MIT Professor Dava Newman wants to build better astronaut suits. The modern spacesuit, while highly protective and functional, presents unique problems with regards to the pressures exerted on the human body.
Prof. Newman’s research, with the help of the Dainese Technology Center and with the backing of NASA, aims to highlight specific problem areas for redesign the body and suit interface.
With the resources available at D-Tec in Italy, MIT engineer Allison Anderosn along with Dainese engineers have created a suit undergarment that utilizes sensors to detect pressure points (impact and abrasion).
The results of the study will be made available to other space agencies, with the Russian space agency being among the first to benefit.
This is fascinating research and it will be interesting to see how or if this technology makes its way into other applications where human-garment interaction is critical, e.g. motorcycle racing.
Additionally, it could usher in a new era of high-resolution data from testing the performance of existing and next-generation protective gear for consumers and racers alike.