Talk:Analogue surface suit

From OpenLuna
Jump to: navigation, search



The following is an abstract for a suit presentation. It guides how Paul thinks about suit design.

Abstract - Next Generation suit designs, taking lessons from current analogue suit designs. Paul Graham, OpenLuna Foundation London, Ontario, Canada

With the resurgence in interest and activity to return to the moon and Mars, significant thought must be given to Space Suit, Lunar Surface Suit (LSS), or Mars Surface Suit (MSS) designs. Factors that need to be considered include physical, data, and human factors issues. Specifics include items as mission duration requirements, availability of consumables replenishment, power utilization, waste management, communications, data management, entertainment and other user needs. Since the physical requirements are defined by the mission profile, they will be considered as baseline requirements. Also some data and human factors needs will also be considered as baseline requirements, others are more flexible, and should be driven by the individual mission and operators needs. These needs would best be defined through extensive analogue testing in a relevant environment performing realistic and relevant tasks. Therefor, this author believes that analogue suits should be designed as close as practicable to their real counterparts, and real suits should be designed from the lessons learned in the use and testing of their analogues. Since 2001, the author has been overseeing operations at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) and Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), Observing simulations using primitive analogue suits, and gathering data on suit functionality from the perspective of the experienced field scientists and engineers who use them. Also, the author has been working directly with the OpenLuna suit development team in the design of their LSS. Using the process described above, OpenLuna will be developing a LSS that will meet or exceed their own, and NASA requirements. Beyond the minimum physical requirements, such as a 120 hour continuous pressurized time for NASA's Constellation needs for their Lunar Design Reference Mission (LDRM), close examination of existing analogue usage suggests that the following features should also be included in both analogue and space-worthy suits; an internally available food supply, drinking water supply, carbon dioxide, liquid and solid waste disposal, in-suit communications and navigation with redundant systems, temperature control, remote medical access, long duration radiation shielding, personal in-situ resource utilization, environmental protection, mobile power sources, and resource recycling. Rescue and recovery of an injured explorer or a damaged suit should be considered. Along with these basic physical needs, other features should be included such as enhancements in assistance for scientific studies, in-suit documentation, recording, and location capabilities. Available to the wearer should be local copies of engineering or scientific documentation, mapping and other data resources. Entertainment should be considered to help maintain morale during long transits, tedious tasks, or during emergencies. Lastly, the suit must be modular, inexpensively manufactured, easy to maintain and clean, durable enough to provide physical protection and must be able to operate in a wide variety of environments, with variable outerwear for special needs. All of the features should be extensively tested in an analogue environment before introduction into space-worthy suits, and any changes in the real suit needs should be reflected in their analogue counterparts.

Keywords: Moon, Lunar, Suit, Analogue, Exploration, Surface, OpenLuna


Two WEEKS in a suit?! Why????? Pardon my outburst. . .I meant no disrespect. I have been working on this issue for awhile and am currently pursuing this approach: It's called the 50/50 design. The spacesuit begins with a pressure/thermal protection garment with an oxygen breathing system, small heat rejection module and CO2 scrub unit. Very basic. This unit is worn during launch from Earth, all maneuvers in space and the lunar landing. Maximum capability for each O2 fill is only two to four hours, depending on level of activity.

On the Moon - before doing anything else - the astronaut must access a pre-landed logistics module and add several elements to the basic suit. These include larger life-support module able to sustain ten hours of activity per charge, a hard, one-piece upper 'carapace' that has computer, with head-up display, communications and even external lights. This unit is bulky, relatively heavy and completely out of the question for use during lunar flight; it stays on the Moon and is used over several missions.

A second unit attached to the right hip section is a thermal management system about the size of a loaf of bread but conforms to the shape of the hip. It cycles a 60/40 water/glycol mix through a series of bladders capturing the astronaut's excess body heat.

A third unit on the left hip is the waste management system. You can probably guess how that works. In the front, between the two sections just described, is a tool box.

When this unit is attached, the astronaut switches to an oxygen/ntrogen mix that is lower than terrestrial pressure with a higher O2 percentage.

During flights, if there is a problem with the cabin pressurization, the astronaut simply umbilicals dirctly to the spacecraft O2 supply, bypassing the cabin distribution system.


In response to "Two WEEKS in a suit?!"

Well, We we trying to save weight every way possible, and having a shelter or capsule just add weight, and bring little more than comfort to the operation. So, we are going to drop the comfort to save cost. Your design, although very well thought out, wouldn't work real well for us, for one thing, we won't need a cooling garment, we're currently focusing on MCP, (although we are considering something along the lines of the NDX-2) and, since we are running without a capsule, we will be flying in the MCP/HUT hybrid system. Also, something I discovered during my many thousands of hours SCUBA diving, the worst part of diving is putting the wet suit back on. I'd rather just get used to the wet nasty suit, and keep wearing it, rather than get in and out of it. We will bring a light, inflatable "tent" for emergency cleanups or getting a nasty wrinkle out, but it is not intended to be used continuously.

I will post more about my current thinking on suit design ofter the paper is presented at IAC.

Never forget though, this is an open project, and I could be wrong. We will never take a "That's just the way it is, deal with it!" stance when there are facts to point in the other direction, we are entirely fact and demonstration driven. I'm building an analogue suit just to test all of the concepts for the suit, and intend to actually spend three weeks in the suit, eating, sleeping, and all else that would be expected. (Yes, Waste management is my biggest concern.) You are welcome, no invited, to do the same. If your design is superior, it will be the one that flies...

Who are you? I'd like to see more.

Personal tools