Conference Paper

30 Sensors to Mars: Toward Distributed Support Systems for Astronauts in Space Habitats

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  • Institute of Computer Science PAS
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Abstract

In October 2017, an international crew participated in an emulated Mars colonization mission. For two weeks, they stayed confined in a special complex, a so-called analog habitat, where they were isolated from the outside world, including a lack of natural lighting and exterior noises, and lived on particularly adjusted Martian time. The mission followed a strict schedule, involving actual scientific work and activities envisioned as necessary for survival and exploration of the red planet. The main objective was to study the behavior and group dynamics of the crew in conditions recreating colonization of Mars, albeit under some unique circumstances compared to previous similar experiments. What was also special about the mission was the use of sociometric methods utilizing custom pervasive sensing solutions that we had built and deployed to complement classic methods based on self-reports and interviews. Based on that experiment, in this paper we contribute twofold. First, we share our deployment experiences to highlight the potential of pervasive distributed sensing systems in sociometric studies of habitat-based missions. The examples presented to this end include quantitative results that we obtained, among others, on social interactions between the astronauts, the impact of atypical situations on the crew, and the ergonomics of the habitat. Second, drawing from the experiences, in cooperation with the astronauts we attempt to highlight some unique challenges that space habitats pose for distributed support systems, such as ours. Among others, the challenges pertain to system deployment, autonomy, resilience, and flexibility. We believe that these challenges and, in general, space colonization constitute exciting research opportunities for the distributed systems community.

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... 5 Average volume of speech frames. 6 Average volume of all frames: noise level. 7 ...
... Ids from received IR beacons along with power level. Then, after one year we were invited to quantify interactions between so-called analog astronauts during emulated space colonisation missions -one to the moon (Lunares) and another to Mars (ICAres), which is reported in [6]and [2]. The general purpose of such missions is to test procedures, hardware and assumptions about human nature in safe conditions. ...
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... Examples of using analog mission simulations inside LunAres Research Station for deep telemetry gathering are works of a research team from the University of Warsaw led by dr. Maciej Matraszek, including two papers: "30 Sensors to Mars: Toward Distributed Support Systems for Astronauts in Space Habitats" (Rub et al., 2019) and "Human Nature: The Subject and the Headache of IoT-Based Sociometric Studies" (Matraszek, Rub, Konorski, Batorski, & Iwanicki, 2020). ...
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Analog Habitat LunAres Research Station" started operations in 2017. Until March 2021 it hosted 11 two-week analog missions that varied in research angle and scope. Depending on the scientific objectives, the crew was selected by the LunAres management team or other institutions/researchers in case of a private mission. The requirements for participants were determined based on the mission objectives, however, there was a general criterion regarding the crew structure-diversity. In terms of background, age, nationality, gender and personality, the variety was pursued. It resulted in clear and indicated gender parity both in crew composition and crew leadership. Such trends were both seemingly obvious and natural and there was no surprise with both the Artemis project and ESA 2021 astronaut selection criteria focusing on greater female representation. And yet it was not a common practice even in analog mission scenarios observed in the last decade. In this paper, we will explain why such an occurrence happened in the Polish analog habitat. At the same time, ESA's Parastronaut selection was announced. LunAres Research Station's ICAres 1 mission from 2017 under the directory of Dr Aleksander Wasniowski was the world's first analog mission involving and focusing on movement impaired analog astronaut. The study had a noticeable impact in the extreme medicine stage. The study was featured two times as a keynote presentation during the Extreme Medicine Expo in 2018 and 2019. In this presentation, we would like to reiterate team findings and share project development since 2017. Analog research studies showed some examples of what the future might look like-it is imperative to share more of existing knowledge that is in line with current trends in astronaut selection criteria.
... Examples of such data are: the number of people watching a commercial on a display withing a specified time period, the gender of a person currently watching a shop exposition, shopping preferences of a person moving towards a display, etc. Such statistics may be based on data gathered from several sources: vision systems [1], [2], [3], indoor-positioning [4], [5] or mobile apps. The most interesting (and challenging) is the possibility of integrating data from multiple sources [6] to gather even more commercially valuable insight. ...
... The ultraviolet decontamination lamp from the original inventory was found to be expendable in the lunar environment. The total power demand of the group dynamics experiment Social Sensing System (SocSenSys) was established using the experiment description [29,30]. Domestic water heating parameters were also changed. ...
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Testing of hardware and training of astronauts in space analog environments have been performed since the beginning of the space age. In the frame of planetary exploration, the so called Analog Planetary Research (APR) can be defined as the study of flight hardware, operational constraints, procedures and planning strategies on Earth in an environment that resembles (partly or fully) the conditions of the targeted planetary body. The findings and lessons learned from APR missions can be analyzed regarding mission concept, risks and constraints and the overall mission efficiency prior to launching a real space mission. Here we want to demonstrate that APR is not only crucial for the scientific mission success or the reduction of mission costs, but also represents a key factor for the safety of robotic or crewed planetary surface exploration missions.
