Visualisation always went hand in hand with scientific progress, helping scientists to envision the things they study. For Computational Physics and a multitude of other scientific areas the importance of visualisation of complex multi-dimensional data cannot be overstated. Recently, with the technological progress provided by advanced smart phone technology, visualisation techniques utilising Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies have become feasible and are already permeating all areas of life, such as engineering and architecture, medicine and forensics, gaming and of course scientific research.
The goal of our Pilot Project was to explore the doability of VR/AR visualisation for the upcoming ORIGINS Cluster both with current state of available hardware and with the future developments.
Among the motivations for out project were such factors as:
- real 3D is simply more convenient for 3D data
- VR allows easy access to smaller details: one can view every point from every angle by flying through the world
- multi-user capability is not present in conventional visualisation programs, but can be done in VR
In the current state of the project we have created a Prototype Scientific Simulation Data Visualisation Tool
which we intend to develop into a full stand-alone program, usable by scientists on their own PC or in a Visualisation facility. The tool is currently developed for astrophysical simulation data, but has the potential to be expanded to a universal tool for a multitude of disciplines, or modified into a series of tools each suited for the appropriate research area. The knowledge acquired from working on the project can also be used for creating educational or outreach projects.
In our demo version we have also created several example environments
to explore the possibility of utilising other methods of visualisation techniques and applications in other disciplines.
As the project is and will be in a constant state of development, we welcome any inquiries, feedback, data samples and suggestions.
At the moment we are still in the prototype phase, however we plan to run first testing of our stand-alone version fairly soon. Currently, the tool can be viewed and tested in our office at the USM. Please let us know
if you would like to come by and see it for yourself, or if you have any other questions.