New Sincerity

Bryan Dierking. UCSD. Aerospace Engineering. Visual Arts. Sigma Chi.


DESIGN: Submerged Turntable by Evan Holm

Artist Evan Holm is convinced that ‘there will be a time when all tracings of human culture will dissolve back into the soil under the slow crush of the unfolding universe’. 

To demonstrate these rather dark thoughts, he created a submerged record player that’s still producing a nearly perfect audio as demonstrated in the short video below.

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(via flyingdutchmen)


To continue my weekend round up, Sunday was the 54mm static firing with Triton Rocket Club, which was successful in some respects and a failure in others. 

I didn’t really have a large part in the casting of the grains and making of the casing since I’ve only recently started working with the TRC guys, but I was familiar with the design. The casing was aluminum, using one of Aerotech’s commercial phenolic nozzles and with a fiberglass liner, which I was told we made. The grains were poured then cored, and split into a four grain configuration.

The trouble seemed to happen within the first second of firing, when the liner, which had apparently eroded away, allowed too much direct heat to contact the aluminum, which resulted in a casing failure near the aft closure.

Once the hole was cut, the jet of hot gas carved a hole in the casing, which you can see in the last photo. The melted aluminum debris was even deposited on the steel bolts adjacent to the hole.  

The bottom line is that we need to come up with a more reliable insulator than just a fiberglass tube, which could be done by sealing the propellant ends and allowing the propellant itself to act as an insulator or by finding a better ablative material that the fiberglass.

I’ll post the video taken right after this to show the failure in real time.  


This weekend was far too eventful for me to even sit down and post at my computer!

On saturday I went out to Wildomar to the gliderport there to see a record attempt using a high altitude weather balloon. The project was launched by Bobby Russell from Quest For Stars and the capsule was designed by several students from High Tech High. The balloon, which was calibrated to minimize upward velocity an therefore be more of a floating design, was predicted to travel eastward across the entire United States, eventually reaching the Atlantic Ocean, or (a remote possibility) even Europe. At that range, recovery might not be an option, but the transmission will still be sent out until the on-board batteries fail.

I was most impressed with the capsule design, which actually featured solar panels to trickle charge the on board batteries. The foam capsule also had no form of on board heating. I found this strange because in the high altitude balloon projects I’ve done we’ve always used chemical warmers (the kind mountain climbers use) to keep the batteries from getting too cold and the voltage from dropping. I’ve also seen electrical heating components used successfully in many other projects.

This capsule, however, was supposedly so well insulated by the foam it was constructed with that the heat energy produced as a biproduct of the batteries being used was enough to keep the entire capsule warm and operational. 

I was quite impressed by the entire operation as well as the capsule. A lever system was used to determine when the balloon had the exact lift force required for the desired burst altitude. A chase FPV quadcopter was also used by one of the guys from the Warner Springs Gliderport to get some footage of the balloon’s ascent in the first couple hundered feet. 

I’ll post the results once the capsule reaches it’s final location! I’m sure Quest For Stars will have a video of the entire process as well. 


Superdesk by Clive Wilkinson Architects

All 125 employees use one continuous “superdesk” that weaves up and around their office in New York.

(via nebularfuture)

Homework is a bit of trouble with a cast. So is showering, sleeping, turing keys in a lock, holding an iphone, folding laundry, drinking from a cup, holding spoons, eating chips, basically anything to do with food, and - oh - putting shirts on is something you plan ahead for. 


Some sketches I’ve made illustrating a modular fin can design for a high altitude rocket. 

The unit slides over a 98mm motor casing and is secured between the aft closure lip and a clamp-like forward retaining ring. The hope is that a design like this could be used to accommodate different flight profiles by allowing different sets of fins to be swapped out and different motor casing lengths to be used. 

I’ve sent the sketches to the SSI team and hope to make some CAD models soon. Hopefully it can be refined to something worthy of being produced. 

So apparently I got a little too turnt this weekend and actually broke my hand somehow…. Now I get to work my way through the incredibly efficientstudent health system of ucsd with the hope of getting the bones in my hand realigned before they heal in their current jenk positions. 

I blame myself. 

Towers’ is the name of the dormitory that I lived in in college; it’s made up of these two towers – North and South – my girlfriend lived in one and I lived in the other. It’s about falling in love, but also about what happens when you’ve long fallen out of love and those reminders are still there. You drive by them, these two buildings, and you look, and you realise that we really built that up. That we really built that love into these things, and for a long time afterward looking at them really made me feel sad; to see these empty buildings that I don’t go in to anymore. But then, as time goes on, they start to become kind of joyous in their own way: you can look at them and think ‘that love was great and these buildings still stand tall’. But there’s also an element of the fact that they’re just buildings – they’re gonna fall down one day, and they’re not that important because there’s new love in your life and you’ve got to break things down that get built up.

—Justin Vernon (via technicoloring)

(via dirtysoychai)



I’ve got to share this since it’s largely been a product of the project I was involved with with SSI. The basic premise is to create a weekend where people around the world who participate in launching experimental high altitude balloons can all plan a launch and present their findings. 

So far, there are launches planned by teams on every continent from countries like India, Nigeria, South Africa, Canada, Australia, Russia, Poland, Morocco, and Brazil!

UCSD will be participating, and I’ll be helping with the launch and design process. Trying to get more people on board with this. 

This is a great project to get involved with at ucsd!