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DLR´s Short Arm Human Centrifuge

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ESA / Education / Spin Your Thesis! Human Edition

In order to explore the effects of extreme environmental conditions on humans and to determine possible countermeasures, the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine inaugurated in 2013 its highly sophisticated medical research facility in Cologne called :envihab. At :envihab, the Institute is conducting targeted research in space and flight physiology, radiation biology, space psychology, operational medicine, biomedical research and analogous terrestrial situations. The facility is divided in eight separate modules, among which a 3.8 m radius human centrifuge is included to, for instance, conduct cardiovascular, bone and muscle research, laboratories for studying the effects of oxygen reduction and pressure decrease on test subjects.

The DLR Short Arm Human Centrifuge (SAHC) is designed for a maximum radial acceleration of 6 g at outer perimeter, with a maximum onset rate of 0.2 g/s. Up to 4 test subjects can be examined simultaneously thanks to the 4 nacelles mounted 90 degrees apart. A unique feature of the SAHC is the ability to move the subject with respect to the axis of rotation. During the test, the subjects’ vital signs, human physiological and medical parameters can be continuously monitored, along with audio and visual communication, for a comprehensive evaluation of the medical status of the subject.

Furthermore physical training mainly focussed on the lower body is possible on the SAHC. Whilst spinning one subject can use a bicycle ergometer or can perform exercises like squats or hops on a ESA sledge that is mounted on rails on one SAHC arm (see figure 1).

Another key aspect is the ability to perform a range of exercise during rotation – a capability this Spin your Thesis: Human Edition gives you the chance to exploit! 

More detailed information on the :envihab facility and the DLR SAHC can be found at:

http://www.dlr.de/envihab/en/

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/m1_shortarmhumancentrifuge_updated.pdf

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Bedrest_studies/New_bedrest_adventure_adds_artificial_gravity

http://www.dlr.de/envihab/en/Portaldata/72/Resources/dokumente/envihab_broschuere_27062013_prp.pdf

Subjects can perform exercises like squats, hops or calf raises on the SAHC whilst being spun.
Subjects can perform exercises like squats, hops or calf raises on the SAHC whilst being spun.

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