Pressurized Testing of a Commercial Intra-Vehicular Activity Space Suit
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Final Frontier Design (FFD) has continued development and testing of their Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) space suit. FFD flew a total of 7 microgravity flights with their IVA suit pressurized in 2017, and characterized the suit environment and human responses in these human-in-the-loop tests These flight tests were approved by NASA’s Institutional Review Board and were in partnership with the Flight Opportunities Program, Integrated Spaceflight Services, the National Research Council of Canada, and ZeroG Corporation. Extensive biomedical and environmental sensors collected data on a number of factors during these tests, and will be presented. Comparative ground based testing was also completed for each flight. A new, flight like test article was built for these tests, with accurate flight-like materials and processes. Extensive flow analysis of the suit ventilation system was completed, and components were geometrically optimized to reduce pressure drop over the system. An automatic pressure regulator was characterized in a flight like low pressure scenario to maintain certain pressure settings without subject interface. Range of motion of the upper body of this suit was quantified at Embry-Riddle’s human factors lab. System Definition Review (SDR) was completed with Starfighters Aerospace for integration of the suit into a F-104. SDR was also completed with a high altitude balloon capsule project.