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Project Title:  Human Factors and Habitability Assessment Tool Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2013 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 04/04/2011  
End Date: 10/01/2012  
Task Last Updated: 12/21/2012 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Thaxton, Sherry  Ph.D. / Lockheed Martin/NASA Johnson Space Center  
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway/SF3 
 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: sherry.s.thaxton@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7413  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: Lockheed Martin/NASA Johnson Space Center  
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Litaker, Harry  Lockheed Martin ; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Morency, Richard  NASA Johnson Space Center 
Pace, John  Lockheed Martin; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Schuh, Susan  MEI Tech, Inc.; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: None
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Sullivan, Thomas  
Center Contact:  
thomas.a.sullivan@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Hab:Risk of an Incompatible Vehicle/Habitat Design
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SHFE-HAB-09:We need to identify technologies, tools, and methods for data collection, modeling, and analysis that are appropriate for design and assessment of vehicles/habitats (e.g., net habitable volume, layout, and usage) for predetermined mission attributes, and for refinement and validation of level of acceptable risk (IRP Rev E)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: Gap change to HAB-09 from HAB-02 per IRP Rev E (Ed., 3/25/14)

NOTE: End date changed to 10/1/2012 per okay of E. Connell and discussions in April 2012 (Ed., 12/14/12)

NOTE: Extended to 9/30/2012 per E. Connell/SHFH (Ed., 3/9/12)

NOTE: End date is 4/30/2012 per HRP Master Task List dated 1/11/2012 (Ed., 1/20/2012)

Task Description: Currently, no established methods exist to collect near real-time human factors and habitability data during spaceflight missions. Human factors and habitability data are instead acquired at the end of missions during post-flight crew debriefs. These debriefs occur weeks or often longer after events have occurred, which forces a significant reliance on incomplete human memory. Without a means to collect near real-time data, small issues may have a cumulative effect and continue to cause crew frustration and inefficiencies. In addition, there is currently no means of documenting the location and movement of crewmembers within a vehicle or habitat, which prevents a thorough analysis of traffic flow, space utilization, and other efficiency issues. This type of information could be very valuable in designing next generation spacecraft and habitats.

This research seeks to address the Human Research Program (HRP) gap concerning tools that can be used to evaluate habitability concepts. The tools and methods proposed for development as part of this Directed Research Project (DRP) include two major components: habitability assessment tools, and space utilization assessment methods.

Multiple tools will play a role in assessing habitability based on human performance data. Software-based tools will provide crewmembers with the opportunity to self-report habitability and human factors observations near real-time. In addition to this capability, software-based tools will have the capability to administer a targeted set of questions related to habitability and human factors concerns deemed specifically to be of interest. The targeted use of video will also provide crewmembers with the opportunity to provide insight into human factors and habitability observations within a habitat or vehicle, with associated training, scheduling, and flow of information to maximize the impact of these videos.

The second major component proposed in this DRP is the evaluation of space utilization assessment methods. This effort will result in tools to aid in the design of the next generation of vehicles and habitats. In order to most effectively design layouts of interiors, it is important for designers to understand how space is utilized. This includes details such as the time crewmembers spend at workstations and traffic patterns between workstations. This DRP proposes to examine potential benefits of using automated methods to collect such data.

As part of preliminary work, several tools and methods for near real-time data collection were tested during NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 16, a space analog that takes place in a habitat on the ocean floor. Based on the success of the developed software tool, current plans call for transitioning this tool to operations for International Space Station (ISS). In parallel, work will continue on objectives related to investigating means to assess space utilization of habitats and vehicles through strategies such as technology assessments, ground-based experimentation, or exploration of collaboration opportunities.

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: This research is directed because it contains highly constrained research, which requires focused and constrained data gathering and analysis that is more appropriately obtained through a non-competitive proposal.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2013 
Task Progress: The major accomplishment for FY2012 was successful testing of the iPad-based Space Habitability Observation Reporting Tool (iSHORT) during NEEMO 16. iSHORT is an application that allows users to use text, photographs, video, and audio recordings to document positive or negative observations about their environment near real-time. Reports are immediately e-mailed to the test director and saved locally on the iPad. Testing began during NEEMO 15 but was cut short when inclement weather caused an early termination of the mission. In the interim months, updates to iSHORT were made and test plans were modified based on lessons learned. During NEEMO 16, four crewmembers used iSHORT daily throughout the 12-day mission, reporting observations ranging from glitches in scheduling software and communications difficulties to concerns about bathroom operations. In addition to providing a database of observations to analyze, there was an opportunity to elicit subjective feedback from the crewmembers. Crewmembers documented their impressions of iSHORT using end-of-mission electronic questionnaires, during post-mission one-on-one debriefs, and in some cases elected to use iSHORT itself to document their praises and criticisms during the mission. Overall, iSHORT was highly accepted, and the resulting observations were considered to demonstrate high potential for the tool in an operational setting. The success of iSHORT during the mission led to a plan to assess the feasibility of transitioning iSHORT to operations for International Space Station.

