scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question
Journal ArticleDOI

Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission Simulation

01 Dec 2006-Habitation (Cognizant, LLC)-Vol. 11, Iss: 1, pp 27-47
TL;DR: For twelve days in April 2002, the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, isolated from other people, while exploring the area and sharing daily chores Email provided our only means of contact; all mission-related messages were mediated by a remote mission support team.
Abstract: For twelve days in April 2002 we performed a closed simulation in the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, isolated from other people, while exploring the area and sharing daily chores Email provided our only means of contact; all mission-related messages were mediated by a remote mission support team This protocol enabled a systematic and controlled study of crew activities, scheduling, and use of space The study was primarily a methodological experiment in participant observation and work practice analysis, gathering quantitative data as part of an ethnographic study The work practice analysis focused on two questions: Where did the time go—why did the crew feel rushed and unable to complete their work? How can we measure productivity, to compare habitat designs, schedules, roles, and tools? Analysis suggests that a simple scheduling change—having lunch and dinner earlier, plus eliminating afternoon meetings—increased the available productive time by 41% Furthermore, observation of work practices suggested how to eliminate direct use of GPS devices by the crew, illustrating how an ethnographic study can help produce dramatically new operations concepts

Summary (4 min read)

Introduction

  • Total time—over an hour—and this is pretty typical of where the authors are right now with stowage.
  • The study’s focus is not so much on specific hypotheses about crew skills, team interactions, habitat layout, scheduling, etc., but about what different methods—for observing, recording, describing, and analyzing an analog mission in a surface habitat— reveal about operations and habitat design.

BACKGROUND: PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION OF WORK PRACTICES

  • Conventionally, space human factors considers especially the roles of the crew members, relative to human physical and mental capabilities, requirements for life support/space/training, etc., and alternate operations concepts (Woolford & Bond 1999, p. 135).
  • As design considerations become more complex, the work becomes more multidisciplinary.
  • Human factors specialists, including psychologists and engineers, are concerned with moving mission engineering from survivability to consider comfort and performance.
  • This background includes the application of ethnography to business settings for work system design (Greenbaum & Kyng 1991; Blomberg et al.
  • Against this background, investigating the opportunities for computer tools in Mars surface missions, the author has conducted an ethnographic study of field science and expeditions over six years.

MDRS5 SIMULATION MISSION OPTIONS

  • As indicated in describing NEEMO, to understand an analog habitat experiment the authors must begin with its purpose and assumptions.
  • This description might suggest later studies (especially at MDRS or FMARS on Devon Island) and facilitate comparison.
  • The alternatives (second column) reveal both the similarities and great differences in comparing the MDRS5 configuration to a Mars mission.
  • One year of prior training and working together Crew safety Focus on fire and medical emergencies; flight surgeon on call Focus on environmental dangers (e.g., radiation) Habitat Construction Prefab panels assembled on site, ready for crew occupation Modules assembled by crew Revised: July 27, 2004 -9- Design life of habitat 10 years 2 years or multiple missions.
  • The “infomate” view seeks to facilitate human awareness, understanding, communication, and learning (e.g., a robot that monitors astronauts for safety during an EVA).

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

  • Allowing for a day of moving in and handover from the previous crew, rest on the middle Sunday, a media open house day, and a clean-up day before departure, there were ten actual simulation days—.
  • Monday-Saturday of the first week and Monday-Thursday of the second week.
  • Mission-oriented (non-personal) communications were by email, restricted to a single point of contact, called capcom (“capsule communicator,” a NASA term stemming from the Mercury program).
  • In carrying out the ethnographic study, knowing in advance that questions about productivity, planning, and layout were of interest, the following data were collected: Log of crew location and activities every 15 minutes on two consecutive days (“snaplist”).

Effect of scheduling on productivity

  • In contrast with a conventional time-and-motion study, the use of time lapse is not focused on a particular job, but on how people are living in the habitat.
  • The actual time devoted to galley operations varied between approximately 200 minutes and 350 minutes per day, with an average of 4 hours 23 minutes .
  • July 27, 2004 -12- Creating the daily schedule chart was the most pivotal part of this analysis, also known as Revised.
  • But if the authors are to understand how group scheduling affects productivity, they need to shift from studying individual averages to considering what time is practically available for everyone.

Daily Schedule

  • Figure 5 reorganizes the daily schedule data to show what time is equally available to everyone, comparing the two five-day periods previously described, omitting the rest, cleaning, and open house days.
  • In summary, their objective here is to measure a valuable resource that schedule changes (for example) might have affected.
  • This effort probably cannot be sustained; one might further argue that 13 hour days are too long.
  • July 27, 2004 -13- Notice that the shorter meeting time allowed an earlier lunch, plus it provided more work time (tempered somewhat by starting the meeting later), also known as Revised.
  • This lowered fatigue on the subsequent day and increased the number of proposed tasks at the planning meeting.

Productivity Metrics

  • To this point the authors have considered only how much time the crew worked per day and how the schedule affected available individual time.
  • I consider here the crew’s reporting activity and to what extent daily plans were completed.

