Shape Memory Bio-Suit

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNJ06JD82C
Award Id:
80758
Agency Tracking Number:
050234
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
200 Boston Avenue Suite 1000, Medford, MA, 02155
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
786127522
Principal Investigator:
Marthinus van Schoor
Principal Investigator
() -
tienie@mide.com
Business Contact:
Petra Botha
Business Official
(781) 306-0609
pbotha@mide.com
Research Institution:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dava J Newman
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA, 02139
(617) 253-3906
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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