Tag: SolarMaximum

#12 – Searcher

| November 24, 2010 | 0 Comments

These strange floating steel globes seem to always be around, watching the survivors of the Solar Labs accident. It’s uncertain what they are doing, but they seem to be searching for something (hence the name), always looking, moving things and inspecting. No one is sure what it inside the domes, which have a diameter of about a foot, but through their small port holes crackling energy distorts what vaguely look like a pair of eyes.

They move around by releasing some sort of energy from the underside of the globe. There are two metal tentacle like appendages on either side. The ends of the tentacles have the ability to unravel into several prehensile strands which, when divided down to a single strand, is thinner than a human hair and yet still strong enough to lift and manipulate objects.  Searchers have also been known to emit a blast of energy from it’s view port, though this seems to weaken them.

#11 – Flick

| November 24, 2010 | 3 Comments

When Billy Franks first came to live with The Hannes, Rebecca and Hennric thought it might be nice to get a pet for the boy. Someone to be Billy’s pal for those long nights when all the adults were busy in the Lab.  They picked up a mischievous kitten from a local animal shelter that Billy named Flick.  A cute short haired, silver tabby cat, Flick was a typical, playful kitten. On the day of the accident that blasted the Solar Building (and the surrounding block) into the strange new world Flick was sleeping in the window in the Hannes’ apartment.  During the transport a bolt of energy burst through the window and passed straight through the napping cat.  At first there didn’t seem to be any ill effect from the incident but slowly…Billy began to notice that Flick was beginning to be more attentive to people. Within a couple weeks Flick began shadowing Billy. Then one day, when the boy was in mortal peril…Flick blasted a Searcher away from Billy.  Still a fun loving, mischievous cat Flick has now taken his place as Billy’s full time companion and protector.

Flick has shown incredible powers that apparently derive from his contact with the strange solar energy. He has become incredibly intelligent, can run at extremely high speeds , can jump huge distances and shoot powerful laser beams from his eyes.

#10 Gigantopus

| November 23, 2010 | 2 Comments

Just days after mysteriously being transported from Portsburg to a strange new world…the survivors realize they’re going to need to find food to survive. They begin striking out on short exploration excursions and soon one group finds a tree that closely resembles an evergreen tree…but grows a juicy round fruit that sort of tastes like a mix between bacon and a banana.

One early morning Fin and Billy struck out to bring back a basket of the odd fruit but when they reached the patch of forest where it is found…they encountered an enormous octopus who was gorging itself on the fruit.  Noting that the monster, which on earth is obviously lives only in water, seemed quite comfortable and happy to be walking and eating on land, Fin and Billy quickly high-tailed it back to the lab to report on their findings. Gigantopus, as Billy called it, did not seem aggressive or violent but upon that first encounter there wasn’t much intensive to stick around and make friends.

#9 Ann Abbott

| November 16, 2010 | 0 Comments

19 year old Ann Abbott is a second year student at uPAST majoring in Biology.  Last semester she applied for the covet position as the Assistant to Rebecca Hannes in the Solar Lab. Thanks to her abounding enthusiasm and a 55 page paper on the effects of the Solar Cycle on the life span of the Amazonian Bot Fly she got the position.  She’s a great student, a dedicated scientist and energetic presence in the lab.

Ann hopes to one day obtain her PhD and be hired on as a staff scientist in the Solar Labs at uPAST researching how the Sun helped shape the building blocks of life on Earth.

#8 Rebecca Hannes, PhD

| November 16, 2010 | 0 Comments
Rebecca Hannes, PhD, a tenured professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Portsburg Academy of Science and Technology (known as uPAST) is known for her research into the effects of different types of astral and solar radiations on the cellular and molecular structures. Mrs. Hannes and her husband, Dr. Henric Hannes, PhD, run the Solar Lab and plan to have the first working prototype of their energy converter ready to debut within the year.  Hopes are high that a fully functional machine can be in place before the decade is out which could potentially provide an endless amount of free energy to the entire United States.  It’s Rebecca’s job to ensure that the energy and radiation collected by the conversion machine will now do any harm to anyone.

