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Laboratory Studies of Aircrew Chemical Protective Ensemble: Effects on Pilots' Performance,
AIR FORCE AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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This report describes the results of a U.S. Air Force program designed to quantify the effects of current and near-term chemical protective gear on pilot performance. The first phase of the program consisted of a sensitivity analysis to determine which aspects of pilot performance should be evaluated, the anticipated performance decrements, the stress mechanisms presumed to be operating, and the flight simulations required to quantify the effects of the protective ensemble. To date, two full-mission laboratory experiments have been completed. These experiments evaluated the currently fielded USAF aircrew ensemble and a proposed Integrated Chemical Defense System. Reductions in pilot performance were observed with both systems under simulated hot environmental conditions. However, the pilots strongly preferred the Integrated Chemical Defense Systems eye-respiratory protective gear. The data suggest that thermal stress, produced by the multiple layer body protective gear, caused the performance reductions. The experimental data are being further analyzed with appropriate mission effectiveness models.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE