Technology question about visualizing air currents

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by JOhnH, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I have no idea what the physics would entail, but it seems that it wouldn't be too difficult to create a device that you wear, maybe like night vision goggles, that would allow you to visualize air currents. It would be great for pilots flying in the mountains.

    But I don't imagine there would be a big enough market for it to pay for development costs.

    Or perhaps it already exists and I just have not heard about it.
     
  2. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    I have no idea what the physics would entail, but it wouldn't be too difficult to create a device that you wear, maybe like Spock wore to rescue Kirk after he fell of the mountain.
     
  3. kath

    kath Line Up and Wait

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    What would be the source of the underlying data?

    One could take a model for the winds (like whatever windy.com uses) and make a 3-D visualization tool for displaying it in an Oculus Rift or something similar. But to have something fine-grained enough for mountain flying (all those little eddys and swirls), you'd need a more fine-grained model and *lots* of input data to construct it. A valley ringed with anemometers?
     
  4. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No need to make fun of the idea. It doesn't need to be a start trekky kind of thing. But of course though, I fully expected that when I posted.

    But then again, a few years ago, goggles that would let you see in the dark might have seemed a little like magic too. Or sensors that let you see under the ground or through buildings. Or phones with more power than an IBM 360.

    And it doesn't need to be a system that lights up the entire Rocky Mountain range.

    I was thinking of something like using a wide beam, low power laser, or maybe LED or infrared, that will light up particulate matter in the air in front of you. Then some kind of optical goggles that would pick up the reflections of those particles so you could actually see those particles moving, sort of like you can see dust floating in a sunbeam. I don't think it is impossible at all. But I can see where the market size wouldn't support the R&D.
     
  5. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    There have been experiments using LIDAR for airspeed sensing and to 'see' gusts and turbulence ahead of airplanes, it's probably not too much or a stretch to see that feeding into a 'visualizer'. Processing time, range, and how to actually use it (react to it, not just wear it) in a GA cockpit are some of the obvious hurdles I can think of.

    ETA: See NASA's ACLAIM program. The linked fact sheet is dated 2005.

    Nauga,
    and his rough ride
     
  6. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Ah, radar for dust. After you invent it, here's an idea for a name of the technology: RUST. :)
     
  7. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There you go:-

    Not that cheap and likely needs more pressure difference that in the case you mentioned.

    https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/TOP2-271

    [​IMG]


    "First, images are obtained of a visually textured background pattern from an appropriate altitude. Next, a series of images are collected of a vehicle in flight below the observer vehicle and over the same spot on the ground that serves as a background pattern. Shock waves are deduced from distortions of the background pattern resulting from the change in refractive index due to density gradients. The invention requires special software to create the schlieren images."

    I looked this up a while back and I found these-

    Google - [shadowgraph full size aircraft]

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-6501/aa5748

    The digital revolution has had a transformative effect, replacing clumsy photographic film methods with excellent—though expensive—high-speed video cameras, making digital correlation and processing of shadow and schlieren images routine, and providing an entirely-new synthetic schlieren technique that has attracted a lot of attention: background-oriented schlieren or BOS.

    ###

    https://www.researchgate.net/figure...ht-US-Govt-photo-by-Leonard-M_fig14_228522515

    "T-38 at Mach 1.1, Schlieren for aircraft in flight (US Govt. photo by Leonard M. Weinstein, NASA Langley Research Center). "

    ###

    https://www.researchgate.net/public...and_shadowgraph_imaging_in_the_great_outdoors
    Schlieren and shadowgraph imaging in the great outdoors
    May well be free

    ###

    https://soundcloud.com/aerosociety-podcast/sets
    Section "An Interview with..."
    7. The Capt Eric 'Winkle' Brown - given 1979

    At 6mins in to audio
    "shadowgraph of full size aircraft in the air."
    ...
    "needs just the right light at dawn or dusk"
     
  8. Rein Hart

    Rein Hart Pre-Flight

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    would be easier to model the data onto a 2d plane like a regular screen display instead of 3d googles. Your idea reminds me of the f-22 hud helmet $$$$...