Robot Control and Simulation Technology Applied to the Simulation of the International Space Station

E. Freund and J. Rossmann (Germany)


Virtual Reality, International Space Station,Multi-Agent Control, Simulation, Space Robotics


By 2005, 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. IRF has taken over the task to provide a Projective Virtual Reality System to provide a virtual world built after the planned layout of the COLUMBUS module. The key features of the system 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 on-line 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 then in turn fed back into the virtual world. In order to provide astronauts and scientists with an even more complete insight into various aspects of Columbus and ISS, the simulation of the COLUMBUS module is currently being extended to the complete International Space Station.

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