This project is solving the Space Wearables: Fashion Designer to Astronauts challenge. Description
There has been two main focal points within wearable technologies to provide form and function. Wearable technology is also associated with active wear by relying on human interaction such as mindfully controlling devices or for use within context of activities like sports. StasisWear is passive wearable tech to be worn within torpor inducing transfer habitat for humans hibernating during inter-planetary space missions.
For the NSA2014 challenge, I focused on biomedical telemetry and temperature (body and ambient). In the 1956 to 1961 high altitude balloon flight test missions measuring physiological responses by the pilot, the most important results were in these areas. The need for focusing on measuring body temperature is also further enforced in the NIAC-funded project.
StasisWear will be able solve the socio-psychological problems associated with inter-planetary space missions by placing humans in hibernation.
StasisWear prototype hardware specs for v 0.1 Ambient/body temperature
LilyPad Arduino USB - ATmega32U4 Board
LilyPad Temperature Sensor MCP9700
Thick black fabric (for presentation only)
Future prototypes and notes
The prototype is worn as a modular add-on with one sensor having its own AVR microcontroller to decentralise the system should there be any system failure with a central node.
Due to limit in scope for materials, the LilyPad Arduino products were used however high accuracy, fully calibrated MEMS sensors (ie MEMS infrared temperature sensors) are the better options.
The fabric system will also need to be highly specific and sensitive to the sensors. The fabric system should also encapsulate a feedback mechanism
Other variables could also be added to measure external and internal factors such as:
- Radiation exposure
- Feedback mechanisms for future prototypes
The addition of other systems providing output-only features (such as body cooling suits to maintain an even temperature) should also be considered.
The prototype is part a fabric system associated to the sensors as part of a feedback controlled system. For example, a reduction in body temperature is associated with diminishing of movement and this variable is measured through to sensors - an infrared ambient body temperature sensor and a movement sensor. If movement has deviated from the measured baseline and it corresponds with readings from the temperature sensor, the fabric system should release cooling agents to reduce body temperature.
This project is intended for the NASA Space Apps Challenge 2014 as an opportunity to learn more about wearable technology and the Arduino Lilypad platform by 'doing'. This was also a great opportunity to learn more about the human factors at the intersection of technology in the areas of health, space and wearables.
The project touches on multiple emerging technological concepts:
- Wearable technology
- E-textile technology
- Inter-planetary human missions
- Human hibernation
Human hibernation for inter-planetary space missions is a very new concept with funding granted by NASA NIAC in 2013. Human hibernation is also an emerging field (see video above).
I would like to provide credit to Dr Matteo Cerri for the 'apple falling down the tree' moment. When I saw one of his tweets at around the same time, the idea clicked in my head and I immediately latched on to prototyping an idea of a passive wearable tech for human hibernation within the context of interplanetary space travel. The more I researched into this area, the more intrigued I am with this area and will definitely be following future updates.
I would also like to thank John D Sprague and David J Miranda of NASA for the helpful and useful email replies to my questions.
License: Academic Free License 3.0 (AFL-3.0)
Source Code/Project URL: http://www.lazuli.co/stasiswear
Space Torpor Blog - http://spacetorpor.blogspot.com.au/
StasisWear - http://www.lazuli.co/stasiswear
Torpor Inducing Transfer Habitats for Human Stasis [PDF] - http://www.lazuli.co/s/Torpor-Inducing-Transfer-Habitat-for-Human-Statis.pdf
Hibernation: Sleep While Travelling to Other Planets - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izKcLUNuwHE
Video - http://vimeo.com/lazulico/stasiswear