August 22, 2022- December 2, 2022
Johnson Space Center- NASA SUITS
Final Goals of your Project/s:
The Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students (S.U.I.T.S.) project reaches out to universities for ideas about spacesuit user interface design in augmented reality environments. As NASA pursues Artemis, it is essential that crew members on spacewalks are equipped with the appropriate human-autonomy-enabling technologies necessary for the elevated demands of lunar surface exploration and extreme terrestrial access. SUITS challenges university teams to come up with ideas for Augmented Reality heads up displays for use in future crewed exploration EVAs. For these exploration EVA’s, displays must be made onboard these augmented reality solutions, that can access and effectively display all data from these assets. Tasks include selection of teams, development of a demo unit using hololens 2, development of the VISION (Virtual Object for Simulating Inertial Objects) kit and Operating System (KUWATY (Kit for User-Wearable Awareness, Telemetry, and connectivitY), development of a project management plan for the ROVER (Remotely Operated Vehicle in Extended Reality), and much more.
Describe what you did during the internship:
VISION simulates EVA assets, including LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle), HLS (Human Landing System), and ROVER. VISION is a small computer that has an IMU, magnetometer, and GPS and can either be worn on a HITL test subject or placed on an EVA asset such as a ROVER or HLS. Within VISION, I made the first prototype kit and helped put together all the software for the full version, including an IMU client, GPS client, and setting PM2 up. I also designed the case for the VISION kit, so that it can attach to a design evaluators hip during the test. ROVER was developed for student interaction through the HoloLens 2. I designed systems diagrams and planning for the ROVER to better understand and plan out the system and have developed a plan for the software utilization and all programs needed. Software for the ROVER will be done through ROS (Robot Operating System) and the ROVER will be capable of using A* pathfinding to autonomously navigate around the Lunar Rock Yard at JSC. I’ve developed a project management plan for the SUITS intern in charge of this task.
I’ve also helped develop the new SUITS website, which is being hosted through GitHub. This will more efficiently communicate information to the students, as our main tools (Canvas and Pronto) are going away. Additionally, SUITS proposals recently finished going through review from the Joint AR team and the OSTEM team. I reviewed 21 proposals as a technical reviewer and played a key role in the selection of teams that are ready to participate. Lastly, I’ve helped develop a guide to SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) for SUITS participants and future interns. This document has information detailing SLAM algorithms in use by the SUITS team and by the HoloLens 2 and magic leap head mounted devices.
Did you achieve your goals? What were the results?:
This internship has pushed me to further myself in ways a normal engineering internship wouldn’t, as I’ve had to display a lot of technical information in ways that non engineers can understand. I’ve learned a lot regarding software systems as well, including more about SQL databases and how we store information for participants to access.
Describe positive lessons learned:
The positive effects of this internship are quite extensive, as I’ve gotten to explore a lot of the hub of human spaceflight. This ranges from meeting astronauts to helping the Joint AR team do VR dry runs as they move through the phases of the project. I think the part that made this a largely positive experience is the people. My mentor and my coworkers are extremely flexible with the work I do which leads me to be able to take many opportunities!
Describe negative lessons learned:
If there has to be a negative to point out, it would be that I feel like I didn’t take the time to explore different career paths that are available to me. I know where I’m moving towards, and I think engineering is the directorate which I want to fall under, however I think I should’ve paid more attention to the individual jobs of branch chief and integration officers to truly determine what I wanted to go into moving forward. For the summer however, I have plans with ER4 and a potential spring virtual part time internship with either EV3 or EC2. Overall, I wish to continue to work at NASA and further myself in my experience with integrated systems and electromechanical design.