A “happy pack” with built-in wireless sensors would recalibrate astronauts’ environments in real-time to reduce stress.
(Florida Polytechnic University)
Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Florida are developing a “happy pack” that they say will protect astronauts from the psychologically distressing consequences of space travel.
The technology of the network of wireless sensors would respond to the wearer’s vitals by recalibration of his or her surroundings in real time. These adjustments may include changes in temperature, light, color, light and oxygen levels, Arman Sargolzaei, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the school, said in a statement.
“It is of vital importance for the astronauts mentally healthy during missions and now there is no active, real time solution to help them if they feel stressed or anxious,” said Sargolzaei, which together with Melba Horton, an assistant professor in biology, and computer science student James Holland, on the project. “This technology would provide them with immediate relief of their state of mind.”
Funded by a grant from NASA’s Florida Space Research Program, the so-called “Smart Sensory Skin, also known as the S3, could ultimately be included in the astronaut clothes, as well as a spacesuit, so doctors on Earth could the bearer of the blood pressure, heart rate, and joint angles.
Although similar technology exists, it is “a cumbersome and often uncomfortable,” Sargolzaei said. Plus, the data is passive, which means that it must be evaluated by a doctor before recommendations can be made.
The S3, on the other hand, will not only lighter and easier to use, but it will also play an active role in the making of astronauts “happier, safer, fitter and more productive,” he added.
Original article on Space.com.