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Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY

Dynoman

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This is the case as per the CIA/NRO document:

ISINGLASS - Boost glide rocket - 7,500 mi range, Mach 20, 200,000 ft

ISINGLASS II - Hypersonic rocket powered - 12,000 mi range

Hypersonic Extended Range - Scramjet powered - 24,000 mi range
 

quellish

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Dynoman said:
Quellish, I don't know if Isinglass has the same cooling, but a document that has been circulated mentions GRM-29A as a water wick design (reducing weight of the TPS by 50% over a proposed "Advanced RSI").
There appear to have been several recurring themes in DoD hypersonics work:
- Hypersonic cruise with scramjets. McD did a lot of this work, the GLOBAL REACH studies eventually resulted in the X-43 design. Today this effort continues with HTV-3X and it's successors.
- Boosted conventional weapons. The boost-glide vehicles and more recent Global Strike maneuvering conventional RVs like HTV-1 and HTV-2 fit here.
- Access to space. SSTO and TSTO vehicles like GRM-29A. The AMST, TAV, COPPER CANYON and later SCIENCE REALM and HAVE REGION programs all aimed to satisfy this need, and X-33 was at least somewhat of a spin off of this work. In parallel to the line of DARPA efforts listed, SDIO invested heavily in access to space projects during the late 80s and early 90s.

Because GRM-29 was an access to space vehicle, and as such was designed around carrying a lot of propellant, I would guess it's relation to ISINGLASS would be indirect. It is possible though that GLOBAL REACH is more directly related.

CIA on the other hand works differently. They basically go to the contractors with a requirement, rather than pursue aerospace projects with R&D investments over time like DARPA and USAF do.
 

Dynoman

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Hypertech mentions that the picture in the design is the result of a collaboration between McAir and Pratt & Whitney in the 1958-1963 time frame.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.msg61104.html#msg61104

The planform and basic configuration is similar to the GRM-29A (according to the ANSER document). This ties the planform back to the ISINGLASS development time frame. The ISINGLASS vehicle proposal was delivered in 1965 by McAir. My thought is that this is the Model 192 or a close variant of it.

The Pratt XLR-129 was to power the 'Mach 20 200,000 ft Altitude" Boost-Glide McAir vehicle. CIA Parangoski goes to Pratt in Mid-1965 to discuss the development of an engine to power this vehicle, resulting in the XLR-129 (according to book Adv Engine Development at Pratt & Whitney). The planned engine for ISINGLASS.

There were two versions based on the design: 1) Boost-glide with circumferential glide range (22,500 ft/s); 2) Mach 12 Cruiser, as per:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,722.msg52805.html#msg52805

According to the CIA/NRO document, ISINGLASS vehicles where to have two XLR-129 engines per vehicle. I don't know if one was a spare or both were to be mounted on the vehicle, but the picture in the post below maybe what the proposed vehicle was supposed to look like.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.msg30271.html#msg30271

However, considering the size of the XLR-129 and that the system would be airlaiunched from a B-52H it may have been more like the HGV.
 

quellish

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Scott seems to have a lot of data on GRM-29A, you can see some of it in one of his APR preview images here:
http://up-ship.com/apr/images/v5n2all.jpg
There are definitely similarities to the other McD hypersonic concepts as well as the McD mystery model with an XLR-129, leading all the way up to the X-43/GLOBAL REACH vehicles.

TWO XLR-129s? That seems a bit much for anything launched from a B-52, and even for a boost glide vehicle implies something fairly large, carrying a lot of propellant.
 

Dynoman

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Quellish, I agree. My post is based on the CIA/NRO planning document that states that FY69 there was to be three test ISINGLASS aircraft with seven rocket engines and the initiation of production of eight operational aircraft for deployment in FY71 with sixteen rocket engines.

If you assume the first of the seven engines is a test article, that leaves two engines per aircraft. These 'second' engines could be spares or vehicle mounted similar to the HSVS picture in the link above.
 

