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The GRUVE Lab provides a fully interactive virtual reality space in which to observe and analyze data and environments.

Within the GVIS Lab lies the GRUVE (Glenn Reconfigurable User-interface and Virtual Reality Exploration) Lab. It is home to the CAVE, which is predominantly used to tour virtual environments of NASA facilities and for mission scenarios.


How the CAVE works

The Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) allows multiple people to view a visualization in 3D together. These visualizations include 3D models of NASA facilities and intricate images created from collected data.

Powerful projectors and mirrors, in combination with an infrared motion tracking system and active-shutter glasses, allow viewers to view 3D models and data in perfect perspective. 3D models effectively pop off the screen and remain proportional no matter where the user with the pair of tracking glasses moves in the environment.
The CAVE can be driven by either a Windows or Linux computer system, enabling the team to use the best environment for a given problem and software tool.

GRUVE Lab Annotated Diagram gruve-lab-annotated-diagram

Benefits of the CAVE

The CAVE’s technology provides a unique advantage for researchers, scientists, engineers and others. The ability to see and analyze forces and data that would otherwise be un-viewable to the human eye allows the observer to understand their subject matter in more detail.

Benefits of the CAVE to research include:

  • Providing an immersive environment. With large screens to fill peripheral vision and stereoscopic projection for a real sense of three-dimensional space, more parts of the brain are engaged and the user is better able to understand problems and to solve them faster.
  • More effective collaboration. The ability to see each other in the virtual reality environment makes the CAVE better for collaboration than traditional VR technology.
  • Seeing complex data and flows in 3D. This makes it easier for both experts and non-experts to understand the data.
  • Providing greater resolution and larger display size. This allows details to be displayed without losing their context.
  • Delivering faster and more accurate manipulation and viewing of models, including CAD data, with fewer errors. This results in a faster time to market and less re-work.

The CAVE is available for use by all members of Glenn for their projects.

Examples of CAVE projects

Applications of immersive 3D environments

  • Fluid dynamics analysis (CFD)
  • Point cloud data, e.g. LiDAR
  • Virtual design reviews
  • Virtual manufacturing testing
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • 3D imaging data
  • Training and education
  • Virtual procedures
  • Biomedical research
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Virtual building walkthroughs
  • Showroom “theater”
  • Education and outreach
  • Building Information Management (BIM)
  • Big data and data mining
  • Cybersecurity data analysis
  • Safety systems analysis
  • Microfocus CT scan data
  • Electron microscopy
  • 3D photos and videos

Data Types Supported

  • Point cloud data
  • Volume data
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Molecular dynamics

CAVE Hardware Specs

  • Linux CAVE node
    • CPU: 2 x Intel Xeon Gold 5122 (8 cores total)
    • Memory: 12 x 32GB RAM (384 GB total)
    • GPUs: 4 x Nvidia Quadro GV100 (projectors), Nvidia Quadro P600 (console), Nvidia Quadro Sync II
  • Windows 10 CAVE node
    • CPU: 2 x Intel Xeon Gold 5122 (8 cores total)
    • Memory: 12 x 32GB RAM (384 GB total)
    • GPUs: 4 x Nvidia Quadro P6000 (projectors), Nvidia Quadro P600 (console), Nvidia Quadro Sync II
  • CAVE walls
    • 5 x SONY VPL-GTZ280 Projectors
      • 5000 lumens
    • Resolution:
      • 4096×2160 (center and floor)
      • 2880×2160 (cropped side walls)
  • Stereo glasses
    • Volfoni RF EDGE
    • RF sync
  • Audio system
    • Emotiva RMC-1 Surround Processor
    • 11 Genelec 8320A Speakers in 7.1.4 Configuration
    • 1 Genelec 7370A Subwoofer
  • Tracking system
    • 4 IR cameras
  • Flystick2 wand

Software available in the GRUVE lab

Contact Us!

Need to reach us? You can directly send an email to the GVIS Team or the Team Leader, Herb Schilling

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