Report Writing

  • The crew wrote 97 reports over 12 days, totaling 57K words (for all MDRS reports and photographs, see www.marssociety.org/MDRS/2002Dispatches/).
  • The commander, HSO, and ESA scientist wrote extensive daily logs (including French translations, not included in the total); the biologist and geologist wrote daily activity notes and weekly reports; and the journalist wrote five crew bios and two daily life stories.
  • The shorter reports of the scientists reflect their focus on data and interpretation, as opposed to comprehensive story telling.
  • The use of word counts here is of course not meant to be a value judgment of accomplishment, but to provide basic data that missions schedulers need to consider, as well as to raise awareness among researchers about this essential activity.
  • The wide distribution of reporting effort underscores that understanding productivity of the crew requires considering choices individuals make, as well as differences in their roles.

Task Productivity

  • Experience in FMARS simulations (Clancey 2000b, 2001b) suggested further study of how the crew plans daily activities.
  • Different formats were tried; the use of a simple table with one column per person and extra columns for group activities worked best (Table 3).
  • On average two tasks were proposed per person/day; 60 were completed in the first six days, 72 in the second.

Layout and Use of Space

  • Because no visitors were allowed inside the habitat during the 10 day closed simulation, the authors can completely characterize how space was used.
  • A full day was analyzed to determine: Presence and absence of crew, number of visits to the visible area, and percentage of Time spent in the area.
  • Of the other three crew members, two (A & J) worked at the workstation bench of the upper deck (where they could connect their computers to the internet); on this day N was more often found in the laboratory of the lower deck.
  • The mess table, used for meetings, meals and video, was used evenly by everyone.

Crew Post-Occupation Survey

  • Crew members completed an individual written survey after the closed simulation ended.
  • Four out of six (4/6) said the most important problem is the toilet facility (followed by power).
  • Insufficient lab time, too much group time (ironically, this person had the most amount of available individual time per day, considering sleep, EVAs, and chores), also known as o Biologist.
  • Individual differences in what individuals didn’t say are also intriguing: o Only one person (the commander) didn't complain about lack of time (rather I wanted entire days off, to do something entirely different).
  • Only one person (the biologist) didn't complain about interruptions or network problems, perhaps because she spent so much time working alone in the laboratory, away from her computer.

DISCUSSION: SYSTEMATIC WORK SYSTEM DESIGN

  • This section summarizes the framework of analysis and modeling that orients the empirical study carried out in MDRS5 and comments on how the analysis is informing ongoing research on work systems design (Clancey, et al.
  • The framework suggests that, in order to understand how a given work system design causally influences productivity (the quality and quantity of work products), work system studies should focus on changes in resources brought about by schedules, facilities, roles, processes, etc.
  • In particular, during this MDRS5 the crew was required to learn and use GPS devices for planning and logging EVA routes.
  • Until now, back at Ames and JSC, the authors weren't sure what to build; they had the methods, but not the requirements.
  • This is particularly true because people and some technical systems are adaptive, and it is the coping mechanisms the authors need to understand and shape.

CONCLUSIONS AND NEXT STEPS

  • Timing and counting activities (systematic recording) is essential for detecting patterns and making work system design recommendations.
  • Work system design may be viewed as an extension of industrial engineering, using participant observation and emphasizing how work practices continuously develop through the interactions of groups and individuals and their physical-social environment.
  • MDRS’s setting makes it especially attractive for research on EVAs, including different configurations of suits, rovers, robotic assistants, agent-based software, local capcom monitoring, and remote mission support (Clancey et al. 2004a, b).
  • Furthermore, many individuals have defined research trajectories on the basis of projects first attempted at MDRS, and these are wide ranging, including waste water recycling, communications and computing tools, greenhouse sensors and controls, biology lab techniques, geology survey procedures, datalogging devices, and human factors instruments (Zubrin & Crossman 2002; Zubrin 2003).

Did you find this useful? Give us your feedback

Figures (12)

Content maybe subject to copyright    Report

- 1 -
Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission
Simulation
William J. Clancey
NASA-Ames Research Center
Computational Sciences Division MS269-3
Moffett Field, CA 94035
and
Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
University of West Florida, Pensacola
bclancey@arc.nasa.gov
ABSTRACT
For twelve days in April 2002 we performed a closed simulation in the Mars Desert Research Station in
Utah, isolated from other people, while exploring the area and sharing daily chores. Email provided our
only means of contact; all mission-related messages were mediated by a remote mission support team.
This protocol enabled a systematic and controlled study of crew activities, scheduling, and use of space.
The study was primarily a methodological experiment in participant observation and work practice
analysis, gathering quantitative data as part of an ethnographic study. The work practice analysis focused
on two questions: Where did the time gowhy did the crew feel rushed and unable to complete their
work? How can we measure productivity, to compare habitat designs, schedules, roles, and tools?
Analysis suggests that a simple scheduling change—having lunch and dinner earlier, plus eliminating
afternoon meetings—increased the available productive time by 41%. Furthermore, observation of work
practices suggested how to eliminate direct use of GPS devices by the crew, illustrating how an
ethnographic study can help produce dramatically new operations concepts.
INTRODUCTION
Total time—over an hour—and this is pretty typical of where we are
right now with stowage. This will definitely get better soon, but planners
need to bear with us with all the mysterious “overhead.
International Space Station ship log, November 22, 2000
The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is an analog to a Mars surface habitat, constructed for mission
simulations according to Mars Reference Mission guidelines (Hoffman & Kaplan 1997), and located in a
US southwest desert region relevant to Mars analog geology and biology research. MDRS includes an
upper deck with six private staterooms having personal storage and desks, a galley area, workstations, and
meeting/eating area, plus a lower deck with a laboratory, toilet, shower, and extra-vehicular activity
(EVA) preparation rooms. This facility is similar to the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (Clancey,
2000b, 2001b), part of a series of research stations designed and built by the Mars Society (Zubrin 2003),
to include alternative designs in Iceland and Australia.
Almost 200 people have occupied MDRS over three field seasons, usually in two-week rotations with
crews of six people. The fifth crew (MDRS5) occupied the hab in April 2002, in a simulation that was
closed—no visitors or conversations with outsiders, including telephone—for 12 days. The members of
the crew included a biologist, geologist, geophysicist, aerospace engineer, and journalist, as well as the
author, a computer/cognitive scientist, who organized the simulation and served as commander. As has

