Long-term medical survey system (LTMS), phase B

Concordia Station Antarctica
Concordia Station in Antarctica

This activity was approved by the Aurora Board of Participants within the Work Plan 2005-2006 and should be initiated by the end of 2005.

To prepare for a human mission to Mars, it is essential to learn more on the physiology and psychology of human beings when subjected to confinement and extreme environments.

The winter-over crews that will stay about eight months at the Concordia Station (Antarctica) for performing maintenance and scientific work offer a suitable analogue situation to what could be an exploration stay on Mars. Collecting physiological and psychological data will provide extremely valuable information on not only adaptation to extreme environments but also on how to select the best psycho-physiological profiles.

To support that activity, ESA has decided to team up with the Concordia partners in order to study the behaviour and medical parameters of the Concordia crew. Under that agreement, ESA will supply and support a system used to monitor the life and well-being (fitness) parameters of the Concordia Station crews. The data will be available for the medical doctor on site, and recorded data will be transferred to Europe for further processing by scientists.

A competitive study has already been placed for a definition phase of the LTMS system (sensors, data processing and archiving). It is essential to supply all the Concordia winter-over crews with a LTMS system for them to record a set of physiological (and later on psycho-physiological) data. Ideally a prototype should be shipped to the Station end 2005 for refinement of protocols and data transmission check out. The present activity is dedicated to the detailed design study and realization of the prototypes of the operational LTMS system.

Based on the outcome of the definition phase study, the aim of the activity is to perform a phase B study with realisation of a fully functional prototype of the LTMS including sensors, data processing software, hardware and data management system (database).

The prototype is intended to be used on human beings, to test the wireless data transmission and demonstrate it can operate for two subjects at the same time. As the prototype will be used on human beings, it is foreseen to have it fully safety-tested according to the applicable medical standards.

The prototypes should be highly representative of the final version of the LTMS and should also demonstrate all the data processing capabilities, such as extraction of parameters, MMI capabilities and instant access to non-nominal data.

The LTMS prototypes will have to undergo safety assessment to clear them for use on humans. Later the prototypes will be validated by experts for all physiological parameters. After validation, it is intended to test the LTMS prototypes operationally in situ at Concordia, in order to collect additional data for further optimisation and prepare for the operational LTMS systems.

Note: The priority for development is the LTMS sensors, hardware and data processing software. Depending on the effort actually required to build those, the development of the data management system the database may be scaled down but a system for safely saving, retrieving, distributing and reprocessing the data will be developed.

Start Expected
or actual duration
Status Prime contractor
TBD 15 months TBD TBD

Last update: 17 May 2006

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