Saturday, September 30, 2006

Octave, KOctave & Gnuplot

Hi bloggers, last week, just before my unsuccessful speaking test for "Aerospace Technics and Experimentation" ( it was non really a bad thing because it was me who left the test because I was not so good in my preparation), the professor.. had the time to say to me, while he was taking a look at my report: "So, you are an opensource fan!" and I so glad: "Yep!" he continued, "So why did you use Matlab instead of Scilab or Octave?"... I answered something like: "Hum, d'you know... I'm used with that, in the other languagers there are small variations in the syntax that make me crazy..." and some other stupid things...; so I apologized just like the worse Windows-User ! Actually I used Matlab because it's installed on university's computers so I didn't have to explore opensource world on Scientific Coputation.
In these days I'm trying to take a look on the solutions available in this sense.
At first I began to install Octave.

If I understood correclty, Octave is a commands interpreter with a language almost identicalt to Matlab's one, so one can continue to use the same language with the same syntax and Octave works just like Matlab does.
The major handicap is the leak of a Simulink-like environment and at the fist sight is astonishing that Octave can't handle Symbolic Variables.
Luckily for the second leak ther is a packet to install to enable the use of symbolic variables and their functions: octave-forge.
For the Simulink-like environment there is nothing to at the first steps I've done, I hope to find a good solution to this problem in my future searches among the Web.
I'll write on this blog every discovery I'll do on this way.
So now I invite you all to install happily Octave's packets. I recommend stongly Octave if you don't need to work with simulink funcions, but you handle only matices and vectors and you want to output plots: for these aims Octave is perfect and requires very less space than Matlab.
Octave has non a GUI, it presents itself direcly in the shell. Plot output is obtained by the integration with the famous gnuplot. If you want a GUI for Octave that resembles the Matlab one, is availabre koctave obviouly if you have already installed the KDE libs.
KOctave is a graphic shell with a simple menu bar and a folder explorer / command history on the left, noticeable could be the icon... identical to Matlab's one but blue instead of red!
So my advice for you is to install and try these new things: let's install octave, octave-forge and koctave. If you want we will continue the discussion on these pages!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cool! I've passed "Fluid Dynamics and Aerodynamics 2"

Here I am, after days spent to understand my notes and to repeat the procedures that give the different theorems and formulae, today I was quite sure for going calm to the speaking part of the exam to "Gibo", who had already helped me giving me the minimal votation needed to pass the write part.
Because of the help I received, I've done my best for recover, at first because I wanted to demonstrate on the fly that he made a good job trusting me, and mainly because this subject was very interesting for me.
His lessons are very cool, he use ironical moods in front of the bulk of equations, and from them always enlight the physical sense in fluid dynamics.
This mornig it was very nice to attend also others' speaking part, there were laughing and astonishing times, but he actually didn't only ask but really led the student from the formulae to their physical meaning.
Well! I took 20/30, it couldn't be like to a great thing, above all for the 7 credits value of that exam so my mean votation now will bend down... but I'm happy because I believe I worked hard to recover that bad test and I succeded.
Now I miss 5 exams instead of 6. It would be as difficult as before for me to laurate in time on February!
For this, I don't cry, what I ever dreamt was to have the right time to study and to understand the lectures and the subjects.
Now I have to go on with the work on Palamede from the stop we had in July.
We had to fix the Orbocomm mail transmission and to build the telecommunication's behaviors which have to be integrated in the main program: Palamessenger.
We had enought work, also about the activities I do for my parrish.... but I like so!
I leave you this good photo. You can see a nice phenomenon about which I know almost all, at the time.
These are the wing-tip vortices... they exist because of the same matter for which the plane flies.
When a plane fly into the upper edge of a cloud, these vortices could be seen very well.

Another beauty from nature... and when the man works in the right way it's the result is fantastic.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Hello folks, it's amazing, I've passed the written test of Fluid Dynamics and Aerodynamics 2, I believe, thanks to an help by the professor...
I'm also risking not to pass, but I've a real chance to close up at least one exam in this session!
Because of this, I won't post until Thursday when I'll tell you if I will have managed to take advantage of this opportunity.

New Header

I've changed the header of my blog, I chose a fall landscape because officially Autumn began on September 21st and meteorogically on Sept. 23rd .
The exam's session is almost ended... as soon as it will be possible I'll wrote again in English something better!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Who's Ubuntu's boss?

Whilst lazing another time in wiki pages to attach the links to previous post's image, I followed 2 or 3 links about space tourism... and I found Mark Shuttleworth (what a good name for a space tourist).
It was incredible to discover this kid is the founder of Canonical LTD.
As wiki teaches he developed VeriSign (an internet security protocol) and later sold it.
He worked as Debian Developer till 2004 when he founded Canonical LTD and its main project: Ubuntu!
So the circle is closed, from this Kubuntu Laptop I use, through the previous post... it's amazing.
I also noticed that he shares his first spaceflight with Roberto Vittori the last italian to be in space who then was at his first flight too...
Take a look on this guy's bio, and on his experience in Soyuz TM-34 flight... obviously on wiki!