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Try this on for size

Here's the original thread: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.60.html
 

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Dynoman

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Thanks Moonbat. Looking at the Mach 12 Demonstrator yields some interesting and possible clues.
1) Mach 12 Demonstrator is of similar configuration to the GRM-29A.
2) Mach 12 Demonstrator is air launched, due to main gear landing skids. And falls in under the maximum weight for B-52H air launch requirements.
3) It is a rocket boosted system with out XLR-129. CIA/NRO documents indicates concern over the Pratt design and may have planned initial test flights of demonstrator with alternate engines. Both systems utilize LOX and LH2.
4) Mach 12 Demonstrator uses water wick insulation, similar in concept at least to GRM-29A.
5) As per the previous drawings, the Mach 12 Demonstrator may have flown in 1970. The CIA planning document has the test article flying FY1969. This places the Mach 12 demonstrator in the test period, prior to operational status of FY71.
6) TD Nickel alloy was developed in 1965-1966. The Mach 12 demonstrator document is dated 1970. A four year window that would have seen this vehicle designed during the same period as design work would have commenced for ISINGLASS (McAir ISINGLASS proposal delivered 1965).


Also, as an aside to this topic. I found an ineresting document. NASA's X-Press.
It lists Dan Vanderhorst as a pilot on the NB-52 for some launches. Vanderhorst holds the unofficial high altitude record and pilot of at least seven classified aircraft, one of which is Tacit Blue. Its not uncommon to fly in the NB-52 and then pilot an air dropped aircraft.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/pdf/105856main_vol_46-issue_11-Dec_04.pdf
 

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So, does anybody have a copy of this report on the XLR-129?

http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0881744

I think there's also material about it in a P&W history book, but I cannot find my photocopy. Anybody got it?

I'm doing something on the subject line of this thread. You all will find it interesting.
 

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blackstar said:
So, does anybody have a copy of this report on the XLR-129?

http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0881744
???

I suspect we all do, now that you've posted a link to it.
 

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http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1602/1

A bat outta Hell: the ISINGLASS Mach 22 follow-on to OXCART
by Dwayne Day
Monday, April 12, 2010

Soon after the U-2 was flying in the latter 1950s, the CIA began work on a successor that eventually resulted in the A-12 OXCART, better known because of its more prominent offspring, the SR-71 Blackbird. The May 1960 shootdown of Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union threw ice water on plans to send more manned reconnaissance aircraft over the Soviet Union. Even though CIA officials talked about OXCART missions over the USSR, some of them even flying missions coordinated with satellites far overhead, both politics and the perceived vulnerability of the OXCART to sophisticated defense prevented this from ever happening. But by the mid-1960s the CIA began looking at a potential replacement for the OXCART, a Mach 22 rocket-powered glider known as ISINGLASS.
 

mz

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Great info. McDonnell specialized in those rocket gliders - I think Paul Czysz (?) mentioned here something in the vein how they designed only hypersonic air breathers if the customer demanded, and even then reluctantly.
They already tested a boost glider when the ICBM:s were developed in the late fifties - the Alpha Draco. Gliding of 300 km from an altitude of 30 km - that seems quite good - especially considering it didn't have wings and rolled for heat control. Have to read up on the physics / energy management / basic aerodynamics some day.
 

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One question about Isinglass still puzzles me: The engine seems huge for an air-launched vehicle. Mulready's book gives a loaded weight of 132,000 pounds, but that seems pretty massive even for a B-52, particularly asymmetrically carried, and still won't allow a lot of burn time on a 250K engine. And if you're launching at altitude, why do you need the two-position nozzle?

Is it possible that an early version of Isinglass was smaller and air-launched, but that it was ground-launched by the time the development work was under way?
 

quellish

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LowObservable said:
One question about Isinglass still puzzles me: The engine seems huge for an air-launched vehicle. Mulready's book gives a loaded weight of 132,000 pounds, but that seems pretty massive even for a B-52, particularly asymmetrically carried, and still won't allow a lot of burn time on a 250K engine. And if you're launching at altitude, why do you need the two-position nozzle?

