The smart space suit could save the lost astronauts with the button "Take me home"
Scientists A company called Draper has created a way for astronauts to avoid getting lost in space no matter how disoriented they become. Researchers have created an "infallible way to return to the spacecraft," according to Kevin Duda, a space systems engineer at the company. Duda and his team have studied astronauts on the ISS and applied for a patent for a system that guarantees the self-return of the spacecraft, even when no one is available to rescue them.
The team that works in the new system says that it is an advance that already long ago. The current space suits used in the ISS do not have a method to return to the spacecraft in case of emergency. The system designed by the team is able to determine its precise location in the space where GPS is not available.
The system can calculate an optimal return path that considers time, oxygen consumption, safety and clearance requirements. The system is capable of operating the jetpack in the space suit that potentially guides an injured or unconscious astronaut to safety.
If the astronaut can function, the suit can give contextual clues through sensors in the helmet to guide them. The auto-return system could be activated by the astronaut, the space station or the mission control. The patent shows that the system can also monitor the movement, acceleration and relative position of the crew member in relation to a fixed object such as an orbiting spacecraft.
There are also several configurations that can be configured as GPS, vision-assisted navigation, or a star tracking system. Draper has a system with software that uses data from vision-based systems and inertial navigation systems. This research was funded by NASA. The system also has the potential to be used by firefighters, divers and paratroopers.