Human Life Research on ISS Russian Segment

SUIT Experiment

Experiment SUIT is a part of the scientific research program to be conducted by ESA astronaut of the Dutch nationality Andre Kuipers onboard the SS RS in the frame of DSM Delta Project. The European Space Agency is a customer of the preparation and implementation of the research program.


  • Study the role of tactile signals in the sensor system determining spatial orientation.
  • Develop a tactile support system for the astronaut that improves safety, performance and comfort.


Use of vibrotactile suit to present the information on orientation behavior to the astronaut.

A vibrotactile suit consists of small vibrating elements attached to the torso in a matrix form. The localised vibration of an element is directly mapped to the body co-ordinates, which makes it an intuitive and fast way to present spatial information such as directions. For activation of the vibrotactile array built in the suit, information from the gyroscopes with two degrees of freedom attached to the suit is used. The interaction with the suit is provided by using the control panel, which is worn on the left arm of the participant. The SUIT experiment hardware is powered by a battery power supply. The experiment data is recorded on replaceable flash cards.
Each experiment session consists of two phases of activities: first phase ("orientation") is a standard orientation task battery, in the second phase ("daily life") the participant performs his normal duties while wearing the suit.
In phase "daily life" the astronaut works independently and performs some activities, which are not related to the experiment. The suit registers the movements of the participant and provides orientation or not. It is necessary to get an understanding of the positive and negative effects of the suit support in an operational setting (while performing daily activities).

Science Hardware Used:

  • SUIT Container 1;
  • SUIT Container 2.
  • SUIT Return Pouch;
  • ETD, SAMPLE, SUIT pouch :
    • Pouch SUI-400.

Experiment Results:

Data recorded on flash memory cards, and answers with comments of the experiment participant recorded on dictaphones.

ISS Crew

Hoshide  AkihikoHoshide

leg Novitskiy Novitskiy

Petr Dubrov Dubrov

Mark Vande Hei Vande Hei

Robert Shane

Megan McArthur McArthur