For every spacewalk on the ISS, astronauts have a comprehensive support system of specialists on the ground and fellow crew who can provide direction in emergency situations. Those performing the EVA (extravehicular activities) are often left out of the decision making loop, instead operating in a reactionary manner to instruction.
Astronauts have sought greater access to real-time information and assessment tools during EVAs in order to participate in the decision making process in emergencies. Any technical solution
that addresses this issue would need to ensure that the crew’s safety and efficiency are not compromised. Efficiency becomes even more important in an EVA emergency, such as that of an astronaut’s helmet filling with water , as the time and accuracy of diagnosing a problem and responding appropriately can significantly impact the safety of any crew member and even result in catastrophic outcomes. In this document, we propose an augmented interface that, in an emergency, can surface relevant content and procedures from a comprehensive database of expert information paired with available on-time navigation, spacecraft monitoring, as well as biomedical monitoring of the user and crew.
To that end, we assume a pre-existing HoloLens interface that leverages biomedical sensors already integrated into the advanced space suit concepts which can share important health information. The assumed interface also can leverage spacecraft monitoring data and share potential causes of an emergency. For this assumed interface, we propose an augmented reality capability, which we call the Guardian Angel Mode. This capability aims to extend an astronaut’s awareness to the status of their fellow crew on spacewalks to potentially improve rapid response to an emergency. Implementation of an interface with Guardian Angel Mode not only has application to astronauts and our activities in space but can also find applications in remote and difficult missions on Earth.
With the collaboration of Erin McLean, Hanif Wicaksono, Emily B. Yang, Berlynn Bai.
Interaction design with Microsoft Hololens technology.