BalthaSAR

As Air Traffic Controllers we are sometimes being notified by pilots about events. Sometimes it can be a fire, or a boat in distress. But when calling the competent rescue service it is not always easy to communicate accurately the position of the event.

 

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Dash 8 and Trackers S2T at Cannes

In aviation we are using nautical miles, a unit that a firefighter will never use (expect if it is for sea rescue). That’s why I created a small tool called BalthaSAR (the name is a pun, SAR stands for Search And Rescue).

The principle is simple, the website converts position of starting point (can be an airport, a VOR or an NDB) heading and distance to coordinates of the reported point.

This can be easily measured on a radar screen.

The point is showed in red on a map, the squares that you can see on the pictures or DFCI coordinates (which are French coordinates used by fire fighters and sea rescue)

balthasar

The text is in French, and it contains only coordinates for French airports and Navaid (from the openaip database) but can be easily adapted for an other country.

The website is hosted on Github and can be seen here : https://abartben.github.io/balthasar/

The source code is available here : https://github.com/abartben/abartben.github.io/tree/master/balthasar

The work and the website it self was not hard, it is more a compilation of different libraries (mapbox, bootstrap, coordinates converter …) than coding it self.

I hope this will be useful in the future !

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Esterel & Lérins

I haven’t posted on my blog recently and yet I took a lot of pictures. Fall is here and is progressively giving its place to winter (but don’t worry winter in the French Riviera is easy to support).

Two pictures were taken during a flight around Cannes in a brand new APM30 (nice light aircraft by the way).
Two others pictures were taken from the Lérins Islands. Those are small islands near Cannes, you have to get there by boat. It is a little expensive but totaly worth it. However if you want to get there I would recommend to not do it during summer.

Finally the two last photos were taken at the Mt Vinaigre (the highest moutain in the Esterel, but only 614m high, nothing compared with the Alps).

If you like my pictures you can find all of them in High Quality on my Flickr account

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Shooting … stars

Two days ago was the new moon, the best moment to take pictures of the sky. So I took my camera and my tripod and went along the coast to try to shoot the stars.

The French Riviera is a very dense place with a lot of lights, so not the best place to have clean shots of the stars. However there is a small reserve stuck between two cities where the landscape is beautiful and the lights are few, that’s where I went.

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Map with light pollution from https://www.lightpollutionmap.info

Equipped with my Canon EOS 700D and my wonderful Sigma 18-35mm F1.8, I took this :

I found this experience very magical, the camera is like a magic eye. Once correctly configured it is able to see beautiful things that the naked eye can’t see.

My best shots are here : https://www.flickr.com/photos/146110970@N02/

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New lens

I’ve just purchased the famous Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8. I used it for a couple of hours with my Canon EOS700D, so far i’m in love. Here is what it took this afternoon :

Initially I wanted to get a 35mm prime lens. But then I discovered this one and I found out and it fits what I what to do, so it’s now my new companion !

You can find my best shots on my flickr profile : https://www.flickr.com/photos/146110970@N02/

Aside

Introducing ProfesseurCadeau

I’m currently in Toulouse for 3 weeks, so I’m not working on any “physical” project. However this article is about an other project that I’ve been working on for 6 months.

I’ve always been in trouble when I had to find a gift for someone so I created a website which gives you suggestions … a lot of suggestions.

The website is available here : ProfesseurCadeau.fr however it is in French only, so don’t go there if you don’t speak french (sorry about that).

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homepage of Professeur Cadeau

You simply enter the age and gender of the person that you want to please, then you select some keywords about how the gift is (for instance if you want a funny gift or a useful one). You then select the budget and finally, a selection of gifts is displayed like so :

doudou

This was a very interesting project (while writing this I realize that I always say that … maybe all my project are simply awesome ? 😛 )

Link to the website : ProfesseurCadeau.fr

Twitter :  https://twitter.com/pr_cadeau

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ProfesseurCadeau

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Spotting MILAN 73

I already wrote an article about the trackers. Now here is the other water bomber based on the Dash 8 Q400. Its capacity is big : it can hold 10t of fire retardants.

The pictures were taken at Cannes during the unfortunate fire that happened at the North of Nice at the beginning of July 2017. Almost half of the french fleet was dedicated to this fire (1 Dash, 6 Trackers and 4 Candairs + 1 Beech for surveillance + helicopters).

For the moment there are only two “MILAN” in France, their callsin is Milan 73 and Milan 74. But the french government has just announced that they will purchase more Dash in order to replace the Firecat Trackers which are getting old.

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Homemade ring box

In this video, I created a ring box from oak wood. It was the first time that I used wood to create something very small. It was once again an interesting project. The result is not perfect but good enough to do what I had to do with it.

I found the idea of using scotch to join the 4 pieces together on a video and it was very useful (especially for such a small box).

It is the first I sew in a project, It could have been better.

The overall budget was very low (except for the ring). I bought a miter box which was very helpful. However I regret the fact that is in plastic as it is more flexible …