The dynamic life support system (LSS) simulation software Virtual Habitat (V-HAB) has been under development at the Technische Universität München since 2006. V-HAB allows the dynamic simulation of habitat life support systems and their interaction with a human model, as well the environment of the habitat. By correlation with operational life support systems such as the international space station (ISS) environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) the tool has reached a high level of maturity. As a consistent next step, we are in the process of expanding V-HAB’ s capabilities to become V-SUIT, the Virtual Space Suit, a tool capable of performing dynamic analyses of space suits. This expansion shall be achieved by upgrading V-HAB and including additional hardware models, in particular technologies specific to portable life support systems (PLSS). In addition, an interface to the space suits environment shall be added by including results from a dynamic thermal environmental model (TherMoS project). The focus of this paper is to show our approach towards a simulation-based virtual space suit that enables a dynamic simulation of a space suit in combination with its simulated PLSS on a planetary surface. V-SUIT takes into account dynamically changing external loads as well as dynamically changing internal loads caused by the crewmember. We will point out how V-SUIT can be used for several applications within the PLSS development process, such as a test prediction tool for existing prototypes or as a preliminary architecture validation tool for future designs. Also unconventional technologies, traditionally not considered for portable life support systems, for example bio-reactors or adaptable surface coatings, can be integrated into such a simulation environment for feasibility analyses. V-SUIT can also be included earlier in the design phase as part of a larger architecture generation and analysis tool. This would aid in the down-selection of possible architectures and increase architecture diversity. V-SUIT can also be used as a planning tool, as well as a mission-shadowing tool, enabling mission operations teams to simulate extra vehicular activities (EVA) prior to the actual excursions. In this paper we present the approach towards making V-SUIT a valuable tool for the space suit portable life support system community.
Book / Congress title:
Proceedings of the 42nd International Conference on Environmental Systems