The Mars Gravity Biosatellite: Innovations in Murine Motion Analysis and Life Support
The MIT-based Mars Gravity Biosatellite payload engineering team has been engaged in designing and prototyping sensor and control systems for deployment within the rodent housing zone of the satellite, including novel video processing and atmospheric management tools. The video module will be a fully autonomous real-time analysis system that takes raw video footage of the specimen mice as input and distills those parameters which are of primary physiological importance from a scientific research perspective. Such signals include activity level, average velocity and rearing behavior, all of which will serve as indicators of animal health and vestibular function within the artificial gravity environment. Unlike raw video, these parameters require minimal storage space and can be readily transmitted to earth over a radio link of very low bandwidth.