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K-State Works To Improve Astronaut Outerwear

Associated Press - December 2, 2013 5:49 am

A Kansas State University professor has been nominated for two Grammy awards for his solo performance on an album with the Kansas City Chorale.

A Kansas State University professor has been nominated for two Grammy awards for his solo performance on an album with the Kansas City Chorale.

Kansas State University researchers are laying the groundwork for a next-generation spacesuit that could monitor astronauts’ health and use body heat to power electronics.

A team of students and professors in electrical and computer engineering is working with a model spacesuit. The replica is made of multiple layers of material, including metalized fabrics to model the layers in real suits that protect astronauts and keep them warm.

The university says batteries are too dangerous to place in a spacesuit’s oxygen-rich environment, so the team is developing new energy harvesting methods to gather energy. These methods use the temperature difference between body heat and the spacesuit’s cooling garment to power radios and other electronics.

Funding for the project comes from a three-year, $750,000 NASA grant.

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