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Simulating Humans as Integral Parts of Spacecraft Missions

The Collaborative-Virtual Environment Simulation Tool (C-VEST) software was developed for use in a NASA project entitled “3-D Interactive Digital Virtual Human.” The project is oriented toward the use of a comprehensive suite of advanced software tools in computational simulations for the purposes of human-centered design of spacecraft missions and of the spacecraft, space suits, and other equipment to be used on the missions. The CVEST software affords an unprecedented suite of capabilities for three-dimensional virtual-environment simulations with plugin interfaces for physiological data, haptic interfaces, plug-and-play software, real-time control, and/or playback control. Mathematical models of the mechanics of the human body and of the aforementioned equipment are implemented in software and integrated to simulate forces exerted on and by astronauts as they work. The computational results can then support the iterative processes of design, building, and testing in applied systems engineering and integration. The results of the simulations provide guidance for devising measures to counteract effects of microgravity on the human body and for the rapid development of virtual (that is, simulated) prototypes of advanced space suits, cockpits, and robots to enhance the productivity, comfort, and safety of astronauts. The unique ability to implement human-inthe- loop immersion also makes the C-VEST software potentially valuable for use in commercial and academic settings beyond the original space-mission setting.

This program was written by Anthony C. Bruins of Johnson Space Center; Robert Rice of Dynoverse Corp.; Lac Nguyen, Heidi Nguyen, and Tim Saito of HPN Software Consultant, Inc.; and Elaine Russell of the Institute of Somatic Sciences. For further information, contact the Johnson Innovative Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-23454