Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Aerospace Engineering Sciences

First Advisor

Allison P. Anderson

Second Advisor

David Klaus

Third Advisor

Torin P. Clark

Abstract

This Thesis presents a novel hybrid spacesuit architecture concept to enable planetary exploration by combining mechanical counterpressure (MCP) with gas-pressurization (GP). This conceptual design has the potential to offer a quantifiable increase in mobility, increases in safety through pressure layer redundancy, and decreased pre-breathe time to improve operational efficiency.

The Thesis performs an engineering study on the concept. First, to assess the feasibility and benefit of implementing two separate pressure layers in the spacesuit, a trade analysis of the design space was performed by numerically modelling different spacesuit-related parameters. The analysis is done considering the combined system performance across different levels of total pressure and the degree of contribution of each system (MCP-GP). Then, the GP layer of the Hybrid Spacesuit concept is evaluated by testing the dexterity capabilities of gas-pressurized elements not intended for space use. Finally, the Thesis proceeds to develop relevant tools that can help on the development of MCP spacegloves, intended to be integrated into the Hybrid Spacesuit. These tools provide a baseline from which continue iterating in Hybrid Spacesuit MCPlayer architectures. It is concluded that the Thesis effectively studies the potential and feasibility of the Hybrid Spacesuit concept

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