Using Hololens Augmented Reality Headset, Lockheed Martin employees working on NASA's new space capsule Orion
NASA New Spacecraft Orion | Image source: MIT Tech review

Lockheed Martin engineers wear the spectacles to help them build crew capsule Orion - without reading so many pages of paper instruction.

When you work in a factory that produces single items, such as iPhones or clothes, you instantly become an expert in the assembly process. But when you are creating something like a space shuttle, the comfort level does not come easily. There is a need of 100% precision and 200% accuracy in space works.

Brian O'Connor, Vice President of manufacturing at Lockheed Martin said in a statement that "Every time we're making something for the first time".

Aerospace organizations have responded to thousands of pages of their manuals to send instructions to their workers. In recent years, Giant Space companies such as Boeing and Airbus have started testing to make something which can decrease the time of workers, load, difficulties and more using Augmented Realities, but there was very rare progress seen after experiments. And now Lockheed has been successful in this project.

The companies workers are now using AR to do their job every day.
Decker Jory, Spacecraft technician uses a Microsoft Hololens headset regularly for his work on Orion. 

Jory says, "At the beginning of the day, He has many problems when he wears this Headset, But after some days, he wears it without having any trouble or heaviness for almost three hours. So he and his assembly team use it to study their work or to check the guidelines after every 15-minute rather than constant feeding of instructions.

Lockheed Martin employees working on NASA's new space capsule Orion
Lockheed Martin working on Orion | Image source: MIT Tech Review

From Scope AR, the employees can see the holograms displaying the models that are made by using engineering design software.

Instruction like How to turn things in a different direction can be seen directly at the top of the hole, and the workers can see what the finished product will look like.

Virtual models near the workers are also color-coded to the role of the employee using the headset. Jory’s team, which is currently building Orion's thermal shield skeleton, the new technology replaces the 1,500-page binder filled with written work instructions.

Lockheed is exploring its use of AR after seeing some incredible effects during testing. Technicians need little time to get acquainted and ready for new work or to understand and execute processes such as drilling holes and curved fasteners.

The results of this experiments are motivating the organization to expand its ambitions for the headset to use it in space. Shelley Peterson, chief of the emerging technologies at Lockheed Martin, says that just as the employees use the headset on Earth, there is an insight into how the increased reality can help the astronauts maintain the space shuttle. 

Peterson also says, "What we want astronauts to do is, they have maintenance capability, which is more impulsive than going through text or drawing materials."

For now, some of these headsets need some customization to increase their wearability before they are used in space. Lockheed is still looking for some customization in this device so that the work can be done more effectively. For more updates on Lockheed Martin, Stay tuned with us.

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