Inspiration

Everyday thousands of flights land safely in American airports without any sign of danger. In complete oblivion, passengers board aircraft bestowing complete trust in their pilots, crew, and supporting staff. However, one job is often forgotten, yet it is arguably the sole reason modern aviation can exist. Twenty-four hours a day, air traffic controllers ensure aircraft can safely take-off, travel, and land by carefully spacing aircraft in one of the most fast-paced workplace environments imaginable.

What it does

Sporadic Systematic Supergraphic Air Traffic is a simple, elegant, platform for people who know nothing about air traffic controllers, to see into their everyday life, and experience the challenges and difficulties involved with ensuring the safety and security of airplanes. It includes a 3D interactive world, built in Three JS where individuals get the opportunity to direct airplanes, and control their flight paths. The majority of the project was built completely using js.

How we built it

We built the simulation mainly in Javascript, leveraging three.js, a Javascript library that allows for rendering of 3D graphics. We used IBM Watson’s Text-to-Speech API integrated with a Node.js backend. Our voice input recognition is done through an open source API called Annyong.

Challenges

We had some difficulty working with three.js as it was our first time working with graphics, and having it done entirely in Javascript made it all the more fun and exciting. While we strived to create the most realistic rendition of an Air Traffic Controller’s duties, we often had to side with more feasible programming solutions to problems like plane pathfinding, simulating holding patterns, and landing procedures.

Accomplishments

Some of our key milestones were: Getting the initial three.js background rendering going Adding our first plane on the screen Gaining control of plane movements by issuing commands Getting help labels to finally show up Integrating voice input through Annyong Implementing an interactive console Having the application vocally responding to you through IBM’s Text-to-Speech API

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