Evaluating the performance of field science in an analogue EVA suit: stromatolite identification by geologists and non-geologists

Jonathan D. A. Clarke, Maureen Cooper, Simon George, Steve Hobbs, Sarah Houlahan, Guy M. Murphy, Ken Silburn, Doug Sprigg, Marg Sprigg, James Waldie

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Understanding the constraints of field work while in a space suit is critical when considering crewed exploration on the surface of the Moon, Mars and other accessible Solar System bodies. Mars Society Australia studied the effect of simulated space suits on field work during the Arkaroola Mars Robot Challenge Expedition in 2014. A simulated EVA suit from the Victorian Space Science Education Centre was used. The study attempted to assess the validity of predictions made from earlier trials in the Pilbara region with a different suit. The trial showed, as predicted, that the performance of geologists was greater than non-geologists, as determined by accuracy of observations. However we also observed, contra predictions, the analogue EVA suit did not degrade observational performance, but enhanced it. Further trials are recommended to test these observations. Perhaps most importantly, the experiment confirmed that suited geologists and appropriately briefed non-geologists would have no difficulty in correctly identifying stromatolite-like features on Mars.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th Australian Space Research Conference
    EditorsWayne Short, Graziella Caprarelli
    Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
    PublisherNational Space Society of Australia
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)9780977574094
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventAustralian Space Research Conference (15th : 2015) - Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 29 Sept 20151 Oct 2015

    Publication series

    NameAustralian Space Research Conference Series
    PublisherNational Space Society of Australia


    ConferenceAustralian Space Research Conference (15th : 2015)
    CityCanberra, Australia


    • Mars analogue research
    • EVA suits
    • geology
    • astrobiology
    • human factors research
    • stromatolites
    • Arkaroola


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