ESA has asked DAC to step in as main prime contractor and developer on the Gaintex contract (GAINTEX – Garments for Advanced INsight with TEXtiles) and drive it to completion, thus the new non-invasive muscle monitoring system can be launched and utilized by astronauts on the International Space Station ISS. The contract was previously held by the former company Ohmatex.
Since Ohmatex filed for bankruptcy in February of this year, ESA has been on the lookout for a new main supplier and additional funding to complete the Gaintex project. As Danish Aerospace Company A/S was already a subcontractor on the project since 2019 and taking into account ESA’s long history with utilizing DAC products, ESA has made the decision to transfer the contract to DAC via a novation agreement to finish the development of a new wearable non-invasive muscle monitoring system modified for use, and to be tested in space.
The system measures changes in volume in the legs and thereby liquid displacements, the electrical activity and oxygen saturation of the muscles. This will make it possible to examine how the leg muscles behave during exercise in space and on earth. ESA seeks a deeper insight into training to prepare for longer missions and are therefore in need of new methods of measuring and wearable solutions attached in the clothes. There are grand perspectives for the medical research and technological development, and with the ESA contract, Danish space players again have the opportunity to lead the way in this field.
The Gaintex project is conducted under the General Support Technology Program (GSTP) and is financed by the European Space Agency ESA.
“Despite it being under an unfortunate background, we are happy that ESA will transfer the Gaintex contract to us. It fits in perfectly within the exercise- and health monitoring technologies which we work with. We can hereby continue being at the forefront and deliver technical solutions for health monitoring and exercise, which are so important to the astronauts long-duration stays in space” says DAC CEO Thomas A. E. Andersen.
He continues: “Monitoring of the astronaut’s health are closely linked to their exercise and the exercise equipment we build. It is essential for the astronauts to constantly be in a good physical shape in space. Gaintex might be able to identify specific muscle groups which are in need of extra attention and effort during the astronauts training programs in space.” – says Thomas A. E. Andersen.
For further information:
Thomas A. E. Andersen, CEO, Danish Aerospace Company A/S