Space exploration provides challenges in developing system capabilities to leave Earth’s orbit. While there are many missions that have been performed without a crew, having humans present provides many benefits. Humans have flexibility in decision making, versatility with tool usage, more robust perception, and increased efficiency in mission tasks. However, there are challenges to supporting humans in a space environment, including developing space suits, tools, and appropriate mission plans. In this talk, we consider how spacesuit fit affects human performance, how wearable sensors can inform designing space suits, tools, and extravehicular activity task planning, and how new technologies can be used to support astronaut mission operations.
Leia Stirling is an Associate Professor in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, a Core Faculty in the Center for Ergonomics, a Core Faculty in the Robotics Institute, and the University of Michigan Center for Occupational Health and Safety Engineering (COHSE) Director of Occupational Safety Engineering and Ergonomics. She received her B.S. (2003) and M.S. (2005) in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her Ph.D. (2008) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (2008-2009), on the Advanced Technology Team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering (2009-2012), then an Assistant Professor at MIT (2013 – 2019). She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2019. Her research quantifies human performance and human-machine fluency to assess performance augmentation, advance exoskeleton control algorithms, mitigate injury risk, and provide relevant feedback to subject matter experts across domains.