This project is solving the Sensor Yourself challenge. Description
The main objective of the project is the protection of the astronaut from potential “flying” objects which can be hazardous to the astronaut’s life as well as measurement of vital parameters to determine his physical state. The sensors integrated in the gadget include: Motion, IR, ultrasonic, temperature, speed and pulse, SpO2 (oxygen in blood), airflow, body temperature, electromyography.
We have managed to build a prototype powered by a microcontroller called Arduino which senses motion of objects inside and outside of the ISS space module. Our project consists of a complexity of sensors. Since the lack of air causes ultrasonic waves to not be spread in the outer space, we have put to use electromagnetic waves through an infrared sensor. Furthermore, we can use the temperature sensor to detect any changes in temperature (since the temperature in the spacecraft should be 70°F). Through an infrared sensor we can define the size of an object. This is calculated by subtracting the infrared wave spectrum from the visible wave spectrum. If the object is over-sized, the sensors will light up all the lights. Otherwise only a part of them will light up (this resembles the parking sensors). The number of the sensors will be enough for a full cover from all the sides. Every sensor will be connected to a vibration sensor to assure an immediate reaction of the astronaut.
To measure the health parameters, sensors such as: pulse, oxygen in blood(SpO2), air flow, body temperature, ECG, electromyography (EMG) and blood pressure will come in handy. Due to 0 gravity, astronauts do not use their legs as much as on Earth. This causes the muscles to contract. This is where the EMG sensor finds usage. This information as well as the information from other sensors (mentioned above) can be used to monitor the astronauts state. Because of the absence of materials(sensors) our prototype includes only the ultrasound sensor(ultrasound is used only in the inner side of the spacecraft).
A problem which kept us from advancing with work appeared. It was the power source, without which our gadget couldn't operate outside the spacecraft. After some research we found out that the batteries enter in reactions with cosmic gases if held in space. We came up with the innovative idea of the Thermocouple (explained in the video) which produces enough voltage to power our gadget. Our idea is to leave out of the astronaut's costume one end of the thermocouple (in outerspace) where we know that the temperature is extremely low/high. The other side will remain inside attached to the astronauts body. The temperature difference will generate voltage through the movement of electrons from one wire to the other one. One of the potential implementations of our project can be on our planet Earth as well. For instance, the vibration sensor can help people with disabilities arrive to their destinations safely (blind and deaf people).
License: MIT license (MIT)
Source Code/Project URL: https://github.com/orvenbregu/ProSense
Presentation - https://prezi.com/fbkubyxvihyh/sensor-yourself-english/
The 1-minute video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Td0SLh7hw