Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lab Conversion

There is a rumor going around that we are going to build a simulator.  So where is this simulator going to be located?  One idea that has been proposed for our program is to convert the main computer lab at the school into a part time simulator.  The design would allow it to still function as a computer lab, but in the evenings, weekends, and summers it will be able to take students on adventures into space.

In order for the lab to be able to function as a simulator there are going to need to be some big changes.  One of the biggest is the addition of a wall to separate the control room from the bridge.  There will also be a new lighting system, audio equipment, and general aesthetic elements such as paint to help create the atmosphere of being in a star ship.  Their are other elements we hope to add to the simulator as we generate funds from running flights, but these are the basics we believe are needed to get a ship up and running.

The controls of the ship are currently being developed as part of the project led by Allan Stewart and Dave Wall.  The open source programs will be able to run on the computers currently being used at the school instead of having to buy new systems.We are very excited by this prospect and the amazing opportunity we have been given to work with them and the aide they are providing us.

Here are some images that show how the simulator might appear in the future.  On the left is a possible layout for desks, but more importantly shows the additional wall.  The others are images from inside the simulator and control room.  We'd love to have the new desks, but most likely they are a little further down the road.

In order for us to make these changes to the lab as well as purchase the necessary equipment to run the simulator, it is going to take some funds. We need the skills to build a wall or the money to pay someone to do it, not forgetting the actual materials as well.  With the increase of equipment we will also be running some new electrical outlets and the lighting system.  If you know someone who can help us with these tasks please contact us.  The great thing about this project is that our estimates are showing a very attainable fund raising goal.  We'll keep you posted on our progress.

Thursday, December 9, 2010