View Full Version : It's All in the Point of View

12-20-2013, 12:01 PM
About 25 years back, I was working on the early stages of what would become the International Space Station. We decided we needed simulator for assessing the practicality of assembling major portions of the Space Station using the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (the "Arm").

Because of my sim experience, they tapped me to lead the effort. We had the Boeing Flight Simulation center in Renton do the actual effort. It was pretty neat...you would sit in the cockpit of a 737 and "fly" up to the Space Station, then switch the point of view to the Shuttle's aft flight deck windows where we could work the arm using a control box that had the Rotational and Translational hand controllers of the arm.

Anyway, that's just background. Several years prior, a 737 had crashed into a bridge on takeoff in Washington DC, and the group I was working with had developed the simulation used to examine the pilot aspects of the accident. One of the things they needed to do, visually, is simulate the show shower that was going on at the time of the accident (and was one of the contributing factors).

The easiest way for them to implement this was to just build a snowflake, then clone it thousands of times and have them falling in front of the simulated aircraft.

One problem with that approach: Every once in a while, a snowflake would head *right* at the visual point of view. This meant you'd see a dot falling with the rest of the snowflakes, and all of a sudden it would expand until it fit the entire windshield....

They went to a simpler display method....

Ron Wanttaja

Jim Rosenow
12-20-2013, 12:57 PM
Nothing can go wrong....go wrong....go wrong....what a hoot Ron!

12-20-2013, 02:39 PM
The thought that went through my mind about about the enlarging dot scenario was if someone with a sense of humor added sounds to make it splat and smear onto the windscreen....