«Mars-500» project Simulation of a manned flight to Mars
The experiment “BIORASCAN” Remote measurements of breathing parameters
In time of sleeping many life functions of an organism suffer considerable changes. It can be clearly seen in case of breathing pattern. Healthy people during slow or rapid sleep can suffer from reduction of breathing movement amplitude (hypopnea) or even complete stop of breathing (apnea). Chronic stress condition can be the origin of these or other negative changes in the breathing pattern of cosmonauts during sleep.
To provide an effective prophylaxis of sleeping disorders during the prospective flight to Mars it is necessarily to diagnose in time development of the examinees disorder and take measures. By means of bioradiolocation it is possible to control changes in movement activity, breathing and heart pulse parameters of cosmonauts during sleep without any physical contact with the examinee (it does not disturb examinee). Ongoing experiments are directed to the creation of such diagnostic methods. It is important to investigate the possibility of a remote respiration monitoring for cosmonauts during sleep, which is essential for both cosmic physiology and medicine and for terrestrial medicine. The results of such research may be the basis for creation of remote sleep disorders (apnea and hypopnea) diagnostics methods.
Wang Ye performs remote measurement of parameters of respiration (experiment “BIORASCAN”). photo: IBMP
Before the experiment begins, the crew of “MARS-500” prepares the bioradiolocation equipment called “BIORASCAN”, which includes antennas block, control block, laptop, connecting cables. “BIORASCAN” operation principle is based on the modulation of a reflected radar signal caused by the movements of the human body surface. In case of relative immobility of the examinee (sleep condition) this modulation is caused by breathing and heartbeat of the examinee. After starting “BIORASCAN” examinee is going to bed. The devise is recording breathing pattern and movement activity data during the whole time period while examinee is sleeping.
“BIORASCAN” uniqueness is based on the relative novelty of radiolocation application in medicine, usage of cutting-edge electronic components and sophisticated algorithms for data processing. This complex was created at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, which is a partner of SSC RF IMBP RAS in “Mars-500” project.
Whole sleep duration, breathing frequency changes dynamics and movement activity during sleep were estimated using already gained data. The results of the experimental data processing showed individual features of falling asleep and sleeping for the crew: prolonged falling asleep period and more disturbed sleep for some as well as fast falling asleep and calmer breathing for others. All crewmen have an absolutely normal breathing pattern during sleep. This experiment, as “Mars-500” in whole, is successfully proceeding.