Augmented Reality for Spacecraft Manufacturing

On August 1, in the Wall Street Journal, Sara Castellanos posted an article exploring Lockheed Martin’s use of augmented reality, particularly the work done on their Orion project using Scope AR’s WorkLink. Some highlights from the article:

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s space division is using augmented reality headsets and software to speed up the time it takes for engineers to learn about and conduct manufacturing processes on spacecraft, said Yvonne Hodge, the division’s vice president and chief information officer.

“This is a really exciting capability that can really accelerate us and make us more competitive,” she said.
Before, for example, technicians used paper instructions or 3-D models on a computer in certain manufacturing processes of Orion. Now, instead of having to look through binders of data or content on the computer across the room, they can wear an AR device such as HoloLens, which overlays instructions for drilling or applying torque to specific parts of the spacecraft, said Shelley Peterson, augmented reality systems engineer at Lockheed Martin.

The time it takes for a technician to “ramp up,” or to understand the drilling processes, has been reduced from eight hours to about 45 minutes using augmented reality headsets, she said. It recently took about 2 weeks to conduct a manufacturing process which involved drilling and inserting panels into the Orion spacecraft, Ms. Peterson said. That process had taken about six weeks in the past, she said.

For the full article, click here