Presentation (Project) Title

Biomechanical Modeling and Analysis of NASA CIF Lunar Surface Operations

Mentor Information

Stephanie Carey (College of Engineering)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

In microgravity conditions, the general orientation of the body can be easily altered, resulting in astronauts facing several challenges. From past lunar missions, it has been observed that astronauts can potentially fall due to this alteration caused by decreased gravity levels, as humans need at least 15% of the gravitational force present on Earth to properly orient themselves. Due to difficulties in maintaining balance, as well as other factors such as lack of proper nutrition, muscle and bone lose, a shift in body fluid distribution, and inadequate amounts of sleeps, astronauts often struggle to complete tasks due to high fatigue levels, even with the amounts of countermeasures in place. To better understand the feasibility of these and provide an in-depth analysis of the movement involved in these tasks, a simulation of the task itself can be conducted in the lab, with force and motion data being collected using the Vicon motion capture system. The motion capture system allows for a clear view of the body’s mechanisms as different tasks such as walking, digging, lifting, and climbing stairs are completed. After motion and force data is collected, Vicon Nexus can be used to analyze the kinetics and kinematics involved in the tasks. With this representation of the human body, a deeper understanding of the movement of astronauts in a lunar environment can be recognized. The analyzed data and results from the completion of these lunar tasks can serve as a precursor to further in-depth work for biomechanical modeling for NASA.

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Biomechanical Modeling and Analysis of NASA CIF Lunar Surface Operations

In microgravity conditions, the general orientation of the body can be easily altered, resulting in astronauts facing several challenges. From past lunar missions, it has been observed that astronauts can potentially fall due to this alteration caused by decreased gravity levels, as humans need at least 15% of the gravitational force present on Earth to properly orient themselves. Due to difficulties in maintaining balance, as well as other factors such as lack of proper nutrition, muscle and bone lose, a shift in body fluid distribution, and inadequate amounts of sleeps, astronauts often struggle to complete tasks due to high fatigue levels, even with the amounts of countermeasures in place. To better understand the feasibility of these and provide an in-depth analysis of the movement involved in these tasks, a simulation of the task itself can be conducted in the lab, with force and motion data being collected using the Vicon motion capture system. The motion capture system allows for a clear view of the body’s mechanisms as different tasks such as walking, digging, lifting, and climbing stairs are completed. After motion and force data is collected, Vicon Nexus can be used to analyze the kinetics and kinematics involved in the tasks. With this representation of the human body, a deeper understanding of the movement of astronauts in a lunar environment can be recognized. The analyzed data and results from the completion of these lunar tasks can serve as a precursor to further in-depth work for biomechanical modeling for NASA.