1998-07-13

Design and Preliminary Test Results from a Second Generation Power-Assisted Space Suit Glove Joint 981674

Near to long term goals in the nation's space program would benefit from a significant reduction of the fatigue associated with manual tasks performed by suited astronauts, and the corresponding increase in the comfort, safety, and productivity of EVA operations this would enable. To this end, the University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory and ILC Dover Inc. have developed an electromechanical, power-assisted EVA glove which has demonstrated the ability to substantially reduce manual fatigue while simultaneously increasing range of motion. The lessons learned from the construction and testing of this initial prototype have been used to guide a second generation design for this power-assist concept, which achieves comparable or superior performance with significantly less hardware and power consumption. This paper describes the new, second generation power-assist mechanism, reviewing the relevant design issues and comparing its performance with the initial design.

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