Apr 23 2012

Atmospheric Plasma – Brazil?

Well that was a hard week at the “office”.

I am currently in Brasilia, for the first of our Olympic qualifying events of the year. We got here on Sunday morning at 8am via Miami. The flights were good; having status on American Airlines has its perks as I got a free upgrade. Makes sitting on a plane for 8 hours slightly more enjoyable!

Surfx Atmospheric Plasma Systems

The weather has been ridiculous since we arrived on Sunday, at least 85 degrees and humid. It makes the preparation and recovery all the more important when you know how much fluid and nutrients you are losing in a 2 hour session!! That being said, parts of Brazil have some amazing restaurants and they certainly know how to cook a steak. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the area of Brasilia that we are in. Trying to find the right combination of foods in a mall food court is always an interesting challenge. One thing they do well is Acai; I can safely say I have had my fair share of antioxidants!!

This has been the first time that I have been away with volleyball but also still working for Surfx via email and Skype. It has been a challenge but I have found it is all in the preparation for each day, set myself goals both for the volleyball and gym sessions and for Surfx related work. The Surfx work has also provided me a much needed ‘break’ from the volleyball. As you can imagine it gets pretty intense when there are over 80 teams trying to prepare and train for the first Olympic qualifier of the year.

Our tournament officially starts on Wednesday morning, and you play until you have lost one game. We organize our week so that we have gym and volleyball sessions on Monday and Tuesday morning, then we are ready to fire up come Wednesday morning. Our sessions went well and we were excited to get the season started. Wednesday rolled around and we had been given a fairly tough draw. We knew if we implemented what we had been working on in pre-season we would be tough to beat. We had a good day but eventually lost to a team from Poland who are junior European champions 23-21 in the third game (volleyball is played best of three games, first two games are to 21 points the third is first to 15 point, but you have to win by 2, I hope that makes some kind of sense!) losing always sucks, and we had a goal for this tournament that we were very close to achieving but couldn’t quite get there.

This means we fly back to LA on Thursday, we land at 9pm. Friday will be a busy day for me, morning gym session followed by a full day in the office to continue with my goals for Surfx, then a volleyball session in the evening. All of this before I leave for Poland at 5pm on Saturday for the second of the Olympic qualifiers.

Busy couple of days for me ahead, losing sucks but I am excited to be going home to see my wife and three boys, watching them run at the computer on Skype shouting ” dada, dada” just isn’t quite the same.

Thank you all for the support, until next time.

Gregg Weaver

Apr 16 2012

Race to 2012 Olympics Begins (with Surfx)

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Gregg Weaver; I have been playing beach volleyball for Great Britain on the FIVB
international beach volleyball tour now since 2007. Up until July 2010 the federation fully funded my expenses related to playing beach volleyball full time, we had a great facility and staff based in Bath, England. Unfortunately due to the economy there were funding cuts and the entire men’s beach volleyball program lost its funding. No more facility, no more coach, no more travel expenses.

My wife and I chose that the best move we could make would be to move our family which at the time was myself, my wife and our 18 month old son would move back to Los Angeles, CA (which is where we met in 2005) where my wife would resume her career as a teacher and I would be a full time dad, and train on the beaches of California with some of the best players in the world. This seemed like it was going to work out perfectly.

Again budget cuts cased our plans to change in August 2011, this time it was my wife who was having her job taken away by the lack of school funding. Unfortunately for us she was the last in which usually means first out. This left us with a couple of tough decisions, and on more than one occasion we thought that the dream of going to the Olympics was over and that we would have to move to the mid-west where we could be closer to my wives family until we could find ourselves some employment.

With my engineering background I had been applying for technician and engineering jobs all over the LA area. I was lucky enough to get a job offer as an Account Executive from a very dynamic and ambitious company which was based in the LA area, Surfx Technologies.

Surfx Technologies has been extremely supportive of my need for flexibility in regards to my training and travelling. They are very excited to support me while I am pursuing my dream of representing my country at the 2012 London Olympics. Even if it does mean that I will be working while sat in my hotel room in various countries around the world.

I have a hectic couple of months ahead of me, this time next week I will be in Brasilia, Brazil for the first of seven Olympic qualifying events. Our best six results from these seven events will determine if my playing partner Jody Gooding and I can beat out our competition for the right to be walking in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.

I will be blogging throughout the coming months about the trials and tribulations of Olympic qualification, you can also follow my progress on twitter: Greggweaver062, Facebook:-Gooding/Weaver Team GB beach volleyball, or on our website GBbeachboys.com

Until next time.

Gregg Weaver

Mar 30 2012

Generating Plasma

We’ve been asked many times, what hardware is used to create plasma.

First, you must apply an electrical field to the gas to generate a plasma. In a vacuum chamber, where the ions and electrons have long lifetimes, it is relatively easy to do this. Radio frequency power can be applied to two metal plates immersed in the vessel creating a capacitive discharge. Alternatively, RF power may be deposited into a coil mounted on the chamber walls, thereby producing an inductively coupled plasma. The gas also may be ionized by application of microwave power at 2.45 GHz to a specially designed cavity or horn.

In an atmospheric plasma, a variety of power supplies may be used from DC to RF. The challenge is to design the electrodes and gas flow to yield intimate contact between the reactive gases and the substrate. At high pressure, the atoms and radicals are quickly consumed by collisions in the gas, so the transit time from the plasma to the surface must be short. If one wishes to achieve low temperature operation with atmospheric plasmas, then special precautions must be taken to prevent arcing between the electrodes.

A wide variety of plasma tools are available today, reflecting the broad spectrum of materials applications being tackled by these remarkable products. To the end user, the choices can be bewildering, making the task of product selection challenging at best. We encourage you to contact Surfx Technologies so that our engineers may assist you with the selection process.

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