Automatic Thermal Control Through a LCVG for a Spacesuit
Automatic thermal control (ATC) was investigated for implementation into a spacesuit to provide thermal neutrality to the astronaut through a range of activity levels. Two different control concepts were evaluated and compared for their ability to maintain subject thermal comfort. Six test subjects, who were involved in a series of three tests, walked on a treadmill following specific metabolic profiles while wearing the Mark III spacesuit in ambient environmental conditions. Results show that individual subject comfort was effectively provided by both algorithms over a broad range of metabolic activity. ATC appears to be highly effective in providing efficient, “hands-off” thermal regulation requiring minimal instrumentation. Final selection of an algorithm to be implemented in an advanced spacesuit system will require testing in dynamic thermal environments and consideration of technology for advancement in instrumentation and controller performance.