Fathom News and Events Dispatch
Well, I don’t want to shock you, the decade is over. “Nope! No thanks! No more 20teens please, I’m good!” This is shocking to me. I was so shocked, in October, I made some mistakes, as documented for posterity in Figure 2. In my defense, this was for my Peaky Blinders costume, but then I had to walk around afterwards with this haircut:
“It’s the basic condition of life to be required to violate our own identity.”― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Reading that book right now, set in 2020. Yup. So I think we’re doing much better than projections from SF visionary PKD. So buck up! It’s going to get better! Especially for Fathom! 2019 was a busy year and 2020 will be even busier!
“Onward and Upward!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy
So sit back, set your Penfield Mood Organ to 481, and let your eyes (still authentic) and brain (mostly authentic) enjoy a little update on Fathom activity.
We Ship Tomorrow!
This was our company motto for the 2.5 weeks preceding shipment of the 16 AutoSalt units to the Helmholtz Center in Potsdam, Germany. Everyday, I’d burst into the shop startling Andre and announce “WE ship TODAY!” or alternately, and with less conviction as the days turned to weeks “We ship tomorrow…” Andre stopped shaving until we shipped and his beard was 10cm long before he cut it.
These AutoSalt systems feature the Autonomous Q Acquisition control module with RS232 output (for model comms and control) LoRa for Comms with both downstream ECT probes, Automatic onboard Q calculation, uncertainty analysis, and grading for every measurement, AND a handsome new sticker. Like Deckard’s android sheep on the roof, it just does it’s job relentlessly, no human has to be onsite, and it doesn’t require love or empathy (but some TLC does help).
Flight of the Conchords
After so very long, 2 more QiQuacs are joining their brothers and sisters in the NIWA flock of QiQuac in New Zealand. Despite some battery issues, NIWA continues to be a valued customer. We believe replacing the battery with top-o-the-line Panasonic LiIon will solve this issue (it better…). If YOU have a battery or power management issue, please contact us and let’s sort it. As they say on the London Tube: “See it, Say it, Sort it”.
Aquarius Research & Development->RSEA
All things must end, but the legacy remains. This is how it is with the flagship ARD Inc that, for the last 15 years, provided the fertile ground from which Fathom sprang (sprung?) up. In 2019, all consulting activities transferred to Fathom Scientific Ltd. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Hydropower Energy Studies
- Hydrological Analysis
- Hydrometric Programs
- Large Scale Hydropower Reconnaissance studies
- Geographic based hydrological studies for water allocation decision making
- Salt Dilution program advice
In continuation of this work, Fathom worked with the Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment (RSEA) team, a consortium of Treaty 8 First Nations, and various BC Ministries to help determine the cumulative impact of resource development in the Northeast of the Province. This region is hydrologically diverse and subject to intense industrial development. We were contracted to develop mean and low flow hydrological models for the RSEA study region, shown in Figure 1. A selection of map products are on our google drive. If you are interested in reviewing the full report, please contact me. The intention is that the methods are fully transparent, reproducible, and defensible.
We continue to perform hydrological consulting to Barkerville Gold Mines (near my home town of Quesnel, B.C.), Satoyama Energy Inc (in Nagano Prefecture Japan), Innergex Renewable Energy (near Pemberton, B.C.), BluEarth Renewables (4 blocks away from Fathom HQ), and the Ministry of Environment (through my pal/collaborator Robin Pike). Robin is working on determining [Cl]-time curves for Salt Dilution to inform best practices and ensure we are not exceeding Water Quality Guidelines (WQG). Watch for a paper in 2020!
We are pleased and excited to be the successful recipients of an upcoming order from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency for 4 QiQuac M6 kits. That’s right, you probably have an old-school M5 unit. M6 will feature:
- Export to Kisters Wiski and BIBER via XML (export to Aquarius coming soon, really!)
- Real-time Salt Calculator (as per Salt Portal) processing on a handheld device while in the field (no internet required)
- 3rd Upstream Probe for monitoring and compensating for background ECT.
- Salt Wave modeling for tail extrapolation (so you can leave earlier) and Quality Control/ Quality Assurance.
Corollary to these requirements we intend to
- implement Bluetooth to Handheld/Laptop for realtime communication with the SD Calculator.
- implement LoRa on all three T-HRECS
- move to plastic housing of QiQuac and T-HRECS
- translate the QiQuac “Quack” into 14 other languages.
If you have other suggestions for M6, please let us know. Operators are standing by. We are also considering calling it QiQuac:Q2 or simply Q2. As well as renaming them TERECS. What say you?
As mentioned above, 2020 is here. In an effort to adapt to this brave new world, we’ve started planning events in the new decade. The first will be the 2020 EGU Flow Regatta, Poetry Slam, and Beerfest! held in Vienna Austria from May 3-8, 2020. Sign up now and claim your rightful place atop the SWAG throne. Don’t let King Nick assume the scepter again! Viva la revolución!
Deadline to submit abstracts is Jan 15. Have a look at the sessions here. Our Flow Regatta session is here. Don’t miss your chance to be written up in a Sounding Regatta post where History meets Epic! (also check out the History on Fire podcast).