In addition to iSHORT, NEEMO 16 crewmembers also provided video clips targeting human factors and habitability issues using a head-worn camera and a standard iPad camera, which enabled the assessment of these strategies for future use. These methods will require further development prior to implementation in an operational environment, but the lessons learned will feed into this process and may also shed light on alternate approaches to collecting this type of data.

Another major accomplishment for FY2012 was the role this DRP played in hosting the 2012 Habitable Volume Workshop. In July 2012, the Human Research Program (HRP) hosted a Habitable Volume Workshop focused on assessing habitable volume of space vehicles and habitats for long-duration missions. Held in Houston, Texas, the 2012 workshop was well-attended by participants from both NASA and outside industry experts. NASA participants included Space Human Factors Engineering (SHFE) representatives, Behavioral Performance and Health (BHP) representatives, human factors handbook and standards experts, International Space Station Internal Vehicle Configuration Working Group (ISS IVC WG) team members, Flight Crew Integration (FCI) team members, Habitability Design Center (HDC) team members, Advanced Engineering Systems (AES) team members, and the Astronaut Office. Participants from outside industries and academia included representatives from oil and gas, submersibles, maritime shipping, mining, United States Navy, Lamar University, Thomas Jefferson University, and University of Pennsylvania. Together they brought a wealth of experience and differing perspectives on aspects relevant to the design of confined habitats.

In addition to these activities, DRP team members mentored a group of undergraduate students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne as part of the Systems Engineering Educational Discovery (SEED) Program. This program, run by NASA’s Microgravity University Program, allows NASA researchers to identify projects of interest to be paired with student research teams. These projects are intended to be small enough in scope for undergraduate students to complete with a few hours of work per week throughout a semester. The student team designed an experiment to evaluate pieces of hardware used to mount an iPad either on the user’s arm or the user’s torso. Students selected off-the-shelf software as well as developed custom software to provide tests of user performance. This allowed them to compare performance in microgravity to performance in 1-g as well as comparing performance across hardware mounts. In addition to providing an opportunity for students to benefit from the experience of designing and implementing an experiment aboard a parabolic flight aircraft, this project provided NASA the opportunity to gain insight into tablet use in microgravity.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 06/01/2017) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2013
Project Title:  Human Factors and Habitability Assessment Tool Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2012 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 04/04/2011  
End Date: 10/01/2012  
Task Last Updated: 02/06/2012 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Thaxton, Sherry  Ph.D. / Lockheed Martin/NASA Johnson Space Center  
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway/SF3 
 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: sherry.s.thaxton@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7413  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: Lockheed Martin/NASA Johnson Space Center  
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Schuh, Susan  MEI Technologies; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Litaker, Harry  Lockheed Martin ; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Morency, Richard  NASA Johnson Space Center 
Pace, John  Lockheed Martin; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: Co-Investigator changes: Remove: Evan Twyford, Shelby Thompson Add: Richard Morency, John Pace
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Perchonok, Michele  
Center Contact: (281) 483-7632 
michele.perchonok22@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Hab:Risk of an Incompatible Vehicle/Habitat Design
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SHFE-HAB-09:We need to identify technologies, tools, and methods for data collection, modeling, and analysis that are appropriate for design and assessment of vehicles/habitats (e.g., net habitable volume, layout, and usage) for predetermined mission attributes, and for refinement and validation of level of acceptable risk (IRP Rev E)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 10/1/2012 per okay of E. Connell and discussions in April 2012 (Ed., 12/14/12)

NOTE: Extended to 9/30/2012 per E. Connell/SHFH (Ed., 3/9/12)

NOTE: End date is 4/30/2012 per HRP Master Task List dated 1/11/2012 (Ed., 1/20/2012)

Task Description: Currently, no established methods exist to collect real-time human factors and habitability data while crewmembers are living onboard the International Space Station (ISS) or while traveling onboard other space vehicles. Human factors and habitability data, i.e., problems or successes with hardware, software, or the workspace in general, are instead acquired at the end of missions during post-flight crew debriefs. These debriefs occur weeks or often longer after events have occurred, which forces a significant reliance on incomplete human memory. Without a means to collect real-time data, small issues may have a cumulative effect and continue to cause crew frustration and inefficiencies. Without timely and appropriate reporting methodologies, issues may not get resolved, and may get repeated in future vehicle/habitat designs. In addition, there is currently no means of documenting the location and movement of crewmembers within a vehicle or habitat, which prevents a thorough analysis of traffic flow, space utilization, and other efficiency issues. This type of information could be very valuable in designing next generation spacecraft and habitats.

