Usability And Control Mechanisms of Displays for Planetary Surface Operations



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


2024 International Conference on Environmnetal Systems


Despite ever-evolving advancements in Human-Computer Interfaces (HCI), spacesuit displays remain limited to a simple 12-character LCD screen for displaying suit status, caution & warning signals accompanied by an EVA cuff checklist strapped on the EMU wrist as a compressed format for providing EVA task and EMU malfunction procedures, and a wrist mirror to aid with EMU controls outside the crewmember's FOV. However, planetary EVAs pose unique operational challenges, demanding HCIs that empower crewmembers to interact seamlessly with their environment while ensuring safety, efficiency, and productivity. Head-up displays (HUDs) offer a means to display critical information while minimizing manual attention shifts and cognitive disruptions during an EVA. Collins Aerospace, with support from SETI Institute and Ntention, performed experiments at the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station (HMPRS) planetary analogue base camp on Devon Island on the northwestern rim area of the Haughton Crater to study the usability of 3 technologically distinguished displays for a geological planetary EVA to perform navigation, sample collection and terrain surveillance operations in-line with the Artemis EVA expectations. An interactive navigation software was developed to support these operations. An Astronaut Smart Glove (ASG) and a Natural Language Interface (NLI) were also developed to study display control methods in tandem with different display interfaces on a high fidelity NextEMU suit mockup. NextEMU is the Next generation spacesuit designed by Collins Aerospace. Test subjects with geology, EMU systems engineering, and aviation pilot experience backgrounds participated in a Human In The Loop (HITL) testing to assess the display, ASG and NLI usability in this remote, high arctic planetary environment. Findings revealed nuanced relationships between display type, display location and display control methods. This paper will discuss the experimental design, product analysis, training, and results of the HITL testing for the development of an ideal display design for planetary surface exploration.


Siddhi Bhilare, Collins Aerospace (An RTX Business), USA
Jake Rohrig, Collins Aerospace (An RTX Business), USA
Jesse Lane, Collins Aerospace (An RTX Business), USA
Abhishek Rane, Collins Aerospace (An RTX Business), USA
ICES403: Extravehicular Activity: Space Suit and Surface Mobility Operations
The 53rd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on 21 July 2024 through 25 July 2024.


Head up displays, Lunar EVAs, Martian EVAs, Haughton Mars Project, Collins Aerospace Head up display