Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System (MARES)
MARES is a general-purpose instrument intended for (neuro-) muscular and exercise research on the International Space Station.
This instrument is capable of assessing the strength of isolated muscle groups around joints by controlling and measuring relationships between position/velocity and torque/force as a function of time.
MARES is aisle mounted. It has interfaces to the US Destiny laboratory or to the European Columbus laboratory.
Sensors, direct drive motor, battery and electronics are housed in the 'Main Box'. Chair and human adapters provide the subject restraints. The Microgravity Isolation Frame, to which the Main Box attaches, minimises disturbances to other payloads.
MARES uses the Human Research Facility portable computer (HRF PC) for interacting with the subject/operator.
MARES is capable of acquiring data, controlling and providing power to external devices (HRF PC, PEMS, EMG amplifiers, etc.), and transfers real time data to the rack mounted Workstation for downlink. It is capable of 1 hour of stand-alone data collection.
For more information:
ESA MARES Project Manager
Joaquim Castellsaguer i Petit
NL-2201 AZ Noordwijk
Tel: +31 71 565 3320
Fax: +31 71 565 3141
The previous paragraphs give a brief description of the technical capabilities of MARES. The following sections illustrate the kind of experiments that could potentially be conducted with the aid of MARES.
In fact, the experimental possibilities are almost endless. Only a few examples are given here to illustrate some of the research areas that could be supported:
- Investigations on Torque-Velocity Curves
- Investigations on Isometric target
- Investigations on Motor Control
- Investigations on Exercise Research
MARES consists of the following elements:
Containing a powerful motor, and its control electronics.
Set of Human Adapters
These are pads and levers that adapt to different subject sizes and cover different movements
Fixed to the Main Box by a pantograph arm
Providing the command and display interface to the subject
Dedicated experiment software
With a minimum effort, MARES can be tailored to a specific experiment: issuing automated instructions to the subject and setting the appropriate control algorithms for the motor
More about MARES
For more detailed information about MARES, download the full
MARES description (pdf) »»
Last update: 23 June 2011