With the Next Generation Short-Arm Human Centrifuge the DLR is equipped with a new Artificial Gravity Training Device as well as an outstanding scientific platform to investigate the effects of artificial gravity and hypergravity. The system is specially designed to perform complex training exercises, capture and analyze motion sequences and to conduct sensitive measurements (e.g. ultrasound examination) while spinning.
DLR/ Foto: Christian Gahl.
One of :envihab’s most essential and unique features is its ability to combine different research modules within one facility. Among our special features is the new Short-Arm Centrifuge. This centrifuge boasts advanced functional possibilities for hypergravity studies, enabling :envihab scientists to test for medical risks incurred in a weightless environment.
Astronauts and space tourists alike suffer from the deterioration of weight-bearing bones and muscles in a zero-gravity environment. Other problems that arise are cardiovascular weakness, dizziness, stuffy heads, puffy faces, motion sickness, inner ear disturbances, compromised immune systems and back pain.
Today’s countermeasure programmes are still inadequate, and physiological responses to artificial gravity need to be better understood. Short-arm centrifuges could be used by scientists to simulate and study the effects of artificial gravity on the human body and improve the physical condition of astronauts by using different training and testing methods.
The human centrifuge will also make it possible to determine which methods best counter these effects. Does body position affect health? Which kinds of exercises are best? Bicycling? Jumps and squats? The answers will make for healthier space travel. Hypergravity findings are also applicable to terrestrial health issues, however. These include problems arising as a result of extended periods of bed rest following surgery, or undergone by the elderly. Research on osteoporosis, muscular atrophy, and cardiovascular health will be conducted with this excellent human centrifugal research tool.