Aerospace Sleeping Compartment on a spacecraft wall

Wearable Technology Studio – Portable Aerospace Sleeping Compartment

This studio introduces students to the emerging product category of wearables. Wearable Technology is a product developed for function, often to increase or measure efficiency and worn on the body. Students explore the relationship between soft materials and technological advances in sensors, microcontrollers, flexible conductive materials, trims, threads, yarns, and fibers. Aesthetics, ethics, environmental impact, and the use of technology in creating wearable products are discussed as prototypes are created to solve a problem affecting astronauts in space.


This project Portable Aerospace Sleeping Compartment (PASC) by students Abhipsha Ray, Thomas Chen and, Tia Hrubala designed a sleeping compartment for the future spacecraft that lack adequate room for the current crew quarters. One of the core requirements was to repurpose existing Cargo transfer bags to create the compartment.

What we did

  • Literature review
  • Design research
  • Problem definition and project proposal
  • Design exploration
  • Prototyping and testing
  • Present project at annual WT symposium

Clients / Collaborators

Aerospace Sleeping Compartment wall interior
Portable Aerospace Sleeping Compartment mounted on spacecraft wall

Project Overview

Future spacecraft with a limited capacity will not allow enough space for dedicated sleeping compartments, which will result in inconveniences and raises health concerns. Without privacy, astronauts do not have a personal place to tend to their mental and personal needs. Microgravity environments cause discomfort in the body and improper ventilation risks suffocation from carbon dioxide. Additionally, heavy materials for the sleeping compartments are a burden to the cost, as well as the potency of the spacecraft. In either long or short-term travel, these factors can negatively impact the astronauts’ efficiency and productivity in space.

Portable Aerospace Sleeping Compartment ideation sketches
Portable Aerospace Sleeping Compartment ventilation ideation sketches
Portable Aerospace Sleeping Compartment feature detail sketches
Portable Aerospace Sleeping Compartment sleeping restraint sketches

Design Process

The design process included examining human ergonomics and analyzing the mobility present in the current CQs. Constant iterative process followed by user testing for ease of deployment, comfort, and stow-ability produced the final solution to the prompt.

Portable Aerospace Sleeping Compartment interior
Portable Aerospace Sleeping Compartment


The solution to the design challenge uses a two-part construction. The base of the sleeping compartment is created by joining the modified cargo transfer bags using double-sided zippers and existing straps. The top housing is a custom design inspired by origami and can be folded and stowed into cargo transfer bags when not deployed. The design is lightweight, modular, and easily deployable.

Student Designers

Abhipsha Ray
Thomas Chen
Tia Hrubala