Advanced Controls and Displays | Glove Research | Biomedical Instrumentation | Human/Robotic Cooperation
Advanced Controls and Displays
The MX-2 helmet was specifically designed to accommodate head-mounted display units internally. One of the planned research applications of the MX-2 is to investigate advanced EVA controls and displays. Computer graphics and high-resolution video will be provided to the wearer, and assessed for impact on EVA operations. One of the longer-range goals is to develop fully immersive virtual environments with realistic dynamics. Unlike the current use of VR for crew training, in which the subject is standing in a laboratory with full earth-gravity preload on the postural muscles, in this concept a test subject in simulated microgravity will be provided with a computer-generated visual field. In a visionary scenario, one might imagine realistically simulating an ISS EVA in neutral buoyancy, where the only physical hardware that is used are the crew handholds and interfaces. All other “mockups” are limited to computer animations, along with a much more realistic visual image than the walls of the neutral buoyancy tank would provide. [top]

Glove Research
The Space Systems Laboratory has a long and extensive experience in advanced EVA glove design. This has included glove simulations, a robotically-augmented EMU glove, and various forms of mechanical counter pressure glove technologies. While many early evaluations of advanced gloves can be performed in a glove box in the SSL, the important next step is to perform realistic end-to-end simulations to assess wearability, resistance to tearing and abrasion, and effect of the technology on task performance. The MX-2 is well suited to this, especially with the use of the JAMS system to obtain quantitative data on the rate of fatigue onset with competing gloves on identical tasks. [top]

Biomedical Instrumentation
The Space Systems Laboratory has developed an advanced EVA biomedical instrument which monitors body motions, and measures the rate of muscular fatigue onset. The Joint Angle and Muscle Signature (JAMS) system was tested in EMUs at the NASA Marshall Neutral Buoyancy Simulator, but had to be self-contained, which limited the data collection capacity. JAMS will be fully integrated into the MX-2, and available for quantitative neuromuscular evaluation of experimental tasks.

The Space Systems Laboratory (then at MIT) conducted the Experimental Assembly of Structures in EVA (EASE) experiment on shuttle flight STS 61-B in 1985. This flight data yielded valuable quantitative correlation of an extensive neutral buoyancy database in EVA operations. However, one of the most interesting correlations could not be performed, as there has never been metabolic workload instrumentation available on neutral buoyancy suits. The surface-supplied life support system for MX-2 will be instrumented with O2 and CO2 partial pressure sensors in the air return line, as well as flow meters and inlet/outlet temperature sensors in the water-cooling lines. This will allow continual real-time measurement of metabolic workload, which will provide quantitative metrics on comparative approaches to issues such as suit design details. [top]

-Supplemental Cameral and Maneuvering Platform (SCAMP)
Worksite inspection and EVA monitoring
Astronaut support



Satellite servicing
Structural assembly
Astronaut assist
Questions? Comments? Contact Shane Jacobs