A two-semester senior design sequence developed with funding
This is a new course, funded by NASA, focusing on the design
of human habitats for extreme environments - lunar, mars,
space, and deep sea.
The course covers lecture materials on NASA's system
engineering process as well as background on issues of
concern in designing living and working quarters in extreme
environments. Its primary purpose, however, is for students
to participate in a multi-disciplinary design project
relating to habitat design in these environments. Students
in IE, BE, EVEG, and ME may use these projects either as a
stand-alone tech elective or as their senior design capstone
It is a great opportunity to work on an exciting
multi-disciplinary project (which employers love to see!) of
importance to the future of space exploration.
Space Operations Overview - Introduction to Human Spaceflight and Current
Programs; Orbital Factors and current / upcoming launch
vehicles; Human Space Mission Design Issues; Human
Physiology; Human Factors and Psychology; Safety and
Design Process - Terminology, Definitions; NASA
Requirement and Design Phases; Subsystem Integration and
Interface Definitions: Structures; Command, Control and
Communication; Power & Thermal Control; in situ Resource
Utilization (ISRU) Considerations; Operations: Mission
Operations; Logistics Support Habitat Requirements -
Defining and Sizing Space Elements; Transfer, Entry,
Landing and Ascent Vehicles; Surface Bases;
Environmental Control & Life Support Subsystem;
Fundamentals of terrestrial ecology and scaling down to
spacecraft constraints; Spacecraft Life Support Systems;
Closed vs. Open Loop and Regenerative vs.
non-Regenerative Technologies; Physico-Chemical vs.
Bio-regenerative Life Support Approaches; Atmosphere
Management; Water Management; Food Supply; Waste
Processing; Crew & Payload Accommodations;
Extravehicular Activity (EVA)
Habitat Design -
Human Factors in Habitat Layout: (Biomechanics; Work
Physiology; Anthropometry; Safety); Augmented Reality &
Situational Awareness (Augmented Reality technologies
and issues; situational awareness concepts & issues;
uncertainty & alarm management; related information
Project Work –
Students will work in multi-disciplinary teams on a
project throughout the semester. It is expected that the
last 5 -6 weeks of the semester will be dedicated purely
to project work (no lecture materials).
(student teams choose a topic in one area)o:p>
Design and Layout of Facilities in Surface Habitat
Limited physical space and constraints in obtaining
supplies necessitate careful design of the Surface
Habitat Module. Using currently available technology for
life support elements, students will create a design for
the layout of the Surface Habitat Module that considers
technological, environmental, human, economic, and
Design and Layout of a Part Manufacturing Module:
Bases will need to manufacture spare parts to be
sustainable. This introduces specific environmental and
safety concerns associated with the manufacturing
operations (heat, gases, structure breach).
Augmented Reality Command and Control Systems.
Things we take for common on earth (e.g., windows,
ability to enter and exit facilities at will) are not
common in extreme environments due to the risk to human
life as well as cost limitations. Interacting with
people and equipment outside the habitat requires new
forms of interaction. Augmented reality combines real
and virtual worlds in displays. This project will look
at designing an augmented reality system to assist in
performing common maintenance/operational tasks outside
the habitat either remotely (via telerobotics) or
through joint human/robotic operations.
MATERIALS & RELATED LINKS
METHODS & INSTRUMENTS
OUTREACH PLAN &
SUMMER 2011 WORKSHOP
CURRENT PROJECTS &
(L to R): Leonard Johnson, Fernando
Munoz, Justin Alfred, Tomas Cruz, Quentin Leday, Adrian
Serio, Chris Martin, Dustin Lail, Chris Desselle, Jamie
Guidry, Lauren Barthelemany, Jordan Lamothe, Blake
Boudreaux, Paul Nugyen, Glenn Stewart. Also in the class
(not shown here): Jared Bell, Cristina Handal (TA), Robert
Helou, Christina Koffskey, David Kunesh, Brian Thompson.
To design and optimize a
hydroponic nutrient delivery system for phototrophic
organisms, which supplement food supplies and sustain
oxygen levels critical to human life, utilizing
available sources present on Mars.
Controlling Ingress of
Lunar Dust. to minimize the amount of lunar
dust that is tracked into the habitation module on the
moon. Currently, an estimated 227g/suit of dust reenters
the module after an EVA, approximately 7% of which
Modular Habitat Design.
To find the shape, materials, and shipment and assembly
processes which maximize compatibility and flexibility
in a modular Martian habitat.
Radiation Shielding for a
Lunar Base. To reduce human exposure to
cosmic and solar radiation in a lunar base to an
acceptable dosage level for astronauts occupying the
base for a six-month period.
Sleeping Module Design.
To design a sleeping module that will facilitate
achieving the quantity and quality of sleep that
astronauts will require on a lunar base mission.