September Lecture 2017

“SR-71, Technology of Mach 3+”

Thursday 14th September 2017

Lecture Starts at 7.30 pm
Light Refreshments served from 7.00 pm

Speaker: Col. Richard Graham, USAF (Ret.)

Location: Lecture Theatre ‘1’, Cambridge University Engineering Department, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ.

Lecture Synopsis

Col. Richard Graham will present a talk on the technology that enabled the SR-71 to travel at speeds of Mach 3+.

The world’s fastest and highest flying aircraft was conceived as early as 1958 by the renowned aircraft engineer, Kelly Johnson. The gigantic leap in technology he and his engineers had to overcome at the Lockheed “Skunk Works” was phenomenal. Built in total secrecy, the first Blackbird flew on April 26, 1962. The Blackbird’s only purpose was to gather highly classified intelligence on hostile countries around the world. Flying at Mach 3+ speeds and cruising at over 85,000 feet, the SR-71 could survey over 100,000 square miles every hour, gathering millions of bits of intelligence. When cruising at over 2,200 mph, with skin friction temperatures reaching 600 degrees F., the SR-71 performed at its very best.

From 1967 to 1990, the SR-71 served seven U.S. Presidents, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon and other government agencies. It provided them with the necessary intelligence to make crucial political and military decisions during the Cold War era.

Branch Visit – September 2017

The September 2017 Branch visit will be to the revolutionary Airlander in the iconic airship shed at Cardington, The Stirling Aircraft Project at Alconbury and the award-winning Station Heritage Centre at RAF Wittering. The visit will take place on Thursday the 7th September 2017.

This visit is now fully subscribed. 

 

May Lecture 2017

“Space Debris – is it a Threat and are there Solutions”

Thursday 11th May 2017

Lecture Starts at 7.30 pm
Light Refreshments served from 7.00 pm

Speaker: Dr Jamie Reed, Airbus Defence & Space

Location: Lecture Theatre ‘0’, Cambridge University Engineering Department, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ.

Lecture Synopsis

The bulk of space debris consists of around 20,000 objects in low earth orbit threatening existing and future satellites. This ‘space junk’ comes from old launches, broken up satellites, and discarded items. This debris can be involved in collisions with operational satellites, not only causing a failure but also creating new debris. Many models predict that eventually low earth orbit could become unusable unless we prevent further debris creation and actively begin to remove what is already there. This talk will examine the problem and present some solutions which have been proposed and tested in the near future.

Dr Jaime Reed is Business Development Manager for UK Civil Space. He holds a Doctorate in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, an MPhys degree from the University of Oxford and is a Chartered Engineer. Jaime joined Airbus in 2005 leading the development of cryogenic coolers. Since then he has worked in both project management and technical roles on EO and Science missions for the European Space Agency, as well as managing the R&D portfolio for Earth Observation, Navigation and Science. He is also holder of several patents on the topics of earth observation and space debris mitigation.