Clancey: Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission Simulation
Revised: July 27, 2004 -2-
been common practice, the crew’s identity and daily reports were public, posted on the Mars Society web
site.
The study reported here was an exploratory methodology experiment, using the methods of participant
observation (Spradley 1980; Johnson & Sackett 1998), which in this context means that a crew member
conducts the study, and work practice analysis (Luff et al. 2000), involving gathering data to understand
how people actually use their time and solve problems. The study’s focus is not so much on specific
hypotheses about crew skills, team interactions, habitat layout, scheduling, etc., but about what different
methods—for observing, recording, describing, and analyzing an analog mission in a surface habitat—
reveal about operations and habitat design. Methodological questions include:
1) Applying time lapse to the entire mission, what can be learned? Can analysis be partly
automated?
2) Applying ethnography to a closed simulation: Can a fulltime participant (the commander)
carry out ethnographic observation? What are the opportunities and limitations? How should the
study interpret different types of public and private documents?
3) Closed simulation: Is it possible to use MDRS in closed simulation mode, while satisfying
needs for safety, maintenance, resupply, and outreach?
4) Beyond time lapse, what photographic or other observational records are available for
systematic observation?
5) What space human factors questions might be studied in a closed simulation involving
authentic science EVAs at MDRS?
a) How can we relate human factors and industrial engineering more broadly to the
concerns and methods of work system design?
b) What is the relation of space mission work system design issues to office-based
workplace studies?
Within this context, the study was oriented to several questions that had emerged on previous simulations
(Clancey 1999; 2000a,b; 2001a) as being relevant to planning long-duration missions in remote settings.
These questions influenced what data was systematically gathered during the study, as well as the chosen
protocol for the simulation:
What is the effect of chores (e.g., life support maintenance) on science productivity?
How do plans develop and change during the mission?
How do individual and group activities interact during the day?
How can Earth’s mission support understand and assist Mars surface exploration? Can possible
EVA targets and routes be suggested using reports from previous crews?
How is public and private space used? How can the habitat’s layout be improved?
At the same time, four crew members were conducting their own investigations:
If there is life on Mars, how do you take a soil or rock sample that includes it?
Can a geologist understand the work performed by previous rotations to develop a geology primer
of the region?
What are the psychological effects of growing plants in the hab?
What kinds of journalistic stories best chronicle the crew’s experience?

Clancey: Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission Simulation
Revised: July 27, 2004 -3-
To appreciate the perspective of the MDRS5 ethnographic study, I review and synthesize related work,
placing work practice observation in the context of industrial engineering and space human factors
research. The present study may be viewed as a natural evolution that adapts business design methods
from everyday workplaces to space facilities and operations engineering. Just as industrial engineering
and psychology moved engineering from survivability to design for comfort and task performance, the
methods and insights of business anthropology may be viewed as another step in advancing how
engineering design considers the needs and interests of the crew. In using work practice observational and
analytic techniques (Clancey, in preparation), we begin to consider how facilities, roles, tools, systems,
etc. interact in practice. For example, how tools are used in practice sometimes contradicts locally
optimized designs, automation may generate new burdens for maintenance and control (Zuboff 1988).
To begin, a general background is presented, relating participant observation of work practices to other
kinds of people-oriented studies. Next, related work is briefly surveyed to clarify the nature of previous
studies and to place MDRS in the context of missions and space analog habitats. Finally, as part of this
introduction, the MDRS5 simulation is more formally described by dimensions recommended for
formalizing mission operations in “trade studies.”
Subsequent sections then describe data collection and analysis techniques, discuss results, and make
conclusions about future work.
BACKGROUND: PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION OF WORK PRACTICES
Conventionally, space human factors considers especially the roles of the crew members, relative to
human physical and mental capabilities, requirements for life support/space/training, etc., and alternate
operations concepts (Woolford & Bond 1999, p. 135). A multidisciplinary endeavor, with concerns
ranging from perception to organizational dynamics, the field has been shaped by the methods of
psychology, emphasizing focused studies, functional (task performance) based design (including function
allocation, procedures, automation, and training), and the use of tests and surveys for evaluating
psychological states, capabilities, and experience (Connors, Harrison, and Akins 1985).
As a typical example, Cohen’s (1997) architectural design guidelines for Sofia, an airborne observatory,
considers how layout of human interactions and equipment access during operations affect productivity,
comfort. and safety. In the same vein, regular post-mission debriefings of International Space Station
(ISS) crew members are conducted by NASA human factors researchers to investigate “operational
habitability.” These are confidential, often short interviews that focus on aspects of the mission,
environment, or hardware that could be modified to increase the crew’s living and working experience,
especially to reduce problems and improve work efficiency. Questions focus on architecture, crew
interfaces (e.g., labels, displays, restraints), environment (e.g., acoustics, ventilation, lighting), and
operations (e.g., schedule, communications).
The history and nature of space vehicle engineering necessarily places a primacy on issues of life support
and safety, followed by issues of comfort and task support. Considering the experience in designing
Skylab (Compton & Benson, 1983) and Mir operations (e.g., Burrough 1998), we can identify several
levels of concern in relating the design of a habitat facility to operations:
1. Survivability: Engineers are necessarily first concerned about physiological requirements of
keeping the astronauts alive, with strong weight and cost constraints.
2. Comfort: The first contributions by human factors (industrial engineers) is to move beyond
safety to improve comfort, with issues ranging from personal hygiene, privacy, and convenient
“anthropometric” tools and designs (e.g., foot restraints).
3. Performance: The next level of human factors concerns task support or productivity, relating
crew size, skills, tools, automation, procedure manuals, scheduling, training, computer interfaces,

