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Watching the weather free course icon Level

Nature & Environment 

Watching the weather

This free course, Watching the weather, describes how meteorological observations are made looking upwards from the surface of the Earth, looking downwards from satellites in space and from aircraft and balloons within the atmosphere. This international network of observations is vital for scientists and forecasters and the results impact on everyones daily activities.

Free course
10 hrs
Creative commons image Icon Elliott Simpson under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license
History How-to videos: Crash sites audio icon

History & The Arts 

History How-to videos: Crash sites

The sites of Second World War plane crashes aren't just of historical interest - they may also be graveyards or bomb sites. How should you approach them?

Audio
5 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2011
9/11: Reflections on political leadership audio icon

Society, Politics & Law 

9/11: Reflections on political leadership

On September 11 2001, hijackers took control of four aircraft and crashed into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, in events that changed the world forever. It raised questions not only about the United States’ foreign policy but also about its assumed dominance as the leading international superpower. Ten years on since 9/11, the political landscape is very different: the US has a different President in the form of Barack Obama, elected in 2008, while the head of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in May 2011. In this audio series, originally recorded in 2008, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Dr Richard Heffernan, and Dr Simon Bromley, both of The Open University, discuss the consequences of September 11th, and the impact it's had on the United States' hegemony, its global leadership and its diplomatic and military strategy. For an undergraduate course looking at similar political themes, try The Open University's DU301 A world of whose making?

Audio
45 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Soaring Achievements audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Soaring Achievements

How does an aircraft without an engine stay up in the air? What factors affect a glider's performance and how far it can travel? Scientific experiments with gliders have been carried out since the 1930’s, particularly with relation to design. Mathematical modelling is used to make and refine gliders that perform as well as possible. The 8 video tracks on this album describe some of the highly mathematical concepts used by pilots, such as glide angle, the ‘best speed to fly’, and the intricacies of competition flying. The principles of gliding are described with the help of 3D graphics and archive film. This material makes up part of the course MST209, Mathematical methods and models.

Audio
35 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Soaring by Design audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Soaring by Design

How do you go about designing an aircraft that has no engine? What forces enable a glider to become airborne and quickly reach high altitudes quickly? The tracks in this album look at the aerodynamics of gliders, ask questions relating to the 'Speed to Fly', and explores the consequences of kinetic and potential energy change, providing a useful way of modelling the behaviour of a glider in the air. This material makes up part of the course MST209, Mathematical methods and models.

Audio
40 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Tackling noise pollution audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Tackling noise pollution

Noise is one of the forms of pollution that characterises industrial societies. Many forms of noise in the urban environment, including traffic and aircraft noise, can cause significant harm in varying degrees. So just how much noise are you exposed to? The tracks in this album explain the measurement and control of noise and look at how motor engineers and road researchers are trying to cut down on noise pollution from transport. Lastly, two audio tracks featuring Dr Shahram Taherzadeh and Dr Suresh Nesaratnam explore the issues arising from the case studies and provide an overview of course. This material forms part of The Open University course T210 Environmental control and public health.

Audio
40 mins
Creative commons image Icon by Abdallahh, some rights reserved under Creative-Commons license
A fatal bug? Did computers cause the Air France disaster? article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

A fatal bug? Did computers cause the Air France disaster?

We may never know why did the Air France Airbus A330 crashed in the Atlantic Ocean. Here we take a look at the interim report in to the disaster

Article
article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Volcanoes popping away - Tungurahua and Llaima

It's Monday of my first full week at work after the holidays, and it could be an interesting one.

Article
Airfix: kit, model or toy? article icon

Money & Business 

Airfix: kit, model or toy?

David Mayle considers whether the iconic British product can survive the changes taking place in British economy and culture.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team
OU on the BBC: James May's 20th Century - Honey, I Shrunk The World article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: James May's 20th Century - Honey, I Shrunk The World

At the beginning of the 20th Century, long distance travel was for the military-minded, the uprooted and the plain rich, but the pioneers of flight were to change all that.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team
OU on the BBC: James May's 20th Century - Take Cover article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: James May's 20th Century - Take Cover

In 'Take Cover', James looks at how warfare drives ingenuity and gets to fly in the RAF’s latest supersonic jet. It’s an experience that he describes as "the most amazing thing I have ever done".

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Elivs image #327237
The Concorde Accident article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

The Concorde Accident

Forensic engineering enables us to analyse the Concorde accident

Article
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