Thursday, April 09, 2009

Home-Grown Simulators

Quite a while back in Air & Space Smithsonian, there was an article about folks who built some pretty sophisticated mock-ups so they could better enjoy MS-Flight Simulator and similar products. I was glad to see the article put on the Internet archive.

Some of the folks did jumbo jet bridges with multiple computer monitors.
Note Daren Knightsbridge's simulator:

Others did fighter cockpits that required surrounding themselves with controls.

Additional link:

Monday, April 06, 2009

More Book News: Digital Apollo

I got a Borders gift card from my relatives for my birthday. It didn't take long to check the email for a coupon and get the card emptied out pronto.

Digital Apollo is a book about the history and background behind the Apollo Guidance Computer.

I'm looking forward to checking this out in greater detail. Some time ago, Eldon Hall wrote a book called Journey to the Moon from the AIAA press. It was really good and showed how the AGC had its origins in the Polaris missile and other clever, simple machines like Bush's Differential Analyser.

I'll get into it later, but the AGC has been "resurrected" in both computer simulators and homebrewed hardware...

more to follow...


"Read You Loud And Clear"

Every once in a while, you find something cool and cheap. Or free.

The guys at NASA's history department have done it again. "Read You Loud and Clear" (13 MB Adobe Acrobat ".pdf" format) is about the Minitrack, SATAN, STADAN, Mercury and other tracking and communication networks that were deployed for the space program.

What I've read so far, a variety of frequencies (HF, VHF, SHF) were used as well as a variety of modes. (radar, SSB, teletype) for tracking, telemetry and comms.

Looking forward to exploring the book more. I guess maybe 40 or 50 years later, some of this could be homebrewed... sounds like fun.