PMID: 11541318Jul 1, 1995

The feasibility of Doppler monitoring during EVA

Acta Astronautica
A S BarerJ Wenzel


During extravehicular activities (EVA) outside the spacecraft, astronauts have to work under reduced pressure in a space suit. This pressure reduction induces the risk of decompression sickness (DCS) by the formation of gas bubbles from excess nitrogen dissolved in the organism by breathing air at normal pressure. Under laboratory conditions the gas bubbles moving in the blood stream can be detected by the non-invasive ultrasonic Doppler method. By early detection of excessive bubble formation the development of DCS symptoms may be prevented by early application of preventative measures. The method could also be useful when applied in the space suit in order to compare the results of laboratory tests with operational results, because there is a discrepancy according to the DCS risk of laboratory experiments and actual EVA missions, where no symptoms have been reported yet. A prototype Doppler sensor has been developed and implemented in the Russian Orlan suit. To investigate the feasibility of this method under simulated space conditions, the equipment has been used in a series of 12 thermovacuum chamber tests with suited subjects, where intravenous bubble formation was compared to unsuited control experiments. In more than 50%...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Medicine, Space
Atmospheric Pressure
Decompression Sickness
Air Embolism
Medical Device Design
Monitoring, Physiologic
Doppler Ultrasound Imaging
Monitoring, Ambulatory
Space Suits

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