Is it possible that an early version of Isinglass was smaller and air-launched, but that it was ground-launched by the time the development work was under way?
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1992jann....1..599P

The AF contract number mentioned, "F04611-68-C-0002", can give you some very interesting search results. Across the speed and altitude range an ISINGLASS vehicle would be boosting through the nozzle would be very efficient, though wether it's efficient enough to justify the added complexity and mass is another thing.
 

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LowObservable said:
One question about Isinglass still puzzles me: The engine seems huge for an air-launched vehicle. Mulready's book gives a loaded weight of 132,000 pounds, but that seems pretty massive even for a B-52, particularly asymmetrically carried, and still won't allow a lot of burn time on a 250K engine. And if you're launching at altitude, why do you need the two-position nozzle?

Is it possible that an early version of Isinglass was smaller and air-launched, but that it was ground-launched by the time the development work was under way?
So I have a few moments to do this.
Looks interesting !

Looking at BlackStar's .pdf from earlier (very quickly). Fig 29 says at altitude Isp is 440 secs at 30K-200K ft.
(booster config - think that is the two position nozzle config - not sure though - haven't read the whole thing yet - Thanks BlackStar!)
g = 32 ft/sec**2
Mf = Mass fully fuelled is 132,000 lbs (given from Mulready)
Me = Mass empty (structure, wings, electronics, dudes flying it, landing gear, etc) 40,000 lbs (just guessing).

DeltaV = Isp (secs) * g (ft/sec**2) * ln(Mf/Me) = DeltaV ft/sec
DeltaV = 440 secs * 32 ft/sec**2 * ln(132000/40000) = 16,810 ft/sec
Approx Mach 16.8
NotMach 22.We have to go lower for Me.

So what empty weight gives around Mach 22?

That would be around 27,650 lbs as:
DeltaV = 440 secs * 32 ft/sec**2 * ln(132000/27650) = 22,000 ft/sec= Approx Mach 22

So say you launch at 30,000 ft from B-52.
I think that this vehicle could add some lift (due to its lifting surface) and the rocket could
also potentially be burned if the B-52 could carry that extra fuel (they looked at this for the
M/D-21 as well). May burn the B-52's tail off though - :)

So you could go from essentially standstill (B-52's speed) to Mach 22 with the above Isp and
Mass Ratio according to the Ideal Rocket Equation (just a back of the envelope calc.)
 

LowObservable

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Most interesting - and since the primary structure (SPF/DB titanium) continued to be offered as a candidate for TSTOs and SSTOs, it could have offered the necessary weight characteristics.
 

shockonlip

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Interesting, agreed!

One of ISINGLASS's legacys seems to be light-weight structure and TPS concepts.

This is documented by the AIAA paper on the joint 2001-02 NASA-Air Force 120 Day
Reusable Launch Vehicle study, as discussed in AIAA 2004-3731, presented at
the 2004 Joint Propulsion Conference, where it was discussed that ISINGLASS was
indeed one of the legacy programs that was looked at to learn from.

I am attaching an image of the rocket plane design that came out of that program.

One key item is that they figured out that if they staged the TSTO system at 23,750 fps,
that gave them global range for the first stage booster !! In other words, you can launch
from location X, and then stage to orbit the payload and still the first stage has global
range and can return to location X to land.

One other little tidbit about why M22 is so interesting! You're almost there at approx 22,000 fps.
 

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Dynoman

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Shockonlip...Thats a great find! The authors of the AIAA paper of 2001-02 looks like they have applied 1980's and 90's stealth techonologies (e.g. faceting and leading-edge-alignment) to the what may have been the ISINGLASS configuration (if as you say they were inspired by the ISINGLASS vehicle).

