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Biosensor Networks and Telecommunication Subsystems for Long-Duration Missions, EVA Suits, and Robotic Precursor Scout Missions Kansas State University/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate

This project focuses on bio-medical technologies applicable to NASA’s human spaceflight research program (coordinated with Johnson Space Center in Houston TX) and on wireless telecommunications technologies suitable for a variety of mission scenarios (interfacing with NASA/JPL and with private industry in the state of Kansas). The primary objectives are to improve astronaut safety and extravehicular activity efficiencies in future lunar, asteroid, and planetary exploration by understanding the body’s responses to the on-set of physical fatigue, and to develop new electronics capable of sensing and communicating the astronaut’s condition. These technologies include wearable bio-sensors and low-power wireless networks – research areas with broad application both within and outside the space program. Research into radiowave propagation and energy harvesting also played a key role in the designs and prototype demonstrations completed during the project. The EPSCoR grant under which this research was funded has helped to support and educate over 20 graduate students and 16 undergraduate students in key science, technology, and engineering methods they will use throughout their future careers. During the three year performance period, the spaceflight theme on which the research vision was centered has motivated students, teachers, and the general public alike, and resulted in extensive technical publications and presentations as well as print, web, and television coverage.

William Kuhn, Science PI, Kansas State University

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NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

Kansas State University students performing Kinesiology-focused research on fatigue assessment and prediction. Predicting fatigue can allow EVA activities to be re-ordered to maximize astronaut work efficiencies when outside their planetary habitat.

Dr. Norman Lay, NASA Technical Monitor, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Prototype biosensor electronics developed at K-State, including thermal energy-harvesting power source and associated radio and antenna. Energy harvesting replaces the need for batteries within a space suit, which could be dangerous because of the oxygen-rich suit atmosphere.

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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