Desert Research and Technology Study 2004 Field Trip Report: EVA System Results 2005-01-3015
The Advanced Extravehicular Activity (EVA) team of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) led the Desert Research and Technology Study (RATS) in September 2004, at various test site locations near Flagstaff, Arizona. The Desert RATS is a two-week integrated remote field site test with team members from several NASA centers, universities, and industry partners participating. The overall objective of the RATS is to investigate and evaluate prototype advanced EVA exploration systems and technologies in order to develop well-defined requirements for the Vision for Space Exploration. This is accomplished by conducting simulated planetary surface exploration activities. Shirtsleeve subjects and subjects in pressurized space suits perform tasks such as geologic field mapping, rock sample collection and analysis, and communication infrastructure deployment. New prototype hardware to assist in these exploration activities was developed and evaluated in 2004. The paper will discuss the new prototype hardware concepts and the results from field evaluations of that hardware. Additional test objectives were conducted, which include EVA communication and Informatics systems performance, human-robotic interaction, night EVA traverse lighting array effectiveness, simulated exploration mission control interaction, and education outreach activities. Lessons learned resulting from this year’s test and anticipated goals for next year’s test objectives will be presented.