press release

Cortona3D improves logistic operations in space for the European Space Agency

15 May 2006

Cortona3D, a leader in the provision of interactive 3D-powered solutions, introduces a 3D-powered configuration tool that allows for effective planning and maintaining of cargo storage in the European Space Agency's (ESA) Automatic Transfer Vehicle (ATV). The Automated Transfer Vehicle is an unmanned vehicle that is put in orbit by the European Ariane 5 launcher. It provides the International Space Station with pressurized cargo, water, air, Nitrogen, Oxygen, and attitude control propellant.

Arranging cargo storage and tool layout inside a spacecraft is an extremely complex task - a variety of items of different shapes, sizes and purposes should be placed into a confined area providing easy search and access to stored items during the mission. All procedures associated with the cargo require detailed planning. To increase the efficiency of the logistic planning and execution processes, ESA commissioned Cortona3D to develop the ATV IntraVehicular Configuration Tool (ATV ICT), based on ISO standards.

ATV ICT provides an expandable library of 3D items extracted from CAD models, which are manipulated in a 3D interactive interface to plan the internal configuration of the Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) part of ATV. The user can try various combinations, and analyze the benefits of preventing unnecessary rework. The optimal layout is then transferred to Cortona3Ds' Virtual Training Editor where SCORM-compliant 3D interactive training material is developed to support the cargo operations, loading and unloading procedures, etc.

With ATV ICT, the personnel responsible for logistic operations on the ground at the ATV Control Center can easily try different storage and tools layout configurations and select an optimal one before the real operations start. Keeping up-to-date specifications of the Integrated Cargo Carrier configuration and allowing the development of ad-hoc visual procedural manuals, ensure that on-board operations are executed more smoothly by the astronauts. This is a time-saving and error-reducing solution.

Marco ArcioniSimulation Engineer, ESA

"During the past fifteen years, Cortona3Ds' 3D technologies have a proven track record in driving cost-efficiency for its customers in various application areas - from visual technical documentation to improved interactive training. This solution is a good example of how 3D visualization dramatically improves logistic and support processes," said Connell Gallagher, President of Cortona3D.

Cortona3D has been working with the European Space Agency to develop innovative solutions since 2002. Starting with the creation of 3D simulations for technical procedures associated with the ATV to a 3D-powered CBT solution used by the ESA Astronaut Training Center for the space-crew training both on-ground and on board the International Space Station.

About Cortona3D

Cortona3D provides 3D visual knowledge software to equipment manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide. Cortona3D open standards authoring tools give subject matter experts the power to create interactive, animated 3D Product Documentation such as maintenance manuals, parts catalogs, and interactive training from existing CAD assets rapidly. Proven benefits are three times faster production, 80+% cost savings, and improved quality. Customers include Boeing, ESA, and Airbus among others. Cortona3D has an unmatched track record of sector leadership and continuous product.

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