Clancey: Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission Simulation
Revised: July 27, 2004 -4-
facilities layout, etc. These considerations may be matrixed against physiological constraints such
as fatigue and affects of microgravity. More broadly, industrial engineering observes and
analyzes processes systemically to reduce cost and increase productivity.
4. Adaptability: Next, contributions by social scientists focus on crew teamwork, project
collaboration (e.g., with scientists on earth), creative workarounds, informal assistance,
replanning, and learning during the mission.
The history of work in space somewhat parallels the development of business analysis and design
techniques in factories and offices. By the late 1960s (when Skylab was designed), engineers were
working with industrial designers; by the mid and late 1970s, psychologists were bringing cognitive task
analysis to the workplaces; and by the late 1980s, anthropologists and sociologists were focusing on work
practice (the circumstantial factors of how people actually got their jobs done). All of the disciplines and
methods have a common interest in people (as indeed, even the Gilbreths original time-and-motion
studies were viewed as “applying the social sciences…emphasizing the worker rather than nonhuman
factors” [Britannica 1987]). Today most specialists appear to have an increasing appreciation of the
contextual, interactive nature of human experience and the dynamic character of work, systems, and the
environment. The levels do not imply the evolution of a method or supplanting of disciplines, rather
specialists increasingly work together. As design considerations become more complex, the work
becomes more multidisciplinary.
Human factors specialists, including psychologists and engineers, are concerned with moving mission
engineering from survivability to consider comfort and performance. Today’s workplace studies (Luff et
al. 2001) are dominated by social scientists, especially anthropologists, seeking to move the discourse
beyond task analysis to understand and support work practices as inherently social—concerning
participation (belonging/role), relationship (based on friendship and personal history), and learning
(including information sharing, friendly assistance, and promoting the community). At this point, what
workplace researchers call “the system of work is understood to extend well beyond the frame of the
habitat, to include the scientists with a vested interest in the mission, how the support team is managed
and communicates among themselves, and public stakeholders.
The four “levels” summarized here may be fruitfully viewed as interacting perspectives, with a
compositional effect, loosely resembling Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (physiological, safety, love,
esteem, self-actualization). Each level requires a degree of flexibility that broadens those below. For
example, a certain architectural design may ensure survivability, but be extremely uncomfortable (e.g.,
the Soyuz capsule). A comfortable module may be extremely inconvenient for getting work done (e.g.,
the original location of network ports in ISS). A procedure or tool “optimized” for a task may inhibit open
communication or receiving help when needed from a crewmate.
Indeed, as MDRS5 experience showed, the problem with a software program, for example a geographic
information system (GIS), might not just be that its interface is difficult to use (which is obvious enough),
but that the crew is forced to communicate in terms of location coordinates at all. Reducing human factors
to “interface design”—a prevalent way anthropologists are greeted by engineers familiar with human
factors research—threatens to not see the forest for the trees. A total systems perspective is required,
sometimes radically transforming operations concepts, before becoming concerned with localized
optimizations such as screen design or tool anthropometrics.
Within the workplace studies community (e.g., Bannon 1991; Luff et al. 2000) arguments have been
made that systems cannot be designed successfully from the bottom up; subsystems do not compose
linearly and predictably. Rather, technologies and methods developed for life support, personal hygiene,
and work tasks (to give typical concerns of each level) must be re-evaluated in the context of practical
scenarios that include especially unexpected maintenance, interruptions, rework (e.g., because an
instrument was used incorrectly or failed to function properly), feedback of results to scientists for