The Rise of the Salt Portal
I know you’ve been patient. As Leonard crooned:
When you’ve fallen on the highway
And you’re lying in the rain,
And they ask you how you’re doing
Of course you’ll say you can’t complain
If you’re squeezed for information,
That’s when you’ve got to play it dumb
You just say you’re out there waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come
That’s been my story, waiting for the Salt Portal to get fixed, and yours too, I’m sure. Well, we now have Andre3000 working FULL-TIME on the Salt Portal. I only unlock his chain on the weekend, if I remember. We’ve actually fixed the bug where the Salt Portal doesn’t load the measurement: we have! But it requires an entire system upgrade and so we’re moving everything to a staging server and as usual, everything is taking waaaay longer than anticipated. I tried yelling at Andre3000, but he only slowed down while processing the extra stimulus.
- Enhanced Rating Curve development tool: Now select points interactively to turn them on and off for the RC fit
- Sort and Filter measurements and CFT values.
- Added Notes!
A staging version of the Salt Portal V2.0 is available for willing beta testers. Please help us break it (I’m looking at you Krystal and Dave, Derek, Masashi-san and Mariko-san, Ryan, Evan, Patrick). Email me and I’ll send you the link.
New! AutoSalt (AQAc) Manual
Our team of storyboard artists, technical writers, and steampunk poets have been locked in a room over the holidays until they produced an updated version of the Auto Q Acquisition manual (I swear, we start with the words and the acronym just follows, not vice-versa). I repeatedly put on ear protection to block out their cries of desperation “Please gawd, let us out”. I responsibly slid food and water under the door to hear it ravenously devoured on the other side. So you can imagine my reluctance to open the door and see what had become of them. It was not a sight for the faint hearted. Our Word Stylist had knitted herself a webbed lair in the upper corner of the room and bones of small animals lay beneath her. Our Graphic Designer/ Illustrialist’s feet had swollen to twice their size, like a hobbit. I had to look twice to see if they were were boots, and she glared at me with hungry eyes from behind her workstation. Our Steampunk Poet/Technical Writer just kept muttering “Tears in the Rain, Waiting for a Miracle, Tears in the Rain, Waiting for a Miracle, My Precioussssss” behind a table he’d knocked over. I can’t describe, with words, the smell in the room. However, in the middle of the only table in the room (that hadn’t been gnawed at) was the manual.
I’m still editing it, however! It will be ready shortly. To tide you over, please enjoy the map of Fathomland drawn by the fantabulous Fenella Jacquet (available for consulting). It’s a semi-biographical land full of faeries, elves, dwarves and hobbits, possibly evil wizards (Hutchinson), safe harbours, mountain passes, time zones, the fantasy empire of King Nick of Everard, Griffithland, Gabeton (with no roads in or out), the tranquil hedges of Tobi Gardens (are those vultures, or seagulls?). Take a hike up Pike Peak and see Mt. Babakaiff in the distance, look down over Salvadoria and the Beat Path to Carrell Grove, take a stroll through Zimmerland and try your luck in the Zimmermann Labyrinth. The trees are alive in the Forest of Satoyama where majestic Maeda Falls tumbles and roars. Explore scenic Harland and visit Shannonshire, home of the little people that really, really, really like to eat. Climb up the ladder to Lord Baddock of Underwood’s Tranquil Country estate (say hi to Karen), or ride the surf of Flanagan Beach. Don’t get lost in the Lost Mountains of Brzoza or you may find yourself in the fell lands of Mors-Em, where the Battery Tar-pits await their next victim. But that’s in the past. Maybe, if you purchase more Fathom equipment, YOU could find yourself on the Fathomland map! Free, immortality, with every purchase!
Hot! Trello Feature and Bug Reporting Boards
Maybe you’ve heard of Trello. I hadn’t, but it’s a pretty cool way to keep track of tasks for a team. We use it internally and I figured why not let YOU the customer tell us what to do. What could go wrong?
So rather than me telling you all the awesome things we’re working on, or what we’ve recently completed, you can now view and vote and comment on these task cards. The only catch appears to be you have to sign up for a Trello account to vote or comment. DON’T share this with Christoph Sommer. Next thing we know, the Tracer-Q will be quacking.
Here’s the link for the AutoSalt board, the QiQuac board, and the Salt Portal board. If you’d like to request features that are not already included on the boards, just email me.
A quick list:
QiQuac: Going plastic (through our favourite enclosure manufacturer (Hammond), Bluetooth connect to phone/tablet/laptop for SD Calculator in the Field, 3rd upstream sensor, bigger kit box.
AutoSalt: 3rd upstream sensor, LoRa comms for instant Q Calc, Link to Salt Portal, Cellular Telemetry.
Salt Portal: Enhanced RC Development tools to turn points on and off, Notes!, bug fixes, linked injections so you can see both traces on one graph and grade measurements, automatically upload SD meta data (salt mass, stage, start and stop times, etc).
Paul Kim: Employee of the Month
November was crazy getting the 16 AutoSalt units out and Paul distinguished himself with a selfless and relentless pursuit of this goal, disregarding health, social norms, and soul maintenance. And for that we commend him. Since Paul is the first and last Employee of the month of the 2010s at Fathom, we’ve gone ahead and upgraded him to Employee of the Decade. Congratulations Paul! Enjoy your toque.
Also congratulations to a Employee of the Month Runner Up, Andre 3000. Enjoy your Toothbrush.
Unfortunately I came a distant third, but there’s always Tomorrow. As Annie sang:
Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love you Tomorrow, You’re only a day away.
Happy New Year and a sincere thank you for your ongoing support.