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Project Title:  Virtual Reality-Based Pre-Flight Astronaut 3D Navigation Training (Postdoctoral Fellowship) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2008 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP :
Start Date: 10/01/2005  
End Date: 10/01/2007  
Task Last Updated: 06/09/2008 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Aoki, Hirofumi  Ph.D. / Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Address:  77 Massachusetts Avenue 
Room 37-155 
Cambridge , MA 02139 
Email: haoki@mit.edu 
Phone: 617-253-7509  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Oman, Charles  MENTOR: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-PF00902 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2005 NSBRI-RFP-05-01 Postdoctoral Fellowships 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-PF00902 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: None
Human Research Program Risks: None
Human Research Program Gaps: None
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: changed end date to accommodate NSBRI final report submission (jp 5/08)

Task Description: POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP.

The goal of this sensorimotor/human factors project was to develop a virtual reality (VR) based training method for astronauts aboard International Space Station (ISS) or a Mars mission vehicle as a countermeasure of inflight spatial disorientation and navigation. These problems have been frequently reported by crews of Space Shuttle, Mir, and ISS as complicating responses to emergencies. The three-dimensional (3D) architecture and inconsistency of the visual vertical of adjacent quarters and modules, combined with the limited visual experience of crewmembers is the major cause of the problem, identified as a significant risk by NASA. Astronauts normally see the interior of a spacecraft from a variety of body orientations and viewpoints that cannot be simulated on the ground. It requires cognitive skills to interrelate cues perceived in a body centered (egocentric) frame of reference built up directly through navigation and also in an overall (allocentric) frame of reference defined by the spacecraft. Astronauts can either learn this interrelationship inflight, or develop the required cognitive knowledge prior to flight via VR simulation. As a member of NSBRI's Sensorimotor team led by Dr. Oman, we have conducted a series of experiments of 3D spatial orientation and navigation performance in a virtual space station using simulated emergency egress tasks. In the first experiment in a fully immersive virtual environment with a head mounted display, we showed that individual 3D spatial abilities (e.g. mental rotation and perspective taking skills), relative orientation to the environment, and the configuration of the environment influence performance. Subjects trained locally visually upright developed landmark and route knowledge, whereas those who maintained a constant orientation with respect to the entire station during training enhanced sense of direction and 3D cognitive map, and therefore performance in low visibility in a simulated smoke condition. This result suggests that training initially should be performed locally upright, followed training in a constant station orientation, and then trainees should be challenged by trials in randomized orientation. This could be customized based on individual spatial ability and task performance. This study, published in the Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, was awarded the 2007 ASMA Space Medicine Branch Young Investigator Award among 177 nominees. In the second experiment, it was shown that most 3D navigation performance measures for this egress task were similar in the immersive and non-immersive VR systems. Subjects pointed out that this egress task was mainly "done in your head", and that vestibular cues were not critical. This finding is important, since it suggests that laptop trainers (analogous to DOUG for EVA training) could be used for preflight (or even inflight) emergency egress navigation training. Based on these results, this project intended to clarify whether VR training can help to develop cognitive skills and to learn retention, improvement, and limitation of 3D human spatial orientation and navigation for long-term training. In the experiment, we demonstrated that "see-through walls" and a miniature 3D model of the environment by VR technology features were useful. Subjects trained with those VR tools showed better performance than those without at the training day, but same in both groups in one month later. This result showed the effectiveness of preflight spatial orientation and navigation training, especially in early stage of learning. Taken together, these studies provide solid laboratory validation for a preflight VR based navigation training countermeasure at the CRL 7 level. The next step is CRL 8 validation with human subjects in spaceflight to demonstrate operational feasibility and efficacy.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Results of this project help develop crew safety by understanding 3D spatial orientation, navigation, and spatial memory, establishing training method, and providing implications for future spacecraft design including Orion, Lunar Lander, and Mars Transit Hab.

By gaining better cognitive map of the environment, motion sickness and Visual Reorientation Illusions could be reduced.

The simulation tool could be used to train other profession such as firefighters and submariners, as well as occupants of high-story buildings.

Results also support deep understanding in human from the viewpoint of brain and cognitive science. Our results also pertain to environmental and architectural design and pre/post-occupancy evaluation of buildings, underground, and cities.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2008 
Task Progress: Using the 3D spacecraft interior navigation training tool with "see-through wall" and virtual spacecraft miniature model features, which was developed over the last two years, an experiment was conducted to study retention, improvement, and limitation in 3D human spatial orientation and navigation during long term training. Results showed that subjects trained with those VR features showed better performance than those without at the training day, but same in both groups in one month later. The result showed the effectiveness of preflight spatial orientation and navigation training, especially in early stage of learning.

