Designing a Smart Suit for the Moon and Mars 2008-01-1952
Astronauts in the Apollo program had a veritable ground support army monitoring their safety and health during their 14 lunar surface extravehicular activities (EVAs). Given the logistics, distances and number of EVAs projected, this will not be possible for future EVAs on the Moon or Mars. The spacesuits of the future must be smart enough to replace that army. The next generation suits can do so using the 2 software systems described herein: LEGACI (Life support, Exploration Guidance Algorithm and Consumable Interrogator) and VIOLET (Voice Initiated Operator for Life support and Exploration Tracking). These virtual companions utilize real time data from a suite of biosensors together with the EVA suit's communications, avionics and informatics software, to provide instantaneous information about EVA status, life support consumables and physiological performance and safety. The system is currently being evaluated in the Integrated Suit Test program at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Data and results from this test series are presented in this study.