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ORNL material could help pilots keep their cool

y effective heat transfer medium -- blood -- flowing between them and the rest of the body.

"It turns out that the lungs can reject a large fraction of the waste heat the body generates under duress," Klett said.

While the upper limit of respiratory heat rejection likely will be reduced by psychological effects and the reduced respiratory rates associated with more sedentary activities, a respiratory heat rejection system still should provide significant personal cooling under all conditions. It also should be most effective when a person is working the hardest.

Prototype personal cooling devices that provide respiratory cooling already have been developed by ORNL for NASCAR drivers.

"NASCAR drivers must function at peak performance for several hours at high ambient temperatures in heavy fire-resistant suits," Klett said. "While we havent performed detailed physiological measurements, weve worked with an outside contractor who told us the reaction from drivers has been very positive."

The proposed first effort will center on developing a system specifically designed to provide personal cooling for Navy pilots. Main tasks include refining a thermal battery system so it will be more efficient, lightweight and compact and integrating the system with the flight suit and helmet.

Similar systems could be incorporated easily into existing equipment and into future technologies to provide cooling for ground troops, firefighters and hazardous materials emergency responders.


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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
15-Mar-2002


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