Complete your guests’ summer experience with hundreds of free TV programs

first_imgDepending on their preferences, viewers can choose between informative, sports, educational, documentary, music, children’s and cultural TV programs such as ZDF HD, Arte, Eurosport, Sport 1, CNN, CNBS, BBC World News Europe HD, Bloomberg TV Europe , Sky News International, Sky Sport News HD, RTL Deutschland, KIKA, Disney Channel Deutschland, ARD Alpha, 3 sat, TV 5 Monde Europe, Fashion 4K, pearl.tv (UHD) and many othersThe peak of the summer season is slowly but surely approaching, and some tourists are already packing their holiday bags in Croatia, which will surely include swimming in the sea, relaxing on the beach, sightseeing or tasting delicious local specialties. While on vacation, guests may want to keep up to date with the latest news and events, enjoy some of their favorite TV shows or music and sports programs while relaxing after a long day full of various activities. Offering the best picture quality and the largest selection of TV programs, it will satisfy even the most demanding viewers and give them the feeling of being at home, and those who provide these services will certainly stand out from the competition. This is exactly why satellite TV is a great option when it comes to providing added value to tourists.For more than 20 years, the ASTRA satellite network has been providing a reliable and cost-effective TV, radio and multimedia distribution service to audiences across Europe, including Croatia. The transmission techniques and technology used on ASTRA satellites are specifically designed for direct-to-home (DTH) reception to ensure that the picture and sound quality of the TV is of the highest quality.Furthermore, viewers can benefit from a rich program offer, and in addition reception from different orbital positions using the same antenna increases the available offer. Due to its almost unlimited capacity, the satellite offers high flexibility in instantly adding new channels of the highest quality. The undeniable advantages of satellite distribution make it an excellent complementary solution to terrestrial transmission – the satellite signal can be delivered to terrestrial transmitters or used to further illuminate uncovered areas.Thanks to ASTRA satellites, viewers across Europe, including Croatia, can enjoy watching hundreds of TV programs, including HD and Ultra HD, completely free of charge. Depending on their preferences, viewers can choose from the best news, sports, educational, documentary, music, children’s and cultural programs such as ZDF HD, Arte, Eurosport, Sport 1, CNN, CNBS, BBC World News Europe HD, Bloomberg TV Europe , Sky News International, Sky Sport News HD, RTL Deutschland, KIKA, Disney Channel Deutschland, ARD Alpha, 3 sat, TV 5 Monde Europe, Fashion 4K, pearl.tv (UHD) and many moreTo receive a signal via ASTRA satellite, you need a small satellite dish and a receiver connected to the TV. The satellite antenna pointing towards the ASTRA orbital position 19.2E allows you to watch hundreds of free international programs as mentioned above. A constantly updated list of programs is available at www.onastra.hr, and appropriate equipment can be purchased at satellite equipment outlets throughout Croatia.last_img read more

NOW HIRING: Product/Catalog Manager

first_imgLSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement An international automotive aftermarket parts importer in business for over 35 years has a position open for a Product/Catalog Manager. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement The company is located in Southern California. Working knowledge of the aftermarket, automotive parts, electronic catalog compilation and computer skills are required. Please send your resume to kkaim@babcox.com. (Please put Product/Catalog Manager in subject field of your email.) All information will be kept confidential.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain.last_img read more

Property shares soar in best week since 1992 ERM exit

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Law firm sign for new Cardiff HQ

first_imgIt is thought that NewLaw will pay around £17/sq ft for the space in Rightacres Property’s Helmont House, on Churchill Way, which used to be British Gas’s headquarters in the city. British Gas has agreed to move to Rightacres’ and MEPC’s Callaghan Square development in Cardiff. NewLaw is set to move into Helmont House in the summer, following a refurbishment which Rightacres will begin in spring. It also has an option to take a further 15,000 sq ft in the building. Helen Molyneaux, founding partner of NewLaw, said: ‘We have enjoyed our time in the Bay but as we have grown, so we have recognised the benefits of a city centre presence.’Rightacres chief executive Paul McCarthy said: ‘We have worked closely with Helen and her team to meet all her aspirations for what is a pivotal moment in the history of her business – to relocate to Cardiff city centre.’last_img read more

Stone Energy Provides Update on Its Gulf of Mexico Drilling Activities

first_imgStone Energy Corporation has provided an update on its three deep water/deep gas wells being drilled. Drilling operations at the deep water San Marcos prospect, located on Mississippi Canyon 983, have been completed, and the rig is in the process of being released. The well was drilled to approximately 28,500 feet without encountering commercial hydrocarbons and will be plugged and abandoned. Stone holds a 25% non-operated working interest in the project.The deep water Amethyst prospect, located on Mississippi Canyon 26, continues to drill and is currently at approximately 15,300 feet with a targeted depth of approximately 20,000 feet. Stone holds a 100% working interest in the project. At the deep gas Tom Cat prospect, located on West Cameron 176, drilling continues and is currently at approximately 14,000 feet with a targeted depth of approximately 16,000 feet. Stone holds a 100% working interest in the project. Both the Amethyst and Tom Cat wells are expected to encounter the targeted objectives in late January 2014.Additionally, the Ensco 8502 rig for the Cardona project (Mississippi Canyon 29) will be moving to location and is expected to spud early January 2014. Stone holds a 65% working interest and is the operator of the project. Finally, Stone expects to spud its Mica Deep prospect (Mississippi Canyon 211) in the first quarter of 2014. Stone holds a 50% non-operated working interest in the prospect.[mappress]Press Release, December 31, 2013last_img read more

