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Personal cooling systems: Possibilities and limitationsPersonal thermal control by means of gas- or liquid-conditioned garments was developed during the 1960s and has been applied in a variety of aerospace and industrial settings. Both USAF fighter pilots and astronauts are required to wear heavy protective clothing which insulates them from the environment and thus creates stress through storage of metabolic heat. The problem is particularly severe in astronauts who perform heavy physical work during extra-vehicular activity (EVA); without artificial cooling they could reach incapacitating hyperthermia in a matter of minutes. This paper reviews the factors which influence the design of personal cooling systems. An important early step is determination of acceptable heat stress level, taking into account possible interactions of heat stress with other physiological problems such as motion sickness, diminished plasma volume, decompression sickness and acceleration tolerance. Other factors which require consideration include the work schedule, the area to be covered by the cooling garment, and the practicalities of a fixed or body-mounted heat sink and its power source. Nearly every imaginable heat sink has been proposed or tried over the past 30 years, including direct gas systems, phase-change systems with open or closed loops and thermoelectric heat sinks. The latter are now the system of choice for aircraft.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Nunneley, Sarah A.
(Aerospace Medical Research Labs. Brooks AFB, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, Seventh Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1993), Volume 2
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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