UPDATE #44 - December 14, 1998
Wednesday, December 16, 1998, 9 AM Pacific Time: Narottam Bansal, senior materials research scientist Narottam works with a group of researchers to develop materials that can withstand extreme environmental conditions. The work done in this area will be important to the development of high speed aircraft. Recently, Narottam has been working in collaboration with engine companies on the development of a special coating material for the engine of the High Speed Civil Transport. Read Narottam Bansal's autobiography prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/bansal.html Registration information is available at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting We will take a break from Chats and Updates during the weeks of December 21st and 28th, 1998. We've got lots planned for January, 1999. Plan to rejoin us then!!
THE WRIGHT FLYER STATUS REPORT Wright Flyer Online Status Reports appear on the site at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/news/ Smooth Move for Wright Flyer Everything went according to plan on the move of the Wright Flyer to the low bay of the NASA Ames 40 by 80 wind tunnel. A great deal of care was taken planning the route, in some places traffic was stopped and parking blocked off. Robert Scott, Site Leader for the National Full Scale Aeronautics Complex said although he had been concerned that low hanging tree branches might be a problem, the truck only had to go around one branch. The truck driver had lots of hauling experience and he did a flawless job, the truck moved very slowly to minimize the trauma to the Wright Flyer Model. Pete Zell, NASA Test Manager for the Wright Flyer wind tunnel test, said "It was the perfect day weather-wise!" High winds or rain would have required that the move be postponed. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as Felton Smith the forklift driver slowly lifted the model from the flatbed truck and set it safely down on the floor of the low bay. AIAA members were thrilled to see that their twenty years of work on this model had brought them that much closer to the wind tunnel test. Members planned to reattach the canard the next day. AIAA members and the NASA test members met following the move to discuss the next steps in planning for the test. Jack Cherne presented a design for a roll stop for the connection between the model and the sting. NASA engineers will now review this design. A safety engineer will also review the test plans in order to ensure the test proceeds safely. We are preparing an archive of the broadcast of the move. It will be linked in at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/adto/wfo.html CELEBRATE THE 95TH ANNIVERSARY OF FLIGHT See how you can celebrate the 95 Year Old Journey with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Visit http://www.faa.gov/education/wright.htm POETRY CONTEST! Create your own original poem about the Wright Flyer, the Wright brothers or the Wind tunnel Test or more! For more information go to: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/events/contest/poetry.html WRIGHT FLYER WIND TUNNEL DATA LESSONS The wind tunnel data lesson plans for the 1903 Wright Flyer Wind Tunnel Test are being written up for the Internet. Watch for news of these lessons in future updates. Your class will be able to use the near real time test data with these lesson plans!
[Editor's Note: Ken Schrock is a data communications engineer. Read his bio at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/schrock.html ]
A WEEK OF DATA COMMUNICATIONS PLANNING
by Ken Schrock
November 20, 1998 16 Nov Began web search for reviews on wireless LAN hardware. Also began researching the radio frequency bandwidth requirement for direct sequence spread spectrum bandwidth and waveform. Contacted friend at NASA Marshall that works with rocket telemetry for some suggestions. Began web search for network throughput analysis software. Compared module for tool we already have to another tool that is cheaper. Can't tell if either has required capability. Talked with FAA facility people about letting us put a computer and antenna on the on building roof to see if we can use radio system to replace ground lines that the phone companies charge us for every month. Installed on South side of TRACON roof. Asked for FAA to run network cable to my office. Started looking to borrow spectrum analyzer to measure signals at the antenna. 17 Nov Took packets from network "sniffer" program and moved from PC to Sun workstation. Later I'll sneaker-net the files from the private Intranet to the Internet on a floppy. It seems low tech, but it keeps the two networks completely isolated. Our Intranet is directly connected to the computers that run the nation's Air Traffic Control system. After I got out of my astronautics class I checked out a book from the college library on spread spectrum theory. Read section on modulation technique our borrowed equipment uses. Took the Sun workstation, gave it a new network number so it won't work unless it connects through the wireless LAN. FAA had a better route to run the network cable from my office to the North side of the roof. Moved the antenna and connected to my Sun. The Sun came and connected to the network at the building 6 miles away. Started transferring files to check maximum data rate. 18 Nov Data rate from wireless LAN is less than one-fourth of expected. Asked FAA to put an antenna up in the Center Control Tower antenna floor (100 feet higher than TRACON roof). Got to look at several sites to mount the antenna on the Center Tower. One catwalk was 130 feet up with an open grate floor. If you dropped a nut or bolt it would fall a LONG way down through the holes in the grate. Got antenna moved, took Sun workstation from my office and sat it up in the antenna access room. 19 Nov Data rate on the wireless LAN is not much better than when it was on the TRACON roof. Took borrowed spectrum analyzer and connected to our wireless LAN antenna. Drew picture of what screen looked like and wrote all numbers down for analysis when I'm at my desk. Found an odd waveform that I didn't expect to see, will need to compare to theory and figure out the reason. 20 Nov Borrowed another spectrum analyzer and went to the antenna on the other end of the connection. It's on the roof of a different five-story building. Glad we have the network cable run down to one of our offices. Need to get the cable ordered and then run from the Center Tower to one of our hubs. With this new spectrum analyzer I can't even see the signal coming from the Center Tower. I know it's there because I can reconnect the computer and get data. Another mystery to solve. . .
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