The prototype Z-2 space suit has different light-emitting patches to make it easier to identify specific crew members during a spacewalk. NASA has released these three designs.

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Have other design of patches been discussed in any NASA documentation?

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    $\begingroup$ If the suit's embedded LED color is programmable then the identity of the astronaut depends on some software or firmware working flawlessly, whereas a unique patch or token like these (1, 2) are a lot less likely to go wrong when a solar storm rewrites the "non-volatile" RAM of the suit. So I've just asked How will space suit computers likely be radiation hardened? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 2 '20 at 7:32

There is this image below, but there's no way to tell if they are still intending on using it. Via Wikipedia.

A newer prototype

There is also a paper from 2016 that may be useful, as it explores the process behind these design choices, and mentions the above 4th design. I can't tell if it answers your question or not.

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    $\begingroup$ It's better to include information from the links in your answer. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 26 '20 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ it's not so much a 4th design as the implementation of the 1st design -- but nice update $\endgroup$ – user20636 Mar 26 '20 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ As @JCRM said, this is informative but doesn't address my question. $\endgroup$ – Bob516 Apr 1 '20 at 0:26
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble: Thanks for the prompting, I didn't realize one could include inline images in answers. Hopefully it's a bit more helpful now. It's hard to tell what of the PDF is useful, so I'm keeping it as a reference link only, rather than attempting to interpret it. $\endgroup$ – Justin W Apr 2 '20 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ @JCRM: The color, proportions and spacing are entirely different, but I do agree that they are very similar, and you would probably not use that design with the original #1 design and expect people to tell them apart 100% from far away. It's hard to tell without an understanding of the purpose behind the original question. $\endgroup$ – Justin W Apr 2 '20 at 4:45

The Z-1 suit has colored patches, but I don't think they Luminex glowing patches.

It appears the patches for the Z-2 suit were the only ones made for consideration:

  • The first option, “Biomimicry,” is inspired by the oceans of Earth and mimics some of the bioluminescent qualities of fish and reptiles. Its signature feature is electroluminescent wire that stretches across the upper torso and becomes visible in low light.
  • The second design is called “Technology” and uses Luminex wire and light-emitting patches that can help crew members easily identify each other on spacewalks.
  • The third option is called “Trends in Society,” and with a bright color scheme mimicking athletic training gear, it’s supposed to reflect what everyday clothes might look like in the future.

NASA has since chosen the Technology design.

One website states that,

Luminex is a complex system involving a combination of optical fibre fabric and electronics. Light emitting diodes illuminate the optical fibres, which distribute the light over the surface of the fabric. The energy required by the LEDs is obtained from a rechargeable battery.

Luminex has mainly been applied in theatres, interiors, accessories, upholstery and in the motor industry.

I'm inferring from this that Luminex could be applied to other designs for the space suit if NASA wanted it.

  • $\begingroup$ Agreed that it could be applied to other designs. It is what the other designs might be that is of interest to me. $\endgroup$ – Bob516 Apr 1 '20 at 0:24

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