Skip to Main Content
Synchronized external pulsation is proposed as a method to improve tolerance to acceleration stress. This technique uses a modified anti-G suit which is pressurized and depressurized synchronously with the heart cycle. The feasibility of the procedure has been studied using a computer model of the cardiovascular system which includes the effects of Gz stress, and contains simulations of baroreceptor control of heart rate and venous tone. Model predictions indicate that for unprotected subjects, carotid pressure at eye level (ophthalmic artery pressure) decreases to 20 mmHg (beginning of central light loss) at approximately +3.6 Gz. Applying standard anti-G suit pressure to the model increases this level to 5.3 Gz. When synchronized external pulsation of 2 psi is superimposed on the standard anti-G suit pressure, the tolerance to acceleration stress is further augmented by at least 0.9 G above the protection afforded by the standard anti-G suit alone. A set of preliminary experiments on human subjects to test the feasibility of using the technique in the high-G environment has also been carried out. The results under various protection modes compare favorably to the model predictions. Our results suggest that the computer model presented here is a useful tool for studying cardiovascular responses under +GZ stress. It also indicates that using synchronized external pulsation pressure superimposed on the standard anti-G suit pressure may offer extra protection to acceleration stress.