A Florida Polytechnic University student is working to reduce depression and anxiety amongst astronauts in space.

  • Student designing sensors for astronaut spacesuits
  • Goal is to make missions in space more enjoyable
  • Project funded through NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium

James Holland and his professor, Dr. Arman Sargolzaei, are working to create wireless sensors for astronaut spacesuits, hoping to make missions in space more enjoyable.

They dubbed their product, Smart Sensory Skin, and said it’s much needed technology.

The sensor James Holland and his professor, Dr. Arman Sargolzaei, are developing for astronauts in space. (Photo: Stephanie Claytor)

“Being in microgravity for extended periods of time has various effects on the human. The emptiness of space can cause mental wear and tear and just the stress of being in that environment,” explained James Holland.

To help alleviate the mental wear and tear, the wireless sensors will detect emotional and physical deficiencies in the astronauts.

“It monitors various vitals such as heart rate, temperature, pulse, oxygen consumption and saturation,” Holland said.

The sensors would then communicate with other smart technology to change the environment accordingly.

“It could adjust lighting, sound, temperature, to make you more comfortable and less stressed,” Holland said.

Sargolzaei said other technology exists but it’s passive, relaying the information to doctors on Earth who then make decisions on how to change the environment. These sensors would be more instantaneous.

Holland, in his second year of studying computer science at the university, said this is the most attention he’s ever received from a school project.

“I’ve always loved space. I’ve always loved NASA so it’s nice to be involved and do something like that. It’s the dream of every little kid,” Holland said.

The duo said the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium gave them a grant to help fund the project.

They hope to have a prototype completed by the end of the summer.