How Stillsuits influence extreme environment clothes.


Clothes have been an essential technology developed by humans since 170,000 years ago.(Clothes history source) With a conscious mind, nobody in the 21st century would walk around without clothes. Clothes were used hundredth of thousands of years ago as a protection for humans from their environment. For instance, a thick animal fur was used to warm and comfort their body. Moreover, with the technologies nowadays, some clothing or suits can enhance performance for a distinct activity such as diving suits for divers to swim underwater without coldness, cycling skin suits for cyclists to cycle with less drag flow through their bodies and body tights for athletes to discard sweat from the body to regain regular body heat. If this idea expanded, extreme condition suits are not something impossible for humans. The creation of a space suit was a stepping stone for humans in actualizing unique setting suits. The one suit that plays a vital role in Dune, written by Frank Herbert, is the Stillsuit. It helps Paul and Jessica Atreides to continue their journey in the intense condition of the Dune desert. This idea influences scientists to create a suit that helps people to travel in extreme climates.

Stillsuits and space suit

"It's basically a micro-sandwich — a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system. The skin-contact layer's porous. Perspiration passes through it, having cooled the body…,” Explained Liet Kynes in Frank Herbert’s Dune. The Freman used the stillsuit to overcome the extreme weather on Arrakis. This situation can be seen when Paul and Jessica were left to die at the desert. However, the stillsuits help them overcome the desert’s extraordinary heat. In real life, NASA scientists created a suit that helps astronauts to resist extreme heat during takeoff, which has a survival time of 13 hours. The suit is called a Launch Entry Suit (LES). However, comparing to stillsuits, LES can overcome up to 250 degree F of direct sunlight, which can melt a human being in a few minutes. Furthermore, the concept of water as a cooling agent can be implied for both suits. Filtered water in the stillsuits will flow over a human body and acts as a cooling agent, and for the LES, sweat oozing from a human body will be captured and flow around a human body to help cooling their body. It is clear that Frank Herbert’s stillsuit theory has influenced LES, since his novel was 50 years ago, where no human has ever explored deep space. (Four years before Neil Armstrong went to the moon.) Heat resistance suits also have been deployed in other science fiction stories. In Fantastic Four, Jonathan Storm’s (Human Torch) suit cannot be destroyed by extreme heat when he blazes himself. Moreover, in one of the famous super hero movie, Avengers, the Ironman suit, also known as the iron suit, also can resist an excessive heat. For example, when Tony Stark (Ironman) flew into the atmosphere to end the war, the friction between him and the ambience caused a reaction of energy that produced tons of heat. The iron suit protects the user from burning into dust due to friction energy.


Human Needs

Suits also can support human needs during unique environment situations. For instance, in Dune, the Fremen drank their body wastes that have been filtered by the stillsuit when travelling in the desert without a single bottle of fresh water. If this advanced technology deploys in today’s world, it can help millions of humans who live in the extremely hot weather such as African countries. A sum of 92 human bodies discovered at the Sahara desert were suspected die due to thirst after their vehicles were broken down. This situation can be avoided if a stillsuit is available, especially for travellers who live in extreme weather countries.(Source on death due to thirst.) A research done by Hyeona Yang and Joseph Noble from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design have come up with a brilliant idea of a suit that catches water and filters it for drinking water, which is called the Raincatch. This magnificent suit is a raincoat that can collect, purify, and store water from raindrops. (Source on Raincatch)Other than this, an osmosis bag has been exhibited by NASA for the use of astronauts in a space shuttle. A sugary solution injected into the semi-permeable inner bag, and the human waste flowing into the outer bag, will slowly pass through the inner bag and into the solution. This technology is yet to develop into a suit. If this suit happened to be established, tons of weight will be reduced inside a space shuttle for bringing fresh water. (Source on osmosis bag)The main problem faced by researchers is to develop technology as a stillsuit does, is the amount of energy needed to pump the water throughout the body. A huge volume of energy is needed to actuate the pump due to its high density of a liquid. Thus, a high power motor is needed in this case. In Dune, it is explained that the kinetic energy from walking can provide a huge amount of energy to drive the water throughout the body. However, kinetic energy alone could not generate such energy to pump liquid all over the human body. In addition, a small motor generates a blower for EVA suit ventilation fan has been deployed for the use of astronaut in order to neutralize environmental pressure. Undoubtedly, outer space has a very low pressure, which can explode a human body if exposed to it. In the early of Mass Effect 2, the Normandy (spaceship) was torn apart by the collector ship and Shepard was exiled into the outer space and died due to low pressure. The blower in an EVA suit only requires a small amount of power, 9 W, for this motor to generate 5400 rpm and raise the pressure in the suit.(Source on EVA suit) Other than suits, a research on a bullet proof human skin from spider silk and goat milk has been developed by the Forensic Genomics Consortium. First, keratin in human skin is replaced by the formula of spider silk and goat milk. Then, the skin will grow completely in five weeks. Even though the result is not perfect, the skin capability to resist from torn by a bullet was succeeded.(Source on bullet proof skin) One of the famous science fiction comics, One Piece, influences the bullet proof skin development. One Piece, illustrated by Eiichiro Oda since 1996, is about a young pirate named Monkey D. Luffy, who can extend his body like rubber because he ate a devil fruit accidently. Similar to a spider silk skin, Luffy's skin can catch bullets without a nickel scratch on his skin.

Science fiction has becomes a platform for scientists to enhance their idea in developing a new suit technology. The heat resistance for a stillsuit has influenced researchers to materialize heat defense suits such as LES. Moreover, the idea of heat resistance of a stillsuit became a basic principle for science fiction movies or novels, such as Ironman and Fantastic Four. Next, the theory of the water supplier in a stillsuit has heavily influenced the development of Raincatch and NASA osmosis bag, which can help people who live or travel in extreme weather. Plus, the theory of a stillsuit providing human water has inspired scientists to create suits that can provide difference demand of human necessity such as an EVA suit that can increase pressure when traveling in low pressure environment. Last but not least, defense is a vital instinct for a human; thus a bullet proof skin was created to increase physical resistance against flesh wound.