Project OTTER Courses

OTTER: Orbital Technologies and Tools for Extravehicular Research

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Project OTTER (‘Orbital Technologies and Tools for Extravehicular Research’) is the orbital citizen-science affiliate of the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences. OTTER provides a practical education for the professional interested in Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Space Suit Operations and cubesat design, test, and validation. Learn about Martian and Lunar geology, space medicine, saturation diving, life support systems, and spaceflight physiology while testing Final Frontier Design EVA space suits in analog terrestrial, microgravity, and underwater environments! Learn about spacecraft systems, orbital mechanics and operations, and cubesat design and testing.

All PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates and Advanced PoSSUM Academy graduates are eligible to enroll in Project OTTER Extravehicular Activity and Spacecraft Technologies research and education programs. Extravehicular Operations courses lead to qualification to conduct underwater testing of EVA space suits and include EVA 101: Life Support Systems, EVA 102: Remote and Space Medicine, EVA 103: Extraterrestrial Geology and EVA Tool Development, and EVA 104: introduction to EVA Suit Operations. Spacecraft Technologies courses include SAT 101: Spacecraft Systems Engineering, SAT 102: Astrodynamics and Orbital Operations, SAT 103: Cubesat Design, and SAT 104: Cubesat Test and Validation.

PROJECT OTTER EXTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITY COURSES

EVA 101: Life Support Systems

EVA 101 covers the requirements and design considerations for life support systems in space. Included are an introduction to basic human physiology, a description of the space environment, a survey of historical life support systems, and a presentation of spacecraft limitations and requirements.

EVA 102: Space and Remote Medicine

EVA 102 course participants will learn about space medicine, wilderness medicine, human performance, leadership and psychological resilience. The course will dedicate a special focus to extreme environment and wilderness medicine, and how the spaceflight environments may inform triage and first aid scenarios. The on-site portion of this class will focus on wilderness medicine in extreme environments, culminating with triage instruction with scenarios and skills pertaining to wilderness medicine and employing remote techniques such as those that would be used on Mars.

EVA 103: Lunar and Martian Atmospheric and Geological Science 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.

EVA 104: Fundamentals of EVA Suit Operations

EVA 104  provides an introduction to EVA Space Suit Operations in partnership with Final Frontier Design. Students use tools and procedures developed in the EVA 102 or EVA 103 courses to test and validate using an EVA suit prototype in a laboratory environment. Prerequisites: EVA 101 and (EVA 102 or EVA 103)

In Development:
EVA 105 (Underwater Analog Mission Planning and Operations)
EVA 106 (Underwater EVA Suit Operations)

PROJECT OTTER SPACECRAFT TECHNOLOGY COURSES

SAT 101: Spacecraft Systems Engineering

Course to be announced soon

SAT 102: Astrodynamics and Orbital Opertions

Course to be announced soon

SAT 103: Cubesat Design

Course to be announced soon

SAT 104: Cubesat Test and Validation

Course to be announced soon

EVA Operations Course Curriculum and Schedule

EVA 101: Life Support Systems (Seedhouse)

Teaching Objectives:

EVA 101 will familiarize the student with the essential features of life support systems required for various types of space missions. This course covers the requirements and design considerations for life support systems in space. Included are an introduction to basic human physiology, a description of the space environment, a survey of historical life support systems, and a presentation of spacecraft limitations and requirements. The course concludes with an introduction to EVA space suit operations with the Final Frontier EVA space suit.

Course Performance Objectives:

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

1. Describe those attributes of human physiology requiring protection during in space flight with specific reference to the cardiovascular, fluid and skeletal systems.

2. Describe the impact of the psychological effects of long duration space flight.

3. Describe the evolution of life support systems from Mercury to the International Space Station.

4. Identify each of the 6 sub-systems of the ISS life support system and describe what each does with reference to specific sub systems within each sub system.

5. Discuss the role of air and water reuse in long duration space operations with particular reference to the concept of a closed life support system.

6. Describe the space environment, and describe protection techniques for humans against solar flares, galactic cosmic rays and microgravity.

7. Review and list the limitations placed on logistical support and life support requirements on the major NASA space projects (Moon, DSG and Mars missions).

8. Briefly discuss future life support requirements for missions beyond Earth orbit, including extended stays on the lunar surface and manned missions to Mars. Explain the rationale for human phenotyping, genetic manipulation and human hibernation in the context of long duration missions.

Textbook: Spaceflight Life Support and Biospherics. Space Technology Library

Curriculum:

Week 1. Life support introduction

Week 2. The space environment

Week 3. Life support system basics

Week 4. Physico-chemical life support systems Part I

Week 5. Physico-chemical life support systems Part II

Week 6. Bioregenerative life support systems

Week 7. ISS and spacecraft life support systems

Week 8. Future life support system

Costs and Prerequisites:

Next Class: August 6 – Sept 28, 2018 (virtual instruction)

Location: Virtual

Prerequisites: Open University

Instructors: E. Seedhouse

Cost: $625 (virtual instruction)

EVA 102: Space and Remote Medicine (Pandya/von Kraus/Saget)

Course Description: EVA 102 participants will learn about space medicine, wilderness medicine, human performance, leadership and psychological resilience. The course will dedicate a special focus to extreme environment & wilderness medicine, and how the spaceflight environments may inform triage and first aid scenarios. The on-site portion of this class will focus on wilderness medicine in extreme environments, culminating with a 4.5 on-site lab portion devoted to triage, scenarios and skills pertaining to wilderness medicine. Basic and Advanced First Aid certifications and graduation from the PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy and EVA 101 are prerequisites to EVA 102.

