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Shape Memory Bio-Suit

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Mide Technology Corporation
200 Boston Avenue Suite 1000 Medford, MA 02155-3502
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Shape Memory Bio-Suit
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNJ06JD82C
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Spacesuit systems for planetary EVAs must maximize human productivity and provide the astronaut with the capability to perform useful work tasks. Mide plans to work with MIT to develop mechanisms to augment astronaut productivity during advanced EVA missions. We propose to demonstrate the feasibility of using shape memory polymers (SMPs) to provide pressurizing life support in the Bio-Suit, an advanced EVA system based on mechanical counterpressure (MCP) that is being designed to provide a "second skin" biomechanically and cybernetically augmented human performance capacity for planetary exploration. SMPs are "smart" polymers whose pliability makes them comfortable to wear against the skin. However, their material properties and shape can also be controlled using external stimuli such as temperature, electricity or stress, making them particularly appropriate for use in a "second skin" spacesuit that adapts to the astronaut's shape changes during EVA movements. Our initiative would be the first-ever demonstration of the use of smart materials in an MCP spacesuit; as such, this innovation could potentially accelerate the development of space-rated MCP suits because it would provide both a means of increasing the pressure production and control whilst maintaining user comfort and usability ? competing requirements which have hindered development of previous MCP spacesuits.

Principal Investigator:

Marthinus C. van Schoor
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Petra Botha
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Mide Techology Corporation
200 Boston Avenue Suite 1000 Medford, MA 02155

EIN/Tax ID: 043066318
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Contact: Dava J. Newman
Contact Phone: (617) 253-3906
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university