An Integrated Methodology for Evaluating Space Suit Mobility and Stability

McDonald, P.V., Riccio, G.E., & Newman, D. (1999). Understanding skill in EVA mass handling: Part IV. An integrated methodology for evaluating space suit mobility and stability. NASA Technical Paper 3684. Houston, TX: Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.

The empirical investigation of extravehicular activity (EVA) mass handling conducted on NASA's Precision Air-Bearing Floor led to a Phase I SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research grant) from NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). The purpose of the SBIR was to design an innovative system for evaluating space suit mobility and stability in conditions that simulate EVA on the surface of the Moon or Mars.

The approach we used to satisfy the Phase I objectives was based on a structured methodology for the development of human-systems technology. Accordingly the project was broken down into a number of tasks and subtasks. In sequence, the major tasks were:

  1. Identify missions and tasks that will involve EVA and thus the requirements for mobility of the EVA system both in the near and long term.
  2. Assess possible methods for evaluating mobility of space suits during field-based EVA tests.
  3. Identify requirements for behavioral evaluation by interacting with NASA stakeholders.
  4. Identify necessary and sufficient technology for implementation of a mobility evaluation system.
  5. Prioritize and select technology solutions.

The work conducted in these tasks is described in this final volume of the series on EVA mass handling. While prior volumes in the series focus on novel data-analytic techniques, this volume addresses technology that is necessary for minimally intrusive data collection and near-real-time data analysis and display.

View the fourth volume of the NASA Technical Paper


Gary Riccio

As a partner and as a consultant, I deliver value by identifying, aggregating, and developing previously undervalued assets--people and systems, internal and external, public and private, scientific and technical--for exceptional impact.