The distinctive BWB fuselage with 'bulbus' aft section, twin verticle stabilizers, two engines, raised cockpit, and highly swept delta planform looks very reminiscent of some of the proposed configurations above.
 

shockonlip

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ISINGAS wasn't the only legacy program they took ideas from, they also took ideas
from: RASV, SCIENCE DAWN, HAVE REGION, NASP, X-33.

The paper I mentioned earlier:
AIAA 2004-3731 => The Formulation of a Near Term Stepping Stone to a Low Cost
Earth-to-Orbit Transportation System Based on Legacy Technology

Also check out:
AIAA 2005-4191 => A Near-Term Alternative for Space Access and Global Range
AIAA 2005-6745 => A Near-Term Alternative for Space Access and Global Range
 

quellish

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LowObservable said:
One question about Isinglass still puzzles me: The engine seems huge for an air-launched vehicle. Mulready's book gives a loaded weight of 132,000 pounds, but that seems pretty massive even for a B-52, particularly asymmetrically carried, and still won't allow a lot of burn time on a 250K engine. And if you're launching at altitude, why do you need the two-position nozzle?

Is it possible that an early version of Isinglass was smaller and air-launched, but that it was ground-launched by the time the development work was under way?
The NB-52 dropped the SRB-DTV, which was 48,000 pounds. That should be the heaviest thing it's carried on the pylon, and is right up to the aircraft's limits. The X-51 vehicle is pushing the 52H right up to the limits of its performance envelope as is.
So 132k does sound pretty big.
 

martinbayer

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This presentation has some related information: http://chapters.nss.org/ny/LongIsland/articles/ANSER.pdf

Martin
 

shockonlip

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Thanks martinbayer for the neat pdf.

Any idea on where we can get the videos?
 

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quellish said:
LowObservable said:
One question about Isinglass still puzzles me: The engine seems huge for an air-launched vehicle. Mulready's book gives a loaded weight of 132,000 pounds, but that seems pretty massive even for a B-52, particularly asymmetrically carried, and still won't allow a lot of burn time on a 250K engine. And if you're launching at altitude, why do you need the two-position nozzle?

Is it possible that an early version of Isinglass was smaller and air-launched, but that it was ground-launched by the time the development work was under way?
The NB-52 dropped the SRB-DTV, which was 48,000 pounds. That should be the heaviest thing it's carried on the pylon, and is right up to the aircraft's limits. The X-51 vehicle is pushing the 52H right up to the limits of its performance envelope as is.
So 132k does sound pretty big.
X-51 might be pushing it altitude-wise but it's fairly light compaed to mony of the items the B-52 has carried on it's pylons. (It'd be facinatiing to see a comprehensive list of all things ever carried on a B-52 pylon.)
 

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Yes, I think X-15A2 was 53,000 lbs.

Some of the Pegasus (like XL) with payload are in the
same range as well. Not sure what the weight of the heaviest Pegasus
launched package a B-52 has carried is.

I agree that Mr Sweetman or Mr Day need to ask these questions on
what mods the B-52 launchers had as I suspect there were 2 or 3
B-52's they would have needed and they were probably heavily modded.

So just a back of the envelope says ISINGLASS was probably not fully
fuelled so that it stayed under the 53,000 lb pylon max weight.

They probably stripped the B-52 of it's normal bomber role equipment
including normal crew stations etc.

And the B-52 also carries around 300,000 lb of fuel, so some of that
can be reduced for ISINGLASS fuel. Remember that the B-52 can be
mid-air refuelled to get it to launch point or back home.

Just some rough ideas. Who knows what they were planning.

It will be fun to find out over time.
 

quellish

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shockonlip said:
Yes, I think X-15A2 was 53,000 lbs.

