Improving Flight One Breath at a Time

A spirometry test is performed on a NASA pilot before a Pilot Breathing Assessment flight at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. (Credit: NASA Photo/Carla Thomas)

NASA’s Pilot Breathing Assessment (PBA) program documents how pilots breathe in fighter aircraft while flying a variety of scripted profiles to better understand how flight conditions may cause pilots to experience a physiological episode during flight.

NASA personnel plan to use the data gathered through PBA flights in the development of new equipment, such as oxygen masks, and new aircraft systems. PBA research also expands human physiology knowledge to make it safer for pilots to fly.