The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has finally got a patent for LCHG – Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment – which is made for space applications.
The patent was applied on 8 February 2016 and it was granted on 19 June 2020. According to ISRO, the Indian patent is valid for 20 years from the application date.
Apart from the use of LCHG in manned space flights, it’s also a fit for earth-bound industrial operations like firefighting and other hazardous industries.
The single-piece innovative garment does have a close-fitting and covers the human body including limbs and torso from top (neck) to bottom (toe). The garment has a zipper at front and it’s said to be worn inside, over which the spacesuit is worn. LCHG weight ranges from 1,000 g to 3,000 g.
The filed patent papers by ISRO state that LCHG is made up of biocompatible fabrics, the main aim of which is to provide the wearer with a comfortable body temperature and sweat removal by providing a superior level of heat transfer efficiency.
As far as construction of LCHG is concerned, the outer layer comprises polymeric fabric tricot and the inner layer does have a polymeric fabric net which remains in contact of the skin of the wearer.
Both the layers (outer and inner) are separated by a plurality of tubes which is configured to ensure effective circulation of heat transfer fluid. This way these tubes reduce maximum heat levels for the wearer’s comfort.
As ISRO is extensively working on its ambitious ‘Gaganyaan’ project worth Rs. 10,000 crore and planning to send three Indian air force pilots to space for a week’s time, it’s speculated that LCHG will now be used by the space agency for this project.
It’s worth mentioning here that the garment (LCHG) has been invented by 4 inventors – Srirangam Siripothu, Saraswathi Kesava Pillai Manu, Reshmi Balachandran and Gurumurthy Chandrasekaran.