Open-Source Software at the Aerodynamics Laboratory
The first thing on my to-do list is to finish moving the Perl code I've developed off our last remaining SGI and onto a dual-processor Intel/Linux system. Although getting the programs running in their current form is a trivial task, I'm using the opportunity to refactor all of the code. There is also one software tool that is partially developed and needs to be finished: the user interface to the model attitude control system. In addition, we are considering changing our data file format from an arcane system developed in-house to one using XML. This will certainly result in the need for more new code.
Peering further into the future, I hope to have the time to develop some VRML applications that create dynamic 3-D graphic simulations of the models and probes in our wind tunnels, with superimposed load and pressure data. Also, our instrumentation group is investigating using embedded/real-time Linux for some of our data-acquisition needs.
With all of this work still to be done, I have no doubt that open-source software will continue to play an increasingly important role in the day-to-day operation of the Aerodynamics Laboratory.
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