Prioritization of resources for a martian analogue

Author: 
Ansley Barnard

CHALLENGE - HI-SEAS is a NASA-funded Martian analogue mission aimed at understanding how to select and compose a team of astronauts for long duration space missions. Six crew members lived in an isolated habitat on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii in a desolate, Mars-like environment. For 8-months they lived as astronauts would on the surface of Mars. Similar to a space mission, resources at the HI-SEAS habitat are limited and dependent on weather, crew-use, and resupply schedules.

SOLUTION - During Mission V, daily power consumption was tracked and analyzed to develop a crew baseline. Power was supplied to the HI-SEAS habitat from a photovoltaic array and stored in batteries for overnight use. To aid in prioritization of power on cloudy low-power days, the power subsystem was mathematically modeled and crew prioritization was determined using systems engineering analyses. A calculator was created for daily generation and consumption prediction, while modeFRONTIER was used to run DOE analyses. modeFRONTIER’s Multi-Criteria Decision Making tools are now being compared to manual prioritization methods to understand how well crew members’ preferences align with use.

BENEFITS - modeFRONTIER helped develop system models for sustainable living on Mars, in particular in terms of waste reduction and sustainable lifestyle.

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