Informativeness of the Finger Temperature/Heat Flux as an Index of Human Thermal Status Under Local Cold Influences
Introduction Human thermoregulation during EVA remains a challenge. The establishment of a high correlation between the thermal status of the fingers and the heat surplus/deficit in the body provides an index with potential to more effectively monitor and control the astronaut’s thermal status. This series of studies evaluated the changes in finger temperature (Tfing) trajectories in conditions relevant to EVA. Methods In different experiments, subjects were donned in a liquid cooling/warming garment (LCWG) that covered the full body surface except for the face and hands; they wore either a physiologically designed warming glove or the Phase VI glove. The experimental protocols were as follows: imposition of temperature differences in the left and right gloves; different thermal insulation levels of the gloves; sequential grasping of a highly cold rail in different glove conditions; placement of the finger thermistor on different sites of the finger.