Courtesy of Nasa BBS at 205 8950-0028
PERSONAL COOLING SYSTEM
When crop dusting is done in the late afternoon, the cockpit
temperature may be as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Most plane’s
cockpits are not air conditioned because of the expense.
Cockpit heat poses a major problem because elevated body
temperature can cause fatigue, dehydration and even collapse,
extremely dangerous possibilities to a pilot flying at times only
two to four feet above the vegetation.
Available now from Life Support Systems, Inc. (LSSI), Mountain
View, California is a lightweight vest and a companion helmet
headliner, Cool Head, through which cooling liquid circulates to a
portable cooling package. The package includes a heat exchanger that
cools the working fluid circulated through vest and headliner, and a
control display unit containing a pump, a liquid reservoir,
temperature control and power unit. Cool Head can operate from its
own rechargeable battery or from the airplane’s, or other vehicles
Cool Head technology originated in a 1968 NASA de elopment
progrÂ¼m that produced a channeled cooling garment for space wear. In
1971, NASA’s Ames Research Center awarded a contract to Acurex
Corporation for an extension of the technology involving development
of a heat stress alleviating liquid-cooled headliner for helicopter
pilots. In the mid-1970s, NASA and the Bureau of Mines jointly
sponsored an Acurex program for development of a self-contained
cooling system for mine rescue workers. In 1980, William Elkins,
formerly with Acurex and long associated with cooling system
research, formed LSSI to pursue commercial uses of the technology.
Cool Head personal cooling systems have been acquired by the
Army and Air Force for use by personnel who must perform arduous
work while wearing hot and bulky protective gear, such as garments
to prevent contact with chemical/bacteriological warfare agents.
Cool Heads have also been bought by the U.S. Navy for evaluation in
helicopters and light aircraft, and by military units of foreign
Among commercial applications are use by employees susceptible
to on-the-job heat stress in such industries as primary metals
reduction, deep mining, chemicals, paper and glass. Other
commercial uses include pe sonal cooling for heavy equipment
operators and workers wearing toxic waste clean-up suits. Cool Head
is also being used by a number of auto racing drivers.