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UPDATE #44 - December 14, 1998

PART 1: Upcoming Chat
PART 2: Project News
PART 3: A Week of Data Communications Planning
PART 4: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it


UPCOMING CHATS

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!!



PROJECT NEWS

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. . .


SUBSCRIBING AND UNSUBSCRIBING


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