The NASA JSC Virtual Reality Lab (VRL) is an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and Robotics Operation training facility. The VRL uses the NASA Trick simulation environment, Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) and custom robotic hardware to provide high fidelity training systems for integrated simulations.
These simulations allow virtual reality immersed EVA crew members to train on EVA scenarios, interact with multiple robotic arm operators, choreographing and rehearsing their on-orbit EVA procedures without leaving the shirt-sleeve environment of the virtual reality lab. The rapidly reconfigurable nature of this system not only substantially lowers the cost of the system, but also lends itself to greatly lowered preparation and reconfiguration time. With this system any number of on-orbit scenarios can be evaluated at a fraction of the time or cost required by other training systems.
One very unique feature of the VR Lab is the zero gravity mass simulation. A high fidelity six degree of freedom simulation, coupled with a set of force/moment sensors and a custom built man-rated robot provide the response and feel of handling an object of nearly any size or mass in the zero-g environment of space. Combining this simulation with the immersive graphics and helmet mounted displays of the VR system produces both a visual and tactile experience for a crewmember handling objects in space.
The VRL is also home of the DOUG software, the team continues to develop and maintain the graphics system used throughout the agency and on board station. It is also where EVA animations are produced for preparation and review of all space walks.
For more information or questions about DOUG contact the VR Lab
Supported by CACI Int.