Astronauts manually regulate the water temperature flowing through their cooling garments while engaged in space walks; therefore, a better understanding of the relationship between subjective perception of thermal comfort and physiological factors is crucial for effective and safe functioning in space.
Subjective perception and internal/external body status are not always highly correlated. At thermal extremes, individuals become less accurate in their subjective thermal experiences, for example, some people in hypothermia feel that they are extremely hot, those with high fever report feeling very cold and begin shivering.
In this study, the goal was to assess the individual’s subjective thermal experience as related to body skin wetness and sweat rates on different body zones and in different types of cooling garments. The individual’s subjective experience was considered to be an important component in identifying the optimal features of different cooling garments.
Additional contributors: Gloria Leon (faculty mentor) and Victor Koscheyev (faculty mentor).
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), with additional partial support from NASA Cooperative Agreement NNX07A190A between the JSC EVA Physiology Systems and Performance Project (EPSP) and the University of Minnesota.
Thermal Comfort Ratings and Their Relationship to Body Sweat Rates and Skin Wetness.
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