Space Suit Life Support System Packaging Factors 941380
One of the most important driving factors in space suit design rests upon the packaging of life support and electrical components within the compartments of a space suit system. The volume and mass of space suits are restricted due to payload constraints, volume constraints inside the airlock, limited hatch diameter, and general bulkiness of the mini spacecraft ‘space-suit’. The need for a higher packaging density becomes even more important with the implementation of failure tolerance principles, like redundant components, or design for minimum risk. Special attention has to be paid to the heat balance of motors, pumps, heat exchangers, converters, etc. so as to avoid heat accummulation as well as heat sinks inside the backpack or the suit enclosure.
However, from a maintenance point of view, packaging has a certain upper limit in terms of reachability and replaceability of failed or to be maintained components. This may be especially the case for space suit systems of orbiting stations, which are to be maintained on orbit rather than on ground.
The purpose of this paper is to review various arrangements of life support subsystems (LSS) equipment both in pressurized and unpressurized backpacks and to summarize both volume and weight packaging factors (PF), so as to contrast the individual packaging factors of space suits. The review uses the experience gained in the development of Russian space suits such as the ORLANDMA and its predecessors.
Based on this survey, future space suit development can take advantage and use simplified models and guidelines for a preliminary packaging analysis.