Research topics

Use cases

In the foreground is a desktop computer where 3D reconstructions of the Martian surface can be seen. In the background is a man with virtual reality gear moving around in this data in VR and exploring the Martian surface.
With PRo3D, the surface of Mars can be explored in virtual reality.

VR environments for geo-spatial data

Our interactive 3D visualization tool PRo3D offers a virtual reality environment in which geospatial data that have a natural embedding in 3D space can be visualized and experienced immersively. For example, tunnel inspections can take place in VR true to scale and of course remotely. Planerary researchers can realistically measure the (as yet) inaccessible surface of Mars.

You can see a colorful cube from which individual small cubes fly away on a black background.
Animation of simulation results of an impact with the high-performance point cloud renderer Aardvark, based on 1 million particles and taking into account the porosity of the surface.

Immersive Analysis for Asteroid Defense

In the area of planetary science, we are exploring the potential of immersive analysis tools for time-dependent multivariate data. For example, in an impact study that took place as part of our research collaboration with the ESA/NASA HERA project, we developed interactive 3D tools that make asteroid impact simulations easier and more intuitive to grasp. These simulations serve as a basis for the development of future asteroid defense strategies.

Using augmented reality, a 3D hydroelectric turbine is projected into an office space.
Representation of a hydroelectric turbine in augmented reality.

Immersive analytics at the service of hydropower

One of the goals of the DIGI-Hydro project is to develop a digital hydropower twin. Augmented reality methods will be used to enable experts and technicians at a power plant to gain insight into the current state of the turbine without it being accessible or viewable under real conditions. In a first prototype, the 3D model of a turbine was loaded onto the Microsoft Hololens and rendered. In the further course, it should be possible to recognize damage parameters on the machine (e.g., through colored markings) as well as external influences.

A man with virtual reality hardware stands in a three-sided cave environment onto which is projected what he sees in VR. It is a 3D reconstruction of a planetary surface.
Novel VR solutions such as the CosmoScout VR visualization tool, which allows users to navigate through cave environments, will enable professionals and laypeople alike to experience space weather events. (c) DLR

Complex space weather becomes tangible thanks to virtual reality

In our CosmoWeather project, we are working on behalf of ESA together with the German Aerospace Center on intuitively experienceable virtual reality environments that make space weather events more comprehensible. The focus here is on the development of two innovative VR prototypes that bring the topic closer to both experts and the general public.

Visualization of a landscape in Rhineland-Palatinate with flood zones
The risk to a location in Rhineland-Palatinate is identified by using a heavy rainfall simulation.

Communicating flood risk through virtual reality

Our internationally successful flood simulation tool Visdom combines simulation, visualization and analysis for the purpose of hydrodynamic modeling. Many municipalities and federal states in Austria, Germany and countries abroad already use this tool for hydrodynamic simulation and, for example, improved flood protection. In order to prepare people even better for flood hazards, to make it possible to experience them with the help of immersive technology, we are developing a flood protection training system that combines an interactive flood simulation with a VR client. The collaboration between trainer and user allows the trainer to control the remote simulation from the virtual environment, evaluate the effectiveness of the protective measures used, and compare the results across multiple simulation runs. The trainer also monitors the trainee's actions via a linked desktop application to assist with complex tasks.