We also continued an experiment to compare 3D spatial orientation and navigation performance with immersive and non-immersive VR simulation tools. Although immersive displays probably better simulate the vestibular and haptic cues required for spatial orientation, the subjects showed almost same performance using non-immersive desktop display.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 09/11/2017) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Aoki H, Oman CM, Buckland D, Natapoff A. "Desktop VR system for preflight 3D navigation training." 16th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Beijing, China, May 20-24, 2007.

Proceedings, 16th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, 2007. , May-2007

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Aoki H, Oman CM, Buckland D, Natapoff A. "Development of a desktop virtual reality based preflight training system for three-dimensional navigation." 78th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association, New Orleans, LA, May 13-16, 2007.

Aviat Space Environ Med. 2007 Mar;78(3):240. , Mar-2007

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Aoki H, Oman CM, Natapoff A, Liu AM. "The effect of the configuration, frame of reference, and spatial ability on spatial orientation during virtual three-dimensional navigation training." 7th Symposium on the Role of the Vestibular Organs in Space Exploration, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, June 7-9, 2006.

Proceedings, 7th Symposium on the Role of the Vestibular Organs in Space Exploration. In press, 2006. , Jun-2006

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Aoki H, Oman CM. "VR based preflight astronaut 3D navigation training." NASA Human Research Program Investigators Workshop, League City, TX, February 12-14, 2007.

Proceedings, NASA Human Research Program Investigators Workshop, February 2007. , Feb-2007

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Arai T, Fanchiang C, Aoki H, Newman D. "Educational tool for modeling and simulation of a closed regenerative life support system." 16th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Beijing, China, May 20-24, 2007.

Proceedings, 16th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, May 2007. , May-2007

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Cizaire C, Oman CM, Aoki H, Natapoff A. "Effect of two-module-docked spacecraft configurations on spatial orientation." 16th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Beijing, China, May 20-24, 2007.

Proceedings, 16th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, May 2007. , May-2007

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Oman CM, Benveniste D, Buckland DA, Aoki H, Liu AM, Natapoff A, Kozhevnikov M. "Incongruent spacecraft module visual verticals affect spatial task performance." 7th Symposium on the Role of the Vestibular Organs in Space Exploration, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, June 7-9, 2006.

Proceedings, 7th Symposium on the Role of the Vestibular Organs in Space Exploration. In press, June 2006. , Jun-2006

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Oman CM, Benveniste D, Buckland DA, Aoki H, Liu AM, Natapoff A, Kozhevnikov M. "Spacecraft module visual verticals and individual abilities determine 3D spatial task performance." 77th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association, Orlando, FL, May 14-18, 2006.

Aviat Space Environ Med. 2006 Mar;77(3):349. , Mar-2006

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Oman CM, Benveniste D, Buckland DA, Aoki H, Liu AM. "Spacecraft module visual verticals and training affect spatial task performance." Habitation 2006 conference, Orlando, FL, February 2006.

Habitation. 2006;10(3-4):202-3. , Feb-2006

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Buckland DA, Oman CM, Aoki H, Natapoff A. "Alternative training methodologies for spatial orientation in spacecraft." 78th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association, New Orleans, LA, May 13-16, 2007.

Aviat Space Environ Med. 2007 Mar;78(3):240. , Mar-2007

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Oman CM, Liu AM, Aoki H, Benveniste D, Buckland DA, Cizaire C, Menchaca-Brandan MA, Natapoff A, Harris LR, Dyde RT, Jenkin H, Jenkin M, Sanderson J. "Visual orientation, navigation and spatial memory: mechanisms and countermeasures." NASA Human Research Program Investigators Workshop, League City, TX, February 12-14, 2007.

Proceedings, NASA Human Research Program Investigators Workshop, February 2007. , Feb-2007

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Aoki H, Oman CM, Buckland DA, Natapoff A. "Desktop-VR system for preflight 3D navigation training." Acta Astronautica. 2008 Oct-Nov;63(7-10):841-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2007.11.001 [NOTE reported originally in June 2008 as Corrected Proof in press as of December 2007] , Oct-2008
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Aoki H, Oman CM, Natapoff A. "Virtual-reality-Based 3D navigation training for emergency egress from spacecraft." Aviat Space Environ Med. 2007 Aug;78(8):774-83. PMID: 17760285 , Aug-2007
Awards Aoki H. "Sherry Award, Man-Vehicle Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2007." Jun-2007
Awards Arai T, Fanchiang C, Aoki H, Newman D. "1st Place Student Presentation Award for: 'Educational tool for modeling and simulation of a closed regenerative life support system.' International Academy of Astronautics, Humans in Space Symposium, Beijing, China, May 2007." May-2007
Awards Aoki H. "Young Investigator Award for: Virtual Reality Based Spacecraft Emergency Egress 3D Navigation Training, Aerospace Medical Association, Space Medicine Branch, May 2007." May-2007
Project Title:  Virtual Reality-Based Pre-Flight Astronaut 3D Navigation Training (Postdoctoral Fellowship) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2007 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP :
Start Date: 10/01/2005  
End Date: 10/01/2007  
Task Last Updated: 01/08/2007 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Aoki, Hirofumi  Ph.D. / Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Address:  77 Massachusetts Avenue 
Room 37-155 
Cambridge , MA 02139 
Email: haoki@mit.edu 
Phone: 617-253-7509  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Oman, Charles  MENTOR: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-PF00902 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2005 NSBRI-RFP-05-01 Postdoctoral Fellowships 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-PF00902 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: None
Human Research Program Risks: None
Human Research Program Gaps: None
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: changed end date to accommodate NSBRI final report submission (jp 5/08)

