Skytek is developing systems to support operations on a planned lunar space station that will enable regular trips to the Moon, as well as expeditions further into deep space.
The software will help crews complete activities – such as science experiments and maintenance tasks – on board the lunar Gateway. The tool will also simplify the complex preparation and validation processes performed on the ground before crews become active.
Gateway is an international initiative led by NASA, with ESA as a key partner. Its establishment is a crucial aim of the Artemis programme, which kicked off today with the launch of Artemis I from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.
Revolutionising work onboard the International Space Station by making space procedures paperless
The life of an astronaut in space consists of following many step-by-step procedures. Skytek’s (International Procedural Viewer) IPV platform manages over 13,000 procedures, resulting in significant efficiencies and improved quality assurance across space operations. The IPV system constantly evolves and includes a mobile version and augmented reality (AR) suite.
Skytek’s XTP software platform was specially developed to manage complex and distributed operations for astronaut activities on board the International Space Station (ISS).
Coordination of operations between mission control and ISS in essential and actual operational procedures and workflow must be tailored based on the exact operational requirements of that day.
Skytek has built the latest version of XTP based on the specific needs of astronauts, commercial operators, and procedure authors.
This results in a system that streamlines astronauts’ workflow to ensure that only steps are required to perform an activity are provided to the astronaut.
With astronauts’ time being valuable, any efficiency improvements for task execution is of enormous importance.
Skytek’s innovation does not end with traditional software. Deploying the latest technology, Skytek’s MobiPV augmented reality (AR) project adds value to the space domain. Today, ESA astronauts use it to help them prepare for life on the International Space Station. They practise how to operate payloads and experiment in zero-gravity—all while never leaving the ground.
AR actively reacts to the user’s environment and circumstances when astronauts are on board, superimposing digital information directly onto physical objects and equipment. This allows the astronauts to process the digital and physical simultaneously, improving their ability to absorb it, make decisions and act more quickly.
With the lifespan of the International Space Station (ISS) extended, older systems continue to provide vital services. Still, ageing IT equipment requires updating while maintaining full compatibility and data integrity. Skytek has developed fully virtualised environments that replicate legacy systems with modern hardware that upgrade the Columbus module’s data management system (DMS) ‘brains of the ISS’.