Crossdrive image


Collaborative Rover Operations and Satellites Science in Distributed Remote & Interactive Virtual Environments

Project details

CROSS DRIVE aims at creating the foundations for collaborative distributed virtual workspaces for European space science. Space exploration missions have produced huge data sets of potentially immense value for research as well as for the planning and operating of future missions. However, currently expert teams, data and tools are fragmented, leaving little scope for unlocking this value through collaborative activities.

The consortium brings together unprecedented expertise from space science, visualisation of space science andcollaborative visualisation. The proposed Collaborative Workspace encompasses various advanced technological solutions to coordinate central storage, processing and 3D visualization strategies in collaborative immersive virtual environments for the data.

A specific focus is given to the preparation of the ExoMars 2016 and 2018 missions. Three case studies will demonstrate the utility of the workspaces for European space science: Mars atmospheric data analysis, rovers landing site characterization and rover target selection during its real-time operations.

The use cases will exploit state-of-the-art science data sets and they will be constructed in view of the ESA ExoMars missions’ scenarios. Impact on beneficiaries will be maximised both through providing an expandable backbone and reusable standardisation and tools, and three levels of workspace for:scientists directly engaged; other external scientists; and the public.

THINKlab input

THINKlab will contribute with their expertise in collaborative environments and virtual reality. On the one hand, the THINKlab will provide the design and implementation of a web portal for disseminating the project results to a broader scientific community as well as the general public. In addition to the main dissemination activity, the scientific community portal is designed to encourage interaction and collaboration among scientific partners engaged in space exploration.

On the other hand, THINKlab will design and implement the Collaborative Workspace for the CROSS DRIVE project, providing a common framework and allowing scientific and engineering teams, distributed across the world, to work together in a shared 3D space. Finally, in order to ensure an effective collaboration, there will be investigation into how the team could enhance communication via telepresence techniques.

Project value


Project period

Oct 2013 to Sept 2017

Main project website

Key partners

  • Aeronomie logo
  • Altec logo
  • DLR logo
  • INAF logo
  • Thales Group logo
  • Tohoku University logo