SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-034 (AirForce)
Title:  Emergency Oxygen Cylinders with Re-breathing
Research & Technical Areas:  Biomedical, Human Systems

  STATEMENT OF INTENT: Develop extended duration walk-around oxygen bottle for inflight use in military aircraft
  Objective:  Develop an emergency walk-around oxygen bottle that uses re-breathing technology to conserve oxygen.
  Description:  Current low pressure oxygen bottles do not provide enough emergency oxygen for aircrews to perform duties in the cabin/cargo area until the aircraft can attain a safe level where supplemental oxygen is not required. Re-breathing technology has been successfully used in diving applications to extend the supply of oxygen. It does this by removing carbon dioxide from exhaled breaths and “recycling” the remaining oxygen. Several Air Force programs have worked to apply this technology to medical oxygen systems. However, various technical problems have been encountered. These include: integration of the components into a small, lightweight unit compatible with aircraft operation; incorporation of automatically adjustable oxygen concentration based on aircraft cabin altitude; reduction of breathing resistance; and incorporation of lightweight, reliable oxygen and carbon dioxide sensors. The systems must be able to meet all applicable air-worthiness and safety requirements for use in military aircraft.

  PHASE I: The offerer will propose possible innovative solutions for each of the above technical problems and demonstrate their feasibility. It is not necessary to integrate these solutions into the oxygen bottle for Phase I.
  
  PHASE II: The offerer will resolve any remaining technical issues associated with the innovative solutions identified in Phase I. The offerer will then integrate the solutions into the oxygen bottle to provide an extended duration walk-around re-breathing capability for aircrew use in the cargo/cabin area of military aircraft.

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: Air Force use will be in transport aircraft for those aircrew requiring mobility and portable oxygen. Commercial application: Applications for this technology are commercial aircraft, treatment of mass casualties, and emergency oxygen supply for personnel trapped in confined spaces such as mines, collapsed buildings, etc.

  References:  1. Eberhart, R. E., Newton, L. W., Robertson, C. T., Sherrard, J. E. Multicommand Operational Requirements Document CAF-MAF-AETC319-93-I-A. 1999. 2. Fisher, P. W. High Altitude Respratory Physiology, Chapter 2. http://www.brooks.af.mil/web/af/files/fsguide/CHAP02R.DOC

Keywords:  oxygen,portable oxygen, mobility oxygen, re-breather

Questions and Answers:
Q: Is pressure breathing a requirement, if so to what altitude?
A: Yes, the current low pressure portable assembly uses an A-21 regulator. The regulator has four manual settings: NORMAL - no pressure delivered; 30M feet - 1.6 to 2.4 inches of water pressure; 42M feet - 5.5 to 6.5 inches of water pressure; EMERGENCY - 12.0 to 14.0 inches of water pressure. All settings deliver 100% O2. A-21 regulators can be used at FL 500 for short durations in extreme emergencies.

Remember, for this project we want ground level equivalency at all altitudes. That said 100% O2 is not necessary at every altitude.
Q: Is pressure breathing a requirement, if so to what altitude?
A: Yes, the current low pressure portable assembly uses an A-21 regulator. The regulator has four manual settings: NORMAL - no pressure delivered; 30M feet - 1.6 to 2.4 inches of water pressure; 42M feet - 5.5 to 6.5 inches of water pressure; EMERGENCY - 12.0 to 14.0 inches of water pressure. All settings deliver 100% O2. A-21 regulators can be used at FL 500 for short durations in extreme emergencies.

Remember, for this project we want ground level equivalency at all altitudes. That said 100% O2 is not necessary at every altitude.

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