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Operational Characteristics of Four Commercially Available Personal Cooling VestsPersonal thermoregulatory systems which provide chest cooling are used in the industrial and aerospace environments to alleviate thermal stress. However, little information is available regarding the physiologic and circulatory changes produced by routine operation of these systems. The objectives of this study were to compare the effectiveness of two passive and two active cooling vests, and to measure the body temperature and circulatory changes produced by each cooling vest configuration. The MicroClimate Systems and the Life Enhancement Tech(LET) lightweight liquid cooling vests, the Steele Vest and LET's Zipper Front Garment were used to cool the chest region of 11 male and 10 female subjects (25 to 55 yr.) in this study. Calf, forearm and finger blood flows were measured using a tetrapolar impedance rheograph. The subjects, seated in an upright position at normal room temperature (approx.21 C), were tested for 60 min. with the cooling system operated at its maximum cooling capacity. Blood flows were recorded continuously using a computer data acquisition system with a sampling frequency of 250 Hz. Oral, right and left ear temperatures and cooling system parameters were logged manually every 5 min. Arm, leg, chest and rectal temperatures; heart rate; respiration; and an activity index were recorded continuously on a URI Inc. Biolog ambulatory monitor. In general, the male and female subjects' rectal and ear temperature responses to cooling were similar for all vest configurations tested. Oral temperatures during the recovery period were significantly (P<0.05) lower than during the control period, approx.0.2 - 0.5 C, for both men and women wearing any of the four different garments. The corresponding car temperatures were significantly (P<0.05) decreased approx.0.2 - 0.3 C by the end of the recovery period. Compared to the control period, no significant differences were found in rectal temperatures during cooling and recovery periods. These results show that all vest configurations elicit a similar thermal response in both male and female subject groups. However, subject population variance was rather large and may have masked differences between the vests. One vest may prove more effective than another for a given individual, and experience is the only means of determining this.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Ku, Yu-Tsuan E.
(Lockheed Martin Engineering and Science Services Moffett Field, CA United States)
Montgomery, Leslie D.
(Lockheed Martin Engineering and Science Services Moffett Field, CA United States)
Lee, Hank C.
(Lockheed Martin Engineering and Science Services Moffett Field, CA United States)
Webbon, Bruce W.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Kliss, Mark
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1997
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Meeting Information
1997 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers(Calgary, Alberta)
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 199-61-00
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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