AMADEE-24 Mars simulation

simulating human-robotic surface activities in Armenia

AMADEE-24 is a Mars analog simulation in Armenia, managed by the Austrian Space Forum hosted by the Armenia Aerospace Agency . The expedition will be carried out in a Martian terrestrial analog and directed by a dedicated Mission Support Center in Austria. A small field crew of highly trained analog astronauts with spacesuit simulators will conduct experiments preparing for future human and robotic Mars exploration missions.

Simulating Mars human-robotic surface activities in terrestrial analogs has evolved into an efficient tool for developing exploration mission architectures. They facilitate to understand the advantages and limitations of future Human planetary missions, becoming an added value for the development of remote science operations, helping to understand the constraints and opportunities of the technology and workflows.

The test site in the province of Ararat was selected for their geological and topographic similarity to Mars. The AMADEE-24 mission presents an excellent opportunity to:

  • Study equipment behaviour involving the simultaneous usage of instruments with the option of humans-in-the-loop (via two high-fidelity spacesuit simulators, portable system, etc.)
  • The development of platforms for testing life-detection or geoscience techniques, robotic support tools for human missions and concepts for high situational awareness of remote support teams.
  • Studying the analog as a model region for its Martian counterparts.
  • Serving as a catalyst to increase the visibility of planetary sciences and human exploration.
  • Evolving the know-how of managing human missions to Mars deploying a realistic model for a Mission Support Center – Astronaut actions and the encompassing decision making framework.

AMADEE-24 Analog Astronauts

Meet all our analog astronauts

Join our team!
We are looking for team members for our Mission Support Center in Austria. Check out our infographic on how to volunteer for Mars simulations.
More information & application form

ExploringTomorrow. ExploringMars
#AMADEE24 #simulateMars


Oct 2022Original Announcement of Opportunity released
Feb2023AMADEE-24 Science Definition Workshop
May2023Experiment interactions defined & preliminary mission definition
31Aug-03Sep2023A-24 Dress Rehearsal I (in Peuerbach near Linz, Austria)
17-19Nov2023A-24 Crew Experiment Training
26-28Jan2024A-24 Dress Rehearsal II, experiment readiness review followed by a hardware freeze
Feb2024Shipment to Test site
March2024AMADEE-24 Field Mission
April2024Return of hardware to Austria, shipping back to home institutions
Sep2024AMADEE-24 Science Workshop

Scientific experiments

IAQHabitatEngineering / HabitatFrauenhofer WKI, GermanyHabitat indoor air quality measurement.
Emotions in Extreme EnvironmentsHuman Factors / PsychologyOeWF/Human Factors Bielefeld University, GermanyAA intrinsic/extrinsic emotion regulation strategies, using CERQ questionnaire + audio recordings, emotion listing and logbook in the evening.
FaR SiDeHuman Factors / MedicineOeWF/Aouda spacesuit prototype
Institute of Mechatronics, University of Innsbruck
Biomech model verification of estimations of skeletal muscular and cardiovascular fatigue, using motion capture, force sensors, EMG/ECG, NIR, spirometry.
GeoPrepGeoscienceInstitute of Geology, Mineralogy and Petrology
University of Innsbruck
Geo-sampling selection and curation within habitat; performing a petrological analysis with simple tools (incl. cutting / polishing samples), microscopy optical/Raman/IR; post mission lab analysis.
iROCSRoboticsForschungs & Entwicklungs GmbH
FH Upper Austria
Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg
University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt
Robotic scene-understanding/obstacle evaluation, sample collection and identification, semantic mapping and terrain modeling in desert environments with mobile, spherical robots or with handheld devices.
MEROPHuman FactorsInstituto Superior Técnico
University of Lisbon
Human-robotic multimodal teleoperation interface for AA teleoperations and MSC t/m visualization; this shall allow AA’s to switch between semi-autonomous teleoperation and direct control.
Staying AliveEngineering /HabitatZARM – Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity
University of Bremen
A photobioreactor as the air revitalization component of the Hab life support system, equipped with a situationally aware and interactive sensor network. The study also assesses the psychological impact, reactor control from Earth and crew interfacing.
ALIXEngineeringRadboud University The Netherlands
Eindhoven University of Technology
The Netherlands
Radio interferometry-based location tracking using room-scale antenna setups to investigate cm-scale tracking, as well as ground receiver stations for km-resolution.
SAMPLERoboticsInstitute of Software Technology Institute of Geodesy University of Technology, Graz
Rover traversability, teleoperations for sample acquisition and transport to Hab using semi-autonomous traverse finding rover.
RAMSESRoboticsUniversity of Klagenfurt, Austria

