ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter wearing ESA’s Eye Tracking Device during his six-month Astrolab mission to the International Space Station in 2006.
How do astronauts in space cope when the inner ear can no longer rely on gravity? How well do astronauts focus on a computer screen when floating by, and how do they judge speed?
To investigate these questions, a team led by Professor Andrew Clarke based in Berlin, Germany, designed a series of experiments to measure astronauts’ eye movements as they worked on the International Space Station.
Researchers needed a robust method to track the eyes without interfering with the astronaut’s normal work. The answer came in the form of a helmet feeding high-performance image-processing chips similar to those found in consumer cameras.