Continued Research in EVA, Navigation, Networking and Communication Systems 2008-01-2029
This paper summarizes the results of our continued testing of a radio based, non-Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation and communications system. The system has been integrated with two mobile computers, a robot and four work stations. It demonstrated crewmember interfaces for acquiring, storing and transmitting data from a space suit life support system simulation, test subject Electrocardiogram (ECG) and other biomedical data. This is an extension of the functions which were tested last year during the NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) 2006 activities at both Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas and at Meteor Crater near Flagstaff Arizona. We added considerable complexity to the tests. The tests were conducted on an accurate series of geo-referenced paths at the El Toro Marine Air Station, a closed air field. By performing the tests on known paths in conjunction with real time correlated GPS data, we were better able to determine the accuracy and repeatability of the non-GPS navigation system. A robotic platform was added to investigate additional communications interfaces and man-machine interactions.
A secondary goal of our testing was to determine if the Communication Avionics Informatics (CAI) system being developed could currently meet some of the requirements established by NASA for the next Constellation Space Suit System (CSSS). Some of the requirements demonstrated included the radio's ability to communicate with up to six different users, communicate with dissimilar radios, provide a seamless relay node for every user which automatically self forms and self heals, provide a video interface and determine positional accuracy offered by the non-GPS radio system.
This paper details the results of our tests and the hardware and software solutions utilized to perform this years' field test sequence at the El Toro Marine Air Station in Irvine California.