Development of a Space Suit Soft Upper Torso Mobility/Sizing Actuation System with Focus on Prototype Development and Manned Testing
ILC Dover Inc. was awarded a three-year NRA grant for the development of innovative spacesuit pressure garment technology that will enable safer, more reliable, and effective human exploration of the space frontier. The research focused on the development of a high performance mobility/sizing actuation system for a spacesuit soft upper torso (SUT) pressure garment. This technology has application in two areas (1) repositioning the scye bearings to improve specific joint motion i.e. hammering (Figure 1), hand over hand translation (Figure 2), etc., and (2) as a suit sizing mechanism to allow easier suit entry and more accurate suit fit with fewer torso sizes than the existing EMU. This research was divided into three phases. In phases 1 and 2 SUT actuation technologies were developed and evaluated.