NASA Photo ID: L63-9520, EL-1999-00382
Date Taken: 11/19/63
Astronauts Charles (Pete) Conrad (left) and John W. Young (right) at the controls of the Visual Docking Simulator. From A.W. Vogeley, "Piloted Space-Flight Simulation at Langley Research Center," Paper presented at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 1966 Winter Meeting, New York, NY, November 27-December 1, 1966. "This facility was [later known as the Visual-Optical Simulator.] It presents to the pilot an out-the-window view of his target in correct 6 degrees of freedom motion. The scene is obtained by a television camera pick-up viewing a small-scale gimbaled model of the target." "For docking studies, the docking target picture was projected onto the surface of a 20-foot-diameter sphere and the pilot could, effectively, maneuver into contract. this facility was used in a comparison study with the Rendezvous Docking Simulator - one of the few comparison experiments in which conditions were carefully controlled and a reasonable sample of pilots used. All pilots preferred the more realistic RDS visual scene. The pilots generally liked the RDS angular motion cues although some objected to the false gravity cues that these motions introduced. Training time was shorter on the RDS, but final performance on both simulators was essentially equal. " "For station-keeping studies, since close approach is not required, the target was presented to the pilot through a virtual-image system which projects his view to infinity, providing a more realistic effect. In addition to the target, the system also projects a star and horizon background.
Source: original scan by Ed Hengeveld, currently NASA photo in my possession