This project is solving the Space Wearables: Fashion Designer to Astronauts challenge. Description
If the video is not displayed above, you can watch our 30s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5t3L8u7EdE
We made a way to help astronauts detect dangerous chemicals while in space. After arriving in space, astronauts lose their sense of smell, which is an important sense they can use to detect chemical vapors in the air.
Why do astronauts lose their sense of smell? No one is sure, but there are some ideas. For example, according to Michele Perchonok, Shuttle Food System Manager, one possibility is the way fluids in your body respond to a weightless environment. On Earth, gravity tends to drag those fluids downward, toward your feet. In space they go everywhere, including to your head, so after arriving in space, you begin to look like a cartoon character. Reference: Why Astronauts Crave Tabasco Sauce -- NPR
Our solution is to provide a wearable device that will alert astronauts when they are near dangerous chemicals. We created a prototype that can be worn on a wrist that displays an indicator of the amount of chemical vapor in the air, and the prototype emits a tone when the vapor concentration exceeds safe levels.
We built the entire project in two days at the 2014 Space Apps Challenge Seattle location. You can view our work notes and pictures on our project hackpad page.
We used an arduino microcontroller to read data from a VOC (Volatile organic compounds) sensor, and we used a OLED display and a set of LEDs to display the vapor concentration to the wearer. We also used corrugated cardboard, string, and lots of tape to attach the microcontroller, displays, and sensors to the wearer.
License: MIT license (MIT)
Source Code/Project URL: https://github.com/humbertoroa/spaceapps2014
The full version of our video overview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFCVOGjzqWI
Our hackpad page - https://spaceappsseattle.hackpad.com/Wearable-Environment-Sensor-for-Astronauts-KrxZKiA2Ppy
The 30 second version of our video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5t3L8u7EdE