Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Crew Configuration, Ingress/Egress Procedures, and In-Flight Caregiving Capacity in a Space Ambulance Based on the Boeing X-37B
by Halberg, Ephriam Etan, M.S., University of California, Davis, 2017, 149; 10623913
Abstract (Summary)

This study proposes that a Boeing X-37B space plane, its dimensions and performance characteristics estimated from publicly available documents, diagrams, and photographs, could be internally redesigned as a medical evacuation (ambulance) vehicle for the International Space Station. As of 2017, there is currently no spacecraft designed to accommodate a contingency medical evacuation wherein a crew member aboard the ISS is injured or ailing and must be returned to Earth for immediate medical attention. The X-37B is an unmanned vehicle with a history of success in both sub-orbital testing and all four of its long-duration orbital missions to date. Research conducted at UC Davis suggests that it is possible to retain the outer mold line of the X-37B while expanding the internal payload compartment to a volume sufficient for a crew of three—pilot, crew medical officer, and injured crew member—throughout ISS un-dock and atmospheric entry, descent, and landing. In addition to crew life support systems, this re-purposed X-37B, hereafter referred to as the X-37SA (Space Ambulance), includes medical equipment for stabilization of a patient in-transit. This study suggests an optimal, ergonomic crew configuration and berthing port location, procedures for microgravity ingress and 1G egress, a minimum medical equipment list and location within the crew cabin for the medical care and monitoring equipment. Conceptual crew configuration, ingress/egress procedures, and patient/equipment access are validated via physical simulation in a full-scale mockup of the proposed X-37SA crew cabin.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Robinson, Stephen K.
Commitee: Fathallah, Fadi, Joshi, Sanjay, Ravani, Bahram
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Aerospace engineering, Mechanical engineering, Medicine
Keywords: Ambulance, Low-G, Reentry, Space medicine, Spacecraft, X37
Publication Number: 10623913
ISBN: 978-0-355-46202-9
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