I was browsing the television guide on Sunday morning looking for something interesting, and noticed “Space Jump” was on the Discovery channel. Hoping this was the rescheduled jump for daredevil Felix Baumgartner, I switched to the channel at the right time, just as the helium balloon was being inflated for lift off. I ended up watching most of the event, in part because, “you don’t see this everyday”, and also as an engineer I was interested in the technology used in the jump.
Although the Space Jump was to set new records for Felix Baumgartner, which he did, jumping out of a perfectly good capsule that reached a height of 39,044 meters. A great deal of technology was used in the jump. A new jump suit with monitoring systems and reserve backups systems was developed to bring him down alive. A high technology capsule was built with many LCD monitors documenting and recording the records of the events. New technology was developed to record the event with dozens of cameras most in high definition and some with tracking and image stabilized video clearly recording the entire ascent and descent in amazing detail. Because the event wasn’t available to all on television, the streaming internet performance also set new records for on demand and replay viewing demonstrating the capabilities of today’s systems that were nonexistent even a few years ago.
During and after the event I was pouring over the technological details of the jump starting with the main page at http://www.redbullstratos.com/technology/. Then, like most engineers I’ve talked to I started to compare the technologies with the 1960’s jumps and how both technology and the safety aspects have changed in 50 years. From jumping out of an open gondola to and advanced capsule filled with today’s electronics technology.
The systems used in the jump illustrate how engineering teams work today, with flexible design teams innovating and communicating using methods that didn’t exist even a few years ago. At Mentor Graphics our innovative and patented technology assists in reducing design times by increasing the collaboration between engineers in your efforts to creating a design correct the first time. Explore how your teams can innovate accurately and faster using DxDesigner and Expedition Xtreme and look for our upcoming Webinar series on DxDesigner starting in a few weeks.
Gary Lameris joined Mentor Graphics in 2008 as a Technical Marketing Engineer for the Mentor Expedition PCB flow. Prior to Mentor Graphics, he has served on the DxDesigner and PADS Customer Advisory Boards, and is the founder and manager of the DxDesigner Yahoo forum. Throughout his career, Gary has served on the boards of a variety of associations, including; chairing the Associate Membership Committee for the National Conference on Weights and Measures, serving on the weighing subcommittee of the National Type Evaluation Technical Committees (NTETC), and acting as industry advisor to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His experience includes 22 years as a Senior Design Engineer at Hobart Corporation and Program Manager at Simclar Inc., a contract assembler of printed circuit boards. Gary has a BSEE from Michigan Technological University.