Archive for October, 2009


So! I got to Dubai. If you are to ask me about the way here I can only praise Emirates Airways for their…small things they do to make you feel better. I suppose that in any long range aircraft you’d get warm towels for refreshing and food which includes appetizer, main course, dessert and the dessert of the dessert, plus a very comfy pillow. The seat is also adjustable in 2 different ways – which I haven’t seen before for economy class and so on.

My first impression – and probably the only one about Dubai, since I am not to leave the airport – is..mixed. It’s a complete chaos here. All the people take advantage of the duty free thing, but in the worst possible way. Waaaaay too many people in the duty free area. And very different, not as many arabs as I would expect, but I guess this airport is a big knot in air traffic.

(…)just made a brake from writing because a guy asked me to help him connect to the internet. And despite my nasty feelings for Windows Vista, I succeeded. Now I am looking at a happy Asian guy – they are actually always happy, if you judge by their faces.

One more thing: McDonald’s has reached till here.

Second thing: 10 packages of Kent cost just 15$!!!!

I took some pictures on my new supacool camera I got as a present from S., but the cable is in the big backpack, so I will just put this one.DSC00355

Read Full Post »

Last day in Munich. It’s simply a gorgeous day! It’s imperative that I share it with everyone. So here are some pictures of the incredible spectacle nature has put up for this autumn.
I know is not a scramjets and kangaroos kind of thing, but I simply couldn’t help it.
When it comes to this time of the year, Munich takes the cake.


PS – Oh, tomorrow I’m gone. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Pre-departure status

Before starting to write I am scratching the tip of my head as in an obvious sign for thinking…

I am a bit stressed out. I am a bit all over the place. I am now also a bit in Stuttgart and tonight I will also be a bit in MĂĽnchen – Garching or..or maybe I will also be a bit in Freising, by S. . I am a bit into the idea of walking through Dubai airport (because of the fact that a SCRAMJET-based aircraft is not yet functional – my PhD thesis is still on going – there is no direct flight to Brisbane) all by myself and also a bit scared of that. I am anxious of wearing again comfortable sandals and also am sure I will miss snow for Christmas.
Every time I am in-front of such a big leap..every time I get these rushes, these hesitations, these doubts..

Pffffff! Maybe I should just stop wearing T-shirts with Goofy! 🙂

Read Full Post »


Following the advice of many experimented and loving people, I WILL NOT FORGET MY SUN-LOTION. And yes, with very high protection factor, so I will not look like Donatella Versace when I will set foot again on European land.

So, beside this important detail, which goes without saying together with a swimming-suit in my backpack, some very light clothes and flip-flops and a hat and the computer..and the camera(s) and the passport and some geeky scientific papers and… and… I think I got carried away. My actual dilemma, which I’ve been trying to solve by endless hours spent in-front of Google Maps is..where to go from Brisbane? North or..maybe …maybe South?

In case you are wondering why not both, here a simple plan of my staying there: from the 1st of November I will be actually trying to work for 6 weeks. This will mean take part to the experiments, go around the Shock Tunnel ( here are some technical details about this toy) and see what buttons I can manipulate to produce chaos and also try to get some nice results in the turbulent boundary layer simulations, which are going to continue, hopefully undisturbed on the computers in Munich. After the 6 weeks and after Stefan will have probably safely arrived to Kangaroo Island, we will hit it..southwards or..northwards? – To explore … a small part of the smallest continent on Earth.
The thing is that towards north is more…wild life. At least this is my impression. Not to mention the Great Reef, you can do whale watching, the biggest sand-island in the world (Fraser Island). These are things which stuck in my head after the above-mentioned Google Mapping and Wikipeding. I am sure there are many more interesting things to see.
On the other hand going south can also be nice. I don’t know how nice because I was a bit unfair when Google Mapping and I almost completely ignored this side. Buuuuuut, the climax would be Sydney. Ever since I found out about me going to Australia, I had this dorky/cliche picture in my head of me in-front of the Opera house in Sydney.
So, in the end it all comes down to the city and the dorky picture oooor wild life and whales.
What I actually forgot to say is that between Brisbane and Sydney there are no less than 900km, even though on GMaps is no more than…this (and you have to imagine now how I would indicate a really small…thing between my index and my thumb)!

