Robotics Training Centre
Learning how to operate Canadarm2 and Dextre occurs in part at the Robotics Training Centre of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). It is located at CSA headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec.
Two groups of people must undergo intensive training at the Robotics Training Centre:
- astronauts, who may be required to control Canadarm2 from on board the International Space Station (ISS) during their mission
- flight controllers, who will operate Canadarm2 and Dextre from the ground
The Centre includes:
- a multimedia classroom
- a robotics workstation that is exactly the same as the one on the ISS
In the multimedia classroom, astronauts and flight controllers learn the theory behind how the robots work and how to operate them safely.
The room features:
- scale models of Canadian robots Canadarm2 and Dextre
- sophisticated teaching and simulation software
- three interactive whiteboards that can display multiple camera angles
- videoconferencing and distance learning capability
After learning theory concepts in class, astronauts put them into practice at a robotics workstation that is a replica of the one on the ISS. It is installed in a ¾ scale model of the Destiny laboratory.
The robotics workstation includes:
- a laptop with two hand controllers to adjust Canadarm2's side-to-side and rotational movements
- three screens displaying video from Canadarm2 and other exterior cameras
These features help make astronauts more familiar with the visual and computer-based tools available to them on the ISS.
Astronauts and flight controllers who complete this phase continue the rest of their training in Houston, where they practise robotics operations specific to their missions.
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