Spacesuit Glove Manufacturing Enhancements Through the Use of Advanced Technologies 932102
The success of astronauts performing extravehicular activity (EVA) on orbit is highly dependent upon the performance of their spacesuit gloves. A study has recently been conducted to advance the development and manufacture of spacesuit gloves. The process replaces the manual techniques of spacesuit glove manufacture by utilizing emerging technologies such as laser scanning, Computer Aided Design (CAD), computer generated two-dimensional patterns from three-dimensional surfaces, rapid prototyping technology, and laser cutting of materials, to manufacture the new gloves.
Results of the program indicate that the baseline process will not increase the cost of the gloves as compared to existing styles, and in production, may reduce the cost of the gloves. Perhaps the most important outcome of the Laserscan process is that greater accuracy and design control can be realized. Greater accuracy was achieved in the baseline anthropometric measurement and CAD data management which subsequently improved the design features. This effectively enhances glove performance through better fit and comfort.