V-MARS is a program spearheaded by Mars Planet ( Italian chapter of the Mars Society) which main goal is to provide an effective test bed for field operation studies in preparation for manned missions to Mars by means of VR/AR Technlogy. The program foresees the development of an immersive Virtual Reality (VR) simulation of the MARS CITY Station (V-MARS). The major advantage of such virtualization is that it will be possible to undertake training sessions with a crew that can interact with its future environment before the actual station is built. This way a more effective design of the station and associated missions and a strong reduction of costs could be obtained. The main objective of this activity will be the achievement of adequate fidelity simulations and validation of the data obtained during the training sessions so that they can be used for the design of the station itself. The program includes the development of VR treadmills (MOTIGRAVITY, MOTIVITY, BABY-MOTIVITY, which are currentely distributed under the trademark Mars Virtual Systems: www.marsvrsys.com
Other scientific objective of the V-MARS program are;:
· an opportunity to review the MARS-City Habitat Design
· a platform for the establishment of the knowledge, methods, and standards for the design of an integrated, autonomous, crew health management system.
· a platform for Scientific missions planning / Crew training
· serving as a strong outreach opportunity
· Technlogical transfer of the results in commercial and industrial sectors including medicine, gaming, military application.
V-MARS infrastructure is composed by sets of virtual stations, each of them based on the following key elements:
· Immersive virtual simulations and supporting a 3D virtual reality headset (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, etc)
· Full body and hand gesture tracking
· Integration of an omnidirectional treadmill
PROGRAM SCIENCE AGENDA
The table below report a short summary of science activities performed during V-MARS program:
|HABITAT||MARS Habitat Design Review.|
|V-MARS STATION||Feedback on current V-MARS station design|
|COMMUNICATION||Audio and video communication setup and test|
|HEALTH MON||Crew health monitoring|
|TELEMEDICINE||Simulated telemedical support session|
|ATV DESIGN||Virtual Reality based design of an ATV vehicle|
|SIM / EVA||Simulation Scenarios / EVA missions.|
|REDUCED GRAVITY||Experimentation has been made on simulating Martian reduced
gravity environments via extensions of the Motivity /Motigravity omnidirectional treadmill
|SPACE SUIT||A set of technical tests aiming at assessing the use of space suit
during the virtual simulation.