So just a back of the envelope says ISINGLASS was probably not fully
fuelled so that it stayed under the 53,000 lb pylon max weight.
The X-15A2 numbers I was looking at were not (apparently) including the drop tanks - my dead tree X-15 manual is in storage. I have a question out to someone about what the max the pylon on the NB-52 could do. I suspect it's about 60,000 pounds, and this depends on the specialized pylon as well (mass of the pylon, what the pylon can hold, etc.).

shockonlip said:
And the B-52 also carries around 300,000 lb of fuel, so some of that
can be reduced for ISINGLASS fuel. Remember that the B-52 can be
mid-air refuelled to get it to launch point or back home.
100,000 pounds still seems awfully big for a drop from a B-52, I wonder if there were 2 variants, or if the vehicle evolved from rocket based air drop to something else. Or maybe the article built was actually for a notional launch vehicle rather than the CIA vehicle.
 

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Hey Dan!

I found the X-15A2 number online at:
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/photo/X-38/HTML/EC97-44319-8.html
Neat hanging X-38 picture by the way at that URL!
Later on same page:
"The heaviest load it carried was the No. 2 X-15 aircraft at 53,100 pounds."

>100,000 pounds still seems awfully big for a drop from a B-52,
I hear ya!
For this idea to work I'm expecting that the pylon latches never see more than
53,000 lbs even after the ISINGLASS is fully fuelled. In other words, the pylon is
designed so that the ISINGLASS is flying on the pylon and generating enough lift
for 60% of its weight when fully fuelled at 132,000 lbs. I mean, I don't know if
that is possible. It's interesting though and I intend to check it out some more.
You could certainly instrument the pylon to tell you what weight it is seeing and
could check that out during captive test flights. On the ground the vehicle
hangs at 53000 lbs, but as the B-52 gets going to .8 mach, the pylon registers
less weight as the ISINGLASS starts to generate lift. Hmmm. I guess there is
turbulence to think about too and B-52 wing flex. Anyway, may have to back off
the max weight some. It makes me want to talk to an Edwards flight test
engineer!

>I wonder if there were 2 variants, or if the vehicle evolved from rocket based air
>drop to something else. Or maybe the article built was actually for a notional launch
>vehicle rather than the CIA vehicle.
I guess time will tell. But I suspect that they were very serious, and it is amazing how
capable this thing would have been if they could have afforded to build it.

Kind of makes me think back to what I was doing in 1965 and then saying to myself,
guess what someone is working on !
 

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shockonlip said:
Yes, I think X-15A2 was 53,000 lbs.

Some of the Pegasus (like XL) with payload are in the
same range as well. Not sure what the weight of the heaviest Pegasus
launched package a B-52 has carried is.

I agree that Mr Sweetman or Mr Day need to ask these questions on
what mods the B-52 launchers had as I suspect there were 2 or 3
B-52's they would have needed and they were probably heavily modded.
Hyper-X was the last program to use the venerable NASA B-52B -008, along with the X-15 pylon, before it was retired. This B-52 had a special wing modification to provide carrying the extra weight. The actual certified carrying weight of the of the wing/pylon was an issue for Hyper-X which led to the flight 1 HXLV/RV configuration which went out of control as it past through transonic at much higher dynamic pressure than the Pegasus was flown. Considerable effort was expended during return to flight efforts to determine the certifiable load limit of the wing/pylon. This was difficult given the state of documentation available. Eventually, a substantially heavier flight 2 stack was launched from a higher altitude after removing a fair amount of propellant from the Pegasus solid rocket motor. I believe the final weight weight limit might have been determined by the stregth of the drop hooks on the X-15 pylon.

Note the current B-52 being used for the X-51 program is an H model which does not have any wing modification and has different engines that allow it to fly to 50 kft. B-52B -008 used for Hyper-X was balls to the walls at Mach 0.8 and 40 kft.
 

