Danish smart textile firm lands order for space socks from ESA  

2009.12.03
Fledgling firm Ohmatex has secured an DKK 1.5m (USD 304,000) order against international competition from the European Space Agency ESA to make muscle-measuring socks for astronauts
Intelligent textiles is an area of budding innovation in Denmark. This is exemplified by a fledgling Ohmatex in Århus, which as financial daily newspaper Børsen reports has secured an DKK 1.5m (USD 304,000 ) order against international competition from the European Space Agency ESA to make socks for astronauts.
 
These are no ordinary astronaut socks however. The specialised hosiery will measure muscle activity during long-stay space missions, which Ohmatex is to develop in collaboration with the Sports Institute at Århus University. Ohmatex founder and managing director Christian Dalsgaard told Børsen that the company will initially develop a sock solution for testing at the ESA technology centre at Estec in Holland.
 
It is well known that under zero gravity conditions, human muscles atrophy very quickly. Muscle exercises are therefore an important part of an astronaut's health routine in space, and the special socks that Ohmatex is to develop will be used to measure how the exercises work the different muscles in the leg.
 
Founded in 2004, Ohmatex works with project development for a number of Scandinavian textile companies and is a pioneer in smart textile applications. The company has special expertise in weaving/encapsulating micro-electronics in textiles; electrical conductors, operating panels, micro-sensors and special applications using nano-materials.
 
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