Construction and infrastructure

:envihab will be constructed and equipped for the simulation and generation of diverse environmental conditions. In the so-designed modules it will be possible to reduce the oxygen content to 10% which equals an altitude of around 5,500 meters. Depending on the study or research topic the humidity will be adjustable between 5% and 80% whereby the temperature can be raised up to 30 degrees Celsius at a maximum. The electric lighting will be infinitely variable ranging from total darkness to daylight.

The building consists of two levels - the user level which will be located on the lower floor and the technical level located on the upper floor which contains the entire supply infrastructure. The user level grouped around the modules as well as the dividable auditorium and the exhibition hall will be accessible to visitors.

Amongst other things, the following facilities, equipment and laboratories will be part of :envihab:

Short-arm human centrifuge

Short-arm human centrifuge in the Institut of Aerospace Medicine of the DLR
On the human centrifuge, a test person can be exposed to different levels of acceleration. Thus, a variety of new opportunities emerges for medical and physiological basic research.

The main goal is the development of countermeasures to protect humans from the effects of weightlessness, such as the loss of bone and muscle mass.

Physiology Lab

The physiology lab is dedicated to assess the efficacy of new training methods, and to examine the cardiovascular system as well as the bone and muscle mass. The physiology lab will allow different configurations and set-ups. It comprises multiple test and training facilities which help to ascertain health and human performance in the mobile society.

The physiology lab also integrates magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) and spectroscopy (MRS), and it comprises a wide range of established and innovative physiological examination methods. Moreover, the lab provides other facilities such as ergometers to test diverse muscle groups, the lower body negative pressure (LBNP) to simulate upright stance in the cardiovascular system (orthostasis) and respiratory masks to simulate a lack of oxygen.

By means of diverse MRT methods and localised MRS organs can not only be assessed anatomically, but also studied functionally and during motion. Moreover, perfusion or metabolisc activities can be analysed biochemically on multiple metabolite in milli-molar concentrations. By combining further built-in components for additional physiological measurements and stimuli the facility provides worldwide unique chances for applied and basic research in the field of vegetative physiology of humans. Besides, the physiology lab offers new opportunities to explore the organic basics in terms of the mental performance of humans under various forms of physical stress.

Test subject station

Twelve test subjects will be permanently exposed to equal and controlled environmental conditions on a total surface of about 35,000 square feet. The test subjects can remain for weeks and months inside the facility . During this time, study conditions shall be uniformly standardised throughout the study. The sojourn of subjects in :envihab is paramount to the study and interpretation of the respective stimulus and the effects ascribable to it. In this context, parameters as physical activity, environmental conditions and nutrition will be controlled in such a way that any relationship between the new products and interventions and the human responses can be studied in great detail.

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