Recent Patents on Space Technology

Sang H. Choi  
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA


Digital Vision Systems and Wearable Computing Technologies for Assisting Astronauts During Intra- and Extra-Vehicular Activity

Author(s): Tomas Hirmer and Gilles Clement

Affiliation: International Space University, Parc d'Innovation, 1 rue Jean Dominique Cassini, 67400 Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France.

Keywords: Humanistic intelligence, wearable computer, astronauts, spacesuit, vision systems.


This paper examines the application of humanistic intelligence design paradigms and wearable computing technologies to astronaut daily activities and future spacesuit designs. A specific focus is on display technologies providing an augmented and mediated reality. These wearable computer technologies (WCT) are discussed in the context of an astronaut's activities inside a spacecraft, during extra-vehicular activities, and on the surfaces of celestial bodies. Options for wearable computer displays with augmented reality interfaces are presented and recent patents in the field are included. Examples showing the astronaut's using an augmented and mediated reality display integrated into a headband during repair activities onboard the International Space Station, or a spacesuit visor during planetary surface exploration, are provided. The advantages of other WCT, such as sensors for brainwave and tactile feedback for assisting in awareness and spatial orientation, are also discussed. The scope of this paper is intended to attract interest from multiple disciplines pertaining to the nature of space projects in general. Furthermore, the application of the humanistic intelligence design principles provides a framework to assist current experts in improving WCT designs for astronauts in the future.

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Article Details

Page: [64 - 73]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/18776116112029990013