Mixed Gas Hypoxia Training in Low Pressure Chambers
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Director of R&D
Director of R&D
AbstractTraditional altitude simulation chambers function by reducing the pressure inside a substantial steel enclosure. Apart from the large up-front cost, and significant ongoing expense for maintenance, they also present a safety risk which every year results in cases of decompression sickness (DCS), and forces limitations on use. The work undertaken in this project is to develop a fully operational prototype of a normobaric altitude enclosure system, utilizing mixed-gas technology to create the same degree of hypoxia but without the limitations or risks associated with a low-pressure chamber. Because there are no large pressure-related forces to deal with, the enclosure can be spacious, however it must be relatively air-tight, and will include an ante-room to minimize loss of altitude during entry or exit. Molecular air-separation devices will either remove oxygen molecules from within the altitude enclosure, or pump in air from which a portion of the oxygen has already been removed. Although a basic altitude control system is already currently in use, it was developed for the athlete market for up to 15,000". To handle the increased demands, risks, and reliability requirements, a new altitude control device will be developed using a more stable oxygen sensor and improved display.
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