Army Science and Technology Objective: IV.ME.2000.02
Soldiers encounter heat stress in every training and operational environment. Heat stress is imposed by a combination of climate, physical work rate, clothing, and equipment. Heat strain degrades military (physical and mental) performance and induces heat injury. Objective Force operational requirements will accentuate heat stress as an operational threat by demanding sustained work rates and rapid deployment with minimal time for acclimatization. Heat acclimatization markedly reduces physiologic strain, thereby enhancing operational effectiveness, and improves protection of vital organs.
Medical Research Solution
Engineering attempts to enhance liquid microclimate cooling capabilities include reducing the coolant temperature and increasing flow, both of which increase power requirements. From a physiologic perspective, these engineering approaches may be self-defeating. Skin cooling will produce skin constriction, increasing thermal resistance, which decreases conductive heat transfer. This research explores two physiologic approaches (intermittent cooling and local vasodilators) to overcome this vasoconstriction to enhance heat flux with microclimate cooling.
Last Update: April 2, 2003
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