Calm in a crisis: lawyers and the internet age

first_imgThere are events in the life-cycle of any business that have the potential to snowball into a crisis of unforeseen proportions. It could be a bad set of financial results or a scuppered merger. Or perhaps employee lay-offs, a high-profile desertion to a rival or allegations of misconduct by senior staff. Or it might be a testing issue with a client. But while difficult business decisions may not be avoidable, especially in this tough economic climate, a crisis played out in the media can be managed or averted by taking the right steps. Thanks to intense public and media scrutiny, many a corporate drama has become a real crisis. Andrew Harvey, a former journalist and co-founder of media training company HarveyLeach, attributes this to the demands of ‘24-hour news’. ‘In order to fill those 24 hours, journalists are becoming more inquisitive and pushing on issues they perhaps would have not pursued before,’ he says. At the same time, as a result of the expansion of their online operations, newspapers are publishing more in-depth articles to compete with round-the-clock broadcast news. Harvey adds: ‘Financial reporting now is going into greater detail in the mainstream press than it ever did… readers are expecting more.’ Meanwhile, with social media, bad news can rapidly travel to a worldwide audience with huge implications for a brand. Take Domino’s Pizza, which in 2009 faced an unprecedented public relations crisis after two employees posted a video on YouTube that was watched over a million times. It showed one of the two pranksters inserting cheese in his nose and placing washing sponges between his buttocks. And businesses, including law firms, need to be aware that the nature of what constitutes a crisis is changing. The scenario is no longer confined to disasters such as an oil spill or a plane crash, notes Andrew Griffin, chief executive of Regester Larkin, an international reputation strategy and management consultancy. What happened to the News of the World, Arthur Andersen and Barclays emerged from the everyday activities of these organisations. What this shows is that the media and politicians now engage in an almost forensic examination of the activities of such entities and how they go about their business. As a rule the legal profession, although now as vulnerable as any other sector to adverse publicity, is not as aware of or prepared for it as it might be, argues Griffin: ‘Professional services firms are a bit behind the curve in terms of crisis management because, until recently, corporate crisis has been associated with incidents rather than ongoing issues or chronic problems in an organisation. This is definitely changing. Clearly there is a huge amount for law firms to think about in terms of their own business and their role in helping their clients in a crisis.’ And the upshot for lawyers – in private practice or working in-house – is that they must learn more about communications. Richard Elsen, chairman of the Byfield Consultancy, a PR firm that specialises in reputation and profile-building for law firms, says: ‘Crisis management is about early identification when things start to go wrong. You get situations that appear to start off small and, unless the right course of action is taken, you end up with a snowball effect.’ Challenges for lawyers Stephens, who increasingly works with PR professionals, advises talking to them ‘in their own language. I won’t naturally assume that the lawyer’s route is the best route, in fact probably the contrary’. Elsen concurs: ‘If you use legal gobbledygook you turn everyone off. What you don’t want to do is be seen as either uncaring or arrogant.’ Lawyers should avoid using constructions such as ‘no comment’ and ‘subjudice.’ As Elsen explains: ‘If you say no comment or if you say it’s subjudice, often when a story is printed that really makes you look as if you have got something to hide. Now the flipside of that of course is that you can say sorry and it does not mean you are admitting fault or wrongdoing.’ Harvey explains that there is ‘a subtle difference’ between apology and sympathy. ‘If there has been an accident, clearly at an early stage lawyers will be very wary about admitting liability. If you apologise, it sounds as though you are admitting wrongdoing. If you express sympathy to victims you are not. You can say, “we send our sympathy to those who have suffered but at this stage we don’t know the cause”.’ If a tardy response is bad and silence even worse, that does not mean journalists will expect a spokesperson to go into much detail in the initial stages. ‘When a crisis breaks the media wants to hear from you. They might ask what are the reasons for the accident but they don’t necessarily expect an answer because you are perfectly within your rights to say it is too early to say,’ adds Harvey. However, one can give them something to work with, even in the very early stages of a crisis. Griffin’s advice to his clients is that: ‘You recognise that you have got the problem, are seen to be doing something about it and are seen to be very honest about it.’ Several experts stress the importance of ‘always returning journalists’ calls’. They recommend finding as much as possible about the context of the article and the types of story the journalist tends to write. When one is not in a position to reveal much, the other advantage of using an intermediary to deliver the message to the journalist, rather than someone with the full picture, is to avoid the risk of ‘suddenly breaking a court restriction accidentally’. This is doubly important as giving away too much information cannot be easily fixed. Elsen says: ‘Don’t fall into the trap of saying something to a journalist and then trying to say it was off the record. All you are doing is annoying people and you are making the journalist think “why should it be off the record now?”’ Lawyers can keep journalists onside by engaging with them in ‘peacetime’ too. Legal correspondents are usually appreciative of background briefings by senior lawyers on certain legal developments, notes Harvey. To help prepare for a possible future public storm, firms should also think about building a profile on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Clare Rodway, managing director of Kysen PR which works predominantly with law firms and barristers’ chambers, explains: ‘If you don’t have any presence on a social media platform, even if you bring in the whizziest communication consultant there is very little that they can do. It’s all about building up following and that is one of the biggest reasons why all firms should think about having a social media presence so that they have that channel open when they have something urgent that they need to say.’ It is also good practice to regularly monitor internet blogs and social media sites to ascertain what negative stories are starting to arise, Stephens says: ‘What you want to do is to scotch rumours before they become “faction” and get reported in a newspaper. Once it’s published it’s too late. You have to monitor it early and have a rapid rebuttal unit which actually puts across accurate information.’ Despite a growing role for lawyers in managing reputational crises, they need to be conscious at all times of the impact on their firm when it is linked to an event or issue in the media spotlight. Although it sounds like a no-brainer, successfully managing a crisis is very much about preparing and planning for it. Yet this can be overlooked by many organisations. Harvey says there is often an arrogant assumption among organisations that, come a crisis, they can deal with it: ‘What they forget is that a crisis can take on a life of its own, driven by the media that will start asking questions they have not bargained for. They can be wrongfooted very often by that.’ So, in addition to generally boosting awareness among staff of dealing with the press, how should firms and in-house legal departments prepare to manage communications and PR during a crisis? First, an organisation should identify sources of reputational risk and monitor them. That essentially means being aware of weaknesses in the business: this could be possible negative financial results, the defection of key partners or clients, redundancies, or compliance issues. This is an important part of the job of BLP’s Bigby, who comments that there are inherent risks – as well as opportunities – in the firm’s expansion in markets such as Moscow, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. ‘Emerging markets are potentially higher-risk markets to do business in,’ she says. Second, there should be a team to deal with the crisis. Bigby says that her own firm has a ‘stand-by incident management team’ that comprises the firm’s senior management, the IT director and her. This team is tasked with doing the ‘initial tactical analysis of the issue and how we intend to respond to it’. She highlights the importance of having the ‘systems and process set up to be mobilised as quickly as possible and [pre-running] scenarios as far as you can to enable you to regain control.’ Law firms might also think about assisting clients with preparing for and managing their own crises. That is what BLP does. Bigby recommends that organisations create, like BLP, ‘a tactical response team’ that will include the relevant senior management, depending on the subject matter of the crisis (be it IT or HR or finance), the PR/communications person and the in-house counsel. First the good news: lawyers’ skills are highly rated. Harvey says: ‘Lawyers are important because they can stand back from a crisis and apply legal standards to an organisation’s crisis response.’ For example, he says, a lawyer’s training in ‘exactitude’ is of key importance, as news reporters can pore through company statements. Nicole Bigby, a partner and director of risk at Berwin Leighton Paisner, observes that lawyers ensure statements to the media are compliant with the organisation’s position while thinking through what the potential liabilities may be. They can help clients identify sources of risk involving legal or compliance issues. Further, Bigby adds, ‘lawyers have a very strong project management background’ that should come in handy in co-ordinating what can feel like combat situations when a crisis breaks. The bad news is that in an age of instant communication, lawyers can seem to do too little, too slowly. In crisis management there is conflict associated with a lawyer’s eye for detail and accuracy, and innate caution. These can seem to conspire against the need for rapid action and decision-making. Harvey insists: ‘I have come across so many cases where crisis responses have been held up while lawyers go through the fine detail.’ Another problem is distrust of PR. Elsen says: ‘If you are facing a crisis with a legal dimension you have to prepare a communication strategy and a legal strategy that are perfectly dove-tailed. That way you cover both sides properly.’ For international lawyer Robert Amsterdam, whose clients include Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the billionaire oligarch imprisoned after defying Vladimir Putin, it is about taking a much more hands-on approach. Amsterdam, founding partner of law firm Amsterdam & Peroff, says: ‘The lawyer has to adopt a more aggressive role in reputation management. Reputational defence is at the nub of a lawyer’s job today.’ Amsterdam adds that ‘the idea that lawyers passively leave the presentation to PR firms is long dead. It needs to be a far more collaborative exercise because the interest now in terms of the internet is to get there first and develop the narrative first. That can’t really be done without a lot of legal input’. Yet, Amsterdam says, lawyers tend to assume that everyone is as knowledgeable as they are about a particular case. ‘People should stop being tactical in communication and be more strategic, and develop a full-blown narrative for a client that explains the facts coherently.’ The second biggest problem is failing to understand that, even if a client wins in court, by this time it may be too late. ‘In an internet age our clients are found guilty or innocent within weeks and often way before they are even judged,’ says Amsterdam. ‘Lawyers need to redefine their role because all too often by the time you reach the courthouse your clients have already suffered irreparable injury.’ So, what can lawyers do to protect their clients and their own organisations? For Mark Stephens, a partner of Finers Stephens Innocent, the law is not always the best route when it comes to helping clients tackle a media storm. He says: ‘Many law firms take the view that the lawyer is always the answer and the court is always the answer. I take a different view: the law is very often not the answer and you can exacerbate things.’ Stephens points to the examples of footballers such as Ryan Giggs and John Terry who failed to prevent, with super-injunctions, newspapers from publishing stories of their alleged extra-marital infidelities. ‘You see that by going to court, those individuals have made things far worse,’ he says. Stephens represented a footballer when a tabloid was going to publish a damaging story about an affair. But Stephens took a different approach. ‘It was true and it was impossible to do anything about it. I decided there was no point in seeking an injunction because it was very difficult to get a private injunction in those days and also it would have created a story. Trying to muzzle the press always creates more of a story than actually trying to deal with it,’ he says. Instead, Stephens recalls, he rang the then editor saying: ‘Look we can have an argument about this, I can go to court, or we can agree the headline.’ Stephens was successful and got the paper to change the word ‘affair’ in its headline to ‘tryst’. Stephens says he ‘thought the average reader would not know what the word tryst meant or would think it was a threesome and they’d think the better of him’. It was ‘a one-day wonder’ and the story never resurfaced. ‘You can defuse cases with a certain lightness of touch, whereas if you come in and start to become angry that becomes a problem,’ he counsels. Of course, it is not all firefighting, but even developments that should constitute a good news story need to be carefully thought through in advance, with a team in place to handle them. The recent merger between Russell Jones & Walker and Australia’s Slater & Gordon is a textbook case, argues Elsen. ‘That was a very smart move. They had first-mover advantage and they communicated it very well. They ensured there was no leak prior to the announcement and that isn’t always easy. Second, they announced it in a way that had a strong and positive impact. It’s about having a proper protocol in place and a proper chain of command, it’s about “need to know” around that information.’ Ultimately, good crisis management is interlinked with business strategies and decision-making. For example, law firms and other organisations should think of the reputational ramifications of how redundancies are handled: shedding staff in one go as opposed to making a series of redundancy announcements, or spreading the process out over a long period may avoid a series of negative headlines giving the impression in the press that the firm is in dire straits. Part of planning and preparation could, for example, include saving valuable time through pre-prepared holding statements that contain the basic facts about an incident, letting people know that the organisation is dealing with the situation. These should be based on the types of crisis that are likely to hit an organisation. It could be done in principle under a few very simple headings including ‘our initial reaction’; ‘sympathy’, if other people are involved; ‘what action we are now taking’; ‘how soon we’ll discover what went wrong’; ‘and how soon we’ll put it right’. At the end of the day, what the public wants is ‘reassurance’, Harvey concludes. Nina Barakzai, a Dell Corporation in-house lawyer who specialises in privacy law across the EMEA region, says lawyers should work with the communication team to prepare in advance answers to frequently asked questions from the press: ‘That should really be done up-front as soon as you have the issues.’ Even the best laid plans can leave an organisation feeling like a rabbit in the headlights. For Barakzai, who has been employed by several other large corporations including NTL Group and British Gas, what is important is to be confident that any information you put into the public domain is accurate. ‘How cautious you are really does depend on what your commercial liability is. I would say, though, that in many instances, particularly with social media, even if you are in the wrong, if you stick to facts and then move forward, you can still have a viable response to a crisis.’ Thinking creatively also helps. Barakzai cites Domino’s Pizza’s response to the YouTube video prank, which was arguably an unprecedented attack on its brand. On the communications front the US firm did not respond immediately, partly to avoid drawing attention to the controversy (although it promptly fired the two pranksters). But when it did respond, it did not pull any punches: Domino’s Pizza posted on the video-sharing website its own official film of its CEO apologising and reassuring customers, and a Twitter account was set up to deal with consumer concerns. As for the input of lawyers, it is just such original thinking, and fleet of foot, plus the more familiar territory of problem-solving that top the list when the going gets tough, argues Griffin. ‘Whether [as] general counsel of the organisation or the external adviser, the job of the lawyer in a crisis is the same as it is in peacetime: understand the legal risks associated with any particular decision. But you [also] want your lawyer in a crisis to be open-minded, flexible and very outcome-focused.’ center_img Marialuisa Taddia is a freelance journalist Controlling the agenda Mind your language Dealing with the presslast_img read more

