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Soterix Medical Announces award of NASA Phase-1 contract to develop a spatial disorientation simulator

New York City –May 20, 2021

Soterix Medical Inc., the global leader in non-invasive stimulation and synergistic technologies, announced today it has received a Phase-1 contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop a portable spatial disorientation simulator to train astronauts.

Astronauts are at risk of spatial disorientation due to vestibular alterations during and following g-level transitions, such as landing on earth. This disorientation can be simulated using Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) delivered at the mastoids using specialized electrodes and waveforms developed by Soterix Medical.

Mr. Yishai Valter, Soterix Medical’s Research and Development Engineer, explains “This contract is focused on developing a GVS system coupled with an Inertial Motion Unit (IMU) sensor. The system will consist of two independent channels that will allow delivering illusory motion in roll and pitch axes. The system will be wirelessly controlled using an application running on a tablet.”

Dr. Abhishek Datta, Chief Technology Officer of Soterix Medical and Principal Investigator of the project adds, "The award of the project reflects Soterix Medical’s mission to continue to develop highly innovative technologies. While we have historically served the medical market, this project presents a further opportunity to leverage our unique brain stimulation platforms to train astronauts so that they can better perform landing and recovery tasks. Besides NASA, this technology will potentially have used in the private aerospace market which is expected to grow dramatically in the next decade. We are also excited about the potential dual-use of the technology as GVS coupled with a motion sensor may have medical applications such as correcting impaired balance in Parkinson’s disease.”

Soterix Medical already provides unique GVS technology to the investigational research market. The Soterix Medical GVS platform is the only system integrating optimized Vestibular HD electrodes, ergonomic headgear, and advanced waveform controls. The successful completion of this project will complete the development of a next-generation wireless portable multi-channel GVS system offering a new set of capabilities for GVS research. The Phase 1 is focused on developing a functional prototype suitable for aerospace simulators, culminating in a pilot study validating system performance at the University of Colorado.

Media Contact: Mariana Shuster
Tel: +1-888-990-8327

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