Development of a 500 hPa Shoulder Joint for the European EVA Space Suit System 921257

This paper synthesizes the shoulder joint development activities performed in the frame of the European EVA Space Suit System (ESSS) programme.
The shoulder joint belongs to the anthropomorphic enclosure encompassing the crewmember, protecting him against space environment while ensuring him adequate mobility, dexterity and visibility.
A conceptual trade-off selected two candidates likely to fulfil the stringent shoulder joint requirements: an all-soft joint and a hybrid “rolling convolute”.
Representative pressurized breadboards were designed, manufactured and tested. The tests addressed both intrinsic performance, via torque/flexion hysteresis curves and ergonomic characteristics via a “man in the loop” evaluation, involving a suit demonstrator.
Tests results completed the trade-off, thus enabling the industrial team to formulate recommendations and propose further development studies.


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