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Proceedings Paper

Rapid prototyping, astronaut training, and experiment control and supervision: distributed virtual worlds for COLUMBUS, the European Space Laboratory module
Author(s): Eckhard Freund; Juergen Rossmann
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Paper Abstract

In 2004, the European COLUMBUS Module is to be attached to the International Space Station. On the way to the successful planning, deployment and operation of the module, computer generated and animated models are being used to optimize performance. Under contract of the German Space Agency DLR, it has become IRF's task to provide a Projective Virtual Reality System to provide a virtual world built after the planned layout of the COLUMBUS module let astronauts and experimentators practice operational procedures and the handling of experiments. The key features of the system currently being realized comprise the possibility for distributed multi-user access to the virtual lab and the visualization of real-world experiment data. Through the capabilities to share the virtual world, cooperative operations can be practiced easily, but also trainers and trainees can work together more effectively sharing the virtual environment. The capability to visualize real-world data will be used to introduce measured data of experiments into the virtual world online in order to realistically interact with the science-reference model hardware: The user's actions in the virtual world are translated into corresponding changes of the inputs of the science reference model hardware; the measured data is than in turn fed back into the virtual world. During the operation of COLUMBUS, the capabilities for distributed access and the capabilities to visualize measured data through the use of metaphors and augmentations of the virtual world may be used to provide virtual access to the COLUMBUS module, e.g. via Internet. Currently, finishing touches are being put to the system. In November 2001 the virtual world shall be operational, so that besides the design and the key ideas, first experimental results can be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 February 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4570, Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies VIII, (5 February 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.454736
Show Author Affiliations
Eckhard Freund, Univ. Dortmund (Germany)
Juergen Rossmann, Univ. Dortmund (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4570:
Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies VIII
Matthew R. Stein, Editor(s)

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