The STAMAS research project aims at developing and applying novel smart actuation technologies for space applications. Two demonstrators will be integrated to tackle two vital and challenging problems of manned space flight, i.e. chronic physiological degradation due to the effect of microgravity, and hand fatigue during Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) caused by high resistance forces inside a space suit.
The STAMAS (Smart technology for artificial muscle applications in space) aims at developing a new type of astronauts’ suit, a “smart-suit”, which will mitigate the deteriorating effects of microgravity and motor inactivity, thus maintaining the astronauts’ health and physical fitness during and after a space missions. The project will utilise existing terrestrial experience of the STAMAS consortium comprising Shape Memory Alloys (SMA), Electroactive Polymer (EAP) technology and man-machine cooperative control and build an actuated space exoskeletal suit for usage on board a space station and also for extra vehicular activities (EVA). Further research will focus on new concepts of sensing, biofeedback and cardiopulmonary control strategies implemented into the suit. The consortium, led by the Spanish SMA-device developing company ARQUIMEA is a balanced group of SMEs and research institutions that will develop and validate technological components, which will have a strong impact in the space industry, facilitate high-risk and high-impact research and innovation, and reinforce new research alliances.