THINKLab - CrossDrive
European space exploration missions have produced huge data sets that might be extremely valuable for research purposes as well as for planning and running future missions.
However there has been very little opportunity to unlock this value since the expert teams, data and tools required to do so are scattered across various locations throughout the world.
Created from a consortium of experts in space science, data visualisation and collaborative visualisation, the CrossDrive project sought to design collaborative virtual workspaces for European space science.
These workspaces would allow relevant science and engineering experts from across the world to work on data gathered from previous missions in a shared 3D space.
The project was focused on the EXoMars 2016 and 2018 missions and three use cases were studied as part of the project. Each one was chosen as it represented a good mix of data analysis, probe operation and close collaboration between scientists and engineers.
Use case 1: Landing site selection
This use case focused on visualising, analysing and presenting relevant aspects of research in the landing site selection for past, current and future Mars robotic missions.
Use case 2: Mars atmospheric data analysis and benchmarking
This use case had the scope to visualise, analyse and discuss state of the art research on Mars atmosphere.
Use case 3: Rover target selection
This use case had the scope to visualise, analyse, prepare, execute and discuss the operations of planetary rovers and satellites.
Using our expertise in collaborative environments and virtual reality we designed and implemented the collaborative workspace for the project. This provided a common framework and allowed globally distributed space science and engineering experts to work together on the use cases. It also allowed the consortium to explore how telepresence technologies could be used to enhance communication within the shared environment.
We also designed and built a web site for the project that communicated the project results to the broader scientific community as well as the public. The site featured a scientific community portal enabling interaction and collaboration among scientific partners engaged in space exploration.