Effects of Enhanced Pressure Suit Ankle Mobility on Locomotion on Uneven Terrain 2000-01-2481
Previous studies have shown that a multi-axis ankle joint accommodating abduction and adduction as well as ankle flexion/extension and rotation could be practically incorporated into a pressure suit. Several candidate configurations were manufactured and the performance of the enhanced ankle joints evaluated. Experience has suggested that these enhancements could be of significant benefit for planetary exploration missions requiring extensive walking over uneven terrain.
During 1999, prototype pressure suit boots incorporating a multi-axis ankle joint configuration were manufactured. Their effect on balance stability and locomotion capabilities across slopes and over uneven surfaces in a pressurized spacesuit were evaluated in a series of 1-g experiments.
This paper describes the enhanced test boots, the test procedure, and the results. Design refinements and further testing are recommended.