Immersive Visualization of Rail Simulation Data

UIC Project Information

NuRail Project IDNURail2012-UIC-R04
Project TitleImmersive Visualization of Rail Simulation Data
UniversityUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
Project ManagerShabana
Principal InvestigatorLeigh
PI Contact InformationPhone: (312) 996-3002 Email:
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)$76,666 UIC in-kind; $76,666 USDOT RITA
Total Project Cost$153,332
Agency ID or Contract NumberDTRT12-G-UTC18 (Grant 1)
Start Date2012-05-01
End Date2014-01-31
Brief Description of Research ProjectNearly one third of the human brain is devoted to processing visual information. Vision is the dominant sense for the acquisition of information from our everyday world. It is therefore no surprise that visualization, even in its simplest forms, remains the most effective means for converting large volumes of raw data into insight. Visualization is an essential research tool for scientific discovery, code debugging, validation, and technology transfer of the new or enhanced simulation models. In many instances it is impossible to observe from numerical or 2D results the essential phenomena of wheel/rail contact or the multiple contact points that can lead to train derailments. For example, the normal single-point contact ellipse for travel on straight track is about the size of a dime. However, to visualize two-point contact from irregular rail geometry or the three-point contact through switches or turnouts that could lead to derailments would be very difficult without more advanced visualization techniques such as 3D virtual reality. Graduate students in University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Computer Science will collaborate to ensure data structure compatibility between visualization software and multibody system dynamics simulation outputs. Virtual reality visualization is also often essential to effective technology transfer and widespread use of simulation models to design engineers, transportation policy makers, and other stakeholders outside the academic rail research community.
Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented)
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated)
Web Links
Project Website
Final ReportNURail2012-UIC-R04_report(1)-Andy.compatibility_craig_edit1.pdf