Human Systems Monitoring during Extravehicular Activity 2006-01-2206
Introduction: With NASA's Vision for Space Exploration human explorers are expected to undertake lengthy missions beyond the limits of evacuation or earth based medical response. Such exploration missions will consequently require capabilities for semi-autonomous medical practice. The monitoring system used in this study is a system within a system where noninvasive physiological sensors are integrated into the larger computer system of NASA's MIII suit combining communications, avionics and informatics. Method: Non-invasive wearable sensors were integrated into a standard sock garment for physiological monitoring of peripheral vascular perfusion during EVA events. Sensors applied monitored skin temperature, oxygen saturation (SpO2), heart rate (HR) and blood volumetric pressure (BVP). Data from all the sensors were sent directly to a modified laptop computer adapted for integration of communication, avionics and informatics (CAI Pack) from the MIII space suit and developed by NASA. Results: Data acquisition and output were successfully tested in Flagstaff, AZ during the NASA desert RATS field tests. All data from sensors was archived into the CAI pack before output to the helmet mounted display and wireless transmission to habitat vehicle. The system was able to successfully capture, interpret and report the skin temperature, blood perfusion and oxygen saturation level of the astronaut wearing the sensors. Conclusion: These results suggest that non-invasive sensors integrated with data analysis and reporting can effectively assess peripheral vascular metrics. Physiological monitoring provides an infrastructure for health management between crewmember performing EVA and the spacecraft.