1991-07-01

Recent Technology Products from Space Human Factors Research 911495

The major goal of Space Human Factors program is to provide the technology which will enable safe and productive human performance throughout and after long duration space flights and planetary/lunar missions. The Human Factors element has three major sub-goals:
  1. 1.
    Human Performance Models, Data and Tools - provide the basic understanding of human's activities in the physical, mental, and perceptual domains and to identify important lessons learned about human activities from prior space and lunar missions. To this end, Johnson Space Center is using a laser-based human body mapping system to measure different anthropometric sizes and shapes for incorporation into a large database. This database is employed, along with a spatial computer image graphics system, to analyze human motion in zero gravity conditions as the hypothetical, human bodysized figure performs a variety of new procedures in Space Station Freedom or in the Shuttle orbiter. At Ames Research Center, human performance models for computer-aided engineering, a program initially developed for aeronautical applications, are being modified for space applications. The value of the dynamic human performance models lies in the versatility in which various management decisions can be evaluated as to their impact on mission effectiveness, personnel skill and knowledge allocation, workload, workstation and cockpit design, and overall system design.
  2. 2.
    Crew Support and Enhancement - address the development of technology and its applications for the evaluation of the crew's living and working activities in the spacecraft and planetary/lunar habitat and on planetary/lunar surfaces. During the year, a number of projects were completed. At Johnson Space Center, new computer graphics were developed, particularly new methods for portraying procedures which reduce human error. Also, advances in information management methods for application to Shuttle maintenance operations were developed at Ames Research Center. Data from Kennedy Space Center operations is being used as a testbed for managing the information processing in maintenance.
  3. 3.
    Human-Automation-Robotic Systems - determine the means by which humans and automated or semi-autonomous systems can effectively work together. A major project at Ames Research Center is the development of the Virtual Workstation as a user interface device for exploring lunar or planetary surfaces. The effort this year has been to obtain a Mar-like data base and begin to employ it in simulated missions. At Johnson Space Center, effort was directed toward identifying the best location of visual sensors for teleoperations.

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