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Posted in June 2012

Them Noisy Airplanes

Aah week seven. Just one more
week to go till the end of the fourth quarter. One more week till the end of
the semester, and the end of the academic year. 
Just one more week till them dreaded exams. But it has been a fruitful semester.
Among various courses, the constant has been the semester project that I have
been working on with my group.

The first two years of the
Bachelor program at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering here in Delft consists
of four semester long projects. The one in this semester was different than the
others since each group (of about 8 people) was given different projects. My
group was given the daunting task of simulating the effects of changing the
noise regulations at Rotterdam The Hague Airport, or as I like to call it,
RTHA.

If you live close to an airport,
you would know what I am talking about. Noise is a nuisance when it comes to
airports. And the Rotterdam airport is a special case since it is small but
close to the residential areas of Rotterdam (and even Delft!). So this semester,
instead of only cycling there for coffees, I had to work on changing the noise
regulations from a Dutch standard into a more uniform one used all over Europe.
What does this have to do with Aerospace? Well it’s an airport for starters.
Moreover, the ‘noise’ created is mainly due to landing and taking off aircraft.
You know, engines and stuff.

In order to execute this mammoth
task, we had to do a lot of research. And in this process also learnt a very
organized and efficient way to conduct research. We learnt that Wikipedia is
not the end all be all of knowledge databases. It’s a decent start, but to
actually cite references we had to read numerous reports, chapters from books,
legislations and even presentations. After that, it was time to get cracking on
the execution.

I was blessed with six highly
competent group-mates who were very hard working (at times they even refused to
take breaks!). They did all the MatLab coding while I whiled away my time with
what I do best, reading manuals, reports and guidelines on how to write the ‘perfect’
scientific report. The final deliverable is a scientific report.

 

 The Dream Team at work!

So far we’ve gotten pretty decent
reviews and I’d like to thank my group mates for their hard work!

Well done Bo, Rudi, Yvonne, Andreas, Hanneke and Martijn! Let’s nail this
finally!

 

Tot Later 

 

The Windi-er Tunnel

A few days ago I took part in the second wind tunnel experiment
of the academic year. I’ve spoken about the first one in another blog. This one
was different in a few aspects. It dealt with supersonic flow of air and
subsequently took place in the Aerodynamics department of the faculty. And my
group and I had to write a report on out findings right after the experiment.

It was an interesting set up with a water channel chamber
depicting ‘supersonic’ airflow. This was done since we could physically see the
flow of water and draw comparisons with how air would behave at supersonic
speeds. It was also easier to make a clear distinction between the ‘shock waves’
in the water.
The second set up was more interesting. It dealt with actual air at supersonic
speeds in a highly sophisticated wind tunnel set up. There was a camera guided
by intense light and focussed on the glass test chamber. This was done so that
on the monitor we could see how exactly the supersonic airflow behaved. It was
also easier to see, with the help of the camera, the shock waves. Manipulating
the area dimensions of the chamber we were able to move around the position of
the shock waves.

                                          

The wet tunnel                                                                                     The instructor at work on the glass chamber 

After that the boring part ensued where we had to write bout
our observations in the form of a small report. The report writing didn’t go as
smoothly as planned but we managed to get a bonus point out of it!

It was great to see the theory being put to the test and
things finally started making more sense in my head. At least about
compressible aerodynamics!

Tot Later

Brownsterdam!

Amsterdam. That’s right. It’s quite a city. And even better
in the sun! It’s usually always been grey whenever I’ve visited the city. But
lately, thanks to the well behaved weather, it was sunny in Amsterdam! So, a
perfect day to visit it indeed!

Aarti, a close friend of Nishant and I, lives and works in
Amsterdam but for some reason always spent her weekends with us in Delft. So,
to change things around, we visited her in Amsterdam this time! Though we
eventually did come back to Delft, it still counted!

It was a special occasion too, since it would be one of the
last times we would see Aarti in Holland before she goes back to India. Damn! People are getting old.

Aaanyway, so Nishant and I set out to Amsterdam, late
Saturday morning and were greeted by an always excited Aarti there. After doing
a bit of supply shopping and we headed out to eat. The city was sunny and full
of people as usual, which can be a nice change from the sleepiness of Delft. 

We ate at Maoz. And let me tell you, it is the best
vegetarian food I’ve had outside of India. I’m strictly carnivorous and consider
vegetables noting more than something that looks pretty on a plate. But after
devouring a falafel with pita bread 4 times, I came close to god. They had an
unlimited supply of salad and you could choose your own fillings with
vegetables, cous cous, chilli other sauces. It was heavenly. You have to try it
out if you’re there!

                              

Nishant, Aarti and Haider (with Lord Ganesha in the background)                        Party in the Park                                    Brown Water 

With a full stomach and a happy heart, we headed to Vondel
Park, which reminded me of any pictures I’ve seen of Central Park in New York.
After finding a nice shady spot on the grass, we sat and started playing our
guitars. We were then joined randomly by an amiable Spanish man who joined us
and played with us. Within five minutes I stopped playing and just listened because,
well, he was just too good. He played some amazing renditions of Bob Dylan,
Neil Young and even Guns N’ Roses! When it was getting late, we took leave of
our new friend and joined other friend’s who we’d been waiting for.  When we met them, they went for a quick bite
to Maoz while Nishant, Aarti and I feasted on some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream
(our third ice cream of the day).  When
we had had enough of chilling and the sun was starting to set, we all headed
back to Delft, to end the day/night at the friends’ place with a movie.

The weekend was much needed and I had an amazing time!
Thank you Aarti, Nishant, Vivek and Srivi!

Tot Later

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