The Effects of Extravehicular Activity Gloves on Human Hand Performance 2001-01-2164
Past approaches to space suit glove evaluation have primarily been subjective. This report details efforts at the University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory to use standardized dexterity tests and advanced biomechanics instrumentation to provide objective measures of glove performance. Ten subjects participated in the study. Tests were conducted barehanded, and wearing pressurized and unpressurized space suit gloves. Data on performance time, range of motion, dexterity, strength, fatigue, and comfort were collected. Range of motion data was measured using an experimental data glove that instrumented the movement of the joints of the right hand. The results indicated that performance time wearing pressurized gloves is not adequately estimated by performance wearing unpressurized gloves. Also, joint angle results indicated a decrease in the range of motion from the bare handed condition, but no significant difference between the gloved-hand conditions. Thus, range of motion is adequately estimated for the pressurized condition by examining range of motion wearing unpressurized gloves. Results of this research indicate that the use of standardized dexterity tests, with appropriate modifications to accommodate the restricted dexterity, provides a useful basis for evaluating space suit glove performance.