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T0131-P

Enhanced Dynamic Load Sensors for ISS (EDLS-ISS) Operational Feasibility for ARED

PI: Christopher Krebs, Aurora Flight Sciences

Exercise countermeasures are used extensively onboard the International Space Station (ISS) today to mitigate bone mineral density loss and muscle atrophy among crew members during long duration spaceflight missions. These exercise countermeasure systems are generally effective, but currently include limited on-orbit collection and analysis of biomechanical data that may advance the efficiency of these systems. Aurora Flight Sciences and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are developing a self-contained load sensing system that collects biomechanical force and moment data while integrated with the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) on the ISS: the Enhanced Dynamic Load Sensor for ISS (EDLS-ISS). This system is based on a series of design improvements to the existing 6-DOF force and moment sensor, Microgravity Investigation of Crew Reactions in 0-G (MICR0-G) Adapt. We plan to test EDLS-ISS in parabolic flight, in order to extend its Technology Readiness Level to 6 and prepare it for use on the ISS.

Video of ARED

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA06 Human Health, Life Support and Habitation Systems
  • TA08 Science Instruments, Observations and Sensor Systems
Problem Statement

Exercise countermeasures are used extensively onboard the International Space Station (ISS) today to mitigate bone mineral density loss and muscle atrophy among crewmembers during long duration spaceflight missions. These exercise countermeasure systems are generally effective, but currently include limited on-orbit collection and analysis of biomechanical data that may advance the efficiency of these systems in mitigating the incidence of bone and muscle loss. The utilization of a 6-DOF force/moment sensor allows for cause/effect tracking of exercise effectiveness as well as immediate feedback for astronauts using exercise devices, in particular the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED). For example, longitudinal loading is effective in maintaining or increasing bone health. Despite current countermeasures, bone losses on ISS have generally been 1-2% per month. By consistently measuring foot forces on the ARED, while also consistently tracking astronaut bone health, adjustments can be made (e.g. modified weightlifting protocols) that may improve effectiveness in mitigation of bone loss.

Technology Maturation

We propose to test EDLS-ISS in parabolic flight, in order to extend its Technology Readiness Level to 6 and prepare it for use on the ISS. Our design improvements from MICR0-G optimized the sensor for use on the surface of the ARED, including decreasing the overall height of the sensors, separating the electronics into an off-board “base unit”, increasing the footprint size to cover most of the surface of the ARED platform, providing a real-time user-feedback display, and other improvements. A functional prototype was developed under the SBIR Phase I contract, and the flight system, intended for use on-orbit, would be developed in Phase II.

Future Customers

NASA

Flight Experiment Objectives

Our tests will include demonstration of microgravity operation, verification of calibration stability, feasibility of our ARED interface design, and sample data collection during typical ARED use. These tests will ensure successful development and operation of the flight system for ISS.

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    AFO8 (April 2014)
  • Program Status
    Active
  • Current TRL (?)
    TRL 4
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 Parabolic

Development Team

  • PI
    Christopher Krebs
  • Organization
    Aurora Flight Sciences
  • Sponsor
    NASA SBIR
  • More Information

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