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ASCAN Basic Training Report, November 2000

This is the November training primary activity report of NASDA's(JAXA's) astronaut candidates (ASCANs).

Robotics training at Canadian Space Agency
During the last half of November, ASCANs received training on a Robot Arm at John H. Chapman Space Center of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) located in Quebec, Canada. CSA has advanced technology in the robotics field and developed the robot arm for the International Space Station. NASDA's(JAXA's) three ASCANs received training to acquire basic knowledge and techniques needed to operate the ISS robot arm and the robot arm on the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo."

Our ASCANs were the first to receive this training. They listened to lectures on the robot arm summary including robot arm history and types, dynamics, controlling structure and robot arm operation in general, as well as camera operation needed for robot arm operation. The training was conducted using the various facilities shown below.
After they finished the course, they received course certificates from the administrator of CSA.

Training facility
  BORIS (Basic Operational Robotics Instructional System)
  The Basic Operational Robotics Instructional System (BORIS) is a robot arm operation training simulator utilizing computer graphics. The trainee can operate the robot arm using a hand controller and camera. The ASCANs participated in the training by operating the robot arm in the virtual world inside the simulator called "spaceport."
  CART(CSA Automated Robotics Testbed)
  The CSA Automated Robotics Testbed(CART) is a two-arm robot with a total length of 2.5m and is used for robot arm technology research. In addition to the computer graphics simulator, the ASCANs used this actual robot arm and could further improve their operation skills. They experienced writing letters with a pen attached to the robot arm end.
  VOTE(Virtual Reality Operation Training Environment)
  The Virtual Reality Operation Training Environment (VOTE) is a training facility utilizing virtual reality. By walking around inside the room wearing a head-mounted display, trainees can experience a virtual reality of walking inside the spaceport. Since the robot arm will be located in space, you can never reach it. However using this facility, they could observe the features of the arm action.

Lectures Learning utilizing model robot arm CSA Automated Robotics Testbed (CART)
Operating the Basic Operational Robotics Instructional System (BORIS) ASCANs and instructors
Training certification transfer (with live-size Canadian robot arm in the back ground)

Learning UNIX operations
The ASCANs experienced computer software "UNIX" operations hands-on training at Tsukuba Space Center, as part of the computer technology summary. UNIX is a highly reliable operating system that has been used for a long time. It is applied for workstations and for some high-performance personal computers. Almost 80% of the computers used in the international space station adopt UNIX. During normal daily operations, astronauts will not have to operate UNIX. However, since they may have to operate UNIX during contingencies and since UNIX knowledge is useful for understanding computer technology, they were scheduled to learn how to use it.
By operating the terminal devices (PCs), they learned UNIX basic operations and system management.

ASCAN Furukawa ASCAN Hoshide ASCAN Sumino

We will not publish a December training report, but will resume in January.

Last updated: December 26,2000
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