Digital Vision Systems and Wearable Computing Technologies for Assisting Astronauts During Intra- and Extra-Vehicular Activity
Tomas Hirmer and Gilles Clement
Affiliation: International Space University, Parc d'Innovation, 1 rue Jean Dominique Cassini, 67400 Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France.
Keywords: Humanistic intelligence, wearable computer, astronauts, spacesuit, vision systems.
This paper examines the application of humanistic intelligence design paradigms and wearable computing
technologies to astronaut daily activities and future spacesuit designs. A specific focus is on display technologies
providing an augmented and mediated reality. These wearable computer technologies (WCT) are discussed in the context
of an astronaut's activities inside a spacecraft, during extra-vehicular activities, and on the surfaces of celestial bodies.
Options for wearable computer displays with augmented reality interfaces are presented and recent patents in the field are
included. Examples showing the astronaut's using an augmented and mediated reality display integrated into a headband
during repair activities onboard the International Space Station, or a spacesuit visor during planetary surface exploration,
are provided. The advantages of other WCT, such as sensors for brainwave and tactile feedback for assisting in awareness
and spatial orientation, are also discussed. The scope of this paper is intended to attract interest from multiple disciplines
pertaining to the nature of space projects in general. Furthermore, the application of the humanistic intelligence design
principles provides a framework to assist current experts in improving WCT designs for astronauts in the future.
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