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Evaluation of an On-Astronaut Wireless Sensor System to Support Crew Health Monitoring for Exploration Class Missions (OAWSS_Evaluation)
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Long-duration space flight requires a health monitoring system that is compact, interoperable with an integrated data management system, and requires limited consumables. Astroskin was the first prototype of this technology, consisting of a wired sensor system for continuous monitoring of electrocardiograph (ECG), heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, skin temperature, and body movement. NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) began collaborating in 2014 to validate this system in controlled tests at both Ames Research Center (ARC) and Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) facilities at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Lessons learned from these test activities led the CSA to develop the capabilities of a wireless version of the Astroskin that, unlike the current shirt-based version, would use small, unobtrusive, stand-alone patch sensors. Wireless sensor capabilities could enhance comfort, improve movement and fit, and minimize interference in crewmember performance of tasks. The proposed On-Astronaut Wireless Sensor System (OAWSS) will include sensors on the upper body, a Sensor Interface Unit (SIU) located on- or off-body that communicates via Bluetooth Low Energy with the body sensors. The SIU will interface with NASA’s Medical Data Architecture (MDA) system, currently under development, to accurately monitor and manage crew health and performance data.

Monitoring multiple vital sign parameters over a prolonged period of time is not possible with other currently available wearable products. Compared to Astroskin, or other commercial products, the OAWSS offers a solution that allows exploration of a different operational mode. The dissemination, management and storage of data vary from other wearables created for space flight monitoring by: 1) the fully wireless nature of the technology; 2) the dynamic and flexible user interface; 3) the capability to acquire data continuously (up to one week without interruption); and 4) the possibility of adding additional sensors (plug-and-play) since there is no physical connection with the data acquisition module.

This experiment has the following aims:

  1. Determine the efficacy of OAWSS measures under lab and field test conditions;
  2. Evaluate OAWSS system performance relative to standard laboratory measures;
  3. Conduct participant surveys to assess usability and wearability of the OAWSS; and
  4. Integrate and demonstrate compatibility of the OAWSS with the NASA Medical Data Architecture (MDA).

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Biomedical technology
Monitoring, physiologic
Physiological adaptation

Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in Progress. Some restricted access data exist for this experiment.
Data Sets+ Request data

Alertness level
Body movements
Electrocardiogram (ECG)
Fatigue (self-reported)
Galvanic skin response
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2017 HERO 80JSC017N0001-Crew Health and Performance