Thesis Defense by Tiffany Swarmer on December 5th
Space Studies Master’s student, Tiffany Swarmer, will defend her thesis as follows. Please show your support by attending.
When: Friday, December 5th at 3:30 pm (Central time)
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111
Title: Human Performance Profiles for Planetary Analog Extra-Vehicular Activities: 120 Day and 30 Day Analog Missions
About the Topic: Understanding performance factors for future planetary missions is critical for ensuring safe and successful planetary extra-vehicular activities (EVAs). The goal of this study was to gain operational knowledge of analog EVAs and develop biometric profiles for specific EVA types. Data was collected for a 120 and 30 day analog planetary exploration simulation focusing on EVA type, pre and post EVA conditions, and performance ratings. From this five main types of EVAs were performed: maintenance, science, survey/exploratory, public relations, and emergency. Each EVA type has unique characteristics and performance ratings showing specific factors in chronological components, environmental conditions, and EVA systems that have an impact on performance. Pre and post biometrics were collected: heart rate, blood pressure, and SpO2. Additional data about issues and specific EVA difficulties provide some EVA trends illustrating how tasks and suit comfort can negatively affect performance ratings.
Performance decreases were noted for 1st quarter and 3rd quarter EVAs, survey/exploratory type EVAs, and EVAs requiring increased fine and gross motor function. Stress during the simulation is typically higher before the EVA and decreases once the crew has returned to the habitat. Stress also decreases as the simulation nears the end with the 3rd and 4th quarters showing a decrease in stress levels. Interesting patterns in biometrics were noted during the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation study pertaining to the 3rd and 4th quarter, especially noted in the SpO2 levels. Operational components and studies have numerous variables and components that effect overall performance, by increasing the knowledge available we may be able to better prepare future crews for the extreme environments and exploration of other planets.
BIO: Tiffany Swarmer is a Graduate student in the Space Studies Department at the University of North Dakota (UND) and works with the department. She has provided support as a researcher, study coordinator, biologist, and emergency medical technician for analog habitat and spacesuit research. Her B.S. is in biology with a focus on microbiology from Sonoma State University. She has a multidisciplinary background including work in DNA sequencing, medical risk management, emergency medicine, public relations, and microbial research. Most recently she participated as an analog crew member for a NASA funded 120 day Mars analog with the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HISEAS) acting as crew medic, safety officer, and lead Extra-vehicular Activities engineer. Tiffany continues to be active in space analog research and human factors testing and is looking forward to continuing her education in the aerospace sciences and is scheduled to participate as the executive officer for a two week simulation this winter.
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