ESA: Virtual Reality. Astronomical Data Exploration Tool. 1


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Quasar has submitted a proposal to an ESA EXPRO with title, Virtual Reality Astronomical Data Exploration Tool.

The work to be performed includes:

  • Developing a Virtual and Mixed Reality software application.
  • Setting up a hardware system capable to run Mixed Reality applications, including a computer with enough specifications to both develop and run the application smoothly and any virtual reality platform peripherals, sensors, glasses, etc. required.
  • Placement of the developed application in Android Google Play and Apple’s Apple Store as a free application for end-users to download.

The ESAC Science Data Centre (ESDC) provides worldwide exposure to data generated by ESA astronomy, planetary and heliophysics missions. Most of these data are highly dimensional, and its interpretation and visualisation is one of the challenges faced by present astronomy. Virtual Reality (VR) could accommodate the visualization in a 3D space of those datasets while bringing an unprecedented level of interaction. Moreover, VR platforms such as Oculus VR, Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR are making these technologies accessible to the wide public, making VR a viable tool to spread scientific knowledge. The work to be performed by Quasar will allow the ESAC Science Data Centre to provide a highly innovative data exploration tool, with unprecedented visualization and selection capabilities for astronomers and planetary scientists, focused in maximising exploitation of ESA Science

Some of the scientific topics where the use of VR will be applied within the scope of this project are:

  • How do Massive Stars form (and is a cluster environment essential for their formation)
  • Study of the s called Trojan asteroids
  • Open and Globular Cluster Inspection
  • Stellar Association Temporal Evolution
  •  Full Galaxy Inspection and Evolution
  •  Haptic Multidimensional Region Definition

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