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University of Iowa News Release

March 3, 2006

UI To Host Moline Talk On Aviation And Synthetic Vision March 23

The University of Iowa Alumni Association (UIAA) and the UI College of Engineering will host a 7-8 p.m. Thursday, March 23, free, public presentation titled "Synthetic Vision: Aiding Aviation" at the John Deere Pavilion, 1400 River Drive Moline, Ill.

The talk will be preceded by a 6-7 p.m. reception and an opportunity to explore interactive exhibits at the John Deere Pavilion.

Tom Schnell, associate professor of industrial and mechanical engineering and director of the Center for Computer Aided Design's Operator Performance Laboratory (OPL) in the UI College of Engineering, will be the featured speaker at the event.

A part of the UI Alumni Association's Lifelong Learning series, the talk will focus on technologies that aid pilots. At present, pilots rely on an array of technologies, including a Global Positioning System (GPS) that helps them keep track of the aircraft's position. Schnell, a commercial pilot and flight instructor, will discuss an emerging technology called synthetic vision, which is likely to improve flight safety by rendering images of the terrain and any obstacles that may lurk in the flight path. Synthetic vision is especially valuable in low visibility conditions, such as fog or at night.

Lifelong Learning is an educational outreach program sponsored by UIAA and developed in partnership with UI colleges and departments. Each year, UI faculty and staff share their knowledge and experience with alumni and friends of the university at events held in cities across Iowa.

Reservations to attend the talk can be made by going to the Web site at or by calling 1-800-IOWALUM.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the UI Alumni Association in advance at 800-469-2586.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,