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George A. Philbrick and Polyphemus -- The First Electronic Training Simulator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129390D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 14 page(s) / 56K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

PER A HOLST: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In 1937-1938 George A. Philbrick developed what he called an ";Automatic Control Analyzer."; The analyzer was an electronic analog computer, hard-wired to carry out a computation, or simulation, of a typical process-control loop. The analyzer consisted of several vacuum-tube amplifier stages interconnected to simulate a three-term PID controller operating on a four-lag process, with a number of switches and potentiometers provided for easy variations in the circuit configurations and parameter values. The whole assembly was battery operated and mounted in a standard rack. It contained a built- in oscilloscope: a Dumont 5-inch oscillograph, Type 208, which was one of the early CRT devices on the industrial market Philbrick named the single-screen analog computer ";Polyphemus, "; after the one- eyed Cyclops who, according to Greek mythology, was blinded by Odysseus.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1982 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

George A. Philbrick and Polyphemus -- The First Electronic Training Simulator

PER A HOLST

  (Image Omitted: © 1982 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Author's Address: The Foxboro Company, Foxboro, MA 02035. © 1982 AFIPS 0164-1239/82/020143-156

George A. Philbrick and Polyphemus -- The First Electronic Training Simulator

PER A HOLST .00/00)

In 1937-1938 George A. Philbrick developed what he called an "Automatic Control Analyzer." The analyzer was an electronic analog computer, hard-wired to carry out a computation, or simulation, of a typical process-control loop. The analyzer consisted of several vacuum-tube amplifier stages interconnected to simulate a three-term PID controller operating on a four-lag process, with a number of switches and potentiometers provided for easy variations in the circuit configurations and parameter values. The whole assembly was battery operated and mounted in a standard rack. It contained a built- in oscilloscope: a Dumont 5-inch oscillograph, Type 208, which was one of the early CRT devices on the industrial market Philbrick named the single- screen analog computer "Polyphemus, " after the one- eyed Cyclops who, according to Greek mythology, was blinded by Odysseus.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: A. 0 [General] -- biographies, George A. Philbrick; K.2 [History of Computing] -- hardware, Polyphemus General Terms: Design, Experimentation Additional Key Words and Phrases: analog computing device, computer simulation

Introduction

Electronic analog computers and simulators and their applications have grown and expanded quickly, attaining age, maturity, and technical sophistication during the past 30 years. Simulation has rapidly become an "in thing" for every subject from horseshoe manufacturing to cell biodynamics and world ecology. Perhaps not too many people realize -- or remember -- how and when it all came about.

In his book, Simulation -- The Modeling of Ideas and Systems with Computers, John McLeod (1968) gives credit to Ragazzini, Randall, and Russel for work they started in 1943 on one of the first electronic analog computers. An earlier pioneering effort was carried out, however, at the Foxboro Company in Foxboro, Mass.

IEEE Computer Society, Apr 01, 1982 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 4 Number 2, Pages 143-156

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George A. Philbrick and Po...