Published: Sept. 18, 2023
Allie Anderson

Allie Anderson
Assistant Professor, Smead Aerospace
Friday, Sept. 22 | 10:40 a.m. | AERO 120

Abstract: As NASA’s priorities shift toward longer duration flights in deep space microgravity or on the surface of the Moon or Mars, the decrements to human health and performance will be exacerbated. This talk discusses our research to develop technologies to measure and mitigate the body’s adaptations to extreme stressors, with the primary motivation to advance human space exploration.

It will outline work in four core aerospace emphases: 1. Extravehicular activity (EVA), 2. Alternative reality (XR) technologies for spaceflight applications; 3. The spaceflight associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS); and 4. Human resilience in isolated, confined, extreme (ICE) environments.

This research is addressing future EVA issues by pursuing paradigm-shifting technologies that enable planetary surface exploration. We are investigating novel ways to design spacecraft and train people to perform complex operational tasks through XR environments like virtual reality (VR).

Our research has also made contributions to SANS by investigating the acute physiological responses to countermeasures and developing technologies to investigate the syndrome’s etiology. Finally, our work investigates cognitive and behavioral health performance in ICE settings, including when humans team with autonomous systems.

Together, these aerospace applications span subdisciplines with in the fields of engineering, science, medicine. Thus, by focusing our research on human health and performance in extreme environments, this research is working to advance the state of the art for Earth-based applications in several diverse fields.   

Bio: Allison Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. She graduated in 2007 with a B.S. in Astronautics Engineering from the University of Southern California with a minor in Astronomy. She received an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.S. in Technology Policy in 2011 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Biomedical Engineering in 2014 from MIT. She received a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute to study human space physiology at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

At the University of Colorado – Boulder she is also an Adjunct Professor in Integrative Physiology and an affiliated faculty member in the Biomedical Engineering program. Her work focuses on aerospace biomedical engineering, spacesuit design, wearable sensors, spacecraft habitat design, alternative reality technologies, and human physiology in extreme environments. Specifically, her work is directed toward enabling a sustained human presence in space. She is a member of the AIAA and ASMA.


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