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Astronaut training on-board the International Space Station using a standalone Virtual Reality headset

Ennis, Stephen and Rometsch, Flavie and Saling, Florian and Fischer, Beate and Mittler, Petra and Ferra, Lionel and Vizzi, Carlo and Casini, Andrea Emanuele Maria and Marnat, Maurice and Thevenot, Cecile and Boyer, Laure (2021) Astronaut training on-board the International Space Station using a standalone Virtual Reality headset. 72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2021), 25.-29. Oct. 2021, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. ISSN 0074-1795.

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On-board training (OBT) constitutes an important tool in the training of International Space Station (ISS)crew members. OBT can be used to supplement ground training and address unforeseen complex tasks. As such, OBT materials can take many forms and can often include graphical renders and animations of complex hardware or crew tasks. As the exploration programme focuses on destinations beyond low earth orbit, training time on ground remains a scarce resource and the need for short notice effective training persists, despite new constraints and technologies. As such, the need to deliver effective and efficient training on-board is growing both in relevance and significance. Unlike other media, immersive Virtual Reality (VR) increases user engagement and enables users to interact with and observe complex three-dimensional objects, phenomena and data. In this regard, the use of VR is seen as a critical enabler of future exploration. VR-OBT is a joint DLR ESA technology demonstration aiming to deliver on-board training via VR. Specialized training content is under development fora modified gen-1Oculus Quest, supplied by the French national space agency, CNES. This work builds upon the developments of CNES, in relation to their PILOTE and Immersive Exercise experiments utilizing a modified gen-1OculusQuest.This paper aims to support and direct future efforts of this kind as the use of VR technologies in space bound environment matures. VR-OBT focuses on a maintenance activity, R&R (Remove& Replace) for the ESA Life Support Rack payload. Starting from the adaptation of the engineering CAD models, this paper details the various technical and logistical challenges inherent in developing effective training content for a relatively low performance VR headset. Corrections to the Quest’s positional tracking and localization are also briefly detailed. The results collected from testing these corrections during a parabolic flight campaign showed a promising user experience but highlight areas, such as hand tracking, that require further work.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/147953/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Astronaut training on-board the International Space Station using a standalone Virtual Reality headset
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Ennis, Stephenstephen.ennis (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rometsch, Flavieflavie.rometsch (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5827-431X
Saling, Florianflorian.saling (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Fischer, BeateBeate.Fischer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Mittler, PetraPetra.Mittler (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Ferra, LionelEuropean Astronaut Centre (EAC), European Space Agency (ESA), Linder Höhe, D-51147 Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Vizzi, CarloEuropean Astronaut Centre (EAC), European Space Agency (ESA), Linder Höhe, D-51147 Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Casini, Andrea Emanuele MariaAndrea.Casini (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3608-9724
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Virtual Reality, Training, Exploration, Beyond Low Earth Orbit
Event Title:72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2021)
Event Location:Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:25.-29. Oct. 2021
Organizer:International Astronautical Federation (IAF)
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 - FLEXhab miXed Reality (FLEX-XR)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training > Astronaut Training
Deposited By: Casini, Dr.-Ing. Andrea Emanuele Maria
Deposited On:10 Jan 2022 10:44
Last Modified:10 Jan 2022 10:44

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