The Extra-vehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) suits for exploration of lunar and Martian surfaces cannot resist to cut/puncture due to current outer layer materials and design. Dust mitigation is also an important and unmet feature of current Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) suit technology. Force Engineering Inc. proposes to develop an innovative shell fabric and dust mitigation technology for spacesuit outer layer to improve Environmental Protection Garments (EPG) using fiber and fabric structures originally developed for textile and composite armor applications with similar protection and abrasion resistant requirements. We aim to leverage our soft body armor and E-Textile technology assets to create multifunction textile structures that provide for redundant circuit and real time health monitoring and diagnostic capability, as well as the capability to dissipate electrostatic charges and move power and data across the spacesuit, replacing heavy cables and connectors that are known failure points.
Force Engineering Inc will develop a new garment protection system that will achieve these two stringent goals, while maintaining comfort and mobility. Our team will combine several well-developed technologies into a practical outer layer design, which will provide excellent protection from dust, fire, thermal, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, impact penetration and cut/puncture. The new garment protection system will be integrated to minimize weight and maximize flexibility such as to not prohibit, degrade, or interfere with the use of equipment. Prototypes will fabricate and puncture, dust, and abrasion tests will be conducted for proof-of-concept.
Weight savings by creation of smart/multifunctional textile and composite products that enable lighter weight electronics, communication, and power transfer in a damage tolerant, redundant circuits.
Astronaut health monitoring using eTextile. Improved spacesuit capability to integrate redundant textile-based sensor, power, data busses for a wired and continuously monitored astronaut and spacesuit. Ability to detect real-time degradation and damage to spacesuit, gloves, and other garments and to manage garment life, maintenance, and condition.
Sensor and electronics integration in soldier helmets, body armor, and other wearable gear to save weight. Wearable eTextile technology for commercial wearable electronics and flexible electronics to create smart fabrics and integrate electronics and microprocessor capability into garments for productivity, entertainment, remote sensing medical diagnostics capability.