Ballast evaluation using ground-penetrating radar

first_imgCapable of surveying long sections in a short time, ground-penetrating radar can detect trackbed anomalies earlier than is possible with visual inspection methods. Maintenance can therefore be prioritised to reduce unnecessary cost and increase effectiveness,Gerard Gallagher and Prof Quentin Leiper work for Carillion plc. Maxwell Clark and Prof Michael Forde are at the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of Carillion plc, GT Rail Maintenance Ltd and the University of Edinburgh. They also appreciate the support and input from many colleagues at Carillion and the University of Edinburgh. On Britain’s railway network, owned and operated by Railtrack, commercial pressures are driving efforts to improve the quality of track maintenance and reduce the length of possessions for this work. There is certainly potential for more efficient and more cost-effective methods of identifying trackbed anomalies. Current methods relying on visual inspection and the excavation of trial holes to assess ballast condition tend to be time-consuming, condition-driven and subjective in their findings. Laboratory testing and trials using a full-scale section of track have suggested that the use of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) can provide objective and measurable information about the trackbed anomalies and the ballast/formation interface. From a GPR survey, the engineer will be able to prioritise the maintenance programme with confidence, only carrying out work where it is essential, reducing unnecessary cost and increasing the effectiveness of the programme.Ballast characteristicsLaboratory experiments may be used as a model to examine the characteristics of ballast before GPR is used on site. One objective of the laboratory work was to investigate whether the condition of railway ballast can be classified by the dielectric constant er or by the velocity of propagation of electromagnetic waves. The experiments also aimed to assess the suitability of 500MHz and 900MHz antennae to provide adequate penetration and to produce clear images of acceptable resolution.The laboratory experiments were undertaken in a brick tank 1, which enabled the depth of the ballast to be varied quickly and easily. Clean (unused) ballast was used, in addition to spent ballast taken from a railway line and considered to be at the end of its life span. Fig 1 shows the tank and its dimensions.To simulate site conditions as accurately as possible, the ballast was compacted in layers as it was placed into the tank. The antenna acting as a transmitter/receiver was dragged along the top surface of the ballast layer. To reduce jarring of the antenna caused by the slight differential settlement in the surface layer, downward pressure was used when necessary. This procedure was repeated for the 500MHz and 900MHz antennae. From the experiments undertaken, the dielectric constant for the different types of ballast was found using the equation er = (2ct/d)2, where:c = Velocity of light = 3 x 108 m/ser = Dielectric constant of a materialt = Time taken for electromagnetic wave to travel distance, d (s)d = Depth of material layer (m).The simplified equation for calculation of the dielectric constant was used because ballast was assumed to be a low loss medium 2. From the results shown in Table I, it can be seen that the dielectric constant for spent ballast is much higher than that for clean ballast.Trackbed test rigThis laboratory-derived data was then used for an experiment using a full scale test rig (Fig 2). The mechanical properties of ballast are dictated by a combination of the physical properties of the individual ballast material and its in-situ physical state 3. Ballast by its nature is changeable with the possibility of numerous variations over small lengths of track. Work to date has been driven by the need to calibrate the GPR equipment on the test rig. This was to allow the initial research to be carried out under realistic conditions in a controlled environment, without being restricted by possession time. The test rig was designed as a full-size section of permanent way built to current Railtrack specifications, including timber and concrete sleepers. Common trackbed anomalies can be incorporated and surveyed accurately, and the outdoor location of the rig allows weathering in the manner of working permanent way, including exposure to sunshine.The aims of the initial experimental work included the identification of the location of ballast/formation interface, and the evaluation of the suitability of GPR to classify the degree of trackbed deterioration in terms of dielectric constants. It was also hoped to clarify what effects rail and sleeper reinforcement would have on the radar plot.Plot resultsThe GPR antenna was moved continuously along the surface of the track parallel to the centre line as well as along the length of each crib. Taken along the centre line, Fig 3 shows the section of the radar plot between the clean/mixed ballast interface between Sleepers 10 to 12. The centres of the reinforced concrete sleepers are represented by the double line, whilst the centre of the crib is represented by the single line marker.From Fig 3, it can be determined that the radar does not penetrate through the reinforced concrete sleeper. This is a result of almost all of the emitted radio waves being reflected by the reinforcing bars within the sleeper. In addition, a reflection time step can be identified between the mixed and the clean ballast. This is also the case between the spent and the mixed ballast. GPR can therefore detect clean, spent or moderately deteriorated ballast.The test rig can be used to accurately determine dielectric constants for certain types of ballast under different moisture contents. There are strong reflections from the formation/ballast interface. From the theory and application of radar, the depth of the formation/ballast interface can be calculated using the equation:where:d = Depth (m)er = Dielectric constantc = Speed of light in air (3 x 108 m/s)t = Time (s)Using Crib 11 as an example and er = 3·5 as the dielectric constant for clean ballast with a 5% moisture content 4, the depth to the formation was calculated as 0·441m. The actual as-built depth to the formation was 0·445m, resulting in an error of less than 1%.Fig 4 shows a section of a radar plot along the length of the crib of Bed 9. Here, the metal rails do have an effect on the radar plot. The reflection of the radio waves in air can however be readily identified and removed from the plot, if required, using appropriate processing software. Rails also stop the penetration of the radio waves when the antenna is within 50mm from the side of the rail. Fig 4 shows clearly that the formation cannot be detected when the antenna is adjacent to the rail.From the laboratory work, we concluded that the dielectric constant for clean ballast was 3·0, with that for wet clean ballast 3·5. The ideal antenna to use on ballast was found to be the 500MHz unit, and GPR proved itself to be a suitable technique to discriminate between and characterise railway trackbed ballast.The initial testing of GPR on the outdoor trackbed test rig was very positive. This technique can detect the ballast/formation interface and is not adversely affected by the metal rail (provided the antenna is kept more than 50mm from the rail), nor by the sleeper reinforcement. GPR can be used to identify anomalies, and determine the degree of trackbed deterioration using the established values of ballast dielectric constant.Since this work was completed, the researchers have developed a multi-antenna configuration which can quantitively classify the degree of ballast deterioration and depth, independent of changing moisture and geological conditions.We would therefore conclude that GPR is suitable for application as a non-destructive testing technique within the rail industry.References1. Colla C, Burnside C, Clark M and Forde M. Comparison of Laboratory and Simulated Data for Radar Image Interpretation. NDT&E International, Vol 31, No 6, pp439-444, 1998.2. Padaratz I and Forde M. A Theoretical Evaluation of Impulse Radar Wave Propagation Through Concrete. Journal of Non-Destructive Testing & Evaluation, 12, pp9-32, 1995.3. Selig E and Waters J. Track Geotechnology and Substructure Management. Thomas Telford, 1994.4. Clark M, Gillespie R, Kemp T, McCann D and Forde M. Electromagnetic Properties of Railway Ballast. Proc 1st Int Conf: Railway Engineering-98, Engineering Technics Press, Edinburgh, pp21-27, 1998.CAPTION: An experimental section of track with differing ballast conditions was built to verify the laboratory trials with ground-penetrating radarCAPTION: Fig 1. Dimensions of the brick tank used for laboratory experiments with variable ballast depthsCAPTION: Fig 2. Simplified general arrangement of the prototype test sectionCAPTION: Fig 3. GPR plot along the test rig centrelineCAPTION: Fig 4. GPR plot along the crib of Bed 9last_img read more

