Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Prince Rupert sphere sensors

  [vote for,

Step one. Suspend micro-sensors able to withstand extreme heat and hard vacuum within a vat of molten glass.
Step two. Rapidly cool expelled droplets while in micro gravity.
Step three. Retrieve surviving intact sensor laden Prince Rupert droplet spheres, saving un-encapsulated sensors for later extrusions.
Step four. Release sensor-drops from ships to descend to the farthest depths of the ocean.
Step five. Record findings from uncrushable sensors.


remember this? Prince_20Rupert_20Spheres
Prince Rupert Sphere [kdf, Oct 17 2020]

High strength glass spheroids https://patents.goo...ent/US20190106350A1
methods of making tailless Prince Rupert's Drops. [kdf, Oct 17 2020]

Spherical glass instrument enclosures https://www.vitrove...instrument_spheres/
Some rated to 12km depth / crush strength [kdf, Oct 17 2020]


       Of course I remember that post [kdf], I posted it.   

       I just finally thought of a decent use for them is all.   

       What physical parameter(s) is/are being sensed that can't be measured by existing technology ?   

       Manned and unmanned vehicles have already reached the deepest point of the Challenger Deep (q.v.) and returned.
8th of 7, Oct 17 2020

       //already reached the deepest point of the Challenger Deep// Ah but these would go much deeper in the ocean than that!
pocmloc, Oct 17 2020

       In that case, you'll have to start from higher up, shirley ?
8th of 7, Oct 17 2020

       or excavate the trench deeper, or wait for sea levels to rise.
pertinax, Oct 17 2020

       Yes, I know it was yours - this one just seemed like it should have been a coda rather than a new post. I have several misgivings but haven’t had enough coffee yet to enumerate them all for you.   

       I’ll start with a simple one: I don’t think your production method is feasible, even though US Patent 20190106350 (link) does offer a way to make the spheres without the expense of a furnace in orbit.
kdf, Oct 17 2020

       Ah. Well good.   

       //What physical parameter(s) is/are being sensed that can't be measured by existing technology ?//   

       None here on Earth I guess, but what about Europa and other crushing depth places we haven't explored yet?
Can our current toys withstand depths of 60 miles? Tail-less Prince Rupert Spheres might.

       // what about Europa and other crushing depth places we haven't explored yet? //   

       It's a freezing-cold dump, don't bother.   

       // Can our current toys withstand depths of 60 miles? //   

       Give us some and we'll go drop them somewhere highly pressurised, then post the video (if sufficiently amusing).
8th of 7, Oct 17 2020

       Release the crack'n!   

       “(Europa) ... don’t bother.”
-8th of 7

-Arthur C. Clarke
kdf, Oct 17 2020

       Yes, but you could have posted the same sign at the old Kai Tak airport in HK... and there are several in the Carribean that have eye-wateringly short, steep approaches, ending - in case of overrun- in an involuntary dip in the sea...   

       Even with the extended runway, Cristiano Ronaldo (Funchal, Madeira) isn't exactly forgiving, and there are quite a few in Nepal where arriving traffic gets an uncomfortably clear view of the wreckage of previous failures...   

       So "ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE" could be nothing more than some avuncular good advice based on personal experience.
8th of 7, Oct 17 2020

       Yes, those airports sound much worse than Europa, where the only hazard is a trigger happy alien monolith.
kdf, Oct 18 2020

       The center of the earth is supposed to have very high pressure, might be a good test area for these thingies. You would need a laser, aimed very downward, flip the switch and come back in a week to see how you're doing. Probably pretty deep. Lower your sensors and measure pressure for depth. Might even get some molten iron out of it.
whatrock, Oct 18 2020

       These sensors would only survive temperatures much lower than the melting point of glass.   

       Hmm, so another invention is due then.
whatrock, Oct 18 2020

       Then I suggest molten titanium spheres rapid cooled in micro gravity. The effect should be similar yet much more resistant to heat...   

       or graphene.   

       If you want extreme heat resistance, you use tungsten. It's liquid properties are largely unknown, as you can't put it IN anything as a liquid.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 19 2020

       //you can't put it IN anything//   

       A hemisphere of tungsten heated in the centre and cooled at the outer surface ?
wjt, Oct 19 2020

       Ye gods, that's almost coherent... who are you, and what have you done with the real [wjt] ?
8th of 7, Oct 19 2020

       //It's liquid properties are largely unknown, as you can't put it IN anything as a liquid.//   

       That's not true. It's NEARLY true, to all practical intents and purposes, it it true, but that's the language of a quitter.   

       When my grant* on the liquid properties of tungsten is ultimately funded, we will finally be rid of such uncertainty.   

       *The grant starts with a polite letter asking to borrow some of her Majesty's larger diamonds, so that a functional, and extremely attractive crucible may be constructed. The medium-sized diamonds will of course, be consumed as drill-bits. Any surplus fragments will, of course, be disposed of by the grant holder.
bs0u0155, Oct 19 2020

       If you could reliably control the volume, 0G-manufactured perfect sphere Prince Rupert's Drop ball bearings would be seriously good stuff.
bs0u0155, Oct 19 2020

       How many do you want ?
8th of 7, Oct 19 2020

       How do you reliably sense whether a given sphere is Prince Rupert's or not?
pocmloc, Oct 19 2020

       Some sort of crush-test quality control step? If it shatters into fragments, you didn't want it anyway.
bs0u0155, Oct 19 2020


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