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The CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) is a room whose walls, floor and ceiling are projection surfaces that support stereoscopic projection. With stereo glasses, people in the CAVE have the impression of being in a three-dimensional computer-generated environment. In the CAVE, spatial structures and relationships can be perceived and better understood. This uses human abilities to move through complex spatial structures, to estimate distances and proportions and to assess changes over time. Scientific knowledge can thus be gained more efficiently. This can be used in all fields of science where spatial organization principles apply, e.g. molecular structures in chemistry, docking of active substances in the development of medications, formation of planetary systems in astrophysics, flow processes in nature and technology, interactions in brain structures or the reconstruction of buildings at excavation sites.

Technical details

Walls, ceiling, and floor of the CAVE are operated with rear projection in stereo. The floor consists of a projection surface of 3m x 3m, which can accommodate about 10 people. The three side walls, as well as the ceiling, also have a dimension of 3m x 3m. The projectors of the company Barco (F80 Q7) allow a resolution of 1600 x 1600 pixels per projection surface. With 4 tracking cameras (from the company ART) in the 4 upper corners of the CAVE, the position and orientation of a pair of stereo glasses, as well as an interaction device are tracked. The other persons in the CAVE get the same visual impression as the tracked person.
The CAVE is operated with a visualization cluster consisting of one rack-mount PC with NVIDIA QUADRO RTX6000 GPUs and a NVIDIA Quadro Snyc II card per eye and projection surface, to ensure synchronized stereo operation. This is supplemented by a master PC as well as a backup PC, with the same graphics cards.

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