Paper 10.010

S. Margerum et al., "Relating Linear and Volumetric Variables through Body Scanning to Improve Human Interfaces in Space", in Proc. of 1st Int. Conf. on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Lugano, Switzerland, 2010, pp. 10-22,


Relating Linear and Volumetric Variables through Body Scanning to Improve Human Interfaces in Space


Sarah MARGERUM 1,4, Mike FERRER 2,4, Karen YOUNG 1,4, Sudhakar RAJULU 3,4

1 Lockheed Martin, Houston (TX), USA;
2 MEI Technologies Inc., Houston (TX), USA;
3 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center, Houston (TX), USA;
4 Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility, Johnson Space Center, Houston (TX), USA


Designing spacesuits and vehicles for the diverse human population presents unique challenges for the methods of traditional anthropometry. Existing spacesuits are bulky, allowing the operator to shift position within the suit and inhibiting the ability to identify body landmarks. Limited suit sizing options cause differences in fit and performance between similarly sized individuals. Space vehicles are restrictive in volume with respect to both the fit of astronauts and the ability to collect data on fit and mobility. NASA's Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility (ABF) has shifted from using traditional linear anthropometry to exploring the capabilities of 3D scanning to provide volumetric anthropometric solutions for design. The key goals are to improve the human-system performance and develop new processes to aid in the design and evaluation of space systems. Four case studies are presented that illustrate the shift from purely linear analyses to an augmented volumetric tool set for predicting and analyzing the human within the spacesuit and vehicle.
The first case study involves the calculation of maximal head volume of the target population to estimate total free volume in the helmet for proper air exchange. Traditional linear measurements resulted in an inaccurate representation of the head shape, yet limited data exist for the determination of a large head volume. Steps were taken to identify and classify a maximal head volume. The resulting comparisons to the estimate are presented in this paper. This study illustrates the gap between linear components of anthropometry and the need for overall volume metrics to provide solutions.
A second case study examines the overlay of the spacesuit scans and components onto scanned individuals to quantify fit and clearance; to aid in sizing the suit to the individual. Restrictions in spacesuit size availability present unique challenges to optimally fit the individual within a limited sizing range while maintaining performance. Quantification of the clearance and fit for similarly sized individuals is critical in providing a greater understanding of the human body's function within the suit.
The third case study explores the development of a conformal seat pan using scanning techniques and details the challenges of volumetric analyses that were overcome to develop a universal seat pan that can be used across the entire user population.
The final case study explores expanding volumetric capabilities through generation of boundary manikins. Boundary manikins were developed as representative individuals from the population of interest that represent the extremes of the population spectrum. The ABF developed a technique to take 3D scans of individuals and manipulate the scans to reflect the boundary manikins' anthropometry. In essence, this process generates a representative 3D scan of an individual from anthropometry, using another individual's scanned image. The results from this process can be used in design process modeling and initial suit sizing work as a three-dimensional, realistic example of individuals from the population, maintaining the variability between and correlation with the dimensions of interest.


volume, anthropometry, scanning, morphing, space


Full paper: 10.010.pdf
Proceedings: 3DBST 2010, 19-20 Oct. 2010, Lugano, Switzerland
Pages: 10-22

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