Systems Engineering Evaluation of a Mars Habitat Design 2004-01-2372
The overall system architecture of a habitat intended for human occupancy on the surface of Mars was analyzed as part of a graduate aerospace engineering design class at the University of Colorado during the 2003 fall semester. The process was initiated by summarizing and deriving the governing requirements and constraints based on NASA’s “Reference Mission for the Human Exploration of Mars” (Hoffman and Kaplan, 1997; Drake, 1998). With emphasis placed on requirement identification and documentation, a baseline design was established that incorporated functional subsystem definition and analysis of integration factors such as structural layout, mass flows, power distribution, data transmission, etc. In addition, a ‘human-in-the-loop’ focus was stressed by designating a subsystem termed Crew Accommodations. To further support this function, a Mission Operations team was established to ensure that relevant crew health and well being factors were included as integral components of the habitat design and operational planning. Generic human spacecraft design requirements, detailed in the Man-Systems Integration Standards (MSIS, NASA STD-3000 Rev. B, 1995), were incorporated as applicable throughout the process. Results from the integration analysis were used in conjunction with detailed subsystem operational and volumetric requirements to assess compatibility of floor plan options proposed in various existing architectural habitat concepts. The resultant conceptual design, therefore, represents a unique merger of a traditional systems engineering approach with both architectural interests and human factor considerations.