The agency is seeking an AR solution that would be able to provide access to information without communication with the Earth as well as withstand radiation, dust, and extreme temperatures.
NASA is exploring the idea of using augmented reality to help astronauts access critical mission information, statistics, and life support metrics inside their spacesuits.
In late December, the agency published an RFI (request for information) for potential partners and suppliers who can contribute to building a spacesuit-compatible AR system comprised of a display, control, and compute subsystems that are set to "help cope with future mission work demands during extravehicular activity."
NASA noted that astronauts need to get a solution that would allow them to have constant access to any data necessary for their missions without communication with the Earth. According to the document, the requested AR system should provide a new communication medium between the crew and Earth’s mission control with the help of a dynamic visual cue system.
NASA noted that the suit's goal is to "comfortably display information to the suited crew member via a minimally intrusive see-through display."
It also emphasized that the solution should be something outside of the current device available on the market as each mission is unique, and integration into main systems can be difficult if ready-made device configurations are used.
According to the agency, the AR system also must meet the extreme demands of space – it should operate in 100% oxygen and withstand space radiation, dust, and extreme temperatures.
In the RFI, NASA provided several questions and areas for respondents to address like how current AR systems could be modified or scaled to meet the agency’s requirements and what is the feasibility of the requested AR system. Responses are due to the NASA contracting officer on March 17, 2023.
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