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Spaceflight is associated with immune dysregulation which is considered as risk factor for the performance of exploration-class missions. Among the consequences of confinement and other environmental factors of living in hostile environments, the role of different oxygen concentrations is of importance as either low (e.g. as considered for lunar or Martian habitats) or high (e.g. during extravehicular activities) can trigger immune dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of increased oxygen availability -generated through hyperbaricity- on innate immune functions in the course of a 14 days NEEMO mission. 6 male subjects were included into a 14 day undersea deployment at the Aquarius station (Key Largo, FL, USA). The underwater habitat is located at an operating depth of 47ft. The 2.5 times higher atmospheric pressure in the habitat leads to hyperoxia. The collection of biological samples occurred 6 days before (L-6), at day 7 (MD7) and 11/13 (MD11/13) during the mission, and 90 days thereafter (R). Blood analyses included differential blood cell count, ex vivo innate immune activation status and inhibitory competences of granulocytes. The absolute leukocyte count showed an increase during deployment as well as the granulocyte and monocyte count. Lymphocyte count was decreased on MD7. The assessments of native adhesion molecules on granulocytes (CD11b, CD62L) indicated a highly significant cellular activation (L-6 vs. MD7/MD13) during mission. In contrast, granulocytes were more sensitive towards anti-inflammatory stimuli (adenosine) on MD13. Living in the NEEMO habitat for 14 days induced significant immune alterations as seen by an activation of adhesion molecules and vice versa higher sensitivity towards inhibition. This investigation under hyperbaric hyperoxia is important especially for Astronautś immune competence during extravehicular activities when exposed to similar conditions. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Article
A sensor-based project management process, which uses continuous sensing data of face-to-face communication, was developed for integration into current project management processes. To establish a practical process, a sensing system was applied in two software-development projects involving 123 and 65 employees, respectively, to analyze the relation between work performance and behavioral patterns and investigate the use of sensor data. It was found that a factor defined as "communication richness," which refers to the amount of communication, correlates with employee performance (job evaluation) and was common in both projects, while other factors, such as "workload," were found in just one of the projects. Developers' quality of development (low bug occurrence) was also investigated in one of the projects and "communication richness" was found as a factor of high development quality. As a result of this analysis, we propose a four-step sensor-based project management process, which consists of analysis, monitoring, inspection, and action, and evaluated its effectiveness. Through monitoring, it was estimated that some "unplanned" events, such as changing specifications and problem solving during a project, could be systematically identified. Cohesion of a network was systematically increased using a recommendation of communication, called WorkX, which involves micro rotating of discussion members based on network topology.
Article
In Disasters and Accidents in Manned Spaceflight, David Shayler examines the challenges that face all crews as they prepare and execute their missions. The book covers all aspects that make up spaceflight by a human crew - training, launch to space, survival in space and return from space - followed by a series of case histories which tell of the major incidents in each of those categories over the past 40 years. The sixth section looks at the International Space Station and how it is planned, to try and prevent, as far as possible, major incidents occuring during the lifetime of the space station, and at the difficulties facing a settlement on the Moon or Mars during the next 40 years.
Article
Research shows that individuals in larger teams perform worse than individuals in smaller teams; however, very little field research examines why. The current study of 212 knowledge workers within 26 teams, ranging from 3 to 19 members in size, employs multi-level modeling to examine the underlying mechanisms. The current investigation expands upon Steiner’s (1972) model of individual performance in group contexts identifying one missing element of process loss, namely relational loss. Drawing from the literature on stress and coping, relational loss, a unique form of individual level process, loss occurs when an employee perceives that support is less available in the team as team size increases. In the current study, relational loss mediated the negative relationship between team size and individual performance even when controlling for extrinsic motivation and perceived coordination losses. This suggests that larger teams diminish perceptions of available support which would otherwise buffer stressful experiences and promote performance.
Article
This article reports the results of a questionnaire survey examining the effects of sound on office productivity and assessing the relationship between changes in office productivity and noise sources as well as five environmental and office design factors, namely temperature, air quality, office layout, sound and lighting. The convenience sample for the survey comprised 259 office workers in 38 air-conditioned offices in Hong Kong. The subjects were requested to complete the questionnaires themselves. The results show that among the five environmental and office design factors examined, sound and temperature were the principal factors affecting office productivity. A strong and significant correlation was also found between changes in office productivity and sound, temperature and office layout. Participants were separated into low- and high-productivity groups using the mean productivity score of all participants as the cut-point. The three most annoying noise sources, including conversation, ringing phones and machines, differed little in mean annoyance scores for the low- and high-productivity participants, indicating that they had a significant negative impact on all participants. The results also indicate that low-productivity participants were easily influenced by noises such as background noise, closing doors, and human activity, as well as those coming from both inside and outside the office. Practical applications: This study evaluates the effects of sound and other environmental and office design factors on office productivity. It suggests that sound is a principal factor affecting office productivity in modern air-conditioned offices.