There it is – my dilemma! I hope I will get some inspiration soon. Otherwise..GO PLANET! (Ah, I remembered these cartoons I was watching as a kid: “Captain Planet, he’s a hero/ Gonna take pollution down to ZERO” – quoted from my memory!! )

Read Full Post »


Because I already got some objections about the fact that no normal person could possibly know what a SCRAMJET is, I put some pictures of 2 concepts of a SCRAMJET-based aircraft. Principally, such an engine does not have any moving parts like turbines, axes, etc. As simple as its geometry is, as complex is the flow-phenomena happening inside it. The air enters in the engine at a hypersonic velocity ( Mach >  5, meaning at least five times more than the speed of sound, meaning more than 1500 m/s ) creating shock-waves whenever it encounters even the smallest geometry change (angles or obstacles). Because of these shock waves the flow is decelerated up to approximately Mach = 2 in the combustion chamber. There the fuel (in most of the cases hydrogen is preferred) is injected, mixed with the air, ignited and burned while is traveling further downstream. At the end of the combustion chamber the supersonic flow is expanded, therefore accelerated, producing thrust. And ta daaaaaa! You got yourself an engine! The principle is quite simple, is the details which are killing us: like the shock-waves which are reflecting at the wall, like the fuel-air mixing, like the types of injectors we prefer, like what materials we want to use to support such high heat loads… and all kind of crap.

So..with this, I hope I haven’t bored you. If you, however, want more of this supersonic stuff just raise your hand and I will be coming to your desk to deal with it.

Signed: the mad scientist on duty


Here you see the difference between a conventional engine and a SCRAMJET. The X43 A concept is a very nice story told by proud NASA people. They actually managed to fly the thing some years ago.


The HVT-3X is an aircraft to be….

Read Full Post »

The story begins

One week before take off to Brisbane, Australia, the idea of starting this blog came to me. So here I am, during the Institute coffee break, putting together the first lines for my journey-blog.

I thought to start with a few details about my trip.

Between 01.11.2009 – 02.01.2010 I will be visiting the University of Queensland. The visa says I will be an “occupational trainee” – this means…well..some sort of a geek. The official purpose of my visit is to take part to some supersonic flow experiments conducted by 2 friends from RWTH Aachen, who were so lucky to get sponsored for such things; experiments, especially super- and hypersonic flow experiments can be a damn expensive thing! Provided that you have the facility and model (which are actually the most expensive, on the order of tenths of thousands of euros), one simple run can rise up to 500 euros.

You see, in my PhD (this comment is more addressed to all of you who are engineers and have a little idea about fluid dynamics) I am studying shock-waves – turbulence interaction by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics. My subject is actually part of a larger, more ambitious project which aims at launching a type of engine which goes under the name of SCRAMJET (Supersonic Combustion RAMJET). Given the CFD context, this means I am ought to spend 90% of my time in-front of a computer. The rest of 10% going to meetings. For all of you who know me…do you think I like it? Well..yeah, a bit, but it’s not enough to calm my spirit. This is the reason why I was so happy to apply for this time abroad: on one hand is to see how things look in reality, be a witness of such experiments. If you are into SCRAMJETS, which I don’t think you are, Australia is the place to be. They are investing loads of money and research in this subject. So..there is me taking advantage of this! 🙂

Ok..enough with the scientific bla bla. The actual reason why I wanted to get there is not science. And now you’re gonna say : “I knew it!”. Well..I would be lying if I’d say there is one or the other. I am getting there both for science and kangaroos. And all the other creepy crawlers and stingers…and birds and koalas…

It’s a childhood dream which is becoming reality. I always wanted to travel. Yeah, of course is a cliche, who cares?! I’m enjoying the ride.

So..next thing I’m gonna post is a checklist with…stuff I need to have with me. Feel free for any suggestions!

Welcome to my world!

Read Full Post »