Hierarchical Modeling of the Baroreceptor Response to Gz Acceleration and Anti-Gz Protective Equipment
Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine Toronto. Ontario Canada
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The use of extended coverage anti-G suits and positive pressure breathing have enhanced the protection of aircrew exposed to high Gz and extreme altitudes. However, current systems do not provide optimal protection to the individual pilot during complex negative-to-positive Gz maneuvers nor do such systems adapt to changes in the physiological state of the pilot over the course of the mission, in part due to the hardwares inability to adapt to the complex response of the blood pressure regulating systems within the body. Current, medically relevant models of baroreceptor function are not suitable for the extreme changes in blood pressure and blood distribution in a body exposed to very high Gz levels of the tactical environment. Using a mix of first principle and data driven techniques, we are developing hierarchical models of baroreceptor function that include the interaction between the neuronal sub-components of the baroregulation centers of the central nervous system, the transient dynamics of pressure induced stretch in the baroreceptor organs, the effects of local pressure gradients within the aorticcarotid baroreceptor system, and the dynamic response of each of the subsystems during Gz exposures. All of these factors play a significant role in the individuals response to the Gz forces and the efficacy of the life support systems in preventing an adverse impact on cerebral blood flow and oxygenation of the brain.