Design for Custom Shaped Spacesuit, and Optimizing the Fit of Spacesuit Hard Upper Torsos



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2023 International Conference on Environmental Systems


The next era of human spaceflight will see the return of astronauts to the lunar surface, requiring frequent planetary EVAs by an astronaut corps in diverse body shapes and sizes. Future suits must be designed to accommodate the growing and changing population of astronauts, and provide optimal fit, comfort, and mobility. The torso of the spacesuit is a critical component in determining the fitment and function of a suit system. This paper presents a design framework for generating custom shaped Hard Upper Torsos (HUTs) from a 3-dimensional body scan. In this framework a principal component (PC) analysis was performed on a 3D body scan database of the general population. A set of clusters was statistically identified, each of the which represents a distinct torso shape and size. The computer design of the HUT geometry was manually adjusted for optimal fit for each cluster. The obtained HUT geometries were processed for PC analysis and statistically modelled, so that an arbitrary torso shape can predict a HUT geometry hypothetically yielding an optimal fit. While this technique constituted a custom sizing scheme, a “standard” sizing scheme was additionally built, in which a discrete number of HUT sizes (small, medium, large, etc.) was identified for maximum accommodation of the population. To determine the improvement of fit, 3D printed mockups were fabricated for the standard and the custom shaped HUT, based on the 3D body scan of test volunteers. The perceived fit and comfort was assessed by a structures survey. Mobility was measured by patterns and ranges of the upper extremity motions. The testing and data analysis is currently in progress, and the details will be presented in the full manuscript.


Will Green, University of North Dakota, USA
Pablo De Leon, University of North Dakota, USA
Jesse Rhoades, University of North Dakota, USA
Han Kim, Leidos, Inc, USA
ICES400: Extravehicular Activity: Space Suits
The 52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Calgary, Canada, on 16 July 2023 through 20 July 2023.


Spacesuit, 3D Scanning, Anthropometry, Hard Upper Torsos (HUT), 3D Printing