It is anticipated that at the end of this course, participants will have gained 1) basic knowledge and understanding of space medicine and physiology, specifically the space environment as it pertains to human health pre-, post- and in-flight, 2) an appreciation of extreme environments and how they inform space exploration, and 3) a basic understanding of, and be able to demonstrate basic competency in skills related to wilderness medicine and outdoor survival.

 

Textbooks (provided):

  • Pandya and von Kraus, Space and Remote Medicine
  • Clement G. Fundamentals of Space Medicine, Third Edition, Springer

Scientific papers :

  • Nicogossian A. Medicine and space exploration. Lancet Extrem medicine, 2003 Dec
  • Stewart LH, Trunkey D, Rebagliati ? Emergency medicine in space. J Emerg Med. 2007 Jan;32(1):45-54
  • Komorowski M et al. Fundamentals of Anesthesiology for Spaceflight. J Cardioth Vasc Anest. 2016 Jan
  • Jennings RT et al. Medical Qualification of a Commercial Spaceflight Participant : Not Your Average Astronaut. Aviat Space Environ Med 2006 ; 77 :475-484
  • Bogomolov VV et al. International Space Station Medical Standards and Certification for Space Flight Participants. Aviat Space Environ Med 2007 ;78 :1162-9
  • Jennings RT et al ; The ISS Flight of Richard Garriott : a Template for Medicine and Science Investigation on Future Spaceflight Participant Missions.

 

NB: The practical component of this class will include a significant outdoor component. Participants will need to be medically cleared by their physician to take part and should expect to partake in strenuous physical activity. A suggested gear list will be sent out well in advance of the course.

 

Course Breakdown & Schedule: Online Seminars (12 hours) = 6 x 2 hours – Each 2 hour webinar will consist of a didactic component, self-study & pre-reading as preparation, discussion and a post-webinar evaluation.

Course Composition: Coursework, self-study, didactic lectures, office hours. Web portal with presentations, videos will host course material that students can access.

Webinar 1: Introduction to the Spaceflight Environment & Human Health Issues in Spaceflight

Webinar 2: Principles of Survival & Wilderness Medicine

Webinar 3: Overview of Classroom Component

Webinar 4: Introduction to the Space Medicine Challenges and Concepts.

Webinar 5: Introduction to Space Medicine specifications and developments: Commercial Spaceflight-Class, Exploration-Class,  Settlement-Class.

Webinar 6: Introduction to Operational Space Medecine and Spaceflight Healthcare System.

Classroom component and survival course: Didactic Classroom & Practical Component (40 hours = 4.5 days)

Day 1: Arrival and check-in + ½ day classroom component

Day 2-4: Classroom component, skill building, triage, scenarios.

Day 5: Individual skills assessments, group and individual debrief, course evaluations, pack-up, leave

.

Webinar 1: Introduction to the Spaceflight Environment & Human Health Issues in Spaceflight (Pandya/von Kraus)

Topics include: radiation, microgravity, temperature, closed living quarters, altered day/night cycles, vibration, nutrition in space, physiological adaptations/maladaptations to space: cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, visual, immune, bone, deconditioning/post-landing physiology (impaired balance, orthostatic hypotension, muscle atrophy, etc.), counter-measures pre/post/in-flight. Continuation of post-flight physiology and impacts on post-flight medical scenarios. Overview of common post-flight medical scenarios. Webinar, discussion + post-seminar evaluation

Webinar 2: Principles of Survival & Wilderness Medicine I (Pandya/von Kraus)

Survival principles, Overview of Wilderness Medicine and introduction to Wilderness Triage & approach to a creating a medical kit, Teamwork, leadership, survival mentality & psychological resilience/resilience-building, decision-making, dealing with stress, discipline, situational awareness and professionalism. Webinar, discussion + post-seminar evaluation

Webinar 3: Overview of Classroom Component (von Kraus/Pandya)

Overview of practical component, Suggested gear list, gadgets and tech in the wild, further opportunities in space and wilderness medicine, including extreme and analog environments & space exploration. Webinar, discussion + post-seminar evaluation

Webinar 4: Introduction to the Space Medicine Challenges and Concepts (Saget)

Medicine concepts and challenges emerging from radiation, microgravity, confined isolation, social psychology, circadian rythm, vibrations, contaminants, nutritional aspects, adaptations, neuro-ocular syndrom, : cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, immune, bone, deconditioning upon landing, Life Support Systems. Management : prevention, mitigation, counter-measures, telemedicine. Discussion regarding expected medical scenarios, case studies.

