Development of a Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA)

Understanding an individual’s metabolic rate is important in a wide range of terrestrial and extraterrestrial applications. For extraterrestrial applications, devices to measure metabolic rate should be compact, low power, and require little maintenance and/or calibration. This presentation discusses the effort to develop a new portable metabolic device (PUMA - Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis) at the NASA Glenn Research Center. PUMA is a battery-operated, wearable unit to measure metabolic rate (minute ventilation, oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide output and heart rate) in a clinical setting, in the field or in remote, extreme environments. The critical sensors in PUMA that measure oxygen, carbon dioxide and ventilatory flow are located close to the mouth and sampled at 10 Hz to allow intra-breath measurements. The engineering efforts to develop PUMA will be presented, followed by limited validation studies of the final device. Finally, the application of PUMA and the underlying technologies for a range of applications will be presented.

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