What helps give Canada's Dave Williams a steady hand in space? - Montreal's micro-miniaturization technology enabling National Aeronautics & Space Administration



    MONTREAL, Aug. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - As Canadian astronaut Dave Williams
wraps up his STS-118 shuttle mission repairing & constructing the
International Space Station, years of training and technology developed in
Montreal have helped him soar to great heights.
    For decades, NASA has been studying astronaut's physiological responses
to zero gravity, to living in outer space and to staying in a space vehicles
and space stations for extended periods of time. NASA recently conducted under
water research since the environment provides some useful similarities to
working in space. Using off the shelf technology, developed by THOUGHT
TECHNOLOGY LTD of Montreal. The device is a wearable outfit that records
multiple physiological measurements simultaneously. The technology is ultra
miniaturized, using a standard FlexComp Infiniti(tm) physiological encoder,
storing the data using flash memory cards. The astronauts, Commander Dave
Williams, a Canadian Physician, and Ron Garin, an American, wore the "gear"
throughout the day while living in an NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration) undersea habitat, off the shore of Key Largo Florida, 65 feet
down, below the surface.NASA researcher William Toscano described the mission,
    "Our project was called Nemo Nine. It was 22 days long, with 2 astronauts
participating. They wore the FlexComp Infiniti(tm) system for three of the
mission days. What we were looking was the effect of isolation, workload and
fatigue on the individuals. We're using the Nemo Nine environment as an analog
of a space station."
    It was all stored on flash memory cards, "We recorded five measurements--
heart rate and electrocardiogram, respiration, skin conductance, hand
temperature and finger pulse volume. Throughout the day they had activities
and tasks to do."
    New, micro-miniaturization technologies have enabled NASA researchers to
use commercially produced biomedical devices like the FlexComp Infiniti(tm) to
do what used to take a wall full of equipment easily weighing over
1000 pounds. Now, the device, manufactured by Thought Technology a company
that is the world's largest provider of medical and consumer biofeedback
instrumentation, weighs less than a pound and has built-in data storage using
flash memory cards.
    NASA's Toscano commented on the extreme research environment and on the
air pressure, "at 65 feet is about 2.65 (atmospheres) -- different from at the
surface. There were questions of whether the instrument would function, would
it work? And it did, with flying colours! "
    Thought Technology also produces the GSR2, the world's best selling hand
held electronic (computerizable) consumer Biofeedback device.

    ATTN PHOTO EDITORS: FOR ELECTRONIC IMAGES OF NASA ASTRONAUT DAVE WILLIAMS
    AND HIS PARTNER IN THE NEMO-NINE UNDERSEA MISSION PLEASE CONSULT OUR
    WEB-PAGES (www.thoughttechnology.com).

    WE ALSO HAVE DETAILED PICTURES OF THE BIOFEEDBACK DEVICES USED BY
    NASA IN THEIR UNDERWATER NEMO-NINE MISSION.

    (X) For additional of higher resolution pictures, please contact
    Thought Technology.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Lawrence Klein, Vice President, Thought
Technology Ltd., (514) 489-8251 x 122, Fax: (514) 489-8255,
Lawrence@thoughttechnology.com; www.thoughttechnology.com

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THOUGHT TECHNOLOGY LTD.

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