Institute for Production Science University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Joanneum Research, Graz, Austria
Fully autonomous multi-sensor-based helicopter system capable of taking off from a charging dock atop a Mars rover, then conducting aerial reconnaissance for operator-requested POI inspection or autonomous terrain mapping before landing back on the rover to recharge.
Hort3SpaceLife ScienceENEA Biotechnology Laboratory, Casaccia Research Center, Italy

BIOAG (Biotechnology and Agroindustry Division), La Sapienza, University of Rome

DIMA (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), Italy
An automated multilevel cultivation prototype, equipped with cultivation specific full spectrum LED lights placed inside a sterile grow room in an inflatable self-erecting tent to evaluate cultivation performances, supporting the diet of the crew.
HUMANISEHuman Factors / RoboticsDelft University of Technology, Lunar Zebro team, The Netherlands

Institute for Environmental Physiology, Masaryk University, Kamenice, Czech Republic

ISAE SUPAERO, University of Toulouse, France
Teleoperations comparison using brain computer interaction, augmented reality,and gamepad for comparison to reduce overall mission workload on astronauts.
PRESSUREHuman FactorsNeuropsychology and Experimental Psychology Lab
University of Cádiz
Crew stress simulation – emergency situation (technical/medical type) where teams will have to organize and execute a rescue operation during an EVA. The emergency scenario will consist of a combined technical and not serious medical condition.The technical problem will be simulated by time constrained problem-solving tasks.

Mission architecture

Figure 1: Conceptual architecture of the AMADEE-24 expedition: A 10min time delay reflects the signal travel time between Earth and Mars. The Mission Support Center in Vienna/Austria is the single-line-of-contact between “Earth” and “Mars”.

Exploration Cascade

AMADEE-20 habitat in Israel. Similiar set-up could be use for AMADEE-24 Mars simulation.
(c) OeWF (Florian Voggender)
(c) OeWF (Florian Voggender)

The AMADEE-24 expedition will focus on the interplay of the respective instruments and experiments relevant for human-robotic Mars missions. Based upon the research question of how to identify biomarkers, which in turn is traditionally based upon the characterization of the (paleo-)geoscientific environment, the experiments will be selected to reflect a realistic sequence of activities.

This strategy is based upon the “exploration cascade”, an algorithm defining an efficient deployment sequence, providing the framework for the question: “which instrument needs to be active where and when, leading to what kind of data sets, leading to what kind of knowledge, leading to which type of input for the tactical flight planning”

Planning discussion at the MSC during AMADEE-20. The AMADEE-24 Mars simulation will be directed by a MSC.
Planning discussion at the MSC during AMADEE-20

As suggested by Neveu et al. (2018) life-detection measurements must be sensitive, contamination-free regarding the absence of interfering signals, and reproducible; one or more features must be detectable, preserved, reliable, and compatible with life on Earth. Experiments will be scheduled according to a flight plan defining the resources, location and timing as well as considering the processing pipeline between data acquisition in the field, data transfer and integrity checks and the subsequent near-real time interpretation to formulate a hypothesis. This than translates into a scientific input into the tactical flight planning for the field crew.

Further information / links:

AMADEE-24 Partners

supported by
Fortis (official timekeeper for AMADEE-24), Thomas Krenn, and Land Tirol

Copyright information:
Header image: OeWF (Florian Voggeneder)

This article is available in: German

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