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base jumping simulator

free-fall based simulator with VR scenery
  [vote for,

Take a 200m high tower, VR glasses and have a turbine fan (the kind skydivers use to train on) at the bottom blowing air up. Have a platform at the top that you can jump off and computers that can track your movement down the tower. Have vents that can bleed off the air so at the top theres relatively little wind. As you get towards the bottom the updraught will be enough to keep you stable and the computers can simulate cliffs/ space voyages, anything really going past at 200km/h + just meters away.

You'd probably have to be strapped into a brace to keep you in the freefall position to make sure that you didn't hit the sides but if it's done right, the acceleration forces would be almost indiscernible to the real thing. The brace could even automatically spin you around as the view on the VR glasses changes.

sporn, Nov 16 2003


       //have a turbine fan (the kind skydivers use to train on) at the bottom blowing air up//   

       yes, that's exactly what i meant.
sporn, Nov 16 2003

       That would be amazingly fun!!! I can imagine falling through VR space dodging things on the way down, in an endless freefall.
KLRico, Nov 17 2003

       I'm sure we did this before. Can't remember what it was called, tho; perhaps the perpetrator deleted it.
DrCurry, Nov 17 2003

       //will be enough to keep you stable// Having experienced both real skydiving and base jumping (hence the moniker), as well as the "simulated skydiving" in those vertical wind tunnels (both enclosed, in Orlando and Las vegas, and open, in Daytona Beach (portable, during spring break)), the "simulators" are notoriously difficult to stay stable in without some help or experience. The flow near the walls is slower than the flow near the center, so it is always trying to move you out of the airstream.   

       //strapped into a brace to keep you in the freefall position// since a balanced freefall in one of these simulators is a dynamic unstable equilibrium, the position is constantly changing, much like someone trying to balance on a basketball. With practice, the movements become automatic and quick and small enough to be unnoticeable to an observer, but they're there. (watch the hands of someone skilled in simulator flight, they're always moving). Putting someone in a brace would just make them fall off faster.   

       The whole virtual reality bit would be awesome, though. Perhaps with walls sufficiently far apart, with a rear projection setup would work. In order to keep centered while not looking down at the fan, some visible reference would be needed on the screen, maybe something simple as a low-density grid would suffice. Bake this, and I'll be among the first in line.
Freefall, Nov 18 2003

       Freefall - I've also done a fair bit of sky diving. Never been base jumping though it's one of my all time goals in life. I was actually thinking that the brace would consist of a frame the same diameter as the tower holding you in place in the middle. Unless there's a way of modifying the air speed so that there's faster air around the perimeter than the middle, which would result in a cup like pressure effect, meaning you would tend towards the center. Don't know how you'd acheive this what with the highly turbulent flow and shear effects though. Maybe a custom designed fan blade. Or maybe magnetise the outside of the tower and wear a load of negatively charged magnetos...
sporn, Nov 18 2003

       Ahh yes the wonderfull aspects of fluid dynamics.... unfortunately I don't know much of anything about it.   

       Maybe if you could use a laminar flow air stream inside a large diameter tube. I would think that if the wall of the tube was designed properly with louvers and holes the boundry layer would not cause problems with the nice and smooth laminar air flow inside. I'm thinking of something along the lines of a combustion can for a gas turbine engine.   

       I would really like to see a virtual reality free-fall simulator baked. I can only imagine how much fun it would be.... wow.
KLRico, Nov 19 2003

       It would be interesting to see a sculpted flow field, and I'm sure it's possible, but the design of these tunnels is often dictated by safety, i.e. padded sides, which do not lend themselves to proper airflow controls. For those tunnels with a walkway around the airstream (for instructors and waiting students), the airflow around the walls gets really nasty. Maybe we could do away with images on the walls altogether, and use those see-through video glasses (with tracking) and featureless walls, so you'd see the image without distracting features of the walls, but you'd also see the instructors and any markings on the walls to let you know they're still there. I'm voting a big + for this, and I'm hoping my input can help get it baked.
Freefall, Nov 19 2003

       yeah, at first i had the rear projection screen in mind, but the problem with the walls and the actual bottom of the tower made me change it to a VR headset. This gets rid of all the visuals problem and provides a fully 3d stereoscopic display. It could be linked directly to attitude sensors on the body to provide realtime 3d interactive video.
sporn, Nov 19 2003

       I would definately go with the 3D headset. The effect it would have on the sensation of actually free falling or flying would be profound.   

       I would give another (+) everytime I think about this if I could.
KLRico, Nov 20 2003

       this was done in reality. with occulus and a wind fan. amazing right!   

       sorry i would bun you. but i cannot now.
teslaberry, Jul 14 2015

       You could use this to simulate the last moments before impact at terminal velocity - something that many have seen but few have described.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 15 2015

       One woman, I think, fell out of a plane into a snowdrift and lived - or is that an urban myth?
pertinax, Jul 17 2015

       No, there are quite a few people who have survived impact with no vestige of a parachute. Usually they've landed in trees or snow, but I did hear one (possibly true) story of someone who survived simply by landing in deep mud.   

       The [possibly untrue] advice when I was jumping was to aim for a car if the worst came to the worst - the roof makes a superb crumple zone. The other advice I was given was not to sit in my car near the DZ.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 17 2015


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