Clancey: Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission Simulation
Revised: July 27, 2004 -5-
replanning, adjusting schedules during the course of the mission (e.g., for variety, opportunity, revised
goals).
Crucially, a holistic perspective emphasizes that properties (e.g., “human capability”) do not exist in
isolation, but are relational, depending on context, which is always physical and interpersonal, as well as
historical, involving both experience and expectation. Thus predicting what people can actually
accomplish during a spaceflight, including their limitations and strengths, needs to be somehow
triangulated from laboratory and workplace studies, similar space missions (e.g., relating Apollo to Mars),
and mission simulations.
As we move from the laboratory to analog missions on earth to, for example, space station simulations of
Earth-to-Mars transit, we will discover what combinations of facilities, roles, tools, etc. work in practice
and gain increasing confidence about the right design for an actual mission. However, our theoretical
stance tells us that even then we will have a lot to learn, and should design habitats and all aspects of the
mission for adaptation during the mission.
The study reported here may be viewed as an experiment in bringing ethnographic methods to the realm
of crewed spaceflight. The novel contribution is not so much the consideration of “social or
“organizational” factors, which of course appear in psychological studies of crew interactions (e.g., Kanas
2002), but rather the methods of participant observation (the researcher is a member of the crew) and
work practice analysis (a close study of circumstantial interactions of facilities, behaviors, systems,
communications, documents, etc.).
In summary, to understand the present study’s methods and objectives, one must consider the
methodological context in which it arose. This background includes the application of ethnography to
business settings for work system design (Greenbaum & Kyng 1991; Blomberg et al. 1993; Jordan 1994;
Burton & Harper 1996), and the introduction of empirical requirements analysis to software engineering
(Floyd 1987; Ehn 1988; Beyer & Holtzblatt 1998). In this work, social scientists reacted critically to
workplace automation that resulted from too narrow, functionally-based interpretations of “human
factors” (e.g., Zuboff 1988; Bradley 1989; Bannon 1991). Against this background, investigating the
opportunities for computer tools in Mars surface missions, the author has conducted an ethnographic
study of field science and expeditions over six years. This experience includes participant observation in
four Haughton-Mars expeditions from 1998-2003 (Clancey 1999, 2000a, 2001a), plus being a crew
member of a simulated mission in the Flashline Mars Arctic Research station for two weeks (Clancey,
2001b). As part of this ongoing ethnographic study, the MDRS5 simulation was designed to provide more
useful, quantitative data by controlling the crew’s interactions with outsiders and systematically using
video, logging, and surveys—while looking for ways to use computer technology that would greatly
improve the crew’s productivity.
RELATED SPACE HABITAT RESEARCH
Here I place the MDRS5 mission simulation in the context of other experiments and analyses that involve
crews living and working in a space module or surface analog habitat.
Stuster’s Bold Endeavors (1996) reviews “lessons from polar and space exploration” organized around
factors (e.g., leadership) affecting the nature of human experience in isolation, particularly when carrying
out dangerous or stressful endeavors in “naturally occurring groups.” Stuster used interviews, logs and
journals, debriefing reports, and historical accounts (p. 22). Similar to the present study, he focuses on
how people succeed in living and working under adverse conditions (p. 33), instead of focusing on
disasters, dysfunctions, and limitations (e.g., fatigue, stress). Thus, he tends to views expeditions
holistically, in terms of the crew’s adaptation through their interactions. This perspective gives somewhat
more weight to social issues, and views psychological factors in that context. Thus, Stuster’s analysis

Citations
More filters
Book ChapterDOI
01 Jun 2006
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors introduce a theoretical framework as well as methods for observing work practices in everyday (or natural) settings in a manner that enables understanding and possibly improving how the work is done.
Abstract: Keywords: Ethnography, Workplace Study, Practice, Participant Observation, Ethnomethodology, Lived Work Introduction Expertise is not just about inference applied to facts and heuristics, but about being a social actor Observation of natural settings begins not with laboratory behavioral tasks – problems fed to a “subject” – but with how work methods are adapted and evaluated by experts themselves, as situations are experienced as problematic and formulated as defined tasks and plans My focus in this chapter is on socially and physically located behaviors, especially those involving conversations, tools, and informal (ad hoc) interactions How an observer engages with practitioners in a work setting itself requires expertise, including concepts, tools, and methods for understanding other people's motives and problems, often coupled with methods for work systems design By watching people at work in everyday settings (Rogoff & Lave 1984) and observing activities over time in different circumstances, we can study and document work practices , including those of proficient domain practitioners This chapter introduces and illustrates a theoretical framework as well as methods for observing work practices in everyday (or natural) settings in a manner that enables understanding and possibly improving how the work is done In the first part of this chapter, I explain the notion of work practices and the historical development of observation in natural settings In the middle part, I elaborate the perspective of ethnomethodology, including contrasting ways of viewing people and workplaces, and different units of analysis for representing work observations

64 citations

Proceedings ArticleDOI
19 Jan 2005
TL;DR: Mobile Agents is an advanced Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) communications and computing system to increase astronaut self-reliance and safety, reducing dependence on continuous monitoring and advising from mission control on Earth.
Abstract: We have developed and tested an advanced EVA communications and computing system to increase astronaut self-reliance and safety, reducing dependence on continuous monitoring and advising from mission control on Earth. This system, called Mobile Agents (MA), is voice controlled and provides information verbally to the astronauts through programs called personal agents. The system partly automates the role of CapCom in Apollo-including monitoring and managing EVA navigation, scheduling, equipment deployment, telemetry, health tracking, and scientific data collection. EVA data are stored automatically in a shared database in the habitat/vehicle and mirrored to a site accessible by a remote science team. The program has been developed iteratively in the context of use, including six years of ethnographic observation of field geology. Our approach is to develop automation that supports the human work practices, allowing people to do what they do well, and to work in ways they are most familiar. Field experiments in Utah have enabled empirically discovering requirements and testing alternative technologies and protocols. This paper reports on the 2004 system configuration, experiments, and results, in which an EVA robotic assistant (ERA) followed geologists approximately 150 m through a winding, narrow canyon. On voice command, the ERA took photographs and panoramas and was directed to move and wait in various locations to serve as a relay on the wireless network. The MA system is applicable to many space work situations that involve creating and navigating from maps (including configuring equipment for local topology), interacting with piloted and unpiloted rovers, adapting to environmental conditions, and remote team collaboration involving people and robots.

