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Virtual reality based space operations - A study of ESA's potential for VR based training and simulation

: Olbrich, Manuel; Graf, Holger; Keil, Jens; Gad, Rüdiger; Bamfaste, Steffen; Nicolini, Frank


Chen, Jessie Y.C. (Ed.):
Virtual, augmented and mixed reality. 10th International Conference, VAMR 2018. Pt.1: Interaction, navigation, visualization, embodiment, and simulation : Held as part of HCI International 2018, Las Vegas, NV, USA, July 15-20, 2018; Proceedings
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2018 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10909)
ISBN: 978-3-319-91580-7 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-319-91581-4 (Online)
International Conference on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (VAMR) <10, 2018, Las Vegas/Nev.>
Fraunhofer IGD ()
Guiding Theme: Digitized Work; Research Area: Computer graphics (CG); Research Area: Human computer interaction (HCI); Research Area: (Interactive) simulation (SIM); Virtual reality (VR); data glove; interactive virtual environments

This paper presents the results of a study the authors conducted together over a year in order to identify key issues of ESAâs (European Space Agency) potential for a deployment of Virtual Reality training environments within space operations. Typically, ESA simulates several operations using DES like systems that need to be linked to a VR environment for training purposes. Based on the second generation of VR equipment and development tools the paper describes a holistic design approach from scenario development through design decisions on SW and HW choices until the final development of a PoC for a virtual lunar base that might simulate the metabolism of a lunar base. Here the idea was to mirror the mass- and energy-flows within a lunar base in order to maintain an environment, in which astronauts can live and work and to establish a tool that supports the training of astronauts for operating such a lunar base, the one likely next step of human space exploration bey ond the International Space Station as identified by ESAs decision makers. In the end, we have realized a PoC for a fire emergency case on a lunar base allowing astronauts being trained in a fully simulated and integrated environment. The system could be tested and evaluated in two set-ups, first using classical VR controllers, second, using recent VR glove technology.