Human performance data in a high workload environment during the simulated Mars expedition "AustroMars"

Gernot Groemer, Verena Gruber, Sheryl Bishop, Doris Peham, Luzian Wolf, Birgit Högl

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Scopus citations


    AustroMars was the simulation of a crewed expedition on the surface of planet Mars, taking place in April 2006 at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. Six carefully selected "analogue astronauts" (out of 184 candidates) performed 20 experiments in the fields of robotics, analogue planetary and life sciences as well as human exploration. During the 2-week mission, the MDRS served as base for their research activities and exploratory excursions. Modelled after selection and training principles of astronauts and pilots, although in a nutshell, the crew underwent a training including education in science and engineering skills as well as physical and mental training. A dense flight plan, physically challenging experiments (including extravehicular activities) and a complimentary set of human factors research experiments offered a unique opportunity to study the impact of a high workload on crew vigilance. The data presented here focus on the validated pupillographic sleepiness test, salivary assay data (such as DHEA, Cortisol, P17-OH, Fasting Insulin and MB2S), a complimentary set of reaction and cognitive function tests as well as a novel technique using eye movements as indicator for vigilance, the Fatigue Monitoring System FAMOS. The data of the 6-person simulated flight crew were complemented by pre/post-flight measurements as well as by 3 test subjects (back-up crew).

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)780-787
    Number of pages8
    JournalActa Astronautica
    Issue number5-6
    StatePublished - Mar 2010


    • AustroMars
    • Human Mars Missions
    • Mars Analogue Research
    • Mars Exploration

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aerospace Engineering


    Dive into the research topics of 'Human performance data in a high workload environment during the simulated Mars expedition "AustroMars"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this