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Monash University’s virtual reality facility transforms how researchers interact with data

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“CAVE2 combines cutting-edge display and graphics technology with advanced software to provide a unique and powerful ‘lens’ for examining extremely large and complex data collections. In enabling and emphasizing visual connection to complex data, CAVE2 will transform the way our scientists and researchers interact with their data,” – Professor Paul Bonnington, eResearch Director, Monash University

Watch the AARNews video interview with Monash University’s eResearch Director Professor Paul Bonnington, who introduces us to the capabilities of the University’s world-leading CAVE2 room-sized virtual reality environment. This facility is a hybrid 2D and 3D  immersive visualisation tool that allows scientists to step inside their research and manipulate ultra high-resolution visualisations of data.

CAVE2 technologies deliver real-time display of 2D or 3D imagery and 30 frame per second playback of 84 million pixel images. These capabilities are underpinned by an ultra high-speed 10 gigabit per second connection to the AARNet network, supporting collaboration within the University and beyond.

With resolution matching human visual acuity, processing power of 80 trillion computations per second and sophisticated sensors allowing motion tracking, CAVE2 allows scientists to explore data from sources including the Australian Synchrotron, electron microscopes and medical imaging instruments in unprecedented ways.

Inside CAVE2, for example, doctors can observe a patient’s brain from between the blood vessels, planetary scientists can walk on the surface of Mars, reconstructed from NASA data, and engineers can observe how a severe storm would batter infrastructure.

What excites Professor Bonnington most about the CAVE2 is it’s potential application across all Monash University’s research disciplines and the knowledge discovery this will unleash.

 


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