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[ Jason/Ames - 21 - 11:00:09 ]
RE: [Susan/NASAChatHost] Good Morning and welcome Jason, Are you ready for some questions?
Good morning! Yes, I'm ready.

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 22 - 11:00:45 ]
RE: [Carl/homeschooled] Hello all
Good morning Carl!

[ Jason/Ames - 24 - 11:01:34 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] Do you simulate any cool planes?
Hi Sarah. The simulators I work on are pretty cool in my opinion. One is a 747 and the other is a sort of prototype... similar to a 757.

[ Jason/Ames - 25 - 11:03:22 ]
RE: [Carl/homeschooled] Jason what kind of computers are these simulators running on?
The 747 uses a network of IBM machines. I'm not sure exactly what type though. The ACFS (the prototype plane) runs on a network of a dozen or so Silicon Graphics machines.

[ Jason/Ames - 27 - 11:06:03 ]
If anyone wants to see pictures of these simulators, there are some on the web at http://scott.arc.nasa.gov/Photo_archive/Cockpit/Cockpit_archive.html and http://scott.arc.nasa.gov/Document_Archive/CVSRF_info_bullet.html

[ Carl/homeschooled - 29 - 11:08:10 ]
ooo URLs

[ Jason/Ames - 30 - 11:08:17 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] Will the simulator break if there is too much turbulence?
For now, yes. The ACFS is still being fine-tuned, so sometimes the motion stops suddenly. Turbulence can do that. The 747 hasn't done that yet though. It doesn't really break though, just stops bouncing around. What happens is that the safety interlocks shut down the system if it goes too far in any direction.

[ Jason/Ames - 31 - 11:09:21 ]
RE: [Carl/homeschooled] Do they simulate things like bad landings (gear up) and airodynamic stuff like down drafts?
We can do that. Mostly they experiment with new procedures and equipment, but we can break just about every system on the airplane if we want to.

[ Jason/Ames - 35 - 11:15:28 ]
RE: [Susan/NASAChatHost] What would be good subjects to study to get a job like yours?
I use my training in electronics every day. To understand that, I needed a lot of math. I don't actually crunch numbers much anymore, but understanding the math concepts helped train my brain to think logically.

[ Jason/Ames - 37 - 11:17:41 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] Is there a lot of pressure in your job, do you have to work fast?
It's a little like being a fireman. Sometimes there are several things broken at the same time, and all three of us are working on multiple problems. Depending on the schedule, we might have to hurry. Normally it's on the slow side though. I have time to build cables and parts for future projects, or study manuals for new systems.

[ Jason/Ames - 39 - 11:19:23 ]
RE: [Carl/homeschooled] Do you know what kind of network these computers run on?
I know we use ethernet. Not sure about the specifics, but I am able to access most of the building terminals from my desk, and even check my email from the simulator control station. ;)

[ Jason/Ames - 40 - 11:21:06 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] Is it like flying a flight simulator game on the Mac?
The software works on similar concepts, but this is of course much more realistic. Can you see the image of the cockpit? The window picture is big enough that I feel unbalanced sometimes when it turns.

[ Jason/Ames - 43 - 11:22:59 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] Is it like flying a flight simulator game on the Mac?
All the controls in the cockpit really work. We even bought two of the autopilot computers for a real 747.

[ Jason/Ames - 45 - 11:23:36 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] Wow, do you get airsick?
I'm kinda weird that way: I get airsick only in real planes. :)

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 46 - 11:24:34 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] Hi everyone!
Welcome Stephanie!

[ Jason/Ames - 47 - 11:25:06 ]
RE: [Carl/homeschooled] hehehe cool I wonder what kind of internet conection it has... from these screenshots it looks like you can simulate blimps VTVL prop planes and some other experimentals
I think the center has it's own major connection. We share that. The other aircraft you see might be for the simulators in other parts of the center. The VMS simulates the space shuttle, among other things.

[ Stephanie/Edmonton - 48 - 11:26:45 ]
What software do you use?

[ Jason/Ames - 51 - 11:29:11 ]
We actually write most of the software here. The visual system comes with it's own software, and the database to draw the runways and such. Everything else is done "in-house". For each experiment, we modify our software slightly, and make a separate copy so we can use the old versions for later projects.

[ Carl/homeschooled - 53 - 11:30:08 ]
The graphics on these things is impressive but the long range and right up close parts seem less detailed than joint strike fighter on a Voodoo2 :)

[ Jason/Ames - 54 - 11:30:22 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] Do you have to work more with experimenters or pilots?
I normally deal with the experimenters, or the experiment managers. The pilots are fun to talk with though.

[ Jason/Ames - 55 - 11:31:29 ]
RE: [Parker/HomesteadHigh] Is there any way to change the inside of the simulator to model different planes?
We do slight changes sometimes, but not normally. Our emphasis is on testing procedures and situations for currently used airliners.

