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Technical Paper

Spacelab Neurovestibular Hardware

1991-07-01
911566
A set of devices for measurement of human balance orientation and eye movements in weightlessness was developed for neurovestibular experiments on Spacelab. The experiments involve astronaut motion, limb position changes, and moving visual fields, measurements are made of eye movements, muscular activity and orientation perception. This joint US/Canadian research program represent a group of closely related experiments designed to investigate space motion sickness, any associated changes in otolith-mediated responses occurring during weightlessness, and the continuation of changes to postflight conditions. The otoliths are a component of the vestibular apparatus which is located in the middle ear. It is responsible for maintaining the body's balance. Gravitational pull on the otoliths causes them to constantly appraise the nervous system of the position of the head with respect to the direction of gravity.
Technical Paper

Anthropometric and Blood Flow Characteristics Leading to EVA Hand Injury

2009-07-12
2009-01-2471
The aim of this study was to explore if fingernail delamination injury following EMU glove use may be caused by compression-induced blood flow occlusion in the finger. During compression tests, finger blood flow decreased more than 60%, however this occurred more rapidly for finger pad compression (4 N) than for fingertips (10 N). A pressure bulb compression test resulted in 50% and 45% decreased blood flow at 100 mmHg and 200 mmHg, respectively. These results indicate that the finger pad pressure required to articulate stiff gloves is more likely to contribute to injury than the fingertip pressure associated with tight fitting gloves.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Space Suit: Physiological Implications for Extravehicular Activity (EVA)

2000-07-10
2000-01-2257
Extravehicular activity (EVA) is investigated through experiments testing an actual extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) performing several EVA tasks in the laboratory, and a dynamic model of the EMU space suit is developed. Building directly on earlier work in EVA simulation, the space suit model was created from mass, inertia, and performance data to augment the unsuited 12-segment human model used in previous studies. A modified Preisach model was used to mathematically describe the hysteretic torque characteristics of joints in a pressurized space suit, and implemented numerically based on observed suit parameters. Computational simulations, based loosely on a 1995 EVA involving manipulation of the Spartan astrophysics payload, were performed to observe the effect of suit constraints on simulated astronaut performance.
Technical Paper

Bio-Suit Development: Viable Options for Mechanical Counter Pressure

2004-07-19
2004-01-2294
Human explorers of planetary surfaces would benefit greatly from a spacesuit design that facilitates locomotion. To aid in the development of such an extravehicular activity suit, a design effort incorporating the concept of mechanical counter pressure (MCP) was undertaken. Three-dimensional laser scanning of the human body was used to identify the main effects of knee flexion angle on the size and shape of the leg. This laser scanning quantified the changes in shape that must be supported by an MCP garment and the tension that must be developed to produce even MCP. Evaluation of a hybrid-MCP concept using inextensible materials demonstrated strong agreement between experimental data and a mathematical model with rigid cylinder geometry. Testing of a form-fitting garment on the right lower leg of a subject demonstrated successful pressure production. Further research is required to evaluate how evenly pressure can be distributed using the hybrid-MCP concept.
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