elmTEK in collaboration with Prism Neuro, a University of Canberra spin-off company, is developing space medicine technology to address the NASA 2019 Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO) priority. The project is funded by the International Space Investment Expand Capability (ISIEC) grant to develop a novel system for the diagnosis of issues resulting from prolonged human exposure to microgravity and to deliver active countermeasures to mitigate these effects. 

The NASA Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. The project team, comprising researchers from University of Canberra (UC) spin-out Prism Neuro and engineers from elmTEK, will deliver technology to the Johnson Space Centre in Houston. This is in support of a 2019 NASA HRP Human Exploration Research Organisation (HERO) call for submissions to test “Countermeasures for mitigation of sensorimotor effects following unloading by simulated weightlessness”. The project ultimately aims to improve the performance and rehabilitation of astronauts who are involved with NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) flight missions.


Microgravity can cause many physiological changes for astronauts, including affecting control over their limbs – and these effects can linger for months after they return to Earth. elmTEK will work with Prism Neuro to design and manufacture a system, based on UC research for a validated methodology, to accurately measure changes in the sensorimotor function. The system will be developed from elmTEK’s purpose-built Mission Systems & Electronic Laboratory located in Mawson Lakes, and utilise a diverse range of engineering and scientific skills. It is expected that our role in this project will contribute to the on-going research into active countermeasures for prolonged exposure to microgravity environments.

The ISIEC grant will support the construction and deployment of the system and countermeasures for use at NASA and ESA facilities.  Commercial production of the operational sensorimotor assessment system will continue, with the aim of addressing other opportunities in human spaceflight research. The same technology can measure and mitigate the effects of diminished proprioception here on Earth, benefiting high-performance athletes, people recovering from injuries and concussion, and helping to prevent falls in the elderly.

For further information please contact us at [email protected].

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