EVA 103: Planetary Field Geology and EVA Tool Development

EVA 103: Planetary Field Geology and EVA Tool Development

EVA 103 covers the requirements and design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology. Included are an introduction to field science in the context of geology; an overview of the processes that shape the surface environments of Mars and Earth’s moon; a survey of historical planetary surface geologic exploration by robots and humans; a survey of historical EVA systems and the design and implementation of EVA suits, tools, and procedures for effective and efficient field science operations on planetary surfaces.

STUDENTS ENROLLED

    Course Description (3 credits)

    This course covers the requirements and design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology. Included are an introduction to field science in the context of geology; an overview of the processes that shape the surface environments of Mars and Earth’s moon; a survey of historical planetary surface geologic exploration by robots and humans; and a survey of historical EVA systems and tools used for human surface science. Emphasis will be on analyzing the constraints placed by human factors, the EVA environment, science tasks, etc. upon the design and implementation of EVA suits, tools, and procedures for effective and efficient field science operations on planetary surfaces.

     

    Goals

    The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a foundational understanding of the requirements, methods, and limitations of conducting geologic field work during EVAs on planetary surfaces such as the Moon and Mars.

     

    Course Performance Objectives

    Upon completion of the course the students will be able to:

    1. Describe and demonstrate basic field geology skills, including quantitative and qualitative observations of geologic materials and structures.
    2. Discuss and demonstrate the importance of maintaining geologic situational awareness and recording geologic context for conducting effective and efficient geologic field work.
    3. Discuss and demonstrate the importance of traverse planning and the flexible execution of field plans while conducting geologic field work.
    4. Describe the primary geologic processes responsible for shaping planetary surfaces such as that of Mars and the Moon.
    5. Discuss some of the fundamental, high-priority open questions about Mars and the Moon that can be addressed using field geology.
    6. Describe the physical environments (atmosphere, geology, topography, etc.) of Mars and the Moon, particularly with regard to constraints, limitations, and opportunities for surface science EVAs.
    7. Review past efforts for conducting field geology on Mars and the Moon during missions using robotic (e.g. MER, MSL, etc.) and human (e.g. Apollo) assets, particularly with regard to EVA suits, tools, and procedures used and how they affected the science return of those missions
    8. Review past and current Earth analog field research and training campaigns, particularly with regard to EVA suit, tool, and procedure design for next-generation planetary geologic field work.
    9. Analyze and discuss the considerations for the design, fabrication, deployment, and evaluation of a geologic tool (and associated use procedures, test protocols, field traverse plans, etc.) to be used during a planetary surface EVA, to include science task requirements; environmental, ergonomic, safety and other limitations; mission constraints such as mass, power, time, etc.
    10. Design, fabricate, test and evaluate a geologic tool (and associated use procedures, test protocols, field traverse plans, etc.) to be used during a planetary surface EVA.
    11. Discuss and demonstrate the practical considerations involved in planning and executing a field campaign at a planetary analog site.

     

    Textbook

    Selected readings from published articles

     

    Course Schedule

    Online Instruction

    Weeks 1-2. Introduction to geology and planetary geologic processes

    Week 3. Geology and surface environment of the Moon, including open science questions

    Week 4. Geology and surface environment of Mars, including open science questions

    Weeks 5-6. Planetary field geology: terrestrial field geology; past efforts and lessons learned from Apollo to MSL; current efforts and lessons learned at analog sites

    Week 7-8: Martian Atmospheres

    Weeks 9-10. Analysis, design, and fabrication of geologic tools for field testing; traverse planning

    Fabrication of test tools by Integrated Spaceflight

    Field Work

    The online portion of the course will be followed by a ~1-week capstone field experience in the San Francisco Volcanic Field (SFVF), just north of Flagstaff, AZ.  This area has been used extensively in the past for a number of NASA analog mission simulations and NASA-funded geologic research related to planetary field exploration.  Students will be introduced to basic field science practice in the context of geologic observations and sample collection.  Field work will also involve testing of prototype surface EVA suits and tools in the scientifically relevant analog setting of the SFVF.

    2021 Course Schedule

    december

    07dec(dec 7)8:00 am11(dec 11)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 103 Microgravity Research CampaignMicrogravity Research Campaign supporting the IIAS BIO 103 Program

    january

    15jan(jan 15)6:30 pm20(jan 20)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2001 and 2002

    18jan(jan 18)8:00 am22(jan 22)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Red Sprite Group

    22jan(jan 22)6:30 pm27(jan 27)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2003

    25jan(jan 25)8:00 am29(jan 29)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Blue Jet Group

    30jan(jan 30)8:00 am03feb(feb 3)5:00 pmOPS 102 Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations On-SiteOn-site compliment to OPS 102 course providing aircraft egress and sea survial training to complement post-landing human space flight system engineering instruction

    february

    04feb(feb 4)8:00 am08(feb 8)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 104: Advanced Egress - Spacesuit Landing and Post-Landing Testing

    april

    24apr(apr 24)8:00 am27(apr 27)3:00 pmEVA 103 Planetary Field Geology Field CampaignEVA 103 course covers the requirements and design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology

    28apr(apr 28)8:00 am02may(may 2)5:00 pmEVA 102 Operational Space Medicine Field CampaignField component to cover wilderness medicine in extreme environments, culminating with a 4-day on-site lab portion devoted to triage, scenarios and skills pertaining to wilderness medicine

    may

    03may(may 3)8:00 am07(may 7)5:00 pmFeaturedEVA 104 Gravity-Offset EVA Space Suit Evaluation CampaignGravity-offset research campaign to evaluate the Final Frontier Design EVA space suit by applying the tools and techniques developed through EVA 102 and EVA 103 courses

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