NASA Adopts Open Source in Mars VR Project just wrote an article, Open source software powers NASA’s Mars VR project, that covers Peter Ambercrombie’s upcoming session,A Cloud-based Architecture for Processing 3D Mars Terrain at Scale14x.

OnSight is a tool that allows scientists to work on Mars through the power of virtual reality. The Mars terrain displayed in OnSight is produced from real images sent back by the Curiosity rover, and rendered at 1:1 scale, as if the user were actually standing on Mars. Behind this exciting user experience is a powerful backend infrastructure that continually produces 3D terrain reconstructions as new images are sent back by the Curiosity rover.

The article covers a variety of open source technologies involved in the project. Including:

  • For 3d rendering and views: MeshLab and Blender.
  • The terrain pipeline is implemented in .NET.
  • Jenkins is used for continuous integration and to manage their image processing.
  • MySQL is their database to manage metadata and completed builds.
  • StrongLoop LoopBack framework handles their REST Interface.
  • The web dashboard is a combination of AngularJS framework and Bootstrap for templating.
  • Ansible is their choice for configuration management of cloud servers.

Using Microsoft Hololens, which is now available for developer pre-order, scientists will be able to work virtually on Mars.


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