Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Understanding performance factors for future planetary missions is critical for ensuring safe and successful planetary extra-vehicular activities (EVAs). The goal of this study was to gain operational knowledge of analog EVAs and develop biometric profiles for specific EVA types. Data was collected for a 120 and 30 day analog planetary exploration simulation focusing on EVA type, pre and post EVA conditions, and performance ratings. From this five main types of EVAs were performed: maintenance, science, survey/exploratory, public relations, and emergency. Each EVA type has unique characteristics and performance ratings showing specific factors in chronological components, environmental conditions, and EVA systems that have an impact on performance. Pre and post biometrics were collected to heart rate, blood pressure, and SpO2. Additional data about issues and specific EVA difficulties provide some EVA trends illustrating how tasks and suit comfort can negatively affect performance ratings. Performance decreases were noted for 1st quarter and 3rd quarter EVAs, survey/exploratory type EVAs, and EVAs requiring increased fine and gross motor function. Stress during the simulation is typically higher before the EVA and decreases once the crew has returned to the habitat. Stress also decreases as the simulation nears the end with the 3rd and 4th quarters showing a decrease in stress levels. Operational components and studies have numerous variable and components that effect overall performance, by increasing the knowledge available we may be able to better prepare future crews for the extreme environments and exploration of another planet.
Swarmer, Tiffany M., "Human Performance Profiles For Planetary Analog Extra-Vehicular Activities: 120 Day And 30 Day Analog Missions" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 1716.