Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Stephanie Carey, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Kyle Reed, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Leslie Quiocho, M.S.M.E.


Countermeasures, Kinematics, Kinetics, Space, Stabilization, Vibration Isolation System


In future human spaceflight missions, with prolonged exposure to microgravity, resistive and aerobic exercises will be countermeasures for bone loss, muscle loss, and decreased aerobic capacity. Two of the exercises of interest are squats and rowing. The cyclic forces produced during these exercises are at relatively low frequencies which are likely to excite structural resonances of space vehicles. Vibration Isolation Systems (VIS) are being designed to be paired with future exploration exercise devices in order to prevent these cyclic exercise forces from impacting the space vehicle. The VIS may be configured such that a platform supports the human and exercise device. There is limited knowledge about the interaction between a human exercising and a dynamic platform. This research sought to fill part of the knowledge gap and study how the force inputs to the platform change as well as how exercise form was affected.

For this research, a system which can produce dynamic responses similar to those of a prospective VIS platform was used. This system is the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) (Motekforce Link, Amsterdam, Netherlands). Simplified sinusoidal responses were implemented in a single degree of freedom, vertical (heave) motion, and also in multi-degree of freedom, heave and pitch motion. Human subject testing was conducted using four subjects with exercise experience. The subjects completed squats and rows, while standing, in both static (platform not moving) and dynamic (with platform moving) conditions. Subjects aimed to synchronize with platform motion, at the appropriate phase. Kinetic and kinematic data were collected via force plate measurements and motion capture, respectively. Testing was completed with several predetermined frequencies for platform motion, but also at each subject’s baseline frequency, which was the measured, comfortable exercise rate for the subject.

Data were processed and arranged in a presentable format. Results showed attenuation of the vertical component of forces between the comparable frequency static and dynamic platform conditions, as expected, for most subjects in the squat exercise. This was seen only in the heave with pitch condition during rows for most subjects. Results also showed increasing amplitude of forces as frequency increased, which was also expected. Knee angle range of motion was well maintained between static and dynamic conditions. These results suggest that conditions desirable for both VIS and exercise are possible. Further testing and extended analysis at additional amplitudes, frequencies, and degrees of freedom are of interest and warrant further study.

This work contributed knowledge and data regarding the forces involved and human kinematics produced while exercising with platform motion. These data can further be used as inputs and requirements for VIS design work, VIS and human biomechanical modeling, and exercise countermeasure development. This work achieved the objectives of establishing an appropriate test environment and developing platform dynamics in which human-VIS interaction could be studied. It also acted as a proof-of-concept for future testing which can be conducted to answer new questions relating to dynamic platform motion effects on human activity.