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VISION
Immersive Interface Technologies for Life-Cycle Human-Oriented Activities in Interactive Aircraft-Related Virtual Products

Tags: Air

State of the Art - Background

Virtual reality (VR) immersion and interaction features are widely used in engineering tasks in order to simulate cost and time-intensive activities. In aircraft design, efficient execution of man-in-the-loop simulation tasks has been used as a means for assessing the aircraft's life-cycle usage. However, when potential users of an aircraft-related virtual product are immersed into the virtual environment, they often feel the full synthetic environment like an unrecognisable ambient, and so they reject the immersion into the simulation as a work practice. This effect is due to the lack of realism of the virtual environments. Moreover, devices for interacting with digital mock-ups do not adequately match human capabilities, at least in comparison with a human's standard work practices. VISION will use the worldwide academic knowledge and the functionality provided by current world class VR software as a 'baseline'. It will advance the state of the art, at both technology and application level, by improving the performance of aircraft-related virtual products and environments with respect to criteria such as the realism of rendered virtual environment, trade-off of image quality during user interaction, tolerance to task execution changes, immersed user's presence, pick/grasp quality, training, acquisition and maintenance overheads, and input data configuration control.

Objectives

The technological objective of VISION is to specify and develop key interface features in fundamental cornerstones of virtual reality technology, namely in i) photorealistic immersive visualisation and ii) interaction. In particular, it aims at removing the current drawbacks of the underlying technology, thus better accommodating the specific needs of the human-oriented life-cycle procedures (design, validation, and training) related to critical aircraft virtual products (e.g. virtual cabin, etc.). The technological achievements of VISION will enhance the realism of the digital human-in-the-loop VR simulations and optimise the human-virtual product integration in the specific domain.

The application-oriented objective of VISION is to drive specific technological advances in immersive VR, improving the human-oriented functionality and usage of aircraft-related virtual products along the product life cycle. The immersive interface technologies to be developed will enhance the engineering context of these virtual products by enabling their increased use for activities, such as design verification, ergonomic validation, specifications of equipment displays, operational and situational training. Thus they will help address the development phase in a more flexible, reliable and cost efficient way, as well as the safety performance of these products.

Description of Work

The project includes eight work packages (WP).

In WP1, the specification of the virtual product requirements will provide the application space of the project solutions. For each of the basic VISION modules (visualisation, interaction), specific technology requirements will be defined. In WP2, the human-centred requirements and their implications in human-machine interaction within the aircraft-related virtual products will be analysed, then the two major simulation modules will be developed. WP3 is the Visualisation Module. Development work will address advanced rendering features considering the perception of the human towards light illumination and the real-time constraints of the immersive environment. WP4 is the Interaction Module. Development work will address advanced hardware/concepts for markerless body tracking and new methods for user interfacing along with interaction metaphors. The individual visualisation and interaction simulation modules will be next integrated into a common multi-modal interface platform (WP5). In WP6, the integrated platform will be demonstrated based on real-life industrial scenarios. The demonstration will give input to further improvement on system evaluation. WP7 and WP8 are for the exploitation/dissemination and the management of the project activities, respectively.

Expected Results

VISION aims to develop advanced VR-based simulation functionality in support of the design and 'virtual prototyping' of critical aircraft-related products. It will deliver specific advances in fundamental cornerstones of the VR technology, such as the immersive visualisation and interaction, so as to improve the human-oriented functionality and usage of these virtual products along their life cycle. The human factor perspective on the design of virtual reality interfaces is expected to facilitate the 'acceptance' of the new methodologies by new user groups, and their integration in the everyday business practices. The project will also deliver a common multi-modal interface platform, which will seamlessly integrate the novel simulation features. The platform will provide engineers with cost-efficient testing tools and methods, and will further enable the collaborative use of these tools by remotely located users for co-operative design activities. VISION will finally deliver a set of application demonstrators involving aircraft-related virtual-product-use cases, which will be based on real-life industrial scenarios. The technological output of the project is expected to have a significant impact on the reduction of aircraft development costs and time to market, as well as on the improvement of aircraft safety.

VISION expected achievements
VISION expected achievements

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