Natick Facilities

Click below for more information about each facility at USARIEM.


USARIEM Hypoxia Room

The Hypoxia Room is a 8x8x8 ft. clear vinyl plastic and aluminum frame construction enclosure located within USAREIM laboratory 028. The Hypoxia Room (manufactured by Colorado Altitude Training, Inc. Boulder, CO) supports long-duration normobaric hypoxic exposures with ambient oxygen partial pressures ranging from 159 to 37 mmHg or simulating an altitude exposure from sea level to 30,000 ft. This produces a normobaric hypoxic environment since the barometric pressure in the Hypoxia Room is not altered and is identical to the prevailing ambient pressure (~760 mmHg). The Hypoxia Room can support up to 3 individuals at rest or two volunteers exercising on cycle ergometers.

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Doriot Climatic Chambers

The Doriot Climatic Chambers are two, 60-feet long, 11-feet high, 15-feet wide chambers that are owned and operated by NSRDEC. The Doriot Climatic Chambers are among the largest and most sophisticated environmental test chambers in the world, capable of simulating environmental conditions ranging from the arctic to the tropics. The chambers contain 5-person treadmills that are used to assess the effects of ambient temperature on the physical performance and physiological responses of Soldiers, and can accommodate up to 25 Soldiers for tests on built-in treadmills.

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Metabolic Kitchen

USARIEM performs various nutritional research studies using a state-of-the-art Metabolic Kitchen located in the Doriot Climatic Chambers at the Natick Soldier Systems Center. The metabolic kitchen is 288 square feet and has freezer, refrigerator, heating and bulk storage capabilities. Our research dietitians can provide research participants with meals that are scheduled and prepared in accordance with research protocols. USARIEM dietitians design specialized diets/meals to meet the needs and specifications of the research protocol and study participants. The types of diets/meals produced in the metabolic kitchen include nutrient-controlled, weighed, and metabolic meals. Most controlled diets are planned and managed using Food Processor SQL diet analysis software. This software utilizes the USDA's Standard Release Database. Our facility allows USARIEM researchers to assess various feeding and drinking alternatives aimed at improving Warfighter health and optimizing both physical and cognitive performance under various environmental conditions.

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Hypobaric (Altitude) Chambers (9,000m, -15°C to 40°C)

This facility simulates global atmospheric conditions by reducing ambient barometric pressure using vacuum pumps in combination with precise manipulation and control of temperature and relative humidity. The facility consists of a large (9.7 x 20.6 ft) and a small (9 x 12 ft) chamber, both connected to an airlock. It also includes a shower, toilet, and running water for sustained multiday periods of operation. The chambers can be controlled for pressure (sea level to 9,000 meters), temperature (-32°C to 43°C), and relative humidity (20% to 80%).

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Environmental Chambers
(-10°C to 50°C)

USARIEM has environmental and biophysical evaluation chambers of various sizes that can be controlled for temperature (-10°C to 50°C), relative humidity, and wind speed provide ample research space for testing. Eight environmental chambers are available for use with human research volunteers and animal models.

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Water Immersion Laboratory
(5°C to 45°C)

This facility simulates cold and hot environments by changing water temperature in a 10,000 gallon concrete vessel. The tank is 10 ft long x 10 ft wide x 14 ft deep. The facility provides the ability to test human performance while exercising on a single underwater walking treadmill or with two cycle ergometers while sitting on accompanying bolted-down stainless steel chairs. Water temperature can be controlled in a range of 5°C to 50°C.

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Bone Health Lab / Body Composition Laboratory

This facility is for research into adaptations that occur in healthy bone as the result of strenuous physical training. It contains the most advanced technology available to study parameters of bone quality, specializing in analyses of the lower extremities. Laboratory equipment includes peripheral quantitative computed tomography, dual x-ray absorptiometry, and tibial ultrasound. Additional equipment and methods, which include an isokinetic dynamometry and dynamic gait analysis, is available to assess muscle performance variables associated with bone health.

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Warfighter Cognitive Performance Laboratory

This 800 square foot facility houses the EST 2000, a widely used weapon engagement simulator that can mimic the ballistic characteristics of 25 different weapons. New marksmanship scenarios can be created. The enhanced capabilities of the EST 2000 make it possible to test several measurement paradigms: Marksmanship, Shoot—Don't Shoot, Vigilance (or Information Overload), Discrimination of Friend versus Foe, and Motor Steadiness under varied situations. These include workload (information or physical), simulated sustained operations, fragmented and inadequate sleep, physiological or metabolic disruption, fatigue (central systemic or localized muscle), and therapeutic strategies.

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Psychology Laboratory

This facility provides testing stations for computer-based assessment of cognitive and behavioral Warfighter performance. This 500 square foot configurable space can accommodate up to 24 test volunteers with viewing windows for experimenter observation. Operational stressors that can be studied include extended mental alertness, simultaneous task performance, and nutritional and pharmacological interventions. Laboratory equipment enables the assessment of physiological state through eye tracking and trans-cranial Doppler brain blood flow systems.

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Center for Military Biomechanics Research

This facility consists of a fully equipped 5,000 square foot biomechanics research laboratory with a 12 camera Qualysis infrared video motion analysis system. It also contains a unique patented dual-force platform treadmill that measures x, y, and z forces and torques on individual feet during walking. There are also six portable Myomonitor EMG systems to measure muscle nerve activity, as well as metabolic carts to measure oxygen consumption to determine locomotion efficiency.

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Thermal Manikins & Clothing Biophysics Laboratories

Five biophysical evaluation chambers containing fully sensored, articulated, moveable copper manikins, and other metallic models of feet and hands are available for testing of thermal and vapor-resistance values of clothing.

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Last Modified Date: 31 July 2020 FacebookTwitter