Microsoft Corporation Works With NASA for OnSight System [Video]

Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Corporation is working with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA in Pasadena, California, for the Windows OnSight system, so that scientists will be able to remotely work on planet Mars. OnSight is on Windows Holographic system, running Microsoft HoloLens wearable technology. This technology creates a 3D simulation using real rover data for scientists to meet and discuss operations, and virtually work on Mars.

Working to come up with a hologram of Mars, the team made up of Microsoft Corporation and NASA’s JPL makes science fictions in movies real. The new Microsoft HoloLens device combines the real world with Mars’ hologram and makes it viewable via a wrap-around and big pair of glasses.

The software and headgear are breakthroughs, allowing scientists and researchers who are focusing on the Red Planet to work with more accurate assumptions (and save much time), shared JPL Curiosity rover geologist Fred Calef. He goes on calls the technology a fantastic and astounding experience.

In a video, Calef said it is the same as teleportation in that when someone uses it longer, he is not in his room anymore but on Mars. It is like being there, sans the air, he added.

Mars explorers have been previously limited due to the computer screen’s one side having many inadequacies, such as the natural depth sense which man’s sightings employ. HoloLens enables them to navigate the adjacent areas of the rover, and harnesses holographic computing technology to overlay images/rover information into the user’s view. Holographic mixes the physical world’s view with computer-generated images to come up with a hybrid of virtual and real imagery.

JPL is responsible for NASA Washington’s Science Mission Directorate Mars Science Laboratory Project, and built the Curiosity rover. Microsoft Corporation’s working with NASA for the OnSight system comes from an ongoing partnership to study human-robot interaction further. The JPL team focuses on systems that control spacecraft and robots. OnSight will help research get better understanding of the challenging robotic spacecraft workspace.

The Mars Curiosity mission team will put on Microsoft Corporation’s HoloLens device to take a look at the holographic world that surrounds them with images coming from the Martian field site. From their offices, they can walk around Mars or check on surfaces from various angles. That is naturally interacting with the planet, which the tool allows.

Program Executive Dave Lavery for the Mars Science Laboratory mission at NASA, Washington said that the OnSight system alters the way they look at Mars and its environment. Scientists will examine the rover’s worksite with first-person perspectives, conduct operations on the Red Planet, figure out new activities and look at their work’s results firsthand.

JPL plans to commence the test of OnSight in the operations of Curiosity mission this year. NASA aims to send humans to Mars in 2030, and this new technology is another step on the way there.

Microsoft Corporation is now working with NASA for the OnSight system and it will improve the ways of Mars exploration and share such journey with the world, said Project Manager Jeff Norris of JPL. Future applications include NASA’s journey to Mars, and Mars 2020.

By Judith Aparri

Microsoft News
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Press Telegram

Photo courtesy NASA/JPL-CaltechJPL Image Use Policy

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