NASA is seeking to challenge the GrabCAD Community to design a common restraint and mobility aid system that works in four gravity environments.
In microgravity, astronauts need hand rails, foot holds, and work area restraints. In gravity, astronauts may need safety railings, steps or ladders, particularly for large, multi-deck habitats. Develop a common solution: a single system that will restrain crew members in microgravity, while being unobtrusive in gravity; that will enable astronauts to translate between decks on the Moon or Mars, but not be a passageway obstruction in microgravity. The same system must be effective in any gravity field: 0g, 1/6g, 3/8g, and 1g with no reconfiguration. This project will require a high degree of creativity and innovation to create a common restraint and mobility aid system that works in all four gravity environments.
This problem is in support of the Common Habitat, an exploratory design study seeking to develop a single habitat architecture that functions on the Moon, Mars, in microgravity transit, and as an Earth trainer/analog. The advantage of such a design is that if successful, a single design and procurement activity can provide for all four needs. NASA funding levels may not allow the Agency to develop highly capable habitats for the Moon, Mars, and Mars transit all in parallel, and spreading these out in series could increase the time required to prepare missions to Mars. This challenge addresses a key component of the Common Habitat. Properly designed and placed, restraints and mobility aids enable the crew to live and work effectively in space, on the Moon, and on Mars. It will also enable crews to train on Earth-like they will operate on their missions. But improper design or placement can reduce work efficiency, cause crew injury, result in equipment damage, or even lead to loss of life. Thus, a common restraints and mobility aids solution that works in all gravity environments is a critical element to a truly Common Habitat. A successful outcome is a complete restraint and mobility aid system as measured by the following:
1. Separate CAD models of each restraint and mobility aid component item and associated linked models (see requirements below).
2. Excel format table listing for each component item the name, quantity, rough dimensions, volume, suggested material (e.g. aluminum, plastic, fabric, etc.), estimated mass, and any associated operating parameters (e.g. power if an electrically powered item).
3. The report in Word format describing the overall restraints and mobility aid system each component item and how they should be used throughout the Common Habitat. No page length guidelines – should be sufficient to describe your concept. Include illustrations.
For purposes of this challenge, all hatches shall be assumed to have an opening described by a rounded rectangle, 60 inches in height by 40 inches in width, with a radius of curvature of 5.9 inches at each corner. All vertical passages between decks have the same size openings – anything that can pass through a hatch on one deck can be transported through a vertical passage to another deck. Vertical passages are generally not adjacent to a wall but are instead near or at the center of the deck.
Assume a habitat with 3, 4, or 6 decks and a floor-to-floor distance of 2.5 meters.
(Number of decks is a trade study currently in progress and the solution must work
regardless of the habitat height ultimately selected.)
Ideas that should be excluded:
Exclude swapping out of gravity-specific solutions. (e.g. ISS-type handrails on the microgravity variant and traditional stairs on the lunar/Mars variants). Any solution not common to all gravity environments is to be excluded.
Avoid any diagonal vertical translation between decks (e.g. like a staircase - takes up too much floor space). Constrain all such vertical motion to fit within
the previously described 60” x 40” envelope.
Avoid solutions that are difficult or cumbersome to operate. Imagine having to use this system in your home.
Avoid solutions that could cause injury or leave crew members trapped or cut off from one another.
1. Successful designs will meet submission requirements
Requirements needed for Submission:
ENTERING THE COMPETITION:
SUBMITTING AN ENTRY
AWARDING THE WINNERS
The sum of the Awards is the total gross amount of the reward. The awarded participant is solely liable for the payment of all taxes, duties, and other similar measures if imposed on the reward pursuant to the legislation of the country of his/her residence, domicile, citizenship, workplace, or any other criterion of similar nature. Only 1 award per person. Prizes may not be transferred or exchanged. All winners will be contacted by the GrabCAD staff to get their contact information and any other information needed to get the prize to them. Payment of cash awards is made through PayPal. All team awards will be transferred to the member who entered the Challenge.
We will release the finalists before the announcement of the winners to give the Community an opportunity to share their favorites in the comments, discuss concerns, and allow time for any testing or analysis by the Jury. The Jury will take the feedback into consideration when picking the winners.
$7000 In Prizes
This challenge is sponsored by the Center for Design and Space Architecture (CDSA), which is NASA Johnson Space Center’s design studio for human-centered design, concept development, and rapid prototyping of human spaceflight architectures. The CDSA team uses sketches, engineering analysis, CAD modeling, Virtual Reality, and physical mockups to create options for human exploration of the inner solar system.