The Maryland Advanced Research/Simulation (MARS) Suit is designed to be a low-cost test bed for extravehicular activity (EVA) research, providing an environment for the development and application of biomedical sensors and advanced EVA technologies. It is also designed to be used in gaining more experience with human-telerobotic interactions in an integrated EVA worksite. MARS Suit is currently in its second generation (MX-2) design.

The body of the MX-2 suit analogue consists of a hard upper torso of hand-crafted resin and fiberglass with integrated hemispherical helmet and rear-entry hatch. Three-layer soft goods (urethane-coated nylon pressure bladder, nylon restraint layer, and thermal/micrometeoroid garment with integral ballast system) are used for the arms and lower torso. Designed for human use at 3psid, the MX-2 provides (in a coarse sense) the outer envelope and joint restrictions of operational pressure suits, while providing realistic visual and audio environments and a dry interior for instrumentation.

Initial tests and applications of MX-2 include correlation of MX-2 performance in EVA tasks to both neutral buoyancy and space flight performance in Shuttle suits, adaptation and integration of the SSL Joint Angle and Muscle Signature system to measure body joint motions and muscular fatigue, tests of various approaches to EVA/robotic cooperation, and development of a virtual reality visual environment integrated into neutral buoyancy simulations.
Questions? Comments? Contact Shane Jacobs