Monday, November 17, 2014

Jacobs School engineers helping to find downed WWII aircraft in the Pacific

Aerospace engineering professor Mark Anderson and his students are working hand in hand with oceanographer Eric Terrill at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to find a missing B-24 in the Pacific. The project is part of a partnership with the Office of Naval Research to find downed WWII aircraft and the remains of troops listed as missing in action for nearly 70 years.

According to a Scripps press release:

Other UC San Diego researchers joined the search in different ways. Terrill collaborates with Mark Anderson of UC San Diego’s Department of Aeronautical Engineering. Anderson has a background in aeronautics, flight trajectories, and statistics and was asked by Terrill to help with developing a predictive model for a missing B-24 that remains to be found. A group of engineering students was enlisted to run what are known as Bayesian models, using the best-known historic information collected by BentProp over the last decade.  During the most recent expedition, the probability maps for areas where the plane might be located were routinely updated by the students (during their Spring break) based upon data collected by Terrill’s group that was relayed to them in San Diego.  The plane remains missing, and teams remain focused on planning for a 2015 mission to complete their search. 
Terrill's efforts were featured recently on CBS news magazine "60 Minutes" and in a documentary by camera manufacturer GoPro.

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