The focus of the research in the Aerospace Medicine & Vestibular Research Laboratory (AMVRL) primarily involves the investigation of problems that emanate from exposure of humans to the high and extreme altitude, acceleration and spatial disorientation environment.
We are studying the ability to influence and enhance spatial orientation by use of galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS). This work also encompasses the mitigation of motion and simulator sickness, hence is of broader relevance in flight simulation.
The research tools we use to investigate the vestibular system include rotary chair for the recording of nystagmus, computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) to assess influences on standing balance, multi axis rotation in a dynamic computer-driven chair system to assess integration of vision and vestibular inputs during head movement, novel computerized recording tool for the perception of movement, high definition video camera systems with infrared capability and eye tracking system.
The tools we utilize for investigation of parameters of relevance for acceleration tolerance in a centrifuge environment include non invasive central blood pressure recording via applanation tonometry, non invasive peripheral blood pressure recording via photoplethysmographic method including relevant hemodynamic parameters (CO, peripheral vascular resistance etc.). These tools also are being used to enhance the efficiency of the Anti G straining maeuver (M-1, L-1) and assess the impact of a G-suit on relevant hemodynamic parameters. The methods we use to investigate the high altitude environment encompass oximetry, capnography and mixed gas high altitude simulation systems.
We are investigating and developing strategies to enhance human health and performance in the aerospace environment.