Blue Abyss aims to revolutionise extreme environment research and training in Europe. The centre will offer state-of-the-art whole system human physiology and human robotic interface R&D capabilities, serving the human spaceflight, terrestrial healthcare and sports science communities.
Blue Abyss is set to transform human life science research and performance training in extreme environment fields such as: diving; robotic-human interaction; human spaceflight; professional sports; and healthcare, with an emphasis on rehabilitation from physical deconditioning.
An academic partnership with leading national and international universities will draw upon its resources to execute R&D projects, providing a mix of expertise and facilities through the universities and at Blue Abyss: including the 50-metre deep pool; laboratory and classrooms; hypobaric and hyperbaric chambers; and the Kuehnegger Human Performance Centre.
We will look to develop on and leverage existing technologies to benefit other sectors, such as translating space biomedical R&D into sport prehabilitation and clinical rehabilitation.
The Kuehnegger Human Performance Centre will house specialist astronaut and athlete test and evaluation facilities. The centre will include a microgravity simulation suite with a traversable, full-body suspension system plus hypobaric chambers to facilitate hypoxia and altitude training, rehabilitation and physiological studies.
Hyperbaric chambers adjacent to the pool will provide therapeutic recompression facilities for divers, oxygen-enriched treatments for medical patients and facilitate hyperbaric R&D.
Blue Abyss not only has the potential to help strengthen human performance at its most extreme, but to pioneer innovation that will benefit society more broadly.
The Kuehnegger Human Performance Centre and the fields of research that may be pursued at this centre and across the facilities to be established, are of interest to us, particularly if aspects of human health such as deconditioning, reconditioning and rehabilitation are pursued.
Professor Greta Defeyter, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University
Blue Abyss’ collaborative approach helps to transfer knowledge across industries and encourage the birth of new ideas and advances often only found at the boundaries of human endeavour.
The Kuehnegger Human Performance Centre owes its heritage to Professor Walter Kuehnegger. Known as ‘Professor Moon’. Walter conducted the first computer analysis of human body motion, calculating the energy expenditure required for movement on the Moon, and originating the iconic ‘Kangaroo Locomotion’ lunar gait used by astronauts on the moon.
"Our vision for a decade from now is for an active and productive world-class R&D centre serving varied and vibrant aerospace, terrestrial health care and extreme environment communities, to deliver ground-breaking and marketable solutions that benefit society.”
Professor Simon Evetts, Managing Director, SeaSpace Research.
More about Simon
Blue Abyss has assembled a number of reputable physiological experts plus the support of leading universities, to ensure that it can deliver world-class human life science services and research. Our affiliate company, SeaSpace Research, will provide a commercial bridge between academia, government and industry to pioneer and market R&D Intellectual Property across sectors, encouraging far-reaching collaboration and scientific gain.
Images: Tim Peake running London Marathon - ESA; In the lab - ESA-S. Sechi.