DLR Simulation and Software Technology Tasks
The scientific facility Simulation and Software Technology is responsible for the implementation of a digital mock-up for the real-time simulation of a robot in various satellite maintenance scenarios. This will be implemented within an immersive VR environment with highly realistic visual output and interfaces to haptic feedback. One of the main challenges lies in the modeling of the dynamic behavior of the satellite and its components, e.g. a cable connector with rotating latch mechanism, and the robot in orbit. The computed kinematics and their effects on the components must have high accuracy and reflect the real conditions.
The requirement to display the results of the simulation in real-time is another challenge in this project. This includes not only the timely computation of the dynamic processes. The complex geometric models of the satellite and robot have to be displayed at refresh rates of min. 30Hz in high resolution and photo-realistic quality. The integration of haptic feedback, where update rate of 1kHz are typical, puts high requirements on a fast computation. In order to achieve the real-time requirements, optimizations of algorithms and state-of-the-art high-performance computing hard- and software, such as supercomputers, PC-Clusters, and multi-core and GPGPU programming, are used.
Another research aspect is the human-machine interface, which is to allow efficient and ergonomic work with the simulation. It is investigated how existing work-flows and interaction methods can be enhanced and perhaps replaced by novel methods exploiting VR technology. Approaches are for example the use of gesture-based navigation and manipulation within the virtual world. Furthermore, the use of scientific and information-based visualization, such as overlays of additional information, as enhancement of interaction will be investigated.
01.01.2010 - 31.12.2012