team photo

Figure 1
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Figure 2
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Team 31

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Daniel Yang
Lunar Fukami
Taiyaba Batool
Matthew Giorgio

Vito Moreno

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Reduced-Gravity Simulator for Field Environments — Mobile Frame System

NASA seeks to advance its astronaut training programs by integrating reduced gravity simulation in field environments to better prepare their astronauts for the exploration of Lunar or Martian terrains. Currently, NASA’s most advanced reduced gravity offloading system is the ARGOS, which is a 41’ x 24’ x 25’ fixed frame structure that is able to offload a portion of an astronaut’s weight to simulate any given gravitational condition. However, its static nature does not allow for in-field training at geographical locations on Earth that resemble Lunar or Martian terrains. We provide a solution through this project by demonstrating a proof-of-concept design for a mobile offloading system that maintains a constant ⅚ G offloading force on an astronaut and is able to move as the astronaut moves. For simplicity, we are focusing only on simulation of Lunar gravity which is equivalent to approximately ⅙ G. This project combines the knowledge and skills from three different departments: Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Dramatic Arts. Due to the complexity, budget constraints, and safety risks associated with developing a full-scale, mobile structure, we decided to split the project into two major components: A static, large-scale, frame structure (similar to ARGOS) that demonstrates the offloading capabilities and a dynamic, small-scale, chassis-wheel structure that demonstrates mobility through the integration of motion sensors with mecanum wheels and maintains stability on rough terrains and slopes through the integration of a simple suspension system.

Our team collaborated with Biomedical Engineering 13 on this project.