Convective Heating Improvement for Emergency Fire Shelters (CHIEFS)

Convective Heating Improvement for Emergency Fire Shelters (CHIEFS)

CHIEFS stands for Convective Heating Improvement for Emergency Fire Shelters. It is a collaborative effort between NASA Langley Research Center and the USDA Forest Service to potentially improve the performance of emergency fire shelters for wildland firefighters.

CHIEFS Convective TestsCHIEFS stands for Convective Heating Improvement for Emergency Fire Shelters. CHIEFS is a collaborative effort between NASA Langley Research Center and the USDA Forest Service to potentially improve the performance of emergency fire shelters for wildland firefighters. A fire shelter is a last resort safety measure that may protect firefighters entrapped by wildfire that has compromised their escape route. The shelter, resembling a small foldable tent, is primarily designed to protect the user from exposure from radiant heat. It provides limited protection when exposed to direct flame contact and convective heat.

The CHIEFS fire shelter material will use technology drawn from a new spacecraft flexible heat shield NASA is developing for future planetary exploration missions. By modifying this material, utilizing heat shield test methods, and experimenting with different shelter structures, the CHIEFS team strives to improve the convective thermal performance of the shelter while minimizing any increase in the weight and packed volume of the current shelter. To protect against radiant heat the exterior of the shelter uses a laminate which reflects over 90 percent of the radiant heat from a forest fire. To protect against convective heat and hot gases or direct flame contact the interior layers will be high-temperature insulation layers and a gas barrier layer to keep hot gasses from entering the shelter’s interior

Project Manager
Josh Fody (joshua.m.fody@nasa.gov)


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