Date of Award

12-2019

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics

Department

College of Aviation

Committee Chair

Jennifer Thropp, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Robert L. Thomas, Ph.D.

Abstract

The uses of augmented reality and head-up displays are becoming more prominent in industries such as aviation, automotive, and medicine. An augmented reality device such as the Microsoft HoloLens can project holograms onto the user’s natural field of view to assist with completion of a variety of tasks. Unfortunately, only a little research and development has begun in the space sector for astronauts using these head-up displays. Future lunar missions could incorporate augmented reality for astronauts to ease task load and improve accuracy. This study evaluated the usability, subjective workload, and task performance of 22 participants using the Microsoft HoloLens to complete tasks that are analogous to those completed by astronauts on a lunar mission, including navigation, rock sample collection, and maintenance tasks. Results from the usability survey, NASA-TLX, and usability interview suggested that augmented reality could support astronaut missions by means of reduced workload and task errors. Usability data information collected from the participants sought to improve on the user interface and confirmed the aforementioned results. The researcher concluded that further research must be conducted to test the development of augmented reality interfaces along with the usability aspect by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronauts.

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