Motion tracking in LUNA - the moonwalk

Just as important for robotics as for astronaut fitness training or for analyzing precise motion sequences under reduced gravity: LUNA will be equipped with a system to precisely record movements in the hall and make them available to users. In order to meet the requirements of the various user categories inside the regolith hall as closely as possible, experts from a wide range of disciplines met at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne for coordination: representatives from the fields of physiology and aerospace medicine, medical astronaut care and training, robotics and research about virtual reality as method in space operations came together with members of the LUNA team to discuss requirements, use cases and various motion capture techniques. Some groups wanted a spatial resolution in the submillimeter range, while for others a fast data sampling rate in the kilohertz range was important.

Some applications require real-time availability of position data, for other areas the data are only relevant after the test, but it should be possible to track as many “points in three-dimensional space” as possible at the same time. All of the teams already had experience – and so there was a lively exchange not only regarding the various measurement methods such as LIDAR, optical, with or without active or passive markers, but also specifically regarding existing companies and devices. It will probably be both: A commercial, permanently installed system as well as breaking new ground with LUNA and hence another form of using the system to advance research and technology in this area too.