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Naval Medical Research
and Development
Enterprise Laboratories

Altitude Effects Laboratory

Respiratory Physiology and Alternobaric Effects

Combined Effects of Hypoxic Exposure

Evaluating hypoxic environments to determine if multiple exposures to varying severities of hypoxic events cause a change to their effects on the body. Task efficiency to be determined after the exposures to examine if the interactions between the events causes different symptoms to arise or changes the results of the flight efficiency. 

Effects of Breathing Gas Mixtures

Researchers are evaluating how differing combinations of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide breathing gas mixtures affect operators and aircrew. Task performance, electroencephalography, visual perception, and respiratory physiology will be measured to determine the response to each inhaled compound.


Joint research effort between NAMRU-D and 711th Human Performance Wing (711 HPW) looking to measure systemic carbon dioxide via transcutaneous monitoring, exhaled breath, and venous blood draws at select altitudes in a hypobaric chamber in attempt to identify hypocapnia or suggestive trends thereof.


This multi-year effort seeks to measure atelectasis induced by factors that aircrew are regularly exposed to, such as, high oxygen concentrations and accelerations >1Gz. Ultimately, this effort will provide recommendations for ideal breathing gas mixtures to    minimize the risk of atelectasis in fighter aircrew.

F-35 Pulmonary Function Testing

Joint research effort between NAMRU-D and USAFSAM to measure pulmonary function, static atelectasis, and airway inflammation in a laboratory comparable F-35A seat configuration, pilot flight ensemble, and breathing system.

T-45 Life Support System

Examining the effect of transient periods of low on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) inlet pressure on pilot physiology and performance. Research findings will be used to help set thresholds for alarms or supplemental systems.

Hypoxia Ventilation Research Device

This multi-year collaborative effort with USAFSAM includes the development, validation, and miniaturization of the HVRD - a normobaric gas delivery system designed to recreate the aviator’s breathing experience in the cockpit through the dynamic manipulation of gas concentrations, pressure, and flow.

Effects of In-line Breathing Resistance

A three year effort examining the effects of breathing resistance caused by various            components of the aircraft life support system (LSS), to include gas flow, external harnesses/equipment and seat ergonomics. Research findings aim to identify areas where the LSS can potentially be modified to better support pilot respiratory demands.

Pressure Fluctuations

This effort will examine task performance and physiological changes brought about pressure changes created within a hypobaric altitude chamber. Performance will be evaluated through a cognitive task, while physiological changes will be assessed via blood oxygen saturation, blood-bound carbon dioxide, heart rate, respiration rate, and biomarkers of pressure-related stress found in circulating hemoglobin. PMA 265 sponsored.


Aircrew Status Monitoring

Mitigation & Related Research






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