Suborbital Pilot Assessment

The advent of commercial suborbital spaceflight will introduce new exposures and stress profiles to both pilots and passengers unique to the commercial field, and thus not previously studied during the era of government spaceflight activities. Among these stressors is the exposure of the crew to sustained high Gx (front-to-back) and Gz (head-to-toe) acceleration in highly demanding flight profiles outside the common experience of even skilled pilots in tactical aircraft. Currently, flight crew medical standards are minimal, though many aerospace specialists are encouraging the adoption of more stringent medical and physiological requirements for flight crew expected to undergo repeat flights within a short period of time. Recommendations for such requirements are limited due to a current lack of experience on which to base predictions of pilot performance or the specific physiological demands of such repetitive stress scenarios. This study proposes to use multiple training modalities, including the NASTAR centrifuge and aerobatic flight profiles, to expose pilots to repeated high Gx and Gz sustained acceleration, assess their performance and physiological responses during serial simulated launch and re-entry profiles, and evaluate the impact of fatigue with repetitive exposures.


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Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01678239
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2018 1:03PM