55 citations

01 Jan 1998
TL;DR: The Reference Mission was developed over a period of several years and was published in NASA Special Publication 6107 in July 1997 as discussed by the authors, which provided a workable model for the human exploration of Mars, which is described in enough detail that alternative strategies and implementations can be compared and evaluated.
Abstract: The Reference Mission was developed over a period of several years and was published in NASA Special Publication 6107 in July 1997 The purpose of the Reference Mission was to provide a workable model for the human exploration of Mars, which is described in enough detail that alternative strategies and implementations can be compared and evaluated NASA is continuing to develop the Reference Mission and expects to update this report in the near future It was the purpose of the Reference Mission to develop scenarios based on the needs of scientists and explorers who want to conduct research on Mars; however, more work on the surface-mission aspects of the Reference Mission is required and is getting under way Some aspects of the Reference Mission that are important for the consideration of the surface mission definition include: (1) a split mission strategy, which arrives at the surface two years before the arrival of the first crew; (2) three missions to the outpost site over a 6-year period; (3) a plant capable of producing rocket propellant for lifting off Mars and caches of water, O, and inert gases for the life-support system; (4) a hybrid physico-chemical/bioregenerative life-support system, which emphasizes the bioregenerative system more in later parts of the scenario; (5) a nuclear reactor power supply, which provides enough power for all operations, including the operation of a bioregenerative life-support system as well as the propellant and consumable plant; (6) capability for at least two people to be outside the habitat each day of the surface stay; (7) telerobotic and human-operated transportation vehicles, including a pressurized rover capable of supporting trips of several days' duration from the habitat; (7) crew stay times of 500 days on the surface, with six-person crews; and (8) multiple functional redundancies to reduce risks to the crews on the surface New concepts are being sought that would reduce the overall cost for this exploration program and reducing the risks that are indigenous to Mars exploration Among those areas being explored are alternative space propulsion approaches, solar vs nuclear power, and reductions in the size of crews

41 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a literature review of the theory and application of design-based mitigation strategies for the emergence of monotony in a remote mission context is presented, with the overall rationale of integrating affordances into onboard habitation systems and placing emphasis on reinforcing positive situational characteristics.

36 citations

References
More filters
Book
01 Jan 1984

4,603 citations

Book
01 Jul 1997
TL;DR: This book introduces a customer-centered approach to business by showing how data gathered from people while they work can drive the definition of a product or process while supporting the needs of teams and their organizations.
Abstract: This book introduces a customer-centered approach to business by showing how data gathered from people while they work can drive the definition of a product or process while supporting the needs of teams and their organizations. This is a practical, hands-on guide for anyone trying to design systems that reflect the way customers want to do their work. The authors developed Contextual Design, the method discussed here, through their work with teams struggling to design products and internal systems. In this book, you'll find the underlying principles of the method and how to apply them to different problems, constraints, and organizational situations. Contextual Design enables you to + gather detailed data about how people work and use systems + develop a coherent picture of a whole customer population + generate systems designs from a knowledge of customer work + diagram a set of existing systems, showing their relationships, inconsistencies, redundancies, and omissions Table of Contents Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Gathering Customer Data Chapter 3 Principles of Contextual Inquiry Chapter 4 Contextual Inquiry in Practice Chapter 5 A Language of Work Chapter 6 Work Models Chapter 7 The Interpretation Session Chapter 8 Consolidation Chapter 9 Creating One View of the Customer Chapter 10 Communicating to the Organization Chapter 11 Work Redesign Chapter 12 Using Data to Drive Design Chapter 13 Design from Data Chapter 14 System Design Chapter 15 The User Environment Design Chapter 16 Project Planning and Strategy Chapter 17 Prototyping as a Design Tool Chapter 18 From Structure to User Interface Chapter 19 Iterating with a Prototype Chapter 20 Putting It into Practice

2,945 citations


"Participant Observation of a Mars S..." refers background or methods in this paper

  • ...The “infomate” view seeks to facilitate human awareness, understanding, communication, and learning (e.g., a robot that monitors astronauts for safety during an EVA)....

    [...]

  • ...…includes the application of ethnography to business settings for work system design (Greenbaum & Kyng 1991; Blomberg et al. 1993; Jordan 1994; Burton & Harper 1996), and the introduction of empirical requirements analysis to software engineering (Floyd 1987; Ehn 1988; Beyer & Holtzblatt 1998)....

    [...]

Book
01 Sep 1989
TL;DR: A noted Harvard social scientist documents the pitfalls and promises of computerized technology in business life as discussed by the authors, concluding that "computerized technology can be used for both good and bad things".
Abstract: A noted Harvard social scientist documents the pitfalls and promises of computerized technology in business life..

2,769 citations


"Participant Observation of a Mars S..." refers background or methods in this paper

  • ...For example, how tools are used in practice sometimes contradicts locally optimized designs, automation may generate new burdens for maintenance and control (Zuboff 1988)....

    [...]

  • ...The history of work in space somewhat parallels the development of business analysis and design techniques in factories and offices....

    [...]

  • ...The “infomate” view seeks to facilitate human awareness, understanding, communication, and learning (e.g., a robot that monitors astronauts for safety during an EVA)....

    [...]

  • ...These starting points correspond to different perspectives for designing automation (Zuboff 1988): The “automate” view seeks to replace a person (e.g., a robotic geologist)....

