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Spring 2023 course code: ENGR 291-508, ENGR 491-516, ENGR 491H-206
(HR) denotes Honors. 

What is the overall goal of your project?
SpaceCRAFT VR is a multidisciplinary platform for design and analysis of space systems, as well as entire mission architecture concepts with human-in-the-loop operations in virtual reality. SpaceCRAFT provides high-fidelity environmental models and the means to integrate systems and algorithms for spaceflight vehicles, habitats, robots, rovers, satellites and any other mission component into a multi-user real-time simulation. It is used for engineering design, astronaut training, human-interface testing, and development of operational concepts for spaceflight missions. It is also used for STEM programs to teach students about space exploration through team-based design challenges. Students working on SpaceCRAFT choose from a wide range of research topics — from orbital mechanics to guidance systems, robotics, CAD modeling and animation, network coding and backend development, mechanical systems, planetary science, space physics, and many other topics. Check out the faculty's website.

Which grand challenge are you addressing?

The grand challenges our project addresses are:

  • Advance Personalized Learning
  • Enhance Virtual Reality
  • Engineer the Tools of Scientific Discovery

What is the key challenge your project is trying to solve?
The objective is to design and build a software platform for real-time collaborative systems engineering and scenario-based virtual reality simulation. Currently, there isn’t an intuitive software package that allows users across the world to upload their own models, interface with other peer-reviewed designs and test out systems within a limitless virtual environment from any location in the world.

What is the impact on society your project has?
SpaceCRAFT is a new concept for collaborative space system and mission design. It is a virtual reality ‘Sandbox’ environment designed to enable students, government and commercial entities to collaborate, design, evaluate and experience the technology for future operations in outer space. SpaceCRAFT aims to enable any person or institution to contribute to humanity’s future in outer space.

Faculty mentor: Dr. Gregory Chamitoff

Engineering majors targeted: All majors