IVS is an extensible software platform that provides an intelligent 3D virtual
environment to support crew training for the International Space Station (ISS).
It provides an intuitive single interface for easy access to critical information
and the ability to generate and visualize planned and unplanned (science, repair)
procedures in real-time.
Information Technology (IT) tool:
Accomplishments: Conducted mission-focused R&D related to crew training, including
collaborative work with Space Station Training Facility (SSTF) Project Office
- A 3D Virtual Environment capability providing an intuitive graphic interface
to critical information. The information may be local or remote.
- Procedures for planned/unplanned events are easily generated and viewed by
astronauts for training in performing science experiments, equipment repair,
and facility maintenance.
- It runs on a portable laptop. An extensible complementary version could run
on a PDA.
Image right: The graphic interface is intuitive and runs on a laptop.
Tied non-immersive virtual reality (VR) clients (Windows-based portable computers)
displaying models of the ISS exterior and interior to the ISS simulation infrastructure
Mission-focused prototype of the ISS Node 2 module developed for used as adjunct
to crew training at SSTF. Originally scheduled for deployment as part of the
10A training segment at SSTF.
Developed prototype to demonstrate secure access from remote locations, thereby
enabling US-based training options for crew members deployed at remote sites
such as Star City, Russia.
An astronaut undergoes training in different countries, many months, or even
years before a mission. After training, several months can pass before a launch.
With IVS, flight controllers, trainers and astronauts can continually practice
while waiting for a launch. Researchers chose the ISS as the first IVS application
but say they can easily expand the software to include other interfaces, such
as a virtual space shuttle or even a virtual rover, using CAD data designers
and engineers used to design the parts. A user could view documents and different
stages of the Apollo mission, a payload rack in the space shuttle or parts of
a planetary exploration rover.
Image left: Training astronauts to perform complex tasks.
Imagine a manual is tossed in your lap and now it's your job to install and
maintain a series of complicated pieces of machinery. Think you'd have a better
chance if first you were given a virtual training environment in which to become
familiar with the pieces and the machine? That's one of the ideas behind Intelligent
Virtual Station (IVS), a software framework that gives astronauts, trainers
and flight controllers access to NASA JSC Space Station Training Facility (SSTF)
within a virtual environment.
Using a keyboard and mouse or joystick with most PC computers, a user can move
easily inside and outside the station to interact with its parts -- from the
station's truss to the interior of a module to a bolt behind a module wall --
while accessing relevant documents.
The ISS is the largest international scientific and technological endeavor ever
undertaken. In addition to numerous data files and databases associated with
the design, construction, engineering and assembly of the one million pound
structure, the science-driven mission comprises many manuals and procedures
associated with science projects in Earth observation, space science, physics
and engineering research, and technology. To save trainers and trainees time
sorting through multiple manuals, IVS makes the data accessible with an intuitive,
easy-to-use interface. Its data management system provides a link between objects
in the virtual environment and data associated with the object.
IVS enables users to access relevant data by clicking on an object in the virtual
environment. For instance, a user navigating to the life science glove box could
click a folder containing science experiment procedure manuals associated with
it. With IVS, flight controllers and trainers can generate virtual training
procedures for astronauts, to help them visualize the steps required to handle
a science experiment or replace a component on the station.