About a year ago the Hannes adopted a young, adventurous boy named Billy Franks who had been orphaned during the Portsburg blizzard of 1984. Rebecca and Billy have become very close with and, while she allows him plenty of room to explore and learn…she’s highly projective of the boy.

#7 The Sun

| November 8, 2010 | 4 Comments

Designation: Yellow Star
Stellar Classification: G2V
Distance from Earth: 1.496×10^8 km (8 minutes, 19 seconds at light speed)
Equatorial Circumference: 6.955×10^5 km
Surface Area: 6.087 7×10^12 km^2
Volume: 1.412×10^18 km^3
Mass: 1.989 1×10^30 kg

Core Density: 1.5×10^5 kg/m^3

Core Temperature: ~15.7×10^6 K
Surface Temperature: 5,778 K (5500° F)
Corona Temperature: ~5×106 K
Luminosity: 3.846 x 10^26 Watt

Coronal Mass Ejection Average Mass: 1.6 x 10^12 kg
Coronal Mass Ejection Average Velocity: 20km/s – 3200km/s
Current Coronal Cycle as of today’s date (05/05/1987): Low, trending upward

Hydrogen: 73.45%
Helium: 24.85%
Oxygen: 0.77%
Carbon: 0.29%
Iron: 0.16%
Sulfur: 0.12%
Neon: 0.11%
Nitrogen: 0.08%
Silicon: 0.07%
Magnesium: 0.05%
Unknown Elements: 0.03%

The Sun. Our Sun. The largest, heaviest, hottest and brightest natural object in our solar system. It has been Dr. Henric Hannes PhD’s obsession since he was a young boy in Portsburg. Our Sun propels approximately 389 billion million gigawatts of energy into space. Comparatively, the earth’s total global energy consumption is just a few thousand gigawatts. The majority of that is highly polluting fossil fuels.  Dr. Hannes theorizes that if we could capture even a fraction of that power and convert it to usable energy here on the ground…we would never have to worry about power again (or…at least for the next 4 billion years or so).

#6 – L.U.N.A.R. Computer

| November 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

The original Solar lab computers, much like most other computers in the world in the early 80s, were nothing more than room sized calculators.  Using the standard Vector Processing (that is a central CPU that delegated processing tasks to multiple processors then later organizing the resulting data) the computers built for Dr. Hannes were running at a basic (for it’s time) processing speed of of 1.1 GigaFLOPS (or 1.1 billion calculations per second). When the U.S. Government was brought in to fund and secure Dr. Hannes’ work, a team of scientists and engineers was also brought in to assist in the research.  Within this group was a team led by Irish computer engineer Jonathan O’Colvin, PhD.  O’Colvin began right away rebuilding the entire computer system.  Six months later, the LUNAR Computer was complete.

The LUNAR Computer is a self aware, highly adaptive Multi-Quantum processor SuperComputer capable of speeds theoretically up to 1.5 zettaFLOPS (that is 1.5 octillion calculations per second).  That speed is stated as theoretical because the only way to provide enough power to operate the computer at full will be when the solar energy converter is actually activated. Operated on the Portsburg power grid, LUNAR can only function at approximately 50% of its full capacity.  The computer has a single core which resides at the center of the SOLAR Lab and is networked to most of the compatible computers in the Solar Lab building as well as the entire uPAST campus via a small wireless chip that is attached to each CPU.

O’Colvin has programmed the one of a kind system with an adaptive form of artificial intelligence.  Upon it’s initial boot the system was nothing more than a very large, very fast computer. As time has progressed, LUNAR has become self aware and is learning more and more each day.

When fully functional LUNAR will also operate and maintain the connection between all three SECT (Solar Ejection Collection and Transmission) satellites that are in a geosynchronous orbit above the SOLAR Lab.

