Abigail Irwin of Morton is part of Bradley University's BU Earth team that is designing an augmented reality interface for NASA astronauts. This is the third stage of the NASA S.U.I.T.S Design Challenge (Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students), and the third year Bradley students have participated.

Irwin, a User Experience Design & Psychology major, is a design assistant on the BU Earth team. She works on the designs and also handles user testing of the interfaces.

The current team, comprised of nine members, is creating an augmented reality interface for NASA astronauts to use in activities conducted both inside and outside of a space vehicle during space missions. The BUEARTH interface is designed to go inside the spacesuit helmet to assist the astronaut during walks and mission activities like rover repairs, mineral gathering missions and more. The interface will use both voice and gesture commands to help astronauts complete their tasks.

The BUEARTH team is reworking and expanding on the interface designed by the previous Bradley teams in stages one and two of the S.U.I.T.S challenge.

Each year collegiate teams must reapply to participate in the challenge. If BU Earth's interface program is accepted, the team will have the opportunity to travel to NASA Johnson Space Center in April.

Bradley University is a top-ranked, private university in Peoria, Illinois offering 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students the resources of a larger university and the personal attention of a smaller university. More than 185 academic programs are offered in business, communications, education, engineering, fine arts, health sciences, liberal arts and sciences, and technology.