Understanding Aircraft Oxygen Systems
Aircraft oxygen systems are crucial safety features for countless aircraft that transport individuals. At the standard altitudes that most commercial aircraft operate at, air tends to have too low of an oxygen content value to sustain human life, potentially leading to rapid disorientation, fatigue, or even loss of consciousness without protection. As such, it is paramount that aircraft are able to maintain optimal interior conditions that keep passengers and crew members safe, in addition to having aircraft oxygen systems for emergency situations. In this blog, we will explore what aircraft oxygen systems are, how they work, and why they are important.
In general, aircraft oxygen systems are designed to offer supplemental oxygen to passengers and crew members in the event that cabin pressure is lost during high altitude flight. While exceedingly rare, cabin depressurization can occur from the failure of various parts or systems, making having an alternative solution essential. Typically, oxygen is stored within cylinders or generators that are situated throughout the aircraft, all of which are connected through a network of tubes that transport breathable air to passengers and crew members.
When a cabin depressurization event occurs, the aircraft oxygen system will automatically deploy. Oftentimes, this deployment comes in the form of oxygen masks
dropping down from overhead compartments for passengers and crew members to put on. These oxygen masks snugly fit over the nose and mouth, while elastic bands go around the head to keep everything secure. Once on, one only has to breathe normally for oxygen to flow into the lungs.
Oxygen masks only provide supplemental oxygen, rather than being in a pure form. This means that the oxygen supplied through maks will be half oxygen and half ambient air. While pure oxygen may seem like a better choice, this mixture is optimal for increasing oxygen to deter hypoxia while being closer in makeup to typical air at lower altitudes
In many modern aircraft, pulse oximeter
installations will be provided in addition to oxygen masks, and these are devices that measure the oxygen saturation level in a person’s blood. To do this, a light is emitted through one’s skin, and the device then measures the amount of light that is absorbed into blood. Once this measurement is calculated, the data is displayed on a screen. This can be very important for individuals like pilots and crew members, where such data can allow personnel to ensure the safety of operations.
In conclusion, aircraft oxygen systems are essential for safety, and they are designed to protect the health and well-being of everyone on board when there is a loss of cabin pressure while flying at high altitudes. As there are a variety of aircraft oxygen systems that one can choose from, such options ranging in terms of design and capability, it is important to procure the right equipment for your particular aircraft. When it comes time to begin sourcing aerospace parts
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Posted on May 10, 2023