Police Investigate ‘Wilful Fire Raising’ As Man Sleeps In House – Gretna

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInLocal Police are appealing for witnesses following a wilful fireraising at a house in Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway on Sunday 26 March 2017.Around 01.30 am on the Sunday morning, a 25 year old man woke to discover a fire in his home in Torduff Road, Gretna.  He was able to douse the flames and extinguish the fire.  He was alone in the house at the time and did not sustain any injury.Detective Sergeant Hugh McCombe, Dumfries CID, is appealing for information in to the fire.  He said:“Thankfully the man was able to put out the fire and damage to the house was limited to the front door area, however, had he not woken up and tackled the fire, this could have been so much worse.“He didn’t think to call the police or fire at the time as he had managed to put the fire out himself, however, on reflection, he called police to advise later in the week.“We know from our joint investigation with Scottish Fire and Rescue that this fire was deliberately set but a motive has still to be established.“Torduff Road is a residential area and is near to Annan Rd in Gretna.  I am appealing to anyone who may have seen someone hanging about the area they did not recognise, or who may have any information ab9out the attack to come forward to police.Anyone with information about the incident should contact Dumfries CID via the non-emergency number  101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where details can be given in confidence.last_img read more

Dominica to celebrate 35th anniversary of Independence

first_imgLocalNews Dominica to celebrate 35th anniversary of Independence by: – November 2, 2013 Share Tweet Sunday, November 3, will mark thirty-five years since the Nature Island of the Caribbean obtained Independence from Britain.Dominica became the first British Caribbean colony to have a legislature controlled by an African majority in 1838 following the emancipation of slavery in 1834.In 1896, the United Kingdom re-assumed governmental control of Dominica, turning it into a crown colony however, half a century later, from 1958 to 1962, Dominica became a province of the West Indies Federation. On 3 November 1978, Dominica became an independent nation.To celebrate this milestone, there will be a Parade of Military Groups at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium in Roseau from 4pm. As part of this Independence rally, seventeen prominent Dominicans who have contributed to the island’s development will be presented with Meritorious Service Awards by President Charles Savarin D. A. H.Dominica’s second highest award, the Sisserou Award of Honour will be presented to four individuals; Bandmaster of the Government Music Lovers Band Mrs. Valena Geraldine Letang, in the area of Music and Music Education; Mr. Waddy Astaphan of J. Astaphan & Company in the field of Business; Speaker of the House of Assembly Mrs. Alix Boyds Knights for Parliamentary Service and The George Karam Family in the area of Business and Tourism.The third highest honour, the Meritorious Service Award, will be conferred on Mrs. Vinna Delia Royer (Community Service & Development), Mrs. Roselyn Canoville (Nursing), Mrs. Theodora Joseph (Primary and Adult Education), and Mr. Kelly Williams (Music and Tourism).The Services Medal of Honour, will be presented to:Mr. Arlington James for Forestry-related Research/Environmental Education,Mr. Josley Jean-Pierre Prince for Search and Rescue)Mr. Mickael Ferrol for CultureMr. Charles Walters for SportsMr. Ernest Phillip Pascal for Community ServiceMr. Davidson John for Community Service/DevelopmentMr. Henrick Ronald Aaron for Community Development andMrs. Rosetta Fevrier for BusinessLong Service Medal of Honour will be conferred on Mr. Bernard Darroux in the field of Education.Live streaming of the parade will be available on radio, television and on the internet. Internet streaming will be provided hereDominica Vibes News Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Share 46 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Citilink Indonesia Buka Rute Bandara Halim Perdanakusuma – Silangit

