Cobham tests VigilOX pilot breathing sensors
Cobham’s VigilOX pilot breathing sensor system has flown three test flights on the US Navy’s F-18 and T-45 aircraft, the company announced on 9 April.
VigilOX, earlier known as AMPSS, is a pilot-worn sensing system that captures real-time physiological, breathing gas and cockpit environmental data during flight, to help inform conditions around unexplained physiological episodes.
Cobham and the navy are in the initial stages of reviewing the post-flight data, which will be correlated to reported hypoxia-like symptoms. This data will form the basis of a predictive algorithm that will ultimately drive oxygen equipment to automatically adjust oxygen dosage as needed to protect the pilot.
Along with the data collection efforts, the company is also moving towards a ‘predict and protect’ capability that will take its sensors to the next level by incorporating them into oxygen equipment that will autocorrect flow based on sensor data.
Cobham is designing future oxygen system equipment that will have the ability to communicate, synch with and connect with sensing technologies as they evolve, which is a step towards Auto Response Guided Oxygen System (ARGOS), Cobham’s integrated oxygen system goal. ARGOS will be a smart data-driven, human-machine interface that will have the ability to control the entire pilot oxygen system from ‘air source to mask’.
Rob Schaeffer, product director, environmental systems at Cobham Mission Systems, said: ‘Having these developmental sensors flying, along with testing in the lab, will show what happens in the aircraft and physiologically under hyperventilation or hypoxia-like conditions, and will inform us as we work to design a mitigative response to protect the pilot.
‘By wearing our VigilOX sensor system during flight, pilots today are laying the groundwork for the breakthroughs needed to protect future pilots coming up behind them.’
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