NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Collaborated With Microsoft To Develop OnSight System That Uses Holographic Computing

NASA Microsoft HoloLens

OnSight is a software tool developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in collaboration with Microsoft. OnSight is based on the Windows Holographic platform which runs on Microsoft HoloLens. OnSight uses real rover data to create a 3-D simulation of the Martian environment where mission scientists can “meet” to discuss rover operations. This will enable scientists to work virtually on Mars using Microsoft HoloLens.

“OnSight gives our rover scientists the ability to walk around and explore Mars right from their offices,” said Dave Lavery, program executive for the Mars Science Laboratory mission at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “It fundamentally changes our perception of Mars, and how we understand the Mars environment surrounding the rover.”

OnSight will use real rover data and extend the Curiosity mission’s existing planning tools by creating a 3-D simulation of the Martian environment where scientists around the world can meet. Program scientists will be able to examine the rover’s worksite from a first-person perspective, plan new activities and preview the results of their work firsthand.

Previously, Mars explorers have been stuck on one side of a computer screen. But HoloLens allows them to explore the rover’s surroundings. JPL is planning to begin testing OnSight in Curiosity mission operations later this year. Future applications may include Mars 2020 rover mission operations, and other applications in support of NASA’s journey to Mars.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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