NASA STTR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 T5.01-9766
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Crew Support Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE:Shape Memory Bio-Suit

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC): RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):
NAME: Mide Techology Corporation NAME:Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ADDRESS:200 Boston Avenue Suite 1000 ADDRESS:77 Massachusetts Avenue
CITY:Medford CITY:Cambridge
STATE/ZIP:MA  02155-4242 STATE/ZIP:MA  02139-4307
PHONE: (781) 306-0609 PHONE: (617) 253-3906

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name,Email)
Marthinus C van Schoor
tienie@mide.com

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
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.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Active materials such as SMP may soon revolutionize the clothing industry. SMP garments have the potential to provide a highly controllable pressure distribution and conform to the user's body with great comfort. As such, the innovations we propose to develop can be applied not only to advanced EVA systems, but also to applications where pressure and/or a conformal protective suits are required. Potentially this research could lead to live in spacesuits for non-EVA systems. Active suits could be designed for multi-purposes, conforming from everyday use to EVA missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
In the medical sector pressure garments for burn victims, patients with varicose veins and other vascular diseases could be developed. In addition active tourniquets are another potential application for this research.Actively conforming protective suits for hazardous materials or hazardous environment operations. The SMP garments would conform or expand to best protect the wearer from hazards. A Fireman's suit could contract or expand due to high temperatures to maximize thermal insulation during a fire. Scuba suits with controllable dimensions. This would allow the diver to vary the space between garment and skin and thus the desired level of insulation.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Suits


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:14