Augmented Reality for AIT, AIV and Operations

 Programme:  TRP Workplan  Achieved TRL:  4
 Reference:  T708-404SW   Closure:  2016
 Contractor(s):  VTT (FI), TAS-F (FR), TAS-I (IT), ICCS (GR) 

AR (Augmented Reality) technologies fits naturally for hands-busy maintenance tasks (e.g. IFM tasks on ISS, AIV/AIT) and have been subject of study for many years within TEC-SW. This activity was conceived as a way to clearly identify the critical areas where AR technology can add value, as well as to start the definition of a generic architecture and workflow (going from Space Engineering Data to the final AR application) in order to fit AR technologies within the Space domain.

Objective of this activity is to assess where AR is a viable technology and a productive tool in aerospace industry. In support of this objective, the following steps were performed: (1) Identification of critical technology areas in building effective AR systems, (2) Architecture and Design of EdcAR (Engineering Data in Cross-Platform AR) solution, and (3) Implementation of a Proof-Of-Concept demonstrator

EdcAR Augmented Reality View. Air filter installationAccess the image

Achievements and status
The EdcAR project identified three representative use cases for a proof-of-concept of Augmented Reality: (1) Telecom Payload Coax Cables Assembly, (2) On-board Training of Centralized Cabin Filter Replacement in ISS, and (3) Remote Support of Maintenance Work in ISS. The proof-of-concept was working in multi-platform devices e.g. iOS, Android, Windows… The EdcAR system was also updated to work with the Microsoft HoloLens. The Hololens system was demonstrated in the EAC Columbus mock-up with the filter change case. Relevant design documentation of the Augmented Reality system was produced. 

The EdcAR system could be used in ISS operations, in particular for In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) tasks and may reduce the training time required by crew. Future Mars mission could exploit AR for training the crew during the flight to Mars.

Next steps
Immediate plans are to combine the EdcAR augmented reality visualization to the mobiPV procedure viewer, enabling the exploration of new procedure concepts and the integration of the technology in the current Human Spaceflight operational workflow. The extension to this concept to cleanroom activities of the AIT phase of projects is also foreseen.

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