Parker Abercrombie: Augmenting Exploration

Presented at SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2017.

27 April 2017

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is using virtual and augmented reality to explore space, and our own planet, in ways that were never before possible. Scientists are planning activities for the Curiosity Mars rover while walking on a 3D reconstruction of the Martian surface. Mechanical engineers can preview full-scale holographic models of spacecraft before any parts are built.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station receive virtual assistance from experts on the ground. In this plenary presentation, Parker Abercrombie, a senior software engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, discusses how JPL is using immersive technology to change how we conduct space exploration today, and look ahead to what's coming next.

Abercrombie is the project lead for OnSight, a mixed reality tool that allows scientists and engineers to work virtually on Mars. He is also the lead developer of the science targeting software for the upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission.

Prior to joining JPL, Abercrombie worked on geovisualization software for NASA's Ames Research Center and the U.S. Department of Energy, including World Wind, winner of the NASA Software of the Year Award in 2009. He holds an MA in Geography from Boston University, and a BS in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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