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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

Hybrid Windows and Mosaic Video: Reducing Complexity of Space Habitable Modules

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

We want to look at the concept of combining small, passive windows with replaceable cameras to improve viewing capabilities for habitable modules of future spacecraft.   A more modular concept than currently used for spacecraft windows, this concept would reduce the overall window square footage for a vehicle or habitat, yet increase the viewing capabilities around it, and be available for both passive and electronic (video camera, IR sensors, etc) methods.  This project would evaluate configurations of small portal windows with internally placed imaging sensors, pointed in various directions, and integrated views of near real-time video.

Windows in habitable modules represent significant design and operations impacts to future spacecraft, yet viewing requirements, both electronic and passive, continue to mature.   With longer missions over greater distances, it becomes harder to accommodate both size and modularity of viewing.  The Hybrid Window Portal would allow easier design, more locations for direct viewing,  and easier maintenance and represent less of an impact to a vehicle's structural integrity than traditional windows, and applies to aluminum, composite and inflatable structures.  This project intends to build on an on-going IR&D effort and a 2011 ICA investigation of virtual window technology, and will explore options to provide adequate viewing and sensing through arrangements of multiple, small portals that can accommodate cameras and sensors.  Smaller portals accommodate more cameras and sensors than ever before, and offer different pointing directions so optimum viewing angles can be selected, while an integrated view (Mosaic Video) provides perspective.         

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

A final report document may be available for this project. If you would like to request it, please contact us.

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