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DEBEL develops life support system for fighter aircraft
Posted On: Jun 21, 2012
The image (inset) shows an life support system ensemble for the fighter pilots. In the background, a file photo of Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL) has almost completed the development of onboard oxygen generation system centric integrated life support system (ILSS) for India's Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas).
"...now, nearing completion is integrated life support system based on onboard oxygen generation to provide unlimited flight endurance for our fighter aircraft", DEBEL's Director V C Padaki said at the inauguration of a new technical facility of DEBEL here.
DEBEL officials said the ILSS is expected to undergo flight trials by the year-end.
It was noted that the Tejas aircraft, with its multi-role capabilities and high manoeuvrability, would expose its pilot to extreme physiological stresses. The possibility of mid-air refuelling of Tejas enhances the mission endurance of the aircraft thus, necessitating the onboard generation of oxygen rather than depending on the conventional Gaseous oxygen (Gas-Ox) or Liquid Oxygen (LOX) systems.
In order to effectively counter the stresses and to meet the requirement of breathing oxygen in long duration missions, the aircraft has to be integrated with the critical ILSS, said officials of DEBEL, a life sciences lab of DRDO.
Chief Controller R&D (Life Sciences & International Collaboration), W Selvamurthy said the Army has ordered 700 units of Combat Free Fall (CFF) system for paratroopers,(which has been developed successfully by DEBEL for use by the special forces of Indian Army who undertake jumps from altitudes of 30,000 feet to sneak into enemy territory stealthily).
"Now, we are expecting thousands (of CFF system) to be ordered. This can be used by commandos, paramilitary for various counter-insurgency operations....), he said.
DEBEL officials said the system provides adequate breathing support to counter the effects of rarefied atmosphere and protection against intense cold experienced at high altitudes.
DEBEL developed the combat free fall oxygen system, protective clothing and equipment for paratroopers consisting of pre-breather console, personal bailout oxygen system, dilution demand oxygen regulator, oxygen mask, helmet, jumpsuit, gloves, boots, goggles and jack-knife.
Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Director General of DRDO, V K Saraswat, inaugurated the new technical facility with advanced test facilities and analytical equipment for its research and development programmes on cutting edge technologies in life support systems and biomedical devices.
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