System Architecture for a Planetary Surface Space Suit Simulator
Currently, the Austrian Space Forum is leading a project to develop the next generation of a high fidelity spacesuit simulator. This simulator shall mimic all the major limitations a Mars spacesuit will probably have, including time delayed communication and - going beyond current spacesuits - embedded in a set of autonomous agents, such as rovers, a base station and other suits.
Based upon 10 years of operational experience with the Aouda suit simulator, the next generation shall have an advanced On-Board Data Handling System (OBDH), including an internal sensor network, automated caution- and warning system, life-support (including thermal control and ventilation), communication infrastructure both for machines and humans, as well as a human-machine interface.
This master thesis develops the system architecture for the on-board computing elements and supporting infrastructure for the next generation space suit simulator. It includes an analysis of the existing OBDH architecture of the Aouda space suit simulator and evaluation of lessons learned from the Aouda field deployments. Furthermore this work describes the design, implementation, verification and documentation of the new architecture (both software and hardware — the latter is supported by student teams from technical colleges), accounting for ultra-high communication latencies, low bandwidth and the multi-agent environment.