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When putting humans on Mars the most important thing is keeping our astronauts safe. Our idea for this is a new revolutionised, portable life support system. We want to be able to take real time readings of astronauts, heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure. All of these readings could be measured and relayed to a sort of hub which will be constantly monitoring these vitals in each astronaut. If a vital goes below a critical level, e.g. the blood pressure readings of an astronaut drops to a level where he or she would no longer be conscious. This hub could then register this occurrence and relay it to the unconscious astronauts team members alerting them with a sort of warning message briefly outlining the medical problem and their location in relevance to the astronaut needing assistance.
Beacons form a perimeter around the main shuttle and use radio wave signals to received from the astronaut and conveys this data to the shuttle in a digital signal format. The signal can then be easily represented by a computer in the state 1 or 0. Digital signals can be compressed and can include additional information for error correction. We chose to use a radio wave format to transmit the majority of our data due to its ability to transmit over small objects and hills without being distorted.
The design of the beacons is to maximise cost efficiency and will be made from a magnesium alloy that will be as light as aluminium but as strong as titanium that will make easier to transport so we will minimise fuel wastage from weight and will be durable so it can survive for long periods of time on the harsh surface of mars.
We would like to measure these main vital signs-
Spirometry - Measuring the spirometry of an astronaut can tell us of the condition the astronaut is in, whether it is an elevated respiration due to strenuous physical activity, anxiety or even a reduce respiratory rate due to a state of unconsciousness. The suit is designed to act as a “closed” system that you are able to measure the changing volumes of air inside the suit. For example, during inhalation the volume of air outside of the astronaut decreases, this change can be measured and used to calculate volume of air. With this data we can see if an astronaut is having breathing difficulties
Blood Pressure - Hypotension and Hypertension, can potentially impair the function of vital organs such as heart and brain. Monitoring of arterial blood pressure (BP) is a mainstay of hemodynamic monitoring in acutely or critically ill patients. Non-invasive arterial blood pressure measure can continuously measure the data and then relay to the base.
Heart Rate - The Heart-rate monitor in the suit is made of a long, belt-like elastic band that wraps snugly around your chest, small LEDs on their undersides that shine green light onto the skin. The different wavelengths of light from these optical emitters interact differently with the blood flowing through your wrist. When that light or reflects off your flowing blood, another sensor in the wearable captures that information That data can then be processed with algorithms to produce understandable pulse readings.
How the system will work:
The machine monitoring the astronauts works autonomously, actively monitoring the astronauts vital signs. When the machine detects vital signs that are below the healthy average, it dictates whether there is an emergency or not. If there is an emergency, a signal is sent to nearby astronauts, so that they may intervene and if not the data is stored for later study.
SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.