18, September 2018

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9306
Open Date: 31/08/2018
Closing Date: 12/10/2018 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 18.129.01
Prog. Ref.: Technology Developme
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Orbital Transportation & Re-entry Systems / Environment and Crew Life Support (ECLS) / ECLS / Other
Techology Domains: Life & Physical Sciences / Applied Life Science Technology / Application of Human Physiology Technologies
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Mechanical Engineering Department
Division: Mechatronics and Optics Division
Contract Officer: Doorman, Michala
Industrial Policy Measure: C1 – Activities in open competition limited to the non-Larg…
Last Update Date: 31/08/2018
Update Reason: Tender issue

Countermeasures are required during prolonged space flights in order to counteract the deleterious effects ofmicrogravity on the human body. Among others, the occurrence of low back pain in microgravity is one of the most common problems reported by more than 50% of the astronauts during or after their flight. Like most of the human body systems, the musculoskeletal system is influenced by the gravitational load. On Earth, the musculoskeletal system triggers muscular contractions to orient and stabilize the body in an upright position, which compensates the compressive force associated to the gravitation vector. In the absence of gravity, the intervertebral distance will increase by several centimetres. Although causes of low back pain in microgravity are yet not fully understood,experts tend to support a mechanical etiology. The reverse phenomenon (spine contraction) also happens upon astronauts’ flight return on the ground.When perceived, the pain associated to spine length variations is not only an unpleasant physiological concern but can also temporarily disturb astronauts’ sleep and potentially alter their ability to perform their tasks with full mental concentration.Several countermeasures activities have been financially supported by the Agency; exercise-based andcardio-vascular countermeasures have been developed and are used routinely in the ISS, such as the treadmill, bike ergometer or LBNP (Lower Body Negative Pressure) to name a few. For interplanetary missions – and for verylong-duration ISS stays – additional countermeasures targeting especially musculo-skeletal and neuro-sensorysystems need to be developed. Yet, none of them has been focusing on low back pain. In addition, the utilisation of technologies for rehabilitation purposes is also of high interest. There is consequently a clear need tostudy, design, develop, demonstrate and validate techniques and tools able to monitor and counteract this phenomenon.The proposed activity will be carried out according to a clear set of tasks:- Task 1: scientific background and State-of-the-Art review : in this task, the contractor shall review all relevant documentation to get sufficient scientific and technical background, organize a technical meeting with experts In relevant fields and review the requirements.- Task 2: safety Analysis: in this task, the Contractor shall prepare all elements of a safety file (technical, regulatory) in view of the performance of a scientific assessment for the system to be developed.- Task 3: preliminary design: in this task, the contractor shall propose a preliminary concept, including identification of critical aspects, interfaces identification definition of a preliminary test plan.- Task4: detailed design: within this task, the contractor shall establish a detailed design of the system and updatethe test plan with test procedures (technical andscientific evaluation)- Task 5: Manufacture, Assembly, Integration and Technical test: in this task, the contractor shall manufacture andtest the system, prepare the user manual and update the safety file- Task 6: scientific assessment, conclusions and recommendations: in this final task, the contractor shall perform the scientific assessment as per scientific protocols and procedures, analyse the results, provide conclusions and recommendations for further improvements and possible additional developments. Synergies with terrestrial applications shall also be part of this review.Procurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to EMITS news “Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes”.

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