The ALTEA project investigates the risks of functional brain damage induced by particle radiation in space. A modular facility (the ALTEA facility) is being implemented and will be operated in the International Space Station (ISS) to record electrophysiological and behavioral descriptors of brain function and to monitor their time dynamics and correlation with particles and space environment. The focus of the program will be on abnormal visual perceptions (often reported as "light flashes" by astronauts) and the impact on retinal and brain visual structures of particle in microgravity conditions. The facility will be made available to the international scientific community for human neurophysiological, electrophysiological and psychophysics experiments, studies on particle fluxes, and dosimetry. A precursor of ALTEA (the 'Alteino' project) helps set the experimental baseline for the ALTEA experiments, while providing novel information on the radiation environment onboard the ISS and on the brain electrophysiology of the astronauts during orbital flights. Alteino was flown to the ISS on the Soyuz TM34 as part of mission Marco Polo. Controlled ground experiments using mice and accelerator beams complete the experimental strategy of ALTEA. We present here the status of progress of the ALTEA project and preliminary results of the Alteino study on brain dynamics, particle fluxes and abnormal visual perceptions.
- Functional effects of microgravity and cosmic radiation
- The ALTEA/ALTEINO projects
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering
- Space and Planetary Science