Browse Publications Technical Papers 2002-01-2500

Optimizing Biology Research Tasks in Space Using Human Performance Modeling and Virtual Reality Simulation Systems Here on Earth 2002-01-2500

A new method, combining virtual environment simulation technologies with unique human performance modeling software is being used to design, test and evaluate procedures for future biology experiments aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The Man Machine Integration Design and Analysis System (MIDAS) simulates human performance through seven underlying architectural components. The models interact producing results such as astronaut work load and experiment success rates given environmental inputs and timing constraints. Graphical models of biology research equipment and samples are provided by the Virtual Glovebox (VGX), a state-of-the-art simulation system mimicking the real Space Station systems. Human-in-the-loop experiment simulation using the VGX also enables validation of human-environment interactions predicted by MIDAS. This combination of human-in-the-loop (VGX) and human-out-of-the-loop (MIDAS) simulation presents a novel and extensible method for developing procedures which are optimized for the unique space environment, equipment and timing constraints faced by astronauts. This research demonstrates optimized procedural specifications predicted by the MIDAS software.


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