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25 November 2016

Mission "VITA", for the second time Altran is involved in an experiment on board the ISS

ARAMIS (Augmented Reality Application for Maintenance, Inventory and Stowage) is one of the experiments that will be performed by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli during the mission "VITA" on board the International Space Station. This is the third long-duration mission by the Italian Space Agency, conceived in the framework of agreements with NASA for MPLM modules.

The experiment was introduced Thursday, November 24, 2016 at the headquarters of the Italian Space Agency, during the press conference dedicated to the mission "VITA", which will take place from May to October 2017.

ARAMIS is an application of Mobile Wireless technologies and Augmented Reality to assist the astronaut working in the International Space Station during the operations of maintenance and verification / reorganization of on-board stowage.

The experiment aims at demonstrating that a mobile device (a standard on-board tablet, in this case), equipped with a dedicated application with Augmented Reality capabilities (AR) and wireless connection to the station database, can increase efficiency and accuracy of the maintenance and management of materials that are performed by astronauts on board the ISS even in the absence of prior training.


Player involved in the experiment

Thales Alenia Space, Altran Italy and Altec collaborate at Experiment ARAMIS.

Thales Alenia Space is direct contractor of Italian Space Agency and primary head of the project.

Altran Italy is involved as subcontractor of Thales Alenia Space for the development of software for the mobile device that implements the required functionality, including Augmented Reality. The software development activities organized by Altran is comprehensive and goes from the selection of commercial development environment (SDK) to the validation and testing of the application software.

Altec is subcontractor of Thales Alenia Space for the definition of operational scenarios, the definition of the relevant functional requirements and the final pre-operational validation of the mission part of Inventory & Stowage Management.


Advantages for research on ISS

In case of extensive application of ARAMIS, the "man time" required to run the operations on board and for its operator training (in the case of non-nominal assets) would decrease significantly, thus offering the possibility of increasing scientific exploitation. In addition, the validation of the augmented reality as technology for conveying information and operating instructions in a more efficient and targeted way, would make possible or facilitate the execution of those activities not provided originally, or for which it would take an additional training or dedicated board . Looking to the future, the integration of these digital technologies with a wearable device such as augmented reality glasses, would increase the advantage of this application freeing up the operator's hands from the need to support the tablet.