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USAF Hosts Discussion to Address Pilot Oxygen System Issues

1 min read

Jeff Brody

The U.S. Air Force joined experts from the U.S. Navy, NASA, industry and academia to discuss on how to address physiological safety issues of T-6 on-board oxygen generating systems. USAF said Wednesday that it hopes to address the matter by accelerating procurement of new technologies, bolstering research efforts and applying research findings to procurement policy. The discussions took place at a conference in late May at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. 

“The team made good progress and consolidated a recognition across many functional areas how much we know and don’t know about OBOGS and the surrounding human-machine interaction of our aviators,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty, commander of the 19th Air Force. He noted the idea of focusing on oxygen-generating systems designed to resist against oxygen concentration, flow and pressure oscillations that result to physiological incidents.

“We’ll be asking our acquisition and requirements professionals to lean toward the ‘best of breed’ system designs to ensure our aircrew are as safe as possible,” he added. The discussion covered both human- and machine-related aspects of the problem.

“We must research and develop the human-machine interface, as well as the mechanical engineering aspects traditionally thought of when designing these types of platforms,” said Col. Lidia Stana Ilcus, aerospace medicine division chief at Air Education and Training Command.

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