Automated Food Tracking & Surveying Interface (AFTSI) for the HI-SEAS Analog Habitat
The Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) is an analog habitat for study of human space missions on Mars. As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently developing future manned missions to Mars in the 2030s, work has begun now to identify key factors to ensure space flight crew is happy and healthy during a prolonged space flight mission. The research conducted on these missions includes studies of food, crew behavior, roles and performance that directly impact space flight and primary mission success. This paper describes the conception, design, prototyping, initial testing and potential experimental designs of the Automated Food Tracking & Surveying Interfaces (AFTSI). Details are given on efforts to streamline the process which food intake can be measured and monitored, in addition to allowing easy tracking of how much a food is liked or disliked. The synergy of this information can help mission planners develop diets that not only ensure that crew is properly nourished, but also kept in good spirits throughout the duration of the mission. Food tracking is an integral part of mission studies that NASA is conducting in preparation for a Mars mission. Food choices and nutrition have effects on crew morale and productivity. AFTSI is designed to be a non-invasive all in one solution that keeps track of caloric intake while providing insight the best food choices for the crew over a prolonged mission on an Earth-based space analog habitat or on another planetary surface.