Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Pablo de LeÃ³n
Recently, manned space capsules have been recognized as beneficial and reasonable human space vehicles again. The Dragon capsule already achieved several significant successes. The Orion capsule is going to be sent to a high-apogee orbit without crews for experimental purposes in September 2014. For such human-rated space capsules, the study of acceleration impacts against the human body during splashdown is essential to ensure the safety of crews. Moreover, it is also known that wearing a full pressure rescue suit significantly increases safety of a crew, compared to wearing a partial pressure suit. This is mainly because it enables the use of a personal life support system independently in addition to that which installed in the space vehicle. However, it is unclear how the inflation of the full pressure suit due to pressurization affects the crew safety during splashdown, especially in the case of the new generation manned space vehicles.
Therefore, the purpose of this work is to investigate the effect of the suit inflation on crew safety against acceleration impact during splashdown. For this objective, the displacements of the safety harness in relation with the suit, a human surrogate, and the crew seats during pressurizing the suit in order to determine if the safety and survivability of a crew can be improved by wearing a full pressure suit.
For these tests, the DL/H-1 full pressure IVA suit, developed by Pablo de Leon and Gary L. Harris, will be used. These tests use image analysis techniques to determine the displacements. It is expected, as a result of these tests, that wearing a full pressure suit will help to mitigate the impacts and will increase the safety and survivability of a crew during landing since it works as a buffer to mitigate impact forces during splashdown.
This work also proposes a future plan for sled test experiments using a sled facility such as the one in use by the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) for experimental validation of the work presented as part of this thesis.
Wataru, Suzuki, "Study Of The Suit Inflation Effect On Crew Safety During Landing Using A Full-Pressure IVA Suit For New-Generation Reentry Space Vehicles" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 1606.