Visualizing Hurricane Katrina 

Visualizing Hurricane Katrina 


Using National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research data sets, a scaled and interactive stereographic 3D model of Hurricane Katrina was created by parsing approximately 2GB of satellite and radar data. The data includes information such as the planetary boundary layer height, the water vapor mixing ratio at different altitudes, the digital base reflectivity, and the composite reflectivity at three different heights. The data was parsed and converted into a grid of points in three-dimensional space then a surface mesh was generated from the grid points, with shading added to differentiate altitude. The resulting 3D model of Hurricane Katrina was imported into Unity and configured to run in for ICAVE. Users can interact with the model via a game controller or voice commands.

Instrument Information and Program Information

  • Mechdyne developed the first commercial Cave Automated Virtual Environment (CAVETM) driven by off-the-shelf PCs, more companies and organizations can afford them. From the early CAVE design came a rear projected curved screen, then a reconfigurable immersive room (the FLEXTM) that switches between viewing wall and virtual immersion room.
    Mechdyne strives to stay in front of the curve by developing the most advanced technology solutions. Mechdyne was built on one initial big idea that exploded into powerful momentum, becoming a leading innovator and supplier of large-scale visualization and audiovisual technology today on six continents.
  • Unity is a flexible and powerful development platform for creating multiplatform 3D and 2D games and interactive experiences. It’s a complete ecosystem for anyone who aims to build a business on creating high-end content and connecting to their most loyal and enthusiastic players and customers
  • Explore the world with Google Earth. Explore rich geographical content, zoom from outer space to street level, search for business locations, visualize your GPS tracks and share with others, fly around cities (or the entire world) in 3D go back in time with historical imagery, dive beneath the surface of the ocean.
  • SketchUp is useful from the earliest stages of design to the end of construction. Programming, diagramming, design development, detailing, documentation, RFIs—wherever you need drawings, you need SketchUp Pro.

Relevant Research Papers

Jean-Luc Lugrin, Fred Charles, Marc Cavazza, Marc Le Renard, Jonathan Freeman, Jane Lessiter,Are Immersive FPS Games Enjoyable?, In , In Proceedings of the 18th ACM symposium on Virtual reality software and technologyProceedings of the 18th ACM Symposium on Virtul Reality Software and Technology. ACM, 2012.

Jean-Luc Lugrin, Fred Charles, Marc Cavazza, Marc Le Renard, Jonathan Freeman, Jane Lessiter,CaveUDK: a VR game engine middleware, In Proceedings of the 18th ACM symposium on Virtual reality software and technology, pp. 137-144. New York, NY, USA: ACM, 2012. 
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C# Code Examples for I-CAVE Development

Although, not as fast as C++, C# is a great language to begin understanding how to develop custom applications for I-CAVE. These examples use OpenTK as a wrapper for OpenGL.


Simple Stereoscopic ‘Dots’

When you run this demo on a computer that doesn’t support quadbuffer stero (like your workstation), you will not be able to see the stereoscopic image; however running it on a system that supports quadbuffered stereo, like I-CAVE will show you the images in stereoscopic mode.