Current Affairs: 2019 / by Joseph Phillips

Volunteer Work

  • Working with Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation is challenging. The website is abandoned, the collections unorganized, and the de facto leader of the group is unavailable, at best. I have spent 90 days trying, unsuccessfully, repeatedly, in person, by email, and through conversation with anyone possible, to get a photograph of a photograph of a petroglyph dynamited in the 1930s. The entire focus of my work, I have explained, is tied up in the process of getting the photograph, organizing its “lending” to me for an hour to photograph and study the quality of the aging material upon which the image resides. The process of memory itself is my puzzle. We hold items in our memory, forget them, lose them, remember them when triggered by events, phenomenological triggers, ideas that constantly evolve and unfold and permeate our consciousness and imagination

  • I wanted to show how this photograph of a petroglyph is surviving in the haphazard care of a tiny Pennsylvania cultural collection, a rock carved thousands of years ago by people who may have built the earthen mount at the end of my road, Redstone Old Fort, site of Fort Burd, site of the Nemacolin/Bowman’s Castle or whatever it is that people so choose to call it. How is it surviving? Where is it on a daily basis? Why is it that I request to see it and every opportunity is thwarted by disorganization. I feel like I am haunted by it. Seriously, I’ve been in contact with the Heritage Center on a weekly basis for months so I can just take a photo of it. Called the owner of the photo. Ignored. It’s disturbing.

  • Published media in

  • Cannot get any more information from historical society. No one returns my calls. BARC was started by HHC, so it’s comically ineffectual.


I work for a construction manufacturing company that makes sheet metal products. My position is “Estimator” , training, just as other new hires train to become a Chief Estimator. You have to be stupid for six months to get fired there. I have a chance. I am becoming an expert on HVAC system installation, manufacturing, production and such. All our steel comes from the USA. So, the China tariffs, if anything, gave us a boost.. Everyone losing money on imports is shedding customers our way. We are nailing good deals, and it is exciting to see a company that I growing and successful. We move tens of millions of tons of steel per year. I work with CAD, architectural drawings, and different forms of software and coding systems to create mock-ups, models, BOMs and bids for jobs. Hospitals, schools, research centers, manufacturing plants, and the occasional parking deck. I am learning more than the job entails. It will help me model autonomous drone transportation constraints.

Drone Engineering

I have a drone build underway, a little 90 mm FPV nano drone, a real screamer. The only thing I lack is a radio, but it is on it’s way.

Also, I have a vision recognition system and breakout board coming. I will build a 250 mm drone next with a camera system, fat with batteries and long-range telemetry. Going with that will be a ground-based radar antenna, an IFF and g.s. to connect with ATIS and others. It’s an infrastructure drone.

After that, a 300 mm screamer with a parachute and frangible arms. This one is literally a cras test drone with experimental frame and composites, and a detachable carriage with COG servo and biomonitoring chip for a climate controlled ride. Then comes the big lifter able to carry 15 lb. package for 15 miles at 75 mph. A giant, wraith of a drone. After that, I work on fixed-wing.

The final iteration combines the elements I need:

  • Highly maneuverable with payload, contingencies for crashes, vision recognition mode, autonomous mode, custom landing programming, intelligent flight planning and learning, bio-monitoring, TROS with app-enabled client support. Secure data partitioning and NAS integration for small to mid-sized airport work, at proximity and altitude barring necessary geofencing.

  • Small fast, medium sensor-driven, large rescue/response, xtra large lifter.

  • Have been studying nighttime illumination material: lights, circuit analysis, lenses, pucks.

  • Have been robbed of any chance at SBIR due to poverty. Don’t be poor.

  • Funding

  • There is no funding. My sweat and insomnia pay my bills while I sleepwalk through me day job. I received a rejection from Zipline. I had filed for a remote pilot operater position before I had completed my thesis, production analysis, financial planning and other steps needed to scale an aircraft manufacturing firm. I sent them an updated resume. No expectations.

  • Current interests

  • Getting into Python, getting cash flow, Spring. Production work underway for Brownsville, PA historical project and a PSA for the local Fire Department.

    • Abandoned Hospital Grounds: Danger!

    • MMS research

    • Breathrough Starshot

    • Asking embarrassing questions and musing extravagantly on AIAA websites and social media pages.. It is so easy to tease quality information from a rocket scientist. All you have to do is confidently share bad ideas. Then the heavens open up and I get schooled. Glory be on thrusters.