Article
In this paper we present a two-phase study undertaken to experimentally study in a real world setting the effects of social group strength and how to increase the strength of groups in the workplace. In the first phase of our study we measured interactions between workers at the call center of a large bank based in the United States using Sociometric Badges. We confirmed our hypothesis that the strength of an individual’s social group was positively related to productivity (average call handle time) for the employees that we studied. In the second phase of our study we show that by giving employees breaks at the same time we increased the strength of an individual’s social groups, demonstrating that low-cost management decisions can be used to act on these results.
Article
A number of interpersonal issues relevant to manned space missions have been identified from the literature. These include crew tension, cohesion, leadership, language and cultural factors, and displacement. Ground-based studies by others and us have clarified some of the parameters of these issues and have indicated ways in which they could be studied during actual space missions. In this paper, we summarize some of our findings related to social and cultural issues from a NASA-funded study conducted during several Shuttle/Mir space missions. We used standardized mood and group climate measures that were completed on a weekly basis by American and Russian crew and mission control subjects who participated in these missions. Our results indicated that American subjects reported more dissatisfaction with their interpersonal environment than their Russian counterparts, especially American astronauts. Mission control personnel were more dysphoric than crewmembers, but both groups were signficantly less dysphoric than other work groups on Earth. Countermeasures based on our findings are discussed which can be applied to future multicultural space missions.
Article
This paper compares findings from two NASA-funded studies of international long-duration missions to the Mir space station (Shuttle/Mir) and to the International Space Station (ISS). American and Russian crewmembers and mission control personnel participated. Issues examined included changes in mood and group social climate over time, displacement of group tension to outside monitoring personnel, cultural differences, and leadership roles. Findings were based on the completion of a weekly questionnaire that included items from the Profile of Mood States, the Group Environment Scale, and the Work Environment Scale. An examination of issues investigated in both studies revealed much similarity in findings. There was little support for the presence of changes in levels of mood and group climate over time, and no evidence for a “3rd quarter phenomenon”. Both studies also provided evidence for the displacement of negative emotions to outside personnel in both crewmembers and mission control personnel. There were similar patterns of differences between Americans and Russians and between crewmembers and mission control personnel. Finally, in both studies, the support role of the leader was related to group cohesion among crewmembers, and both the task and support roles of the leader were related to cohesion among mission control personnel. Thus, in these four areas, the ISS study substantially replicated the findings from the earlier Shuttle/Mir study, suggesting that common psychosocial issues affect people engaged in on-orbit space missions.
Article
We introduce a system for sensing complex social systems with data collected from 100 mobile phones over the course of 9 months. We demonstrate the ability to use standard Bluetooth-enabled mobile telephones to measure information access and use in different contexts, recognize social patterns in daily user activity, infer relationships, identify socially significant locations, and model organizational rhythms.
Article
From the Earth to the Moon / Jules Verne Note: The University of Adelaide Library eBooks @ Adelaide.
Article
Before long-duration flights with international crews can be safely undertaken, potential interpersonal difficulties will need to be addressed. Crew performance breakdown has been recognized by the American Institute of Medicine, in scientific literature, and in popular culture. However, few studies of human interaction and performance in confined, isolated environments exist, and the data pertaining to those studies are mostly anecdotal. Many incidents involving crew interpersonal dynamics, those among flight crews, as well as between flight crews and ground controllers, are reported only in non-peer reviewed books and newspapers. Consequently, due to this lack of concrete knowledge, the selection of astronauts and cosmonauts has focused on individual rather than group selection. Additional selection criteria such as interpersonal and communication competence, along with intercultural training, will have a decisive impact on future mission success. Furthermore, industrial psychological research has demonstrated the ability to select a group based on compatibility. With all this in mind, it is essential to conduct further research on heterogeneous, multi-national crews including selection and training for long-duration space missions.
Article
Polar expeditions include treks and stays at summer camps or year-round research stations. People on such expeditions generally undergo psychological changes resulting from exposure to long periods of isolation and confinement, and the extreme physical environment. Symptoms include disturbed sleep, impaired cognitive ability, negative affect, and interpersonal tension and conflict. Seasonal occurrence of these symptoms suggests the existence of three overlapping syndromes: the winter-over syndrome, the polar T3 syndrome, and subsyndromal seasonal affective disorder. About 5% of people on expeditions meet DSM-IV or ICD criteria for psychiatric disorders. However, they also experience positive or so-called salutogenic outcomes resulting from successfully coping with stress and enhanced self-sufficiency, improved health, and personal growth. Prevention of pathogenic psychological outcomes is best accomplished by psychological and psychiatric screening procedures to select out unsuitable candidates, and by providing access to psychological support, including telephone counselling. Promotion of salutogenic experiences is best accomplished by screening for suitable personality traits, and training participants in individual coping strategies, group interaction, and team leadership.
The millennial project : colonizing the galaxy-in 8 easy steps
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Close Encounters in a Pediatric Ward: Measuring Face-to-Face Proximity and Mixing Patterns with Wearable Sensors
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