Bioastronautics: IVA Space Suit Evaluation

IIAS leads bioastronautic research pertaining to space suit and bio-monitoring technologies in partnership with Project PoSSUM, Integrated Spaceflight Services, Final Frontier Design, the National Research Council of Canada, the Southern Aeromedical Institute, and Survival Systems USA. The validation process of these technologies involves analog evaluation in micro-gravity, high-altitude, high-G, and post-landing operational scenarios.  The IIAS Bioastronautics Certificate Program emphasizes IVA space suit test and evaluation while providing a practical, hands-on, and immersive education geared to the professional interested in a career in bioastronautics.

Areas of Study

Microgravity and High-G Evaluation of IVA Space Suit Technologies

IIAS is the exclusive reduced gravity evaluation partner of Final Frontier Design and uses a specially-modified Falcon-20 reduced gravity aircraft to simulate the interior cabin and cockpit environments of commercial space vehicles. Students in the IIAS BIO 103 course participate in a five-day microgravity research campaign with the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa. All students learn to develop a Test Experiment Data Package demonstrating an effective experiment integration and compliance with an Internal Review Board (IRB) and Test Readiness Review. Data to be collected on each microgravity flight evolve each year but may include range of motion and translation testing, seat ingress and egress evaluation, ventilating or pressurization evaluation, bio-metric system and related system functionality tests, and mission simulation.

High-Altitude Test and Evaluation of IVA Space Suit Technologies

IIAS leads novel space suit tests in hypoxic and high-altitude environments at the Southern Aeromedical Institute (SAMI) facility in Melbourne, FL. Testing of suit system functionality at  various altitudes as well as the ability of a suited test subject to successfully activate the suit after demonstrating symptoms following from exposure to hypoxic environments at an equivalent altitude of 25,000′.

Post-Landing Evaluation of IVA Space Suit Technologies

In an exclusive partnership with Survival Systems USA, IIAS leads studies involving analog landing and post-landing environments, considering both nominal and contingency scenarios. The implications of these procedures on vehicle and spacesuit design and egress procedures are evaluated each year as part of the IIAS BIO 104 ‘Advanced Spacecraft Egress’ course. BIO 104 courses simulate side-hatch and docking-hatch egress procedures in varying lighting and sea state conditions using a boilerplate Orion mock-up as well as parachute drop scenarios.

The Graduate Certificate in Bioastronautics

The IIAS Professional Credential in Bioastronautics is a 16-credit certification designed for the student or professional interested in a career in human space flight involving the design, integration, test, and qualification of technologies involving the human interface in spacecraft. IIAS offers two concentrations of study in Bioastronautics: IVA Space Suit Test and Evaluation and EVA Space Suit Test and Evaluation. These concentrations are largely independent of each other and may be taken sequentially or concurrently. Prospective applicants must have successfully competed the requirements for AST 101 (Fundamentals of Astronautics). Upon completion of the prescribed courses, the candidate should petition for graduation through the link below.

Requirements for the IIAS Bioastronautics Certificate in IVA Space Suit Evaluatoin

AST 101Fundamentals of Astronautics2
EDU 102Citizen-Science Research Methods2
OPS 102Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations3
BIO 101Space Flight Physiology3
BIO 103Microgravity Space Suit Evaluation3
BIO 104Post-Landing Space Suit Evaluation3

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