A Mathematical Model to Predict and Maintain the Neutral Buoyancy of Suited Astronauts 2006-01-2286
A previous study reported that inadequate weigh outs of suited subjects contributed to fatigue and the risk of injury during training in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). The purpose of this study was to develop a mathematical model to predict and maintain the neutral buoyancy of suited subjects during training operations at the NBL. One certified NBL support diver served as the subject for this study and only one complete test was conducted. The study was divided into two runs for which the first run required the NBL divers to perform a weigh out similar to a suited astronaut on a scuba diver wearing a mock Portable Life Support System and a Displays Control Module. For the second run, the same subject and equipment were weighed out according to the mathematical model. The objective of each run was to achieve a neutrally buoyant subject floating 45° to the pool floor. Motion data was collected using two underwater cameras and analyzed using Dartfish video analysis software while force and moment data were recorded using an AMTI force plate. The results from this study demonstrate that for one subject the mathematical model can achieve a similar weigh out to the NBL divers.