovations

Author: Frank W. Geels
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 9781845424596
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This important book addresses how long term and large scale shifts from one socio-technical system to another come about, using insights from evolutionary economics, sociology of technology and innovation studies. These major changes involve not just technological changes, but also changes in markets, regulation, culture, industrial networks and infrastructure. The book develops a multi-level perspective, arguing that transitions take place through the alignment of multiple processes at three levels: niche, regime and landscape. This perspective is illustrated by detailed historical case studies: the transition from sailing ships to steamships, the transition from horse-and-carriage to automobiles and the transition from propeller-piston engine aircraft to turbojets. This book will be of great interest to researchers in innovation studies, evolutionary economics, sociology of technology and environmental studies. It will also be useful for policy makers involved in long-term sustainability and systems transitions issues.