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International Space Station and usage of AR and VR!

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The crew members who abroad the ISS have started utilizing immersive technology in everything. They use it for maintaining the ship to scientific research. AR and VR are used for carrying out different experiments and functions on ISS. Lots of assistants are received by the astronauts by using AR and VR.

Usage of AR and VR on ISS –

Sidekick –

  • It is a set of high-tech goggles.
  • It provides hands-free assistance to crew members and uses high-definition holograms that show 3D schematics or diagrams of physical objects as they completed tasks.
  • This is a mixed reality experience in which holograms are mixed with the real world enabling new ways to communicate and work.
  • Video teleconference capability is included and directly supports the crew from flight control, payload developers, or other experts.
  • It improves the efficiency of crews task such as science experiments, maintenance and operations on the ISS.
  • Procedures are displayed as holograms inserted when and where they are needed to support a given operation or task.
  • It can be operated in two modes Remote Expert Mode and Standalone Mode.
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Pilote –

  • It is an investigation from CNES and ESA in which VR tests remote operation of space vehicles and robotic arms. The interfaces are based on haptics, or simulated touch and motion.
  • The ergonomics of the workstation on ISS and future spacecraft mission to Mars and Moon is optimized by the result.
  • Existing and new technologies are compared by Pilote, including those recently developed for teleoperation.
  • Pilote is used to piloting the Canadarm2 and Soyuz spacecraft.
  • The investigation also compares astronaut performance on long-duration space missions and the ground.

CEVIS –

  • Immersive exercise is used to test whether a VR environment for CEVIS (the ISS exercise bicycle) for astronauts increases their motivation to exercise and whether a better experience is provided for their daily training sessions.
  • CEVIS provides aerobic and cardiovascular conditioning through recumbent or upright cycling activities.
  • CEVIS has been operating in the US Lab Module on the ISS since it was installed in 2001.
  • CEVIS is used as part of the crew members’ weekly exercise schedule for approximately 30 to 90 minutes per session per crew member.
  • It can support science experiments on ISS, pre-landing fitness evaluations, periodic fitness evaluations, pre-breathe extravehicular activities.
  • If a crew member enjoys a VR experience, a headset and associated environments, it could become a permanent fixture for exercise sessions.

T2 AR tests –

  • To maintain and inspect the space station T2 Treadmill, the T2 AR test using AR is used by the crew members.
  • The 1st series of tests in April was kicked off by astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
  • On future space missions, astronauts should perform these tasks without assistance from the ground due to delays in communication.
  • AR guides complex spacecraft maintenance and repair activities and reduces the time astronauts spend training and competing for the task.
  • AR applications run on tablets or headsets. It interprets what the crew member does, and the camera sees and suggests the next step performed.
  • The application can be operated by crew members by gesturing or speaking as well.

A cool upgrade –

  • In the Earth orbit, NASA’s Cold Atom Lab is the 1st quantum science laboratory. Experiments related to the fundamental behaviors and properties of atoms are carried out there.
  • It was designed to enable in-flight hardware upgrades and study ultra-cold quantum gases in the microgravity environment of the ISS.
  • It can produce ultra-cold samples of many atomic species and load them into optical lattices or very weak magnetic traps. All these help the scientists to them under different conditions.
  • Clouds of atoms are produced by it above absolute zero chilled to about one ten-billionth of a degree. Atoms have no motion at these low temperatures, making it easy for scientists to study fundamental behaviors and quantum characteristics that are difficult or impossible to study at higher temperatures.
  • In July, Cold Atom Lab assisted astronauts with upgrade activities by using an AR headset.
  • It can be upgradable to meet the needs of specific future investigations.

Perception of time and speed –

  • Astronauts need to accurately perceive the time and speed of objects in their environment to perform tasks reliably.
  • Time Perception during and after long-duration exposure to microgravity examines changes in how humans perceive time.
  • Crew members wear a head-mounted VR display. They can listen to instructions and respond using a finger trackball connected to a laptop.
  • To evaluate adaptive changes they take tests once a month during the flight, before launching to space, and once they return to Earth.

The ISS experience –

  • There is an immersive VR series in the ISS experience that is filmed over multiple months to document different activities of the crew, from science conducted aboard the station to a spacewalk.
  • Unique 360 cameras are used by series designed to operate in space. This is used to give a feel of low-Earth orbit and give them a feel of astronauts on a mission.
  • Challenges of adaption of life in space, the work and science, and the human interaction between astronauts, the audience on Earth gets a better understanding of it.
  • It could create ideas for research or programs to improve conditions for crew members on future missions.
  • It will also inspire future microgravity research that benefits people on Earth.

GRASP –

  • When a person reaches out to grab an object, their brain coordinates hand movement with information from hearing and sight. GRASP from ESA investigation helps to understand better the role that perception of gravity plays in this action. It is done using a VR headset to observe astronomers.
  • VR headsets offer a way to understand how an astronaut’s brain adapts to its new environment. The GRASP experiment uses a new headset supplied by CNES (France’s space agency).
  • A head-mounted display, driven by an audio or graphics system, a 3D motion analysis system, is used to update the visual and audible displays in real-time. All these take into account the movements of the arm, trunk, head, and tool.
  • To microgravity, astronauts must adapt physically to live in space, and their brains must adapt to the absence of traditional up and down sensations. GRASP will help support future long-term space exploration by providing insight into this adaptation.

 GRIP –

  • In the presence of gravity, the way humans grip and manipulate an object evolved. The cues used to control these activities are changed by microgravity.
  • GRIP studies how gripping and manipulation of objects are affected by spaceflight. The result will help identify potential changes astronauts may face with different levels of gravity they move between environments.
  • The study will also help in the control and design of touch-based interfaces such as remote control on future space exploration.

VECTION –

  • To control the position and movement of the body and find out the distance between things and the body people combine what they see, feel, and hear along with information from the vestibular system or inner year. VECTION tries to find out how changes in gravity affect these abilities in astronauts and how to handle if any issue arises.
  • Data collected multiple times during flight on the space station and after return to Earth allows researchers to investigate how astronauts adapt to and recover from these effects. 

 

 

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