Point of Contact

Ray Kinney
Branch Chief
Raymond.M.Kinney@nasa.gov 661.276.3669

Dryden Aircrew Life Support Systems

    Dryden videographer Lori Losey is hoisted from the water during water survival training at the Edwards AFB swimming pool. Mission

    Dryden Aircrew Life Support Systems provides its customers with total quality Life Support and Emergency Escape Systems that sets the standards for the Worldwide Life Support Community. With a professional, well trained staff that has a combined total of over 198 years of experience, there is very little that they can't do.


    The Life Support group provides for the development, testing, and maintenance of life support systems and performs inspections, maintenance, and services for the following:
    • Flight Equipment
    • Ejection Seat Maintenance
    • Aircraft Oxygen Systems
    • Pressure Suit Maintenance
    • Aircrew Training
    • Survival Training

Life Support Components

Flight Equipment

Leslie Wilson inspecting a helmet and oxygen mask.

Life Support's primary function is the safety of the aircrew. This entails the maintenance of all the aircrew flight equipment which includes

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Ejection Seat Maintenance

Lyn Lohberger and Phil Wellner performing ejection seat maintenance

The ejection seat used in our aircraft is directly related to our primary duty. Here at Dryden we have five different types of ejection seats in 12 aircraft, with a total of 23 ejection seats.

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Aircraft Oxygen Systems

Fred Rinke accomplishing a 230 day inspection on a FA-18 liquid oxygen converter.

Fred Rinke accomplishing a 230 day inspection on a FA-18 liquid oxygen converter. Oxygen regulators, converters, and many different types of gaseous oxygen bottles are also serviced in this area.

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Pressure Suit Maintenance

pre-flight pressure suit inspection

Full pressure suit technician, Joshua Graham performs a pre-flight inspection of a pressure suit in support of NASA's ER-2 high altitude flight operations.

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Aircrew Training

Bob McElwain conducting parachute training.

Other life support training includes care and use of of all life support equipment, land and water survival training.

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Survival Training

flight crew members lighting flares

The survival kits are an integral part of the ejection seats and are extremely important to the aircrew member during post-ejection and while waiting for rescue.

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Testing and Maintenace

  • NASA pilot Dana Purifoy

    Smart Aircrew Integrated Life Support System

    In May 2004, The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft division (NAWCAD) contracted Dryden to test and evaluate a new system called SAILSS (Smart Aircrew Integrated Life Support System)

  • NASA pilot wearing Gentex two-part prototype helmet.

    Prototype Helmet Tested at Dryden

    Research pilots from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., tested a prototype two-part helmet built by Gentex Corp., Carbondale, Pa.

  • Dryden Life Support assists Proteus Team

    Three world altitude records are pending ratification following the Oct. 25 and Oct. 27 flights of Proteus. During these flights, the aircraft reached a peak altitude of 62,786 feet, sustained an altitude of 61,919 feet in horizontal flight and attained a peak altitude of 55,878 feet while carrying a 1,000-kg payload.