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Air Safety Bureau wins major computer graphics award



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Ros Kelly Minister for Telecommunications and Aviation Support

1 September 1989 27/89

AIR SAFETY BUREAU WINS MAJOR COMPUTER GRAPHICS AWARD

The development of a unique computer program to help solve aircraft accidents has won a prestigeous computer graphics award for the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (BASI).

The specialised system, called Aircraft Accident Investigation System (AAIS), won the Computer Graphics of the Year section of the 1989 Australian Information Technology Awards.

The awards, made by the Australian Computer Society, were announced today.

The Minister for Telecommunications and Aviation Support, Ros Kelly, today congratulated BASI and Garrard Consulting, the Canberra-based software company contracted to develop and install the software.

"The system developed jointly by BASI and Garrard Consulting has proved invaluable in assisting in aircraft accident investigation," Mrs Kelly said.

"Because of its success, and because there is no other system like it, the Bureau has been approached directly by two overseas companies interested in international marketing rights for the software.

"As well, the Bureau has received several requests for information on the software from Japanese, Canadian and Australian companies.

"There is good export potential for- this system»and 'BASI and Garrard Consulting are to be congratulated for their efforts."

The Aircraft Accident Investigation System provides computer visualisation of vital information from aircraft "Black Box" flight recorders, ground-based recorders and aircraft performance and operational data.

The system is based on a Silicon Graphics 4D/70GT graphics workstation using local software developed specifically for BASI. It provides real-time animation of aircraft flight paths and their cockpit instruments for output directly onto videotape. __

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BASI has so far created three major applications for the graphics system - a conventional cockpit instrument panel which can be adapted to match all major aircraft types; three-dimensional flight paths of up to four aircraft

incorporating solid models of planes; and an approach and landing application.

The flight path depicts the aircraft flying through a computer model of the terrain it actually covered. The user gets the same view of the aircaft as seen by witnesses and air traffic controllers, and the terrain outside the aircraft windows as seen by the pilots.

Results obtained from the system formed the major part of the report on the collision of two light aircraft at Coolangatta in May 1988 in which four people died.

It is currently being used to investigate several serious incidents involving navigational problems and the misidentification of airfields.

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Further information:

Minister's Office - Cathi Collier Department - Sean Allan (062) 77 7840 (062) 74 7716