[ Jason/Ames - 56 - 11:32:34 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] Does the lighting change within the simulator?
Do you mean the room lights? We can turn those off to make it look more realistic. We can also set the time of day of the scenario, so we can fly at night or daytime or whatever.

[ Jason/Ames - 60 - 11:35:08 ]
RE: [Carl/homeschooled] Does the FAA use your results to deside if a new plane is safe?
Maybe not a whole new plane, but new equipment or procedures get tested here.

[ Jason/Ames - 61 - 11:36:43 ]
RE: [Susan/NASAChatHost] Jason, we had a chat with Ray Oyung who studies Fatigue Countermeasures have you done simulations on human factors?
I think they will be doing one of those studies here in May. Other than that, we just finished an experiment last month about taxiing in thick fog. We watched pilots drive around with various aids to see how well they do. It was a really cool system too. It uses a HUD (Heads Up Display) just like in a military plane to draw the boundaries of the taxiway, and the route to get to the terminal. Sometimes the taxi clearance is so complicated that pilots get lost on the ground!

[ Sarah/Greenmeadow - 63 - 11:38:31 ]
Do you ever have to fix motors or is it more electrical stuff?

[ Jason/Ames - 64 - 11:40:56 ]
I work on a huge variety of things. There are a few motors, but they are very reliable. Mostly I fix computer glitches or worn out mechanical things. There's a lot of digital alignments for the visual system too. Some of the computer logic problems are really broken wiring between the panels and their computer. We have program tools to help us find them though.

[ Jason/Ames - 68 - 11:43:55 ]
RE: [Carl/homeschooled] If you fly one of the planes over the water will you see your reflection?
Not yet... but you'd have to be inverted or crashing to see that anyway, so it's not a very high priority. ;)

[ Jason/Ames - 70 - 11:45:55 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] Are the simulators hard to learn to fly do you have to practice a lot?
These simulators fly exactly like the real thing, so an airline pilot that comes here to help with an experiment only needs a short briefing and maybe a few practice runs. I get to fly one of them each morning... yes it is hard until you know how to use the pilot aids.

[ Jason/Ames - 71 - 11:47:37 ]
RE: [Parker/HomesteadHigh] Are there sounds and vibrations to simulate the engine
Yes, a lot too. I'm very impressed with the sound and motion systems. You can actually hear the engines start, speed up or slow down, and there's a little vibration during the startup too. It's very realistic.

[ Jason/Ames - 73 - 11:49:47 ]
RE: [Jason/Ames] Yes, a lot too. I'm very impressed with the sound and motion systems. You can actually hear the engines start, speed up or slow down, and there's a little vibration during the startup too. It's very realistic.
I once got adventurous on a slow day, and shut down an engine in flight. That doesn't make much sound anyway, but the vibration was actually a little scary. :) That stopped engine made the plane fly differently too. Landing was very interesting that day.

[ Jason/Ames - 75 - 11:51:58 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] It seem like working on simulators would make you want to fly do you think wyou would like to be a pilot?
It's sort of the other way around for me. Since I get airsick, this is as close to being a pilot as I want to be. :)

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 77 - 11:52:42 ]
Wow good questions everyone!! I am learning a lot!! We are running out of time. It must be getting close to dinner time for Jason too. Send in your last questions!

[ Jason/Ames - 78 - 11:53:32 ]
RE: [Parker/HomesteadHigh] I see that in the Advanced Concepts Flight Simulator COkpit picture on the html page that only the pilot has a HUD. in the event that the copilot has to fly the plane do the switch seats?
I assume they could. The HUD is really only used on the ground, for taxiing in bad weather. So they could actually get up and switch seats if it was really necessary.

[ Jason/Ames - 81 - 11:57:05 ]
RE: [Parker/HomesteadHigh] the fact that a simulator knows how to react to a engine being shut off is amazing!
Thanks. :) I used to work on airplanes too, so I picked up a lot of general knowledge. I've learned a lot from working here too. Landing with that engine out was a lot easier than it could have been because I got a lot of help from the autopilot. The 747 is actually smart enough to fly all the way to the destination runway, touch down and come to a full stop, with hardly any input from the pilot.

[ Jason/Ames - 82 - 11:59:06 ]
RE: [Carl/homeschooled] What kind of computer glitches do you get most offen?
Usually it's a change we made for an experiment that conflicts with something in an unexpected way. Or sometimes a bit of data gets lost while loading and it just needs to be restarted. Sometimes a connector fell off or a wire breaks somewhere.

[ Jason/Ames - 83 - 11:59:50 ]
RE: [Sarah/Greenmeadow] Thank you for answering my qestions today. I hope i get a job I like when I grow up.
You're welcome. Thanks for asking such good questions. :)

[ Jason/Ames - 85 - 12:02:06 ]
RE: [Susan/NASAChatHost] Thank you so much Jason! Great to chat with you and learn more about simulators!
Thanks for inviting me. It was fun! :)

[ Carl/homeschooled - 86 - 12:02:42 ]
Thanks Jason this was a lot more fun with the links/pics


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