#5 Jonathan O’Colvin , PhD

| November 5, 2010 | 0 Comments

A brilliant scientist in the field of computer engineering, Jon O’Colvin comes to the uPAST and the Solar Lab by way his home country of Ireland.  When the United States Government inked the deal with uPAST to help fund and protect Dr. Hennric’s solar energy conversion research, Jon was one of the first new scientists to be brought in.  Dr. Hennric already had one of the most advanced super computers in existence. However, within a six months, O’Colvin and his team had rebuilt the entire system and integrated the new self aware L.U.N.A.R. [Localized University Networked Autonomous Research] computer system into the entire uPAST computer network (which itself was and is technology far advanced beyond any other computer system in the world).  With this new powerful computer system the research has advanced forward at a light speed pace (excuse the pun).  O’Colvin now maintains the  L.U.N.A.R. Computer as well as writes and applies daily upgrades and improvments to ensure that when the energy conversion system comes online the computers will be able to handle all the data that it is sure to encounter.

Jon O’Colvin himself is a quiet man who tends to keep to himself as much as possible.  He works long hours every day, typically never less than 12 hours, and never overlooks even the smallest detail. He is liked by everyone in the lab even though he rarely socializes with anyone, with the exception of the L.U.N.A.R. computer who he has an obvious strong connection with.

#3 Marna Valasquez, PhD

| November 3, 2010 | 0 Comments

Marna Valasquez is one of the staff scientists in the Solar Lab at the University of Portsburg Academy of Science and Technology.  A native of Cuba, she immigrated to this country with her family in her early teens.  Her father found work first as a day laborer, then in construction and later he opened a diner called “El Cubano” in the trendy waterfront precinct of Portsburg.  Marna’s parents instilled an almost robot-like work ethic in her but it has all, so far, payed off. Through years of incredibly hard work she earned herself a scholarship to college, then graduate school.  She attained her PhD from uPAST in 1985 and went straight to work for Dr. Hannes in the Solar Lab.  Marna wrote her thesis on the effect of quantum particles on light rays and now continues to study that in the lab.

Marna projects a very rigid external image. Most people in the lab would rather spend time with one of the hideous biological experiments in the uPAST “Earths” labs then try to have a conversation with Marna.  She’s known, to some, as the hottest Cuban ice queen ever born.  But she’s makes no apologies and pulls no punches…with anyone or any thing.

#2 Billy Frakes

| November 2, 2010 | 2 Comments

Billy’s parents were killed during Portsburg’s great blizzard of 1984 when Billy was just 6 years old. With no other family, he was placed in an orphanage. A couple years later during a school field trip to the Solar Lab at the University of Portsburg Academy of Science and Technology, young Billy became separated from his class and wandered into a closed robotics lab.  For nearly an hour the uPAST security searched the campus for the boy. Eventually, Fin Halloway, head of security at the Solar Lab, found Billy.  The young boy had completely disassembled three housekeeping robots because he said he wanted to know how they worked.  Impressed by Billy’s intelligence and curiosity Rebecca and Henric quickly fell in love with the boy and adopted him. Now, one year later, Billy is happier then ever living with the Hannes family.  When not studying or taking apart and reassembling various machines around the lab he acts as Dr. Hannes’ lab assistant.

#1 Dr. Henric Hannes, PhD

| November 1, 2010 | 3 Comments

Dr. Henric Hannes, PhD

Dr. Henric Hannes, PhD, a tenured professor of astral physics at the University of Portsburg Academy of Science and Technology (affectionately known on campus as uPAST), is the world’s leading astral and solar physicist.  Known for his research into the conversion of energy from the sun into usable energy on Earth, he is also an accomplished inventor and leader in the Portsburg community. Dr. Hannes and his wife, Rebecca Hannes, PhD, run the Solar Lab and plan to have the first working prototype of their energy converter ready to debut within the year.  Hopes are high that a fully functional machine can be in place before the decade is out which could potentially provide an endless amount of free energy to the entire United States.