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Instrumentation and Methods to Measure Dynamic Forces During Exercise Using the Horizontal Exercise MachineIt is hypothesized that bone loss experienced by astronauts in zero gravity conditions may be curtailed by appropriate exercise. According to Wolf's law, bone regenerates when muscles produce stresses by pulling on the bone during daily activity and/or exercise on Earth. To use this theory to prevent or decrease bone loss, one needs to quantify musculoskeletal loads and relate them to bone density changes. In the context of the space program, it is desirable to determine musculoskeletal loads during exercise so that one may make similar measurements on Earth and in space. In this manner, load measurements on Earth may be used as reference to generate similar loads during exercise in space. A research project to investigate the effects of high-resistive exercise to decrease bone density loss underzero-gravity conditions is being carried out in Life Sciences Research Laboratories at NASA JSC. The project consists of a bed-rest study whereby subjects remain in horizontal position for seventeen weeks. During the study, a subset of those subjects executes a regime of resistive exercises in the horizontal exercise machine (HEM). The HEM was designed so that subjects remain horizontal while exercising to minimize gravity loading even during exercise. Bone density of each subject is measured throughout the duration of their participation. The objective of the study is to determine if the resistive exercises are effective in diminishing or eliminating bone loss. My participation in this project relates to instrumentation, measurement, and processing of signals from displacement sensors (optical encoders) and load-cells. Measurement of displacements will be used to determine the motion of the body during exercise, and load measurements will be used (along with displacement data) to determine forces and torques exerted on each section of the body during exercise. Further, I have assisted in specifying new sensors to be added to the HEM and to a new prototype resistive exercise machine called the Interim Resistive Exercise Device (IRED). New load cells and encoders should be mounted in these devices to obtain more complete kineto-dynamic information. This report includes a description of the instrumentation that was built to perform measurements in the HEM and the IRED, along with the software that was developed to collect the measurements. It also includes examples of measurements taken in the HEM. Finally, a plan is laid out that describes how these measurements may be used to determine forces exerted by muscles for each exercise.
Document ID
Document Type
Figueroa, Fernando (Tulane Univ. New Orleans, LA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Summer Faculty Fellowship Program, 1998
Volume: 1
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19990063441Analytic PrimaryNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Summer Faculty Fellowship Program, 1998
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