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Virtual reality as training aid for manual spacecraft docking

Pierchowski, S. and Pustowalow, W. and Arz, M. and Rittweger, J. and Mulder, E. and Wolf, O.T. and Johannes, B.W. and Jordan, J. (2020) Virtual reality as training aid for manual spacecraft docking. Acta Astronautica, 177, pp. 731-736. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2020.08.017. ISSN 0094-5765.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0094576520305129?via%3Dihub#abs0010


The ability to manually dock a spacecraft to a space station can be crucial for astronauts during space missions. The computer-based self-learning program 6df is an abstract docking simulation for acquisition and maintenance of the underlying skill to control six degrees of freedom. One of the difficulties of this complex task is to construct a mental representation of the own position and orientation in space, based only on two-dimensional information. To facilitate this and possibly further improve the learning process, a new three-dimensional (3D) stereoscopic presentation of the program is tested. This study investigates whether there is faster learning progress with 3D presentation compared to standard 2D presentation. 24 participants of the Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study with ESA (AGBRESA) participated in the 6df docking experiment. Each of them completed 20 training sessions which lasted approximately 45 min and were conducted twice a week. The learning program is self-sufficient and adapts itself to individual learning speed. Half of the participants were presented with an UNITY-based stereoscopic visualization of docking, whereas the other half used the standard 2D version of the learning program 6df. Learning progress was measured as the number of tasks needed to reach a target task. Results overall indicate a slightly faster learning progress when using 3D technology, but no long-term performance advantages. The small benefit might not justify the usage of costlier and operationally limiting 3D systems.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/137101/
Document Type:Article
Title:Virtual reality as training aid for manual spacecraft docking
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Pierchowski, S.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3790-376X150439919
Arz, M.Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Linder Hoehe, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rittweger, J.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2223-8963UNSPECIFIED
Mulder, E.Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrtmedizin, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Köln,UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wolf, O.T.Department of Cognitive Psychology, Ruhr University Bochum, 44801, Bochum, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:December 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Acta Astronautica
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 731-736
Keywords:Manual docking, Skill acquisition, Virtual reality, Stereoscopy
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Systemphysiologie (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Muscle and Bone Metabolism
Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Leitungsbereich ME
Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Gravitational Biology
Deposited By: Arndt, Carina
Deposited On:05 Nov 2020 16:52
Last Modified:11 Jan 2024 09:09

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