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Technical Paper

Smoke Particle Sizes in Low-Gravity and Implications for Spacecraft Smoke Detector Design

This paper presents results from a smoke detection experiment entitled Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment (SAME) which was conducted in the Microgravity Science Glovebox on the International Space Station (ISS) during Expedition 15. Five different materials representative of those found in spacecraft were pyrolyzed at temperatures below the ignition point with conditions controlled to provide repeatable sample surface temperatures and air flow conditions. The sample materials were Teflon®, Kapton®, cellulose, silicone rubber and dibutylphthalate. The transport time from the smoke source to the detector was simulated by holding the smoke in an aging chamber for times ranging from 10 to1800 seconds. Smoke particle samples were collected on Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) grids for post-flight analysis.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Muscle Fatigue and Joint Position of the Hand During EVA Simulation Operations

Task-based intensity and fatigue metrics were developed and applied to neutral buoyancy simulations of extravehicular activities (EVA). Surface electromyographic (EMG) signals from hand flexor and extensor musculature were recorded during neutral buoyancy EVA simulations at Marshall Space Flgiht Center (MSFC) in August-September 1996. A task intensity index, based on the cumulative histogram of EMG amplitude, was developed and used to determine relative physical difficulty of handgripping, knob turning, bolt manipulation, and j-hook release tasks. A fatigue index, based on the task intensity metric and task duration, was used to provide a measure of task-related fatigue.
Technical Paper

Morphing Upper Torso: A Novel Concept in EVA Suit Design

The University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory and ILC Dover LP have developed a novel concept: a soft pressure garment that can be dynamically reconfigured to tailor its shape properties to the wearer and the desired task set. This underlying concept has been applied to the upper torso of a rear entry suit, in which the helmet ring, waist ring and two shoulder rings make up a system of four interconnected parallel manipulators with tensile links. This configuration allows the dynamic control of both the position and orientation of each of the four rings, enabling modification of critical sizing dimensions such as the inter-scye distance, as well as task-specific orientations such as helmet, scye and waist bearing angles. Half-scale and full-scale experimental models as well as an analytical inverse kinematics model were used to examine the interconnectedness of the plates, the role of external forces generated by pressurized fabric, and the controllability of the system.
Journal Article

Measurement of Smoke Particle Size under Low-Gravity Conditions

Smoke detection experiments were conducted in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) on the International Space Station (ISS) during Expedition 15 in an experiment entitled Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment (SAME). The preliminary results from these experiments are presented. In order to simulate detection of a prefire overheated-material event, samples of five different materials were heated to temperatures below the ignition point. The smoke generation conditions were controlled to provide repeatable sample surface temperatures and air flow conditions. The smoke properties were measured using particulate aerosol diagnostics that measure different moments of the size distribution. These statistics were combined to determine the count mean diameter which can be used to describe the overall smoke distribution.
Journal Article

Incorporating Advanced Controls, Displays and other Smart Elements into Space Suit Design

The MX-2 neutral buoyancy space suit analogue has been designed and developed at the University of Maryland to facilitate analysis of space suit components and assessment of the benefits of advanced space suit technologies, The MX-2 replicates the salient features of microgravity pressure suits, including the induced joint torques, visual, auditory and thermal environments, and microgravity through the use of neutral buoyancy simulation. In this paper, design upgrades and recent operations of the suit are outlined, including many experiments and tests of advanced space suit technologies, This paper focuses on the work done using the MX-2 to implement and investigate various advanced controls and displays within the suit, to enhance crewmember situational awareness and effectiveness, and enable human-robotic interaction.
Technical Paper

Development of a Single-Fluid Consumable Infrastructure for Life Support Systems

Decomposition of high-grade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generates water vapor, oxygen, and heat. By converting heat to electrical energy with a Stirling engine, a spacesuit portable life support system can be maintained exclusively with H2O2; however, incorporation of additional cooling water may reduce the overall system mass. System components comprising the hydrogen peroxide portable life support system (HyPerPLSS) are discussed and analyzed. Component considerations and thermodynamic relations indicate an optimal hydrogen peroxide concentration of 95%. Life support requirements for eight hours of extravehicular activity are satisfied with 10.9 kg of liquid H2O2.
Technical Paper

Development of a Power-Assisted Space Suit Glove Joint

The need for improvement of EVA gloves has been identified by NASA and the user community. Particularly important, especially for near to long term goals in the space program, is the need to reduce the fatigue associated with manual tasks. The University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory (SSL), together with ILC Dover are currently developing an unobtrusive, power-assisted EVA glove that will attempt to provide a suited crewperson with as close to nude-body hand dexterity as possible. The power-assisted joint is designed to provide sufficient force to offset the resistance of the pressurized glove itself, thus alleviating manual fatigue, but provides no additional strength augmentation. This paper describes the initial prototype power-assist mechanism which has been developed, reviewing the relevant design issues and discussing the initial test results from the prototype.
Technical Paper

Determining Optimum Redesign Plans for Avionics Based on Electronic Part Obsolescence Forecasts

Many electronic parts have life cycles that are shorter than the life cycle of the product they are in. Life cycle mismatches caused by the obsolescence of electronic parts can result in significantly sustainment costs for long life systems. In particular, avionics often encounters part obsolescence problems before being fielded and nearly always experience part obsolescence problems during their field life. This paper presents a methodology for determining the optimum design refresh (redesign) schedule for long field life electronic systems based on forecasted electronic part obsolescence and a mix of obsolescence mitigation approaches ranging from lifetime buys to part substitution.
Technical Paper

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

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.