    [...]

  • ...In this work, social scientists reacted critically to workplace automation that resulted from too narrow, functionally-based interpretations of “human factors” (e.g., Zuboff 1988; Bradley 1989; Bannon 1991)....

    [...]

Book
01 Apr 1999
TL;DR: In this article, an approach to computer-based work in complex sociotechnical systems developed over the last 30 years by Jens Rasmussen and his colleagues at Riso National Laboratory in Roskilde, Denmark is described.
Abstract: This book describes, for the first time in pedagogical form, an approach to computer-based work in complex sociotechnical systems developed over the last 30 years by Jens Rasmussen and his colleagues at Riso National Laboratory in Roskilde, Denmark. This approach is represented by a framework called cognitive work analysis. Its goal is to help designers of complex sociotechnical systems create computer-based information support that helps workers adapt to the unexpected and changing demands of their jobs. In short, cognitive work analysis is about designing for adaptation. The book is divided into four parts. Part I provides a motivation by introducing three themes that tie the book together--safety, productivity, and worker health. The ecological approach that serves as the conceptual basis behind the book is also described. In addition, a glossary of terms is provided. Part II situates the ideas in the book in a broader intellectual context by reviewing alternative approaches to work analysis. The limitations of normative and descriptive approaches are outlined, and the rationale behind the formative approach advocated in this book is explored. Part III describes the concepts that comprise the cognitive work analysis framework in detail. Each concept is illustrated by a case study, and the implications of the framework for design and research are illustrated by example. Part IV unifies the themes of safety, productivity, and health, and shows why the need for the concepts in this book will only increase in the future. In addition, a historical addendum briefly describes the origins of the ideas described in the book.

2,140 citations

BookDOI
03 Jan 1992
TL;DR: Greenbaum and Kyng as discussed by the authors discuss the role of psychology and Human-Computer Interaction Studies in system design, and discuss the need to take practice seriously and to set the stage for design as action.
Abstract: Contents: J. Greenbaum, M. Kyng, Preface: Memories of the Past. J. Greenbaum, M. Kyng, Introduction: Situated Design. Part I:Reflecting on Work Practice. L. Bannon, From Human Factors to Human Actors: The Role of Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction Studies in System Design. E. Wynn, Taking Practice Seriously. L.A. Suchman, R.H. Trigg, Understanding Practice: Video as a Medium for Reflection and Design. P.B. Andersen, B. Holmqvist, Language, Perspectives, and Design. K. Bodker, J.S. Pedersen, Workplace Cultures: Looking at Artifacts, Symbols, and Practices. Part II:Designing for Work Practice. S. Bodker, J. Greenbaum, M. Kyng, Setting the Stage for Design as Action. F. Kensing, K.H. Madsen, Generating Visions: Future Workshops and Metaphorical Design. P. Ehn, M. Kyng, Cardboard Computers: Mocking-it-up or Hands-on the Future. S. Bodker, K. Gronboek, Design in Action: From Prototyping by Demonstration to Cooperative Prototyping. A. Henderson, M. Kyng, There's No Place Like Home: Continuing Design in Use. P. Ehn, D. Sjogren, From System Descriptions to Scripts for Action. J. Greenbaum, M. Kyng, Epilogue: Design by Doing.

1,864 citations

Frequently Asked Questions (2)
Q1. What have the authors contributed in "Participant observation of a mars surface habitat mission simulation" ?