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shockonlip said:
And the B-52 also carries around 300,000 lb of fuel, so some of that
can be reduced for ISINGLASS fuel. Remember that the B-52 can be
mid-air refuelled to get it to launch point or back home.
Don't forget the B-52 uses fuel weight to account for both asymmetrical loading of the carried vehicle as well as keeping the CG within stability limits.
 

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XP67_Moonbat

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Oh dude. You rock!! Thank you. Excellent find. Is there a link to the said presentation?

Key observation here: In your next to the last slide,Slide 84, STRUCTURAL ASSEMBLY, I noticed the upper surface of the hypersonic plane illustrated has a double notch at the aft end.

It's very similar to artwork posted by Airrocket, here about five posts down:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.15.html

Are the double nothches in this drawing meant for housing XLR-129's? Who knows? The are noticeable however. Is this drawing related to Airrocket's? Again, who knows? It could all be coincidence. But I thought I'd point this feature out.

Moonbat
 

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Oh dude. You rock!! Thank you. Excellent find. Is there a link to the said presentation?

Key observation here: In your next to the last slide,Slide 84, STRUCTURAL ASSEMBLY, I noticed the upper surface of the hypersonic plane illustrated has a double notch at the aft end.

It's very similar to artwork posted by Airrocket, here about five posts down:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.15.html

Are the double nothches in this drawing for XLR-129's? Who knows? The are noticeable however. Is this drawing related to Airrocket's? Again, who knows? It could all be coincidence. But I thought I'd point this feature out.
It's tough to figure what relates to what in Czysz's presentations at times. Could also be space for tanks. No link to the charts, however video of the presentation is at:
http://nia-mediasite.nianet.org/NIAMediasite100/Viewer/?peid=9e186d8a-7960-4e7b-9778-ff6e3c14a299 see last 1/4 and
http://nia-mediasite.nianet.org/NIAMediasite100/Viewer/?peid=a78b7755-0f85-457e-ba50-a3b219527fc3
 

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sferrin

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quellish said:
DSE said:
It's tough to figure what relates to what in Czysz's presentations at times. Could also be space for tanks. No link to the charts, however video of the presentation is at:
http://nia-mediasite.nianet.org/NIAMediasite100/Viewer/?peid=9e186d8a-7960-4e7b-9778-ff6e3c14a299 see last 1/4 and
http://nia-mediasite.nianet.org/NIAMediasite100/Viewer/?peid=a78b7755-0f85-457e-ba50-a3b219527fc3
His bit starts at Slide 337 in the online video.

Any way of getting the whole videos and slideshows in individual files to download without having to sit through the whole thing watching it realtime? ???
 

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What would be great is if Prof Czsyz compiled a scrapbook of these slides and concepts for us. I'd buy that for a dollar!
 

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sferrin said:
Any way of getting the whole videos and slideshows in individual files to download without having to sit through the whole thing watching it realtime? ???
Slideshows (with some difficulties) - yes. Note, that Prof. Czysz doesn't show (at least) some slides that are in the beginning of his presentation (FDL models set).

Have tried to grab Silverlight video with Orbit downloader, but with no success. Hidownloader(c) that seems to be able to grab Silverlight streaming media doesn't work with my Win7...

Needless to say that we MUST somehow save these for history...
 

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Seems I'm able to download and save the video (.wmv, BTW). It'll take a couple of hours, when finished I'll put it somewhere on one of my usual places.
UPDATE: The proceeding is slooooow (no more than 23 Kbit/sec, and I'm a running on a fiber connection....).
 

XP67_Moonbat

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It's a very, very extreme long shot. But maybe Prof. Czsyz could consider getting with Scott to put together some of this stuff as a special APR issue. And preserve it for posterity while we can. I'd definitely crack the piggy bank open for that.

Moonbat
 

Skybolt

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SUCCESS ! Downloaded the 3 h 23 m of the first video ! Now on to the second one.
 

Skybolt

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Seems I'm able to download the slides, too. It takes a little (too much) but it can be done automatically. Will put the results on the usual place.
 
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