Task Description: POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP:

The goal of this sensorimotor/human factors project is to develop a virtual reality (VR) based training method for astronauts aboard International Space Station (ISS) or a Mars mission vehicle as a countermeasure of inflight spatial disorientation and navigation. These problems have been frequently reported by crews of Space Shuttle, Mir, and ISS as complicating responses to emergencies. The 3D architecture and inconsistency of the visual vertical of adjacent quarters and modules, combined with the limited visual experience of crewmembers is the major cause of the problem, identified as a significant risk by NASA. Astronauts normally see the interior of a spacecraft from a variety of body orientations and viewpoints that cannot be simulated on the ground. It requires cognitive skills to interrelate cues perceived in a body centered (egocentric) frame of reference built up directly through navigation and also in an overall (allocentric) frame of reference defined by the spacecraft. Astronauts can either learn this interrelationship inflight, or develop the required cognitive knowledge prior to flight via VR simulation. This study intends to clarify whether VR training can help to integrate egocentric and allocentric frame of reference and to understand retention, learning, and the limitations of 3D human spatial orientation and navigation for long-term training. In the experiment, two groups (Control, Treatment) of subjects explore a virtual ISS while wearing a head-mounted display with head tracker. In Training, two groups are trained in a different manner but have the same total training time. The control group learns each module separately, while the treatment group learns the whole ISS at once. A virtual 3D space station model is also available to the treatment group. In Testing, the subjects are told their destination and are asked to point there. The visibility is sometimes obstructed by smoke. Upon arrival at the destination they point back to the start point and reproduce the experienced route using a virtual scale model. Correct answers for the pointing and route reproduction tasks are provided as feedback only for the treatment group. Testing is also done 1, 7 and 30 days later, where only the treatment group is told error types they made in the previous testing. The treatment group should show quantitatively superior spatial knowledge and navigation skills. The results should help define procedures for actual astronaut preflight spatial disorientation and navigation training.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Results support deep understanding in human from the viewpoint of brain and cognitive science. Our results also pertain to environmental and architectural design and pre/post-occupancy evaluation of buildings, underground, and cities. The simulation tool could be used for other profession such as firefighter and submariners, as well as occupant of high-story buildings.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2007 
Task Progress: 1. Updating the space station 3D model

The space station 3D model we have made for the previous experiments was similar to ISS, and consisted of seven rectangular modules (Destiny, JEM, Columbus, CAM, Zvezda (Service Module), and Soyuz), three cubic modules (Node1, 2, and a Russian node), and a PMA. The pictures of the ISS modules in orbit, ground mockups, and illustrations were used for the interior texture. The module size, shape, and location were, however, modified for experimental purposes. Now we are developing the 3D models to be closer to the ISS. With help of Drs. Edna Fiedler of NSBRI and Barbara Woolford of JSC, we have better ISS interior/hardware photos. A better 3D model of ISS was provided by Jeffery Murch and Patrick Troutman at NASA Langley Research Center.

Four new functions have been installed into the VR tool for the next experiment.

i) Outside-view map

ii) See-through (virtual X-ray vision) function

iii) Background sound

iv) Fog on/off

2. ISS emergency training

We observed ISS emergency training for Expedition 15 crewmembers on July 14, 2006. The training was performed by ISS Environmental Control Group (JSC-DT4) led by David Hudson. They simulated various situations such as decompression, toxic gas leak, and fire with smoke. Obviously, due to the physical conditions of the mockup trainers in Building 9 (not the same as the flight configuration), the training focus on the procedures at particular places in a module and less on inter-module activities. During and after the NSBRI's Summer Institute program, Dr. Aoki discussed with them how to define and incorporate a reasonable scenario involving 3D intermodule spatial activities into the training tool we have been developing. We are working to finalize some of the scenarios and include them in the tool. As soon as a scenario is installed in the tool, it will be evaluated by Hudson's group and hopefully ultimately by some astronauts.

