#FerroMagnetic #eTextiles #Weaving #CoilEmbroidery #ElectroPermanentMagnet
A serious issue with human space exploration is the inevitable decay of muscle tissue and bone density due to the lack of gravity. We propose the design and testing of a prototype zero-gravity ferromagnetic suit that mimics Earth’s gravitational pull on the whole body.
Our initial proof of concept is composed of a ferro-magnetic suit built from scratch (from custom woven ferro-mag thread, etc), and a electro-permanent magnetic “throne”.
(work in progress)
As a proof of concept, we propose to use these electro-permanent magnets to attract the ferromagnetic suit:
One might underestimate the exceptional characteristics of this system so it deserves a bit of clarification. This device is composed of “classic” magnet and a “programmable” magnet which can either cancel the field of the classic magnet, or ~double its strength. To program it, only a short pulse is needed (20 µs), but its voltage and current are fairly high (400V @ 300A). Anyway, the short pulse makes the consumption very low: 0.67mWh
We actually tested it in the lab for one full week, and it is really permanent: https://photos.app.goo.gl/rqwVnxCbHotzKAdJA
Being open source, we can replicate them with the needed shape, the hardware and firmware are available here:
Next step will be to build an “extended” chair (throne) with aluminium 80/20 profiles, and mount a few EPM on it (4 here):
The design is available here:
The original idea was to use ferro-fluids, but the leak risk is not negligible, so we explored the potential of ferromagnetic thread.
We found a manufacturer who accepted to make 20Kg of this thread as a sample:
After a long investigation, we found a weaver who accepted to make the fabric with our custom thread, for free too!
Next step: make the most of our collaboration with the great Rachel Freire, a senior eTextile and space suit designer for the cinema industry:
The passive ferro-magnetic effect will probably not be sufficient in transitory mode so we explored the idea of complementing the field with embroidered coils.
As a 1st test, we embroidered thin copper wire (34 AWG), powered it with a 9V battery and measured its field strength with the magnetometer of a phone:
The result is not extremely powerful, but there is a trade-off to find between the number of coils and their sizes:
The simulation below shows half of our 1st embroidered coil from a perpendicular point of view. We can notice that most of the strength of the field is generated in the center:
Next step: find the best trade-off between heat dissipation, and coil size.
This trade-off should normally be measurable with a test jig as below:
Note: This is the revival of a 2019 project by Max: