Thermal protection and estimated survival time during cold water immersion with the LASA NBC suit


  1. DuCharme, M.B.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
The thermal insulation of the LASA ventilated-NBC suit was evaluated on humans and on a thermal manikin during immersion in cold water (TIM; The CORD Group, NS). The main objective of this study was to evaluate the thermal protection of the LASA ventilated NBC suit to ensure that the estimated survival time during cold water immersion would be sufficient to allow SAR teams to rescue endangered aircrew following a helicopter crash in the absence of a life raft. Ten Canadian Forces aircrew subjects participated in the study. The test consisted of immersing the subjects dressed in the suit for 90 min in a wave pool maintained at 10ºC, with 40 cm waves. The air temperature above the pool was maintained at 10ºC during the tests. In parallel to the human tests, tests were conducted on a similarly dressed thermal instrumented manikin, immersed in the same water conditions at an immersion angle similar that of the human subjects. During the 90 min immersion test, skin temperature, skin heat loss and outside suit surface temperatures were continuously monitored at 12 body locations in order to measure the thermal insulation of the suit. Water leakage was measured by comparing the pre- and post-immersion weights of the fully dressed subjects. Before the immersion test, the outside shell of the suit was pre-saturated with water by full immersion of the dressed subjects for 2 min, with the wrist and neck seals kept above the water. On average, during the last 10 min of immersion, the m

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Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TR-2007-063 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Aug 2008
Number of Pages

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