For twelve days in April 2002 the authors performed a closed simulation in the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, isolated from other people, while exploring the area and sharing daily chores. This protocol enabled a systematic and controlled study of crew activities, scheduling, and use of space. The study was primarily a methodological experiment in participant observation and work practice analysis, gathering quantitative data as part of an ethnographic study. This facility is similar to the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station ( Clancey, 2000b, 2001b ), part of a series of research stations designed and built by the Mars Society ( Zubrin 2003 ), to include alternative designs in Iceland and Australia. The members of the crew included a biologist, geologist, geophysicist, aerospace engineer, and journalist, as well as the author, a computer/cognitive scientist, who organized the simulation and served as commander. As has Clancey: Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission Simulation Revised: July 27, 2004 -2been common practice, the crew ’ s identity and daily reports were public, posted on the Mars Society web site. The study reported here was an exploratory methodology experiment, using the methods of participant observation ( Spradley 1980 ; Johnson & Sackett 1998 ), which in this context means that a crew member conducts the study, and work practice analysis ( Luff et al. 2000 ), involving gathering data to understand how people actually use their time and solve problems. The study ’ s focus is not so much on specific hypotheses about crew skills, team interactions, habitat layout, scheduling, etc., but about what different methods—for observing, recording, describing, and analyzing an analog mission in a surface habitat— reveal about operations and habitat design. How should the study interpret different types of public and private documents ? 5 ) What space human factors questions might be studied in a closed simulation involving authentic science EVAs at MDRS ? Within this context, the study was oriented to several questions that had emerged on previous simulations ( Clancey 1999 ; 2000a, b ; 2001a ) as being relevant to planning long-duration missions in remote settings. These questions influenced what data was systematically gathered during the study, as well as the chosen protocol for the simulation:  Clancey: Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission Simulation Revised: July 27, 2004 -3To appreciate the perspective of the MDRS5 ethnographic study, I review and synthesize related work, placing work practice observation in the context of industrial engineering and space human factors research. The present study may be viewed as a natural evolution that adapts business design methods from everyday workplaces to space facilities and operations engineering. In using work practice observational and analytic techniques ( Clancey, in preparation ), the authors begin to consider how facilities, roles, tools, systems, etc. interact in practice. To begin, a general background is presented, relating participant observation of work practices to other kinds of people-oriented studies. The history and nature of space vehicle engineering necessarily places a primacy on issues of life support and safety, followed by issues of comfort and task support. At this point, what workplace researchers call “ the system of work ” is understood to extend well beyond the frame of the habitat, to include the scientists with a vested interest in the mission, how the support team is managed and communicates among themselves, and public stakeholders. The study reported here may be viewed as an experiment in bringing ethnographic methods to the realm of crewed spaceflight. The novel contribution is not so much the consideration of “ social ” or “ organizational ” factors, which of course appear in psychological studies of crew interactions ( e. g., Kanas 2002 ), but rather the methods of participant observation ( the researcher is a member of the crew ) and work practice analysis ( a close study of circumstantial interactions of facilities, behaviors, systems, communications, documents, etc. ). In summary, to understand the present study ’ s methods and objectives, one must consider the methodological context in which it arose. This background includes the application of ethnography to business settings for work system design ( Greenbaum & Kyng 1991 ; Blomberg et al. In this work, social scientists reacted critically to workplace automation that resulted from too narrow, functionally-based interpretations of “ human factors ” ( e. g., Zuboff 1988 ; Bradley 1989 ; Bannon 1991 ). Against this background, investigating the opportunities for computer tools in Mars surface missions, the author has conducted an ethnographic study of field science and expeditions over six years. This experience includes participant observation in four Haughton-Mars expeditions from 1998-2003 ( Clancey 1999, 2000a, 2001a ), plus being a crew member of a simulated mission in the Flashline Mars Arctic Research station for two weeks ( Clancey, 2001b ). As part of this ongoing ethnographic study, the MDRS5 simulation was designed to provide more useful, quantitative data by controlling the crew ’ s interactions with outsiders and systematically using video, logging, and surveys—while looking for ways to use computer technology that would greatly improve the crew ’ s productivity. Similar to the present study, he focuses on how people succeed in living and working under adverse conditions ( p. 33 ), instead of focusing on disasters, dysfunctions, and limitations ( e. g., fatigue, stress ). The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project ( LMLSTP, aka “ JSC chamber studies ” ) involved a mission simulation with a crew of four living in a closed chamber for four experimental periods of 15 days and one through three months. These simulations are highly complementary to the present MDRS study. Shuttle/Mir space station missions and Mir simulations ( conducted with a three-person crew over four months or more in Moscow ) were studied by Kanas and his colleagues, focusing on psychosocial aspects of isolation in small crews. The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations Project ( NEEMO ; Todd & Reagan 2004 ) has used Aquarius for dozens of astronaut mission training missions ( e. g., to practice team skills ). Because of the training objective, rather than exploration research, the NEEMO project attempts to mimic the space experience ( e. g., types of food and “ look ” of the procedures ), than to simulate a radically different mission: This example underscores that the purpose for using a habitat must be understood before comparing simulation protocols and study methods. The design of the MDRS simulation was not the result of a trade study, but nevertheless it may be helpful to describe the choices made using a mission options framework. What is the value of a study of practices relative to system trades ? Perhaps most importantly, observing and analyzing how people actually behave—especially when they are given the freedom to discover their own preferences as a team—helps us to identify alternatives that the authors might not have considered. In carrying out the ethnographic study, knowing in advance that questions about productivity, planning, and layout were of interest, the following data were collected:  Written crew ( “ post-occupation ” ) surveys  97 reports posted on the web, with completion dates, including commander ’ s daily log and health and safety officer ’ s ( HSO ) daily reports  In contrast with a conventional time-and-motion study, the use of time lapse is not focused on a particular job, but on how people are living in the habitat. In this study, I found that time lapse video is highly useful for answering the question “ where does the time go ? ” The authors proceed by considering what time is available, subtracting sleep time, group activities ( especially meals and EVA operations ), and unscheduled interruptions ( especially power failures ). As previously reported ( Clancey 2001a ), the frames are examined manually, creating a spreadsheet of events and start/stop times, which is then processed by a computer program to produce tables for graphing. Analysis suggests that a simple scheduling change—having lunch and dinner earlier, plus eliminating afternoon meetings—increased the available productive time by 41 %. Furthermore, observation of work practices suggested how to eliminate direct use of GPS devices by the crew, illustrating how an ethnographic study can help produce dramatically new operations concepts. Can possible EVA targets and routes be suggested using reports from previous crews ?  Considering the experience in designing Skylab ( Compton & Benson, 1983 ) and Mir operations ( e. g., Burrough 1998 ), the authors can identify several levels of concern in relating the design of a habitat facility to operations: Furthermore, until recently the NEEMO daily schedule did not include the two onboard support personnel, or consider them to be part of the crew, again because of the focus on training the astronauts, rather than using the habitat to Clancey: Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission Simulation Revised: July 27, 2004 -7conduct holistic simulations. This description might suggest later studies ( especially at MDRS or FMARS on Devon Island ) and facilitate comparison. By protocol, after a secondary contact was established ( e. g., someone to advise their work on the greenhouse ), further conversations on the same topic were not mediated by capcom, but were always copied to him. 

Possibilities for future research include: o