TR#551: Preliminary Considerations for Wearable Computing in Support of Astronaut Extravehicular Activity


Christopher E. Carr, Steven J. Schwartz, and Dava J. Newman

Technical Report
September 2001
Media Laboratory & Departartment of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Preliminary considerations for a wearable computer system for astronauts on International Space Station (ISS) during extravehicular activity (EVA) are discussed. The proposed system acts as a client on a wireless network external to the ISS, and provides text, graphics, audio, and video to astronauts using a near-eye display. Primary design considerations include astronaut safety, comfort, ease of use, operational simplicity, and cost. Requirements are highlighted for electrical design, in-suit thermal issues, the space environment, and EVA displays and controls. A suit-internal wearable computer system prototype is proposed. Suit-external components include a camera, video processor, and wireless access point, which provides access for both the suit-internal wearable and other potential wireless EVA tools. Future plans include development and testing of the prototype system.

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