3. A portable immersive VR system was developed with a laptop, a lightweight HMD and a 6 DOF head motion sensor. This system could be run only from laptop battery power supply. This can be used for demonstration and future experiments on an air-bearing bed and/or parabolic flight.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 09/11/2017) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Aoki H, Oman CM, Natapoff A, Liu A. "The effect of the configuration, frame of reference, and spatial ability on spatial orientation during virtual 3-dimensional navigation training." Seventh Symposium on the Role of Vestibular Organs in Space Exploration, ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands, June 7-9, 2006.

Submitted for Publication, June 2006. , Jun-2006

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Oman CM, Benveniste D, Buckland DA, Aoki H, Liu AM, Natapoff A, Kozhevnikov M. "Incongruent spacecraft module visual verticals affect spatial task performance." Seventh Symposium on the Role of Vestibular Organs in Space Exploration, ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands, June 7-9, 2006.

Submitted for publication, June 2006. , Jun-2006

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Oman CM, Benveniste D, Buckland DA, Aoki H, Liu AM, Natapoff A, Kozhevnikov M. "Spacecraft module visual verticals and individual spatial learning abilities determine 3D spatial task performance." 77th Aerospace Medical Association (ASMA) meeting, Orlando, FL, May 15-18, 2006.

Aviat Space Environ Med. 2006 Mar;77(3):349. Abstract #543. , Mar-2006

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Oman CM, Benveniste D, Buckland DA, Aoki H, Liu AM, Natapoff A. "Spacecraft module visual verticals and training affect spatial task performance." Habitation 2006 conference, Orlando, FL, February 5-8, 2006.

Habitation. 2006;10(3-4):202-3. , Feb-2006

Project Title:  Virtual Reality-Based Pre-Flight Astronaut 3D Navigation Training (Postdoctoral Fellowship) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2006 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP :
Start Date: 10/01/2005  
End Date: 10/01/2007  
Task Last Updated: 12/03/2010 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Aoki, Hirofumi  Ph.D. / Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Address:  77 Massachusetts Avenue 
Room 37-155 
Cambridge , MA 02139 
Email: haoki@mit.edu 
Phone: 617-253-7509  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Oman, Charles  MENTOR: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-PF00902 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2005 NSBRI-RFP-05-01 Postdoctoral Fellowships 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-PF00902 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: None
Human Research Program Risks: None
Human Research Program Gaps: None
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: changed end date to accommodate NSBRI final report submission (jp 5/08)

Task Description: POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP.

The goal of this sensorimotor/human factors project is to develop a virtual reality (VR) based training method for astronauts aboard International Space Station (ISS) or a Mars mission vehicle as a countermeasure of inflight spatial disorientation and navigation. These problems have been frequently reported by crews of Space Shuttle, Mir, and ISS as complicating responses to emergencies. The 3D architecture and inconsistency of the visual vertical of adjacent quarters and modules, combined with the limited visual experience of crewmembers is the major cause of the problem, identified as a significant risk by NASA. Astronauts normally see the interior of a spacecraft from a variety of body orientations and viewpoints that cannot be simulated on the ground. It requires cognitive skills to interrelate cues perceived in a body centered (egocentric) frame of reference built up directly through navigation and also in an overall (allocentric) frame of reference defined by the spacecraft. Astronauts can either learn this interrelationship inflight, or develop the required cognitive knowledge prior to flight via VR simulation. This study intends to clarify whether VR training can help to integrate egocentric and allocentric frame of reference and to understand retention, learning, and the limitations of 3D human spatial orientation and navigation for long-term training. In the experiment, two groups (Control, Treatment) of subjects explore a virtual ISS while wearing a head-mounted display with head tracker. In Training, two groups are trained in a different manner but have the same total training time. The control group learns each module separately, while the treatment group learns the whole ISS at once. A virtual 3D space station model is also available to the treatment group. In Testing, the subjects are told their destination and are asked to point there. The visibility is sometimes obstructed by smoke. Upon arrival at the destination they point back to the start point and reproduce the experienced route using a virtual scale model. Correct answers for the pointing and route reproduction tasks are provided as feedback only for the treatment group. Testing is also done 1, 7 and 30 days later, where only the treatment group is told error types they made in the previous testing. The treatment group should show quantitatively superior spatial knowledge and navigation skills. The results should help define procedures for actual astronaut preflight spatial disorientation and navigation training.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Results will support deep understanding in humans from the viewpoint of brain and cognitive science. Our results also pertain to environmental and architectural design and pre/post-occupancy evaluation of buildings, underground, and cities. The simulation tool could be used for other profession such as firefighter and submariners, as well as occupant of high-story buildings.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2006 
Task Progress: New project for FY2006.

[Ed. note: FY2006 record created in December 2010 when discovered missing; needed for statistical purposes]

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 09/11/2017) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2006