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Technical Paper

Investigation of Transient Sublimator Performance

Sublimators have been used for heat rejection in a variety of space applications including the Apollo Lunar Module and the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). Sublimators typically operate with steady-state feedwater utilization at or near 100%. However, sublimators are currently being considered to operate in a cyclical topping mode during low lunar orbit for Altair and possibly Orion, which represents a new mode of operation. This paper will investigate the feedwater utilization when a sublimator is used in this nontraditional manner. This paper includes testing efforts to date to investigate the Orbit-Averaged Feedwater Utilization (OAFU) for a sublimator.
Technical Paper

A Method for and Issues Associated with the Determination of Space Suit Joint Requirements

In the design of a new space suit it is necessary to have requirements that define what mobility space suit joints should be capable of achieving in both a system and at the component level. NASA elected to divide mobility into its constituent parts -- range of motion (ROM) and torque -- in an effort to develop clean design requirements that limit subject performance bias and are easily verified. Unfortunately, the measurement of mobility can be difficult to obtain. Current technologies, such as the Vicon motion capture system, allow for the relatively easy benchmarking of range of motion (ROM) for a wide array of space suit systems. The ROM evaluations require subjects in the suit to accurately evaluate the ranges humans can achieve in the suit. However, when it comes to torque, there are significant challenges for both benchmarking current performance and writing requirements for future suits.
Technical Paper

International Space Station (ISS) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Gas Usage

International Space Station (ISS) Crewmembers perform one of three denitrogenation protocols prior to performing Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) using the International Space Station (ISS) Airlock. The three denitrogenation protocols are: a) Exercise, b) Campout, and c) In-suit. EVA gas usage is categorized into Denitrogenation, Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) oxygen use during EVAs, and air loss gas usage. The amount of gas usage depends on the denitrogenation protocol that is used. Each protocol's gas usage will differ as a result of different requirements of denitrogenation and EMU support. Flight data is correlated with theoretical values when it is available. The correlation to flight data provides a validation of the analysis data. Theoretical and actual gas usages from the ISS were calculated for EVAs out of the Airlock during Stage 7A to Stage 11A. Components of denitrogenation and EMU support gas usage are included.
Technical Paper

Access Systems for Partial Gravity Exploration & Rescue: Results from Prototype Testing in an Analog Environment

An EVA simulation with a medical contingency scenario was conducted in 2006 with the NASA Haughton-Mars and EVA Physiology System and Performance Projects, to develop medical contingency management and evacuation techniques for planetary surface exploration. A rescue/evacuation system to allow two rescuer astronauts to evacuate one incapacitated astronaut was evaluated. The rescue system was utilized effectively to extract an injured astronaut up a slope of15-25° and into a surface mobility rover for transport to a simulated habitat for advanced medical care. Further research is recommended to evaluate the effects of reduced gravity and to develop synergies with other surface systems for carrying out the contingency procedures.
Technical Paper

Development Status of the Contaminant Insensitive Sublimator

Sublimators have been used for heat rejection for a variety of space applications including the Apollo Lunar Module and the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). Some of the attractive features of sublimators are that they are compact, lightweight, and self-regulating. One of the drawbacks to previous designs has been sensitivity to non-volatile contamination in the feedwater, which can clog relatively small pores (∼3-µ6 μn) in the porous plates where ice forms and sublimates. The Contaminant Insensitive Sublimator (CIS) has been recently developed at NASA-JSC to be less sensitive to contaminants by using a larger pore size media (−350 um). Testing of a CIS Engineering Development Unit (EDU) has demonstrated good heat rejection performance. This paper describes testing that investigates different factors affecting efficient utilization of the feedwater.
Technical Paper

Extravehicular Activity Metabolic Profile Development Based on Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle Missions

The importance of being able to determine the usage rate of life support subsystem consumables was recognized well before the first Apollo Extravehicular Activity (EVA). Since that time, metabolic activity levels have been evaluated and recorded for each EVA crew member. Throughout the history of the United States space program, EVA metabolic rates have been shown to be variable depending upon the mission scenario and the equipment used. Knowing this historic information is invaluable for current EVA planning activities, as well as for the design of future Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) systems. This paper presents an overview of historic metabolic expenditures for Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle missions, along with a discussion of the types of EVA crew member activities which lead to various metabolic rate levels, and a discussion on how this data is being used to develop advanced EMU systems.
Technical Paper

Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Enhancements of Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment

As NASA is preparing to extend man's reach into space, it is expected that astronauts will be required to spend more and more time exposed to the hazards of performing Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA). One of these hazards includes the risk of the space suit bladder being penetrated by hypervelocity micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) particles. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to investigate new ways to improve the protectiveness of the current Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) against MMOD penetration. ILC Dover conducted a NASA funded study into identifying methods of improving the current EMU protection. The first part of this evaluation focused on identifying how to increase the EMU shielding, selecting materials to accomplish this, and testing these materials to determine the best lay-up combinations to integrate into the current thermal micrometeoroid garment (TMG) design.
Technical Paper

Automatic Sequencing and Control of Space Station Airlock Operations

Procedures that have been developed as part of the NASA JSC-sponsored pre-prototype Checkout, Servicing and Maintenance (COSM) program for pre- and post-EVA airlock operations are described. This paper addresses the accompanying pressure changes in the airlock and in the Advanced Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). Additionally, the paper focuses on the components that are checked out, and includes the step-by-step sequences to be followed by the crew, the required screen displays and prompts that accompany each step, and a description of the automated processes that occur.
Technical Paper

A Study to Explore Locomotion Patterns in Partial Gravity Environments

The primary objectives of this study were to determine the factors that affect stability during locomotion in both lunar and martian gravity environments and to determine the criteria needed to enhance stability and traction. This study tested the effects of changing the speed of locomotion and the pattern of locomotion under three gravity conditions. The results showed that as the gravity level decreased, the amount of vertical and horizontal forces dropped significantly. The results also showed that there are some similarities across gravity levels with regard to changing the speed as well as the pattern of locomotion. In general, an increase in the speed resulted in an increase in the vertical and the horizontal forces. A change in the pattern of locomotion showed that even at reduced gravity, it will be more difficult to stop than compared to continue or start the motion.
Technical Paper

Freeze Tolerant Radiator for Advanced EMU

The current Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) system provides thermal control using a sublimator to reject both the heat produced by the astronaut's metabolic activity as well as the heat produced by the Portable Life Support Unit (PLSS). This sublimator vents up to eight pounds of water each Extravehicular Activity (EVA). If this load could be radiated to space, the amount of water that would need to be sublimated could be greatly reduced. There is enough surface area on the EMU that almost all of the heat can be rejected by radiation. Radiators, however, reject heat at a relatively constant rate, while the astronaut generates heat at a variable rate. To accommodate this variable heat load, NASA is developing a new freeze tolerant radiator where the tubes can selectively freeze to “turn down” the radiator and adjust to the heat rejection requirement. This radiator design significantly reduces the amount of expendable water needed for the sublimator.
Technical Paper

Advanced Regenerable CoD2 Removal Technologies Applicable to Future Emus

The NASA Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) uses a non-regenerable absorbent to remove CO2 from an astronaut's breathing loop. A savings in launch weight, storage volume and life cycle cost may be achieved by incorporating a regenerable CO2 removal system into the EMU. This paper will discuss regenerable CO2 sorbents and their impact on the life support system of an EMU. The systems evaluated will be judged on their technical maturity, impact to the EMU, and impacts to space station and shuttle operation
Technical Paper

Comparative Space Suit Boot Test

In applications that require space-suited crewmembers to traverse rough terrain, boot fit and mobility are of critical importance to the crewmember's overall performance capabilities. Current extravehicular activity (EVA) boot designs were developed for micro-gravity applications, and as such, incorporate only minimal mobility features. Recently three advanced space suit boot designs were evaluated at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Johnson Space Center (NASA/JSC). The three designs included: 1) a modified Space Shuttle suit (Extravehicular Mobility Unit or EMU) boot, 2) the Modified Experiment Boot designed and fabricated by RD & PE Zvezda JSC, and 3) a boot designed and fabricated by the David Clark Company. Descriptions of each configuration and rationale for each boot design are presented.