Predicting human heat strain and performance with application to space operations

  • Pandolf K
  • Stroschein L
  • Gonzalez R
 et al. 
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This Institute has developed a USARIEM Heat Strain Prediction Model for predicting physiological responses and soldier performance in the heat, which has been programmed for use by hand-held calculators and personal computers, and incorporated into the development of a heat strain decision aid. This model is demonstrated to predict accurately (generally within +/- 1 SD/SEM) rectal temperature (Tre) responses for soldiers wearing various military clothing ensembles during U.S. or non-U.S. military scenarios in the heat at home or abroad. The value of this model is shown presently for three NASA scenarios involving the Launch and Entry Suit (LES). The LES (ventilated or unventilated) is modeled during pre-launch/launch, re-entry/landing, and emergency egress after re-entry/landing scenarios, predominately to evaluate heat acclimation and hydration state effects. During the pre-launch/launch scenario, predicted final Tre closely agrees with observed values suggesting minimal heat strain (Tre approximately 38.0 degrees C). In contrast, dehydrated (3%) unacclimated individuals show moderate levels of heat strain (Tre approximately 38.5 degrees C) for this same scenario. During the re-entry/landing and emergency egress scenarios, dehydrated unacclimated individuals are predicted to exhibit excessive heat strain (Tre > 39.0 degrees C). Thermal tolerance time is predicted to be only 6 min during emergency egress if individuals are dehydrated and unacclimated to heat while wearing the LES. If heat transfer values for space operations clothing are known, NASA can use this prediction model to help avoid undue heat strain involving astronauts for most scenarios during spaceflight.

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  • ISSN: 00956562
  • PUI: 25114985
  • SGR: 0028899429
  • PMID: 7794230
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-0028899429


  • K. B. Pandolf

  • L. A. Stroschein

  • R. R. Gonzalez

  • M. N. Sawka

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