Genesis-I: the first private space habitat

Last days, I was surfing among the wiki because I was searching information about the ISS for a post.
In my reading I found that the Habitation Module won't be launched anymore due to project review, lack of funds and shuttle retirement.
NASA proposed both a conventional module and inflatable space habitat: the Transhab.
After Habitation Module has been cancelled, Bigelow Aerospace purchase the rights of Transhab and developed it for the company Genesis Pathfinder.
They aim to build a commercial space station for future space tourists.
The first test module reduced by 1:3 scale was launched on 12 July 2006 and is current on orbit.
It's very good that private companies begin seriously to invest in space.
By the institution of the Ansari X Prize (Anousheh Ansari will fly as a tourist on the next Soyuz flight) won by SpaceshipOne more companies think to get involved with space; it's a very good thing because competition between the companies would develop the aerospace compartment faster than before.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Cinque mie strane abitudini

REGOLAMENTO:il primo giocatore inizia il suo post con il titolo "Cinque mie strane abitudini" e le persone che vengono invitate a scrivere devono a loro volta riportare questo regolamento.

Alla fine del post si devono indicare altre cinque persone,non dimenticando di lasciar loro un commento nel blog o nel journal con scritto "Sei stato scelto".

1 - Sono ordinato "a pigne" se entrate nella mia camera o nel mio quartier generale sparso per la casa quando sono sotto esame scoprireste pigne e pignette di fogli e mucchi di cose qua e là, la tragedia vera è che IO SO ESATTAMENTE cosa c'è dentro e troverei qualunque cosa in quei "casini concentrati" ma i miei non lo sanno e regolarmente spostano, ammucchiano, mischiano, dividono e a quel punto il casino diventa OGGETTIVO per tutti ;-)

2 - Sono SEMPRE in ritardo tranne quando sbaglio orario clamorosamente e arrivo 3/4 d'ora prima.
NB: 3/4 d'ora prima perchè sono comunque in ritardo di 1/4 d'ora sull'orario che credevo :-P

3 - Quando sono di corsa (cioè sempre come da punto 2) il tempo per prepararmi è direttamente proporzionale al ritardo, cioè non riesco a razionalizzare le azioni. Esempio devo prendere 3 cose in camera e 1 in salotto prima di uscire, prendo quella in sala, e vado verso la porta, torno in camera e ne prendo 1 delle 3 e tento di nuovo di uscire, e così fino a che, dopo 4 viaggi, sono pronto e finalmente ESCO! eh eh eh

4 - Mi perdo via! Soprattutto su internet! Esempio: se devo cercare una pagina sul sito del Poli, accendo Firefox, scrivo www. e si aprono i siti già visitati, vedo o qualche Wiki... mi dimentico del poli e vado lì a girare! Poi dopo mezz'ora mi chiedo... "ma perchè avevo aperto Firefox?" la domanda rimane senza risposta per qualche minuto, faccio finta che sia un giochino di memoria... poi mi ricordo e sentendomi scemo vado finalmente sulla pagina per cui avevo aperto il browser.

5 - Prima degli esami (ma a volte mi dimentico o non ne ho voglia) a colazione indeciso su Caffèlatte e Cioccolata (riflessi vs zuccheri) faccio il BEVERONE: Caffèlatte+cioccolato! ! Quando sn abbastanza scemo o su di giri per fare il BEVERONE, di solito vado in stazione in bici con a palla nelle orecchie Givin'up del vecchio Permission to Land dei Darkness cercando di arrivare prima della fine della canzone! Io mi carico così 8-)

nomino Ery, MacTeo, DDTeo,Elena,LaVale

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Launch Delayed by Fuel Cell Problem

The launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis was postponed Wednesday for at least 24 hours because of an issue with the shuttle's fuel cell number 1. A short (a spike and drop in voltage) in the fuel cell coolant motor was seen shortly after the cell was activated.
The Mission Management Team is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, and a news conference will follow.
Read this post on Space@Andy, my blog in italian of aerospace related news!

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Energy Harvesting

Surfing the web I found an insteresting article on about energy harvesting.
It's a very good concept, to harvest the energy that's all around in daily life.
We produce an incredible amount of energy during our common occupations. The idea is very simple: to collect this energy, otherwise lost!
We all now, it's very difficult to collect small amount of energy because of the loss caused by the efficiency factor of the conversion used, that is always less than 100%.
So where to collect everyday energy in large amount? In the places in which it's concentrated.
The idea by "TheFacility-architects" is simple, to develop for civil use a military concept about an idraulic pressure platform for the production of energy by the steps of a marching troop.
So, if we put such a platform in a station hall, in the rush hour we will have a considerable energy, in such a quantity which is possible to collect.

Think Different, use your mind!

Italian: Blog di Ingegneria Aerospaziale

Ho aperto un blog di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, cercherò di metterci tutto quello che di volta in volta mi verrà utile nel corso degli studi al Politecnico di Milano e anche notizie dal mondo aerospaziale.
Sperando che abbia una qualche utilità al di fuori del "backup" personale vi invito a farci un salto di tanto in tanto.

Ci vediamo su:
e ovviamente qui, ancora in Inglese!!!

Sunday, September 3, 2006

SMART-1 Impacts Moon

At 07:42:22 CEST (05:42:22 UT) today, the SMART-1 spacecraft impacted the Moon's surface as planned, ending ESA's first solar-powered mission to another celestial body and Europe's first mission to the Moon. ESA estimates that impact occurred at 46.2º West, 34.4º South.

For further information, check these out: Smart-1 Official Webpage, Smart-1's Ion Engine