Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2017 Jun 1;88(6):589-596. doi: 10.3357/AMHP.4650.2017.


INTRODUCTION: The Mark III (MIII) space suit assembly (SSAs) implements a multibearing, hard-material hip brief assembly (HBA). We hypothesize that: 1) the MIII HBA restricts operator mobility and agility which manifests in effects to gait parameters; 2) the waist bearing provides rotational motion, partially alleviating the restrictions; and 3) there are resistive, speed-dependent torques associated with the spinning bearings which further diminish mobility and agility.

METHODS: A subject (Suited and Unsuited) performed two planetary tasks-walking forward (WF) and backward (WB). An analysis of variance (ANOVA) and post hoc comparisons were performed to determine interaction effects. Motion capture data was processed to obtain gait parameters: static base (m), dynamic base (m), step length (m), stride length (m), cadence (steps/min), center of mass speed (m · s-1), foot clearance (toe and heel) (m), and bearing angular velocities (° · s-1).

RESULTS: The static base when Suited (0.355 m) was larger than Unsuited (0.263 m). The Suited dynamic base (pooled, 0.200 m) was larger than both Unsuited WF (0.081 m) and WB (0.107 m). When Suited, the operator had lower clearance heights. The waist bearings provided about 7.2° of rotation when WB and WF. The maximum torque, while WF, in the right upper and mid bearings was 15.6 ± 1.35 Nm and 16.3 ± 1.28 Nm.

DISCUSSION: This study integrated suit component properties and the emergent biomechanics of the operator to investigate how biomechanics are affected. The human hip has three collocated degrees of freedom (DOFs), whereas the HBA has a single DOF per bearing. The results can inform requirements for future SSA and other wearable system designs and evaluations.Cullinane CR, Rhodes RA, Stirling LA. Mobility and agility during locomotion in the Mark III space suit. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2017; 88(6):589-596.

PMID:28539149 | DOI:10.3357/AMHP.4650.2017