Mapping CO2 Concentrations Within A Spaceflight Analog Environment



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2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems


Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels onboard the International Space Station (ISS) have been reported to be as high as 10 times greater than ambient levels in a terrestrial environment, which can have a negative effect on crew performance and productivity. NASA’s personal CO2 monitor provides ISS astronauts with the ability to monitor the CO2 levels, temperature, and humidity via a body-worn system, however it lacks localization to determine where the sensor measurements were taken. A CO2 sensor was integrated with the Draper Wearable Kinematic System (WKS)— a self-contained, wearable and hand-portable system for real-time navigation state estimation— and demonstrated operationally within the NASA Extreme Environments Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission 23. The NEEMO missions are conducted in the Aquarius Reef Base underwater research facility, located 19 m below sea level off the coast of Florida. This Earth-based spaceflight analog environment creates a realistic platform through which to examine human performance and simulate operations that are representative of living and working in space. The WKS – assembled primarily from commercial-off-the-shelf equipment – analyzes the monocular vision and inertial measurement unit data to generate a real-time navigation state estimation utilizing the Draper smoothing and mapping with inertial state estimation (SAMWISE) algorithm.

The WKS+CO2 sensor system tracked crew position, velocity, and orientation while mapping CO2 concentrations within the underwater habitat as a function of time during the course of normal daily crew activities (Figure 1). The results of that testing are discussed, and challenges associated with data collection in this underwater environment are summarized. This data and capability is expected to provide astronauts, flight directors, and ground support personnel with a better understanding of environmental conditions to improve task efficiency, crew productivity, and appropriate cycle times and operations of the environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS) onboard the ISS.


Tristan Endsley, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, USA
Theodore Steiner III, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, USA
Forrest Meyen, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, USA
Kevin Duda, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, USA
Marcum Reagan, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
ICES205: Advanced Life Support Sensor and Control Technology
The proceedings for the 2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems were published from July 31, 2020. The technical papers were not presented in person due to the inability to hold the event as scheduled in Lisbon, Portugal because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.


CO2 Concentration, Environmental Conditions, Body-worn sensor, Real-time navigation, Mapping, NEEMO Mission 23, Spaceflight Analog