This Directed Research Project (DRP) proposes to develop and validate tools and methods for collecting near real-time human factors and habitability data as a means of enhancing capabilities for determining lessons learned, understanding trends in issues and experience, and identifying needs for future space missions. This DRP’s aims relate to near real-time crew inputs and focused video-based data collection of human factors and habitability data in operational flight and analog environments. The refinement of a set of tools and methods designed to assess real-time habitability human factors data, including targeted video data, will lead to requirements and best practice guidelines to evaluate habitability concepts for on-orbit and planetary missions, reducing the gap this task seeks to address. In addition, this DRP proposes to assess tools and methods for automated location tracking of crewmembers that would enable efficient and accurate analyses of vehicle and habitat layouts.

During preliminary work, several tools and methods for near real-time data collection were prototyped, and developmental testing in laboratory and analog environments was completed. Plans for continued work include additional analog-based testing as well as testing on the International Space Station (ISS). Well-developed tools and methods will lead to increased capabilities in evaluating human factors and habitability concerns associated with space vehicles and habitats.

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: This research is directed because it contains highly constrained research, which requires focused and constrained data gathering and analysis that is more appropriately obtained through a non-competitive proposal.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2012 
Task Progress: The investigative team performed preliminary work toward the development of tools and methods for the near real-time collection of habitability and human factors data. The work completed to date serves to inform further development efforts planned throughout the duration of the DRP. In addition to a literature review, additional efforts included software tool development; interviews with subject matter experts; laboratory-based pilot testing; examination of relevant spaceflight crew debrief data; and data collection during NEEMO.

A review of literature was performed to obtain a thorough background related to human factors and habitability assessments relevant to this DRP, including a broad range of publications. The review included discussion of previously developed habitability assessment tools as well as habitability and human factors assessments performed in both spaceflight and spaceflight analog environments. In addition, information pertaining to methods often used to analyze human factors data was gathered, along with a summary of uses of video in habitability and human factors studies. A literature review was provided to HRP as a deliverable, and additional work was performed in order to ensure a thorough understanding prior to completing the updated DRP proposal.

The Space Habitability Observation Reporting Tool (SHORT) was developed to collect near real-time human factors and habitability observation data from crewmembers in an operational environment. This web-based tool is intended to serve as an initial means of collecting this data, with the expectation that an actual tool deployed as part of nominal operations in spaceflight will retain elements of the web-based tool, but may be integrated into or modified to work in conjunction with pre-existing issue reporting systems. SHORT was created based on the previously developed Space Operations Issue Reporting Tool (SOIRT). In addition to the web-based format, a mobile Apple version was created, referred to as iSHORT.

As part of the background research for this DRP, a series of interviews was conducted with subject matter experts. A total of nine individuals were interviewed regarding their experiences with analogs and spaceflight to discuss topics such as human factors and habitability concerns during these analog and spaceflight experiences, how closely analogs were perceived to represent long-duration spaceflight, and opinions regarding methods to collect near real-time human factors and habitability data. Feedback was collected concerning potential obstacles to success, incentive ideas for crewmember participation, and initial mockups of SHORT design.

As another part of preliminary work, investigators used ground-based pilot testing to gain feedback from test subjects regarding the use of software and video tools under development for the DRP. In order to begin evolving the prototype tools for eventual use in a high-fidelity operational environment, two ground-based pilot tests were completed. The goals of this testing included gaining feedback from subjects regarding feasibility and usability of the proposed tools and methods, gaining experience with the logistics and implementation of the tools, and confirming that software and hardware associated with the tools and methods are stable and reliable.