first_imgBandara Halim Perdana Kusuma (Flickr) Setelah kedatangan pesawat ke-50, Airbus A320neo dengan nomor lambung PK-GTF dengan kapasitas 180 penumpang yang tiba dari Toulouse, Perancis pada 26 Oktober 2017 kemarin, Citilink tak ingin lama berdiam diri, low cost carrier ini dikabarkan telah membuka penerbangan langsung dari Bandara Halim Perdanakusuma tujuan Silangit, Sumatera Utara. Rute baru ini juga ditujukan untuk meningkatkan pertumbuhan ekonomi di Sumatera Utara tepatnya di wisata Danau Toba.Baca juga: Menanti Kedatangan Pesawat Ke-50, Citilink Optimis Penuhi Target di Akhir TahunDalam pembukaan rute baru ini, Citilink menerbangakan Menteri Pariwisata Arief Yahya dari Halim menuju Silangit pada Sabtu (28/10//2017). “Penerbangan perdana ke Silangit ini merupakan bukti nyata dukungan dan komitmen Citilink Indonesia membantu pengembangan pariwisata nasional. Dibukanya Bandara Silangit sebagai gerbang masuk wisatawan internasional diharapkan meningkatkan kunjungan wisatawan, perdagangan dan investasi di Kawasan Danau Toba,” ujar Arief yang dikutip KabarPenumpang.com dari wartaekonomi.co.id (30/10/2017). Arief mengatakan, bandara Silangit telah menunjukkan pengembangan infrastruktur yang baik sehingga mendorong pertumbuhan yang progresif atau dengan kata lain “supply creates demand” sehingga mempercepat internasionalisasi Danau Toba.“Dengan diresmikannya Bandara Silangit sebagai bandara Internasional akan mempercepat proses pencapaian target pemerintah dan menjadikan Sumatera Utara sebagai salah satu pelaku utama untuk memenuhi target tersebut,” ujar Arief .Adanya rute baru ini Citilink Indonesia berharap dapat mendukung pertumbuhan sektor pariwisata di Tapanuli Utara sehingga bisa turut serta dalam mewujudkan Danau Toba sebagai salah satu lokasi wisata Indonesia selain pulau bali.“Pembukaan rute penerbangan langsung ke Silangit ini merupakan momentum yang tepat dengan tiga pertimbangan yang mendasar yaitu pertumbuhan ekonomi Sumatera Utara yang cukup tinggi sebesar 5,09 persen (BPS), mempercepat konektivitas Nusantara serta sebagai bentuk dukungan maskapai terhadap program pemerintah,” kata Direktur Utama Citilink Indonesia Juliandra Nurtjahjo.Baca juga: Citilink Buka Rute Bersejarah, Koneksikan Semarang, Banjarmasin dan PalembangRute Jakarta tujuan Silangit melalui bandara Halim Perdanakusuma merupakan rute keenam yang dibuka Citilink tahun ini. Sebelumnya Citilink Indonesia membuka rute Jayapura, Dili, kendari, Gorontalo dan Ambon.Belum lama tepatnya 29 Oktober 2017 kemarin, Citilink Indonesia juga membuka rute penerbangan yang menghubungkan tiga pulau besar di Indonesia yakni Jawa, Sumatera dan Kalimantan denga rute Semarang – Palembang dan Semarang – Banjarmasin.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… RelatedBaru 2 Minggu Tutup, Garuda Indonesia Buka Kembali Rute Jakarta – Silangit22/01/2019In “Bandara”Layani Penerbangan Silangit-Singapura, Garuda Indonesia Gunakan Bombardier CRJ100019/10/2017In “Bandara”Bandara Silangit Terintegrasi Shuttle Bus Menuju Pulau Samosir13/10/2017In “Bandara”last_img read more