UPDATE #47 - January 15, 1999
QuestChats require pre-registration. Unless otherwise noted, registration is at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats Wednesday, January 20, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Standard Time: Ken Schrock, flight test project/instrumentation/telemetry, data-communication engineer Ken's is involved with the development of the Center-TRACON Automation System (CTAS), a tool that will help air traffic controllers better handle the large number of airplanes flying in and out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport. Read Ken Schrock's autobiography prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/schrock.html Tuesday, January 26, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Standard Time: Rabi Mehta, senior research scientist Rabi is interested in wind tunnel design and sports ball aerodynamics. He has helped with the renovation of the Ames including the 12' wind tunnel renovation project. His interests have encouraged him to study how baseballs, golf balls, and tennis balls fly, and what affects them during flight. Currently, he is writing a book called "The Aerodynamics of Cricket Ball," and is involved research in which special paints are used to measure pressures on the surfaces of models. Read Rabi Mehta's autobiography prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/rabi.html Tuesday, January 27, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Standard Time: Carolyn Mercer, chief, Optical Instrumentation Technology Branch Carolyn has been involved in research for improving fuel economy, manufacturing processes, and microgravity science. Currently, she manages a group of 13 researchers who are inventing new ways to measure, with the use of optics. Her job is to make sure that the researchers are working on the right things to satisfy NASA's needs, doing a good job, and being rewarded for their work. She must also make sure they have the resources they need to do their jobs and provide career growth opportunities for them. Read Carolyn Mercer's autobiography prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/mercer.html
Teacher Chat on Wind Tunnel Data Lessons
Recognizing that some teachers might have some questions about the Wind Tunnel Data Lessons, http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/teachers/ we are planning a chat with Suzanne Ashby, Curriculum Specialist who has written some of the data lessons. We are asking for your suggestions as to what time of day would work for you. The chat is currently planned for February 23, 1999. We would also be interested in any particular questions you want answered during the event. Send your time suggestions and topic questions to email@example.com We'll try to get your questions answered. - - - - - - - January Art Contest for Grades 1-8 Looking for an outlet for your (students) artistic talents? Start with a line drawing of the Wright Flyer and create a drawing in the style of Wassily Kandinsky, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, or Andy Warhol. We can't wait to see what you come up with!!! For details go to http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/events/contest/art.html - - - - - - - Winners's Prize Returned We mailed a prize to the Grades 9-12 poster contest winner Bryan Carroll in Washington state. Unfortunately it was returned no such address. If anyone has the correct address can you please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org - - - - - - - 1903 Wright Flyer Model Status Test Planning Continues What's Next: At the end of January, the wind tunnel staff will run a test of the Wright Flyer model's engine. If the engine is working well, then the plans to lift the Wright Flyer model into the tunnel will proceed on schedule. Quest will Webcast this "lift-in." Watch for news about this in the near future! Safety was another topic at the NASA Test Manager's meeting this week. To prepare for the Wright Flyer test, in early February NASA safety engineers will evaluate potential hazards so the wind tunnel staff can take any preventative actions needed. Then, the first Test Readiness Review (TRR) will be scheduled in mid-February. At the TRR, the engineers check out all aspects of the test, including the equipment, instrumentation, data collection and transfer, and anything else that must be in place before the test can be run. The engineers discussed options to regulate the airflow speed. One way is to use the normal electrical power supplied by the local company and regulate the airspeed by using the gauge that sets the fan blade revolutions per minute (rpm's). Another way is to use generators in the wind tunnel to regulate the fan blade rpm's by generating a reduced level of power.
[Editor's Note: Ken Schrock is a Flight Test Project/Instrumentation/Telemetry, Data-Communication Engineer. Please read his autobiography at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/schrock.html ]
Bit Bucket Plumbing
by Ken Schrock
11 January, 1999 11 Jan Checked and then moved data log of automated file transfer to record wireless lan data link capacity. Had to ftp across two intranet machines then sneakernet (hand transfer the floppy) to my internet PC. Asked a co-worker to write the perl script and crontab to save the ftp transfer data rates. Wireless lan monitor program doesn't have file loggin capacity, so have been taking screen dumps for comparison. Talked with wireless lan installer to get his perspective on system reliability, supportability and maintainability. Need to be sure that I'm spend the taxpayers dollars wisely. 12 Jan Began web search for flat panel display vendors. Have project to put two displays in Delta Airlines ramp tower at DFW. I've never seen such a small room with so many computer monitors. Putting two of the 20 inch monitors that we usually use is out of the question for this site. E-mailed friend from another branch that had bought some flat panels for another project. Got his vendor's name and number and some leads for hardware that was in development when he made his purchase a year ago. Need to import about 100 sets of ftp log data with 4 entries per set. A bit cumbersome to hand enter. Have to decide what's the most efficient way (time wise) to enter this data. Should have put a little more thought into the script that wrote the data in the first place. I've been teaching myself 'C'. Maybe this would be a good practice problem to code up. . . 13 Jan (Home sick with some kind of flu bug.) 14 Jan Since there's several new people at the site, I thought I'd send out the mailing and shipping addresses again. Rather than clog the mail server with a Word attachment to the e-mail, I converted it to html and put it on our intranet. Began researching Data Encryption Standard as part of wireless lan system security. Discussed ISDN router software upgrade with system administrator. Since wireless lan is carrying the data, the routers are off-line and it would be a good time for upgrades. Previously he had done an upgrade and just barely got it to work without sending it back to the factory. He checked the firmware release notes and saw that the new version had no big improvements, so we decided it wasn't worth the risk. Talked with procurement buyer about supporting documentation for buying flat panels and wireless lan. How to accurately describes my specific needs so the buyer could know what's important from a technical perspective. Talked with co-worker about other technoligies to be investigated before purchasing wireless lan. ISDN doesn't seem to be the answer, but maybe HDSL is. . . Helped another group that is through with their experiments here for now to disconnect and remove their equipment. Worked together to make sure no one inadvertantly got disconnected. (typed up this journal ;-) 15 Jan Begin going through network tutorial from big network hardware company to learn about Asynchronous Transfer Mode and Frame Relay networking. Upcoming project wants to put in high speed connection between Texas and California so the researchers can get the DFW airport Surface Motion data at their desks.
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