NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X11.01-8824
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Behavioral Assessment Tools
PROPOSAL TITLE: Individualized Fatigue Meter for Space Exploration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pulsar Informatics Inc.
3624 Market Street (Suite 5E)
Philadelphia, PA 19104 - 2614
(215) 520-2630

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Daniel J. Mollicone, Ph.D.
3624 Market Street (Suite 5E)
Philadelphia, VA 19104 - 2614
(215) 520-2530

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
To ensure mission success, astronauts must maintain a high level of performance even when work-rest schedules result in chronic sleep restriction and circadian misalignment, both of which contribute to fatigue and performance deficits unless effective countermeasures are used. We are proposing to build an Individualized Fatigue Meter that incorporates light inputs, sleep history; physical activity; other physiological inputs; and brief performance tests (e.g. winSCAT, PVT SelfTest) to provide immediate individualized feedback about alertness. For the past 8 years, we have been actively developing many of the system components (funded by NASA, DOD, and NIH) that can be leveraged in this project. The result of this project through Phase II will be a system prototype that can be deployed in space analog environments for validation testing and ultimately deployed on ISS and missions to Moon and Mars. The critical need for an Individualized Fatigue Meter has been identified as a priority outlined in the Behavioral Health and Performance Integrated Research Plan GAP 1.1.1. During Phase I, we will perform a literature review of fatigue monitoring technologies, develop an engineering requirements document, and identify key features of mathematical models needed to design a state-of-art Individualized Fatigue Meter (Phase I TRL of 3-4).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Individualized Fatigue Meter will meet the specific requirements of space exploration to provide astronauts with feedback about alertness and fatigue levels as well as select fatigue countermeasures. It will be designed to be unobtrusive, transparent to crews, and require minimal crew time or effort to operate. The resulting product will be primarily relevant to NASA's Behavioral Health and Performance (BHP) research Gap 1.1.1 (What are the best measures and tools to use for assessing decrements in cognitive function due to fatigue and other aspects of spaceflight?). When validated, the Individualized Fatigue Meter will be deployed in the constellation program, lunar and Mars missions. The individualized Fatigue Meter will also be adapted for use by Mission Control personnel (e.g., working long duty schedules or on Mars sol), and for use during training and activities overseas (i.e., launch/recovery in Russia).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Given the large inter-individual differences in performance vulnerability to fatigue that have been scientifically documented, an Individualized Fatigue Meter has potential commercial applications in industries where human performance is required 24/7, with precise operational constraints and important safety implications. Examples of this relevance include but are not limited to military operations, first responders, transportation workers, power plant operators, hospital personnel, manufacturing work forces, etc. Military operations, for example, involve sleep deprivation and circadian misalignment, particularly during sustained operations and/or when multiple time zones are crossed during deployment. The Army has an estimated 238,000 soldiers deployed overseas in 120 countries (source: US Army, 2006) coordinating to provide continuous global 24-7 operations. An individualized fatigue meter has the potential to provide biologically optimized work schedules and recommendations for fatigue countermeasures such as power naps, caffeine, light exposure, countermeasures that will increase safety and the likelihood of successful operations.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Biomedical and Life Support
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Data Input/Output Devices
Database Development and Interfacing
Expert Systems
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56