The Acoustic Upgraded Diagnostics In-Orbit (Acoustic Diagnostics) investigation tests the hearing of International Space Station (ISS) crew members before, during, and after flight. This study assesses the possible adverse effects of noise and the microgravity environment aboard the ISS on human hearing. The investigation compares the relationship between the detection of otoacoustic emissions, sounds naturally generated from within the inner ear, and hearing loss levels when exposed to noisy environments.

Monitoring the effects of microgravity and the acoustic environment aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as a function of time spent onboard, it is important to detect and quantify the early symptoms of mild hearing impairment. These effects can be either temporary or permanent, and could lead to more significant hearing impairment in future long- duration space exploration missions.

Microgravity could a ect the hydrostatic balance of the body by increasing the uid pressure in the head and can also a ect the homeostatic processes that protect hearing, such as the stapedial re ex and the medio- olivocochlear mechanism. Pressure anomalies in the cochlea could also lead to damage of the cochlear structures. The Acoustic Upgraded Diagnostics In-Orbit (Acoustic Diagnostics) investigation seeks to provide a better understanding of whether hearing safety is a critical issue for the design of future long-duration missions, and what necessary countermeasures could be adopted, if needed.

Due to the noisy environment aboard the ISS, advanced otoacoustic emissions (OAE) based tests are the most practical available option for accurate in- ight diagnostics of hearing. These tests use high level stimuli (65- 55 dB), which are not perturbed by ambient noise. OAE diagnostics are objective (do not involve active participation of the subject), while psychoacoustic audiometric techniques use pure tone signals around 0 dB, which need to be perceived by the astronaut without any disturbance from external noise, which is a quite di cult task aboard the ISS.

The development of portable devices capable of accurate diagnostics of hearing in a noisy environment would be useful also for occupational health applications in noisy industrial environments, to detect temporary or permanent e ects during the workers’ exposure to noise.

Mission: Expedition 59/60 - 61/62

Launch date: 17/04/2019 00:00:00

‣ News

THURSDAY 21 JULY 2022

ASTROSAMANTHA, THE FIRST EUROPEAN SPACEWALKER ‣

First extravehicular activity for Samantha Cristoforetti MORE...

TUESDAY 19 JULY 2022

AGILE, published the first article about the “New Year’s Burst” ‣

On Friday 15 July, the first detailed study on this "New Year's Burst" was published in the Astrophysical Journal, using data acquired by the AGILE satellite MORE...

MONDAY 11 JULY 2022

Fermi-LAT collaboration has released the updated list of cosmic gamma-ray sources to date ‣

The third release of the Fermi Point Source Catalog (4FGL-DR3) covers 12 years of data taken by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope MORE...

WEDNESDAY 18 MAY 2022

SECOND MEETING IN SPACE WITH ASTROSAMANTHA ‣

The Italian experiments of the Minerva mission were presented MORE...

THURSDAY 28 APRIL 2022

Samantha Cristoforetti has arrived on the Space Station ‣

The hatch is opened: the Minerva mission kicks off. During her mission, the ESA astronaut will conduct several scientific experiments for the ASI

MORE...