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Astronaut training using virtual reality in a neutrally buoyant environment

Everson, T, McDermott, C, Kain, A, Fernandez, C and Horan, Ben 2017, Astronaut training using virtual reality in a neutrally buoyant environment, in DesTech 2017 : Proceedings of the 2017 International Conference on Design and Technology, Knowledge E, Dubai, U.A.E., pp. 319-327, doi: 10.18502/keg.v2i2.632.

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Title Astronaut training using virtual reality in a neutrally buoyant environment
Author(s) Everson, T
McDermott, C
Kain, A
Fernandez, C
Horan, BenORCID iD for Horan, Ben orcid.org/0000-0002-6723-259X
Conference name Design and technology. International Conference (2017 : Phoenix, Arizona)
Conference location Phoenix, Arizona
Conference dates 2017/04/13 - 2017/04/13
Title of proceedings DesTech 2017 : Proceedings of the 2017 International Conference on Design and Technology
Publication date 2017
Start page 319
End page 327
Total pages 9
Publisher Knowledge E
Place of publication Dubai, U.A.E.
Keyword(s) virtual reality training
astronaut training
neutrally buoyant environments
Summary Astronauts undergo significant training in preparation for operating in space. In thepast governments have been driving space exploration through ventures such as theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), however more recently newprivate companies have formed such as SpaceX who are designing commercially viableand reusable spacecraft. As such, the economics of space travel are more importantthan ever, and there is a logical need to research affordable and effective trainingprocedures for astronauts.Virtual Reality (VR) has been shown to be an effective technique for trainingpeople to perform high skilled physical tasks such as medical surgery. Research intoVR as a platform for training astronauts has shown encouraging results with theimplementation of hand tracking data gloves allowing the trainee to interact with thevirtual environment. Further, there is evidence that VR can aid in the treatment ofphobias with exposure therapy by better preparing the patient for real life exposure.Tactile feedback was found to enhance the treatment. Hence training with VR mayhelp prepare an astronaut for the experience of operating in space through exposureto realistic simulations.This paper proposes using existing underwater systems with VR to create a low costextra vehicular activity (EVA) astronaut training simulation. Incorporation of tactilefeedback and methods to track the body, hands and finger flexure, enabling userinteraction with the virtual environment was explored. This allows for the creationof a varied neutrally buoyant training environment with a smaller physical spacerequirement compared to existing methods.
ISSN 2518-6841
Language eng
DOI 10.18502/keg.v2i2.632
Field of Research 090199 Aerospace Engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30096813

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Engineering
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