The investigative team for this DRP has partnered with the Operational Habitability (OpsHab) Team at Johnson Space Center, which is responsible for performing post-flight crew debriefs for ISS. The OpsHab Team has unique access to the information collected during these debriefs, and the lead of the OpsHab team serves as a co-investigator on this DRP. In order to provide more insight into crew perspective on tools and methods to collect data near real-time, during habitability and human factors crew debriefs beginning in 2011 ISS crewmembers were asked to provide feedback regarding the necessity and use of a real-time data collection method to capture habitability and human factors issues.

Finally, testing occurred as part of the NEEMO 15 mission during October 2011 and is planned to continue during NEEMO 16 during June 2012. This testing occurred as part of preliminary work in order to provide an opportunity to perform work related to iterative tool development prior to deployment on ISS. NEEMO crewmembers served as subjects, using software-based tools and focused video methods to report observations related to habitability and human factors during the duration of the mission.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 06/01/2017) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2012
Project Title:  Human Factors and Habitability Assessment Tool Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2011 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 04/04/2011  
End Date: 04/30/2012  
Task Last Updated: 04/15/2011 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Thaxton, Sherry  Ph.D. / Lockheed Martin/NASA Johnson Space Center  
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway/SF3 
 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: sherry.s.thaxton@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7413  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: Lockheed Martin/NASA Johnson Space Center  
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Schuh, Susan  MEI Technologies; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Twyford, Evan  MEI Technologies; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Litaker, Harry  Lockheed Martin ; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Thompson, Shelby  Lockheed Martin ; NASA Johnson Space Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Woolford, Barbara  
Center Contact: 218-483-3701 
barbara.j.woolford@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Hab:Risk of an Incompatible Vehicle/Habitat Design
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) SHFE-HAB-09:We need to identify technologies, tools, and methods for data collection, modeling, and analysis that are appropriate for design and assessment of vehicles/habitats (e.g., net habitable volume, layout, and usage) for predetermined mission attributes, and for refinement and validation of level of acceptable risk (IRP Rev E)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date is 4/30/2012 per HRP Master Task List dated 1/11/2012 (Ed., 1/20/2012

Task Description: The Human Factors and Habitability Assessment Tool Directed Research Project seeks to develop a methodology to efficiently collect real-time crew inputs and video-based data of human factors and habitability information in operational flight and analog environments. The refinement of methods and metrics for collection and evaluation of real-time crew inputs and human factors and habitability data allows for the identification of possible issues and necessary improvements to vehicle, environment, tools and equipment design currently onboard ISS. Human factors and habitability data collection metrics and methodologies can also lead to the identification of research development opportunities and human factors/habitability gaps, and contribute to the definition of habitability requirements for future vehicles and habitats.

In FY11, the focus will be on the development of metrics and methodologies related to these data collection strategies, with planned use of data collection during an upcoming NEEMO mission to support this development. NEEMO study experiences will feed into refinement of the real-time data collection tool known as Space Operations Incident Reporting Tool (SOIRT), with particular attention to refinement of details surrounding implementation of the tool.

Preparation for NEEMO includes interviews with subject matter experts including long-duration astronauts, previous analog participants, and flight control personnel to collect data regarding preferred and successful methods for obtaining self-initiated data. Insight gained from these interviews will be continuously applied to refine plans for data collection implementation. As an additional source of information regarding real-time data collection, the Flight Crew Integration (FCI) International Space Station (ISS) Life Sciences Crew Comments Database will be referenced for ISS lessons learned regarding self-initiated data collection.

The primary focus of the NEEMO work is the refinement and validation of data collection tools and techniques, which will continue through additional analog or flight testing in the near future. The NEEMO effort will consist of two major activities: 1) use of a software tool to be used by the crew to identify and record human system/human factors issues during missions (near real-time and scheduled), and 2) use of head-worn, hand-held, and pre-positioned video cameras to supplement crew reports of human factors and habitability issues.

The tools under examination by this DRP will provide data that feeds into comprehensive human factors and habitability assessments. These comprehensive assessments will require data from a variety of sources ranging from environmental and telemetry data to hardware interface measurements and crew fatigue levels. The software tool is intended to excel at collecting near real-time subjective data from crewmembers (along with limited objective data), and the use of video tools as supplementary data sources are intended to increase the amount of objective data and clarify subjective reports. These tools have potential to provide significant value as part of a larger suite of data collection tools and techniques that combine to present a comprehensive assessment of vehicle or habitat human factors and habitability.

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: This research is directed because it contains highly constrained research, which requires focused and constrained data gathering and analysis that is more appropriately obtained through a non-competitive proposal.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2011 
Task Progress: New project for FY2011.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 06/01/2017) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2011