Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Alvin On-Line Simulator

Have you ever wanted to pilot a submersible into the depths of the Ocean?

Not many of us will ever get that chance but if a cyber-space version will pass then check out the Woods Hole Oceanographic Insititution's Alvin Simulator. Used as a training tool for scientists it has standalone session mode as well as a joined session mode for collaborative missions.
(Screen shot of Alvin simulator.)

WHOI website provides this description as to the use of the simulator:

"In addition to full mission planning for WHOI scientists, the Alvin simulator was intended to provide applicability as a public relations tool so that users at home would be able to find out about WHOI research.

One of the sumulator's outstanding features is its full functionality as a stand-alone session once the interface is downloaded. All the meters and devices reflect real data that is calculated by the underlying algorithms. Furthermore, scientists as well as public users are allowed to collaborate in teams of up to three persons - just as in the real Alvin cockpit where a team consists of one pilot and two scientists.

Every member's actions in a joined session will influence the virtual dive and will be reflected on all the remote team members displays. In addition, an optional chat tool was provided for communication and surveillance purposes. Since scientists might be separated, the simulator is configured for distributive network-based session management which is supported by a Java 1.3 servlet."

There is a link on the site to an instructional video.

You won't be shooting sea monsters, this is primarily a technical training tool full of device controls and system gages used for mission tasks rehearsals.

If the simulator is to techie for you then here is some video footage from Alvin at a depth of 7644 feet.

Scientists do get excited when they see something unusual or unexpected, such as a lake at the bottom of the ocean.

1 comment:

Frances said...

When you need simulators to hone your skills, you should check out the ones available at