Designing Flexible Human-Centered Interfaces for Future EVA Operations

Dr. Karen Feigh
Jack Gale, Kevin Key, Tushar Gupta

Future surface EVAs on Mars will be exploratory in nature and require flexible geospatial tools to support dynamic operations. These EVAs will have limited support from ground control and will need to be executed autonomously. Due to communication delay, there is an expected shift in roles and responsibilities which fundamentally changes the way EVAs are supported by astronaut crew members. This new dynamic will require Intravehicular astronauts to take a more active role in future EVAs. These constraints also produce new design challenges for the interface between astronauts inside and outside the habitat. This study presents findings from interviews, co-design activities, and multiple rounds of usability studies using participants from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as they simulate the management of an EVA using a prototype geospatial interface. This prototype interface presents geospatial and procedure information while exploring the idea of flexible operations. Our findings cover a variety of insights, design recommendations as well as implications for future EVA management tools. Our rounds of design evaluation suggest that flexibility can be incorporated at the geospatial and procedure level to meet the demands of dynamic mission profiles. Our team leveraged research methods found in the fields of human-computer interaction and psychology to explore the intricacies of EVA execution to develop a preliminary human-centered design.


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