Webinar 5: Introduction to Space Medicine specifications and developments: Commercial Spaceflight-Class, Exploration-Class,  Settlement-Class. (Saget)

Rationales and discussions regarding previous and upcoming Spaceflight Range-Classes : Suborbital, LEO, Moon (CLO, Settlement), Deep Space (Flybys, Asteroïds, Phobos, Mars, Solar System exploration): Earthbound medical spin-offs and related applications, remote medicine. Basic, Advanced, Expert medical training. Development of commercial spaceflight and new clinical and surgical skills needs. Increased duration of missions and distance from Earth and new medical events to manage, new organization between ground control and crew resources.

Webinar 6: Introduction to Operational Space Medecine and Spaceflight Healthcare System (Saget)

Principles and state of the art. ISS medical support current organization and Astronauts medical pathway. Medical. Behavior and Human Performance aspects. Critical requirements for deep space exploration. Perspectives and prospective : focus on P3 medicine, NBIC biomedical innovations, crew wellness, nutrigenomics, VRAR, 3D printing, genetic tools (i.e. Crispr-Cas systems), telehealth (monitoring, telemedicine, telesurgery) technologies, robotics, autonomous and drones interaction. Applied emergency medicine and MEVA (medical extra-vehicular activity).

Classroom component and survival course

Didactic Classroom Component (20 hours = 2.5 classroom days or 2 x 10hr days)

Review of spaceflight-related changes and wilderness considerations in post-flight physiology state, Exposures & First Aid, Temperature Exposures: Frostbite, Hypothermia & Heat Stroke, Animal & Insect Exposure: Bites, stings, injuries, Triaging, Wound Management, Burn Management, Orthopedic Injuries, Botanical Encounters, Altitude Sickness, Submersion Injuries, Drowning, Sun exposure, Pre-existing conditions (less time on this, as astronaut candidates are presumably healthy), Approach to Triage in the Wilderness

Practical Drills: Team-building, approach to triage in the wilderness, focussed triage on specific problems, small group sessions (knots, splinting, shelter-building, wraps, taping, dealing with blisters, epipen, c-spine evaluation, lifts) – some can also be interspersed into the trek itself, litters, try a scenario in a deconditioned state

Outdoor Skills: Shelters, Fires, Water purification, Food

 

Practical Component (32 hours) – day survival trip + debrief

DAY 1: Arrival and check-in + ½ day classroom component

Day 2-5: Classroom component

principles of team-building and wilderness medicine trip +/- building shelter based on group experience, round robin events along triage, drills & survival scenarios.

Day 6: Individual & team skills assessments, group and individual debrief, individual evaluations, course evaluations, pack-up

 

Grading:

PASS/FAIL – need to complete all components to pass course and receive certification

Pre-course seminars participation (PASS/FAIL)

Classroom component participation (PASS/FAIL)

Survival trek participation (PASS/FAIL)

Teamwork/Leadership – Evidence of progress – (Based on individual evaluations with course instructors)

Skills assessment – (Based on individual evaluations with course instructors)

Participation in debrief – group and individual debriefs

Completion of webinar and on-site course components’ evaluations

.

Location: Vicinity of the San Francisco Volcanic Fields near Flagstaff, AZ

Breakdown: 12 hours virtual, 4.5 days on-site for classroom/practical)

Prerequisites: Basic and Advanced First Aid, PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Qualification Program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy

Course Capacity: 12 students maximum

Cost: $2400. Includes webinars, tuition, 4-nights lodging with private room in shared mountain lodge, transportation to/from Phoenix, AZ., texts, and all field equipment.

 

EVA 103: Lunar and Martian Atmospheric and Geological Science and EVA Tool Development (Hurtado, Horodyskyj)

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

February 4 – March 29, 2019: 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

 

April 1 – May 10, 2019: Fabrication of test tools by Integrated Spaceflight

May 11-14, 2019: 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.

 

Cost and Prerequisites:

Next Class: February 4 – April 5, 2019 (Online instruction), May 11-14 (Field Instruction)

Location: Online Course and Capstone Field Experience in San Francisco Volcanic Field, AZ

Prerequisites: PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy, EVA 101: Life Support Systems Recommended

Instructors: Dr. Jose Hurtado, Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj

Cost: $2800. Includes Tuition (3-credits), Lodging near Flagstaff, AZ. Local transportation and lunch at the field site (4 days). Expenses to develop test articles for analog research tools. Texts and materials. Transportation to/from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

EVA 104: Fundamentals of EVA Suit Operations (Southern, Persad)

Teaching Objectives: Details to be released soon.

EVA Suit Operations and Initial Training – NOTE: currently the suit prototype may accommodate male and female students 5’6″ to 6’5″. Students outside of these limits please inquire before registering.

 

Costs and Prerequisites:

Next Class: April 2019

Location: Boston, MA.

Prerequisites: PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy, EVA 102 or EVA 103.

Instructor: T. Southern, A. Persad

Cost: $2500