Quality Function Deployment for the Shoulder Section of the Space Suit 2005-01-3017
Spacesuit shoulder mobility is critical in performing EVA tasks. In addition, risk of failure must be minimized and injuries during operations and training eliminated. The pressure suit design elements that control shoulder mobility interact strongly and in complex ways with many aspects of the pressure suit and system design and are constrained by anthropometric factors. To properly develop the problem statement for the shoulder section in a new suit design that is appropriate for a return to the Moon and eventual exploration of Mars, a Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is under development. QFD is a powerful and widely used method to define your customers, determine their needs, benchmark the competition, and define engineering parameters and targets, that when met, will lead to a successful product. Since many of the requirements for the next generation suit are unknown, the QFD will continually be updated. The engineering parameters, which are tests or measures that must be specified such as range of motion, are critical to develop a successful design. Due to the difficulty and expense of performing these tests, it is challenging to develop an appropriate set of measures. These will be added to the QFD as NASA and its contractors develop them. This paper describes the application of the quality function deployment process to a spacesuit shoulder mobility joint.