Virtual Reality Upgrades at ARSC

ARSC is pleased to announce the arrival of the center’s second immersive environment, a Mechdyne MD Flex™ system. The room housing the system is called the ARSC Discovery Lab. This addition to ARSC's visualization resources will aid ARSC scientists and researchers in visualizing their data in a three-dimensional, immersive environment. The MD Flex is a small room approximately 10' x 10' x 8' in size. Three walls and the floor are equipped to display stereoscopic images, which allow researchers to virtually immerse themselves in their data set. The MD Flex is powered by an SGI Onyx 3200 image generator with four CPUs, four gigabytes of memory, and two Infinite-Reality4 graphics pipes.

The MD Flex system can accomodate several researchers at once, allowing simultaneous viewing of the same data. In the immersive environment, the image generator draws the stereoscopic images based on the perspective of a special tracker worn by the "driver." All other participants wear standard, active or passive 3D glasses, and are able to view the same image drawn from a slightly different perspective.

Projects that will take advantage of the new MD Flex system include ARSC's Body Language User Interface , ionospheric modeling, seismology and tsunami modeling, oceanography, and a new aurora project.

The Discovery Lab is located in the Rasmuson Library on the UAF main campus. The SGI Onyx 3200 is located in the Butrovich building machine room along with ARSC's other supercomputing systems.

For information regarding accounts for the Discovery Lab, contact User Support . Public tours of the lab will be held each Wednesday in June, July and August at 1 p.m. For information regarding public tours, please contact ARSC Public Affairs at 907/450-8662.


An empty Discovery Lab is prepared for installation.

Workers battle unusually warm and icy weather conditions asthey unloadthe Mechdyne equipment.

The projectors, mirrors and frames are installed in theDiscovery Lab.

Special equipment is used to calibrate the exact location ofthe screens.

ARSC staff members test out the completed Discovery Lab.

Arctic Region Supercomputing Center PO Box 756020, Fairbanks, AK 99775 | voice: 907-450-8600 | email:

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