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UPDATE #47 - January 15, 1999

PART 1: Upcoming Chat
PART 2: Project News
PART 3: Bit Bucket Plumbing
PART 4: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it


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
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

Read Ken Schrock's autobiography prior to joining this chat.

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.

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.


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 slee@mail.arc.nasa.gov We'll try to get your questions

- - - - - - -

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

- - - - - - -

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

- - - - - - -

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

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

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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