Researchers Review the Capabilities of the Midland Altitude Chamber Complex While Performing Experiments for NASA
24 Mar 2021
“The MACC Altitude Chamber is unlike anything I have seen in the country because the altitude can go higher and you have full visualization with acrylic, instead of looking through a small port window,” said Derek Nusbaum.
“I did my PhD in visual science. You have aspects of your physiological vision you don’t get with a 2D closed circuit feed. When observing the chamber directly, you benefit from depth perception, size comparison accuracy, motion parallax – all things you don’t get through a television screen. This direct visualization is highly advantageous. You get a much better capability for assessing what’s going on in the chamber with a large field of direct visualization,” Derek Nusbaum added.
This direct field of vision is possible because the largest acrylic hypobaric chamber at the Midland Altitude Chamber Complex is the largest in the world and was designed for human experiments. Knowing that pilots, for example, would be in the chambers, they were designed to allow researchers to carefully monitor all aspects of what was happening inside. This direct field of vision is essential for safety and simplifies the process for researchers because they don’t have to worry about setting up cameras and making sure the angles are right.
Researchers found the Midland Altitude Chamber Complex easier to use as well. Derek Nusbaum said, “The chamber is operated via a digital interface instead of the hand levers older generations have. It took us very little time to learn how to use and drive the chambers. It’s quite intuitive to use.”
“You have your own mini-mission control, plus the crew here has been amazing. We had to do a valve swap late at night, it was all hands-on deck, and they were more than willing to jump in and help.”
The FAST team conducted their research in the chamber and had a pleasant time doing it. The possibility for further research is endless. According to Oscar Garcia, Chairman and CEO of InterFlight Global, “When the chambers were developed the ultimate objective was to do human research for pilots and astronauts. Those capabilities exist more strongly in Midland than anywhere else in the world. This is the world’s largest acrylic chamber in existence – one of the few in the world that can support human testing. As a result, Midland is positioned to lead in space research.”
Advanced technology, ease of use, direct visualization and a high level of service - the Midland Altitude Chamber Complex offers it all. Contact us to utilize these tools for your research or company.
Read about the research conducted for NASA here.