DEC 10, 2016 - Matthew Miller, a CEC Ph.D. candidate, ended the Fall 2016 semester by spending 3 weeks in November conducting simulated Mars surface operations on the Big Island of Hawaii. Miller is a member of the extravehicular activity (EVA) operations research team for the NASA Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains (BASALT) research program. In this capacity, he serves as an EVA flight controller and concept of operations developer for future human Mars exploration campaigns. This work closely aligns with his PhD research activities that aim to characterize and understand the EVA work domain with the intent to design and develop decision support systems for future crew. During the Hawaii simulation campaign, Miller tested an advanced prototype, known as Marvin, along with lead software developer Cameron Pittman, that performs timeline management support functions during EVA execution. A laboratory simulation test campaign of an enhanced version of Marvin is scheduled for Spring 2017.
This NASA BASALT mission was featured in a Washington Post "Speaking of Science" article, entitled "How NASA is rehearsing for